Lewis Hamilton will be saying his prayers over the next few days as he seeks home comfort from the British Grand Prix after watching another Max Verstappen walkover.
Verstappen cruised to an 18-second victory in the Austrian Grand Prix to complete a triple-header clean sweep after previously claiming wins in the French and Styrian F1 races.
With four wins in the last five races overall, the Red Bull driver has now opened up a 32-point cushion over Hamilton and is on course to claim his maiden F1 title unless Mercedes suddenly conjure an upgrade to deliver added performance to the W12.
Hamilton has made the British Grand Prix his own in the turbo-hybrid era, winning six of the seven races since 2014, and finishing second in the other.
On this occasion, the seven-time champion heads into it very much as the underdog.
“These past races have been difficult and he [Verstappen] is pretty much just cruising
ahead so there’s really not much I can do about that,” assessed Hamilton.
“Of course, I’m praying for a different scenario in the next race. You look at their [Red Bull] car and it’s just on rails so we’re giving it absolutely everything.
"This past two weeks I’ve been to the factory each week trying to extract as much as I can from the car but our car just doesn’t go well here [in Austria] for some reason, and I really hope that it does in the next ones.”
As to whether he could feel his chances of what would be a record-breaking eighth title slip away, Hamilton said: “I’m not really focusing on that, to be honest, I’m just trying to get better performance.”
With regard to potential upgrades on the car for Silverstone, the 36-year-old said: “We have a little bit coming but it’s not going to close the gap enough so we’ve got to do some more work.”