Thuesday, 07 august 2018, 06:10 , by Martin Macdonald
Sky Sports Formula One pundit David Croft does not think everything is "100 per cent" right with Lewis Hamilton at the moment and that he will benefit greatly from the current summer break from the sport, but admits some of the Brit's performances in 2018 have been "incredible."
Hamilton currently holds a 24-point advantage over Sebastian Vettel in the driver rankings and has claimed the flag in five Grand Prix victories so far.
However, it has not all been plain sailing as there has been more than one incident involving strategy errors or pitstop stoppages, and Croft thinks that the break could not have come at a better time for the 2017 world champion, even if he has been "incredible" on occasion.
"I don’t think all is completely 100 per cent with Lewis, but he’s leading the championship and some of his performances have been incredible," Croft said in his mid-season report for Sky Sports.
"His win from 14th in Germany proved that he never gives up, while there’s nobody better than him at leading from the front.
"Then there are the amazing qualifying laps, like Silverstone — just a sensational lap and it was an utter delight to watch a driver do that. After qualifying he was visibly shaking, after the race he didn’t want to talk to anybody because he’d given so much.
"I do wonder if the toll and constant pressure of fighting for world championships is occasionally taking it out of Lewis a little bit. There have been times where I’ve thought, ‘that’s not the Lewis we’ve seen and heard in the past’.
"He strikes me as a man who needs a couple of weeks away from the racetrack to recharge his batteries and come back stronger, which he often does in the second half of the season."
Hamilton's current lead over Vettel is the biggest advantage a leader has had going into the break in half a decade, and Croft ultimately thinks it will take a herculean effort from someone to catch up.
"But he deservedly leads the championship and, with the biggest title advantage going into a summer break in five years, he’ll take some catching" Croft wrote.
"We can’t imagine the pressure he’s under."