Lewis Hamilton has claimed he finds it 'genuinely easy' to shake the pressure of a Formula 1 title fight despite only a narrow margin separating him from Max Verstappen.
Hamilton holds a two-point lead over the Red Bull driver in the standings with seven races left, although the potential of a power unit penalty looming large on the horizon means the seven-time champion could be forgiven for feeling the pressure.
Despite the intense battle on track, Hamilton pointed to off-track activities such as a recent trip to the Met Gala as ways he could relieve pressure from himself.
“I genuinely find it easy because I have these other outlets so I’m able to blow off steam in lots of different ways," explained Hamilton.
“The most important thing is always to be able to come back into the racing environment fresh, recovered, positive and not really having any worries.
“So I think I’m able to arrive and just love doing my job. So we just take it one weekend at a time and one race at a time, just always trying to elevate.
“I’ve spent plenty of time speaking to the team about how we can advance and improve but I’ve been doing this a long time so I’ve found ways personally [of coping].
“What works for me personally won’t work for everyone but I’ve found a way that I know how I tick, what gets me on course and what can put me off course, so I stick to them.”
Hamilton not worried by 'what if?'
Despite his record-equalling title haul, Hamilton has also experienced the extreme low of seeing a mechanical failure derail his challenge in the 2016 season.
Hamilton insisted that he was not concerned with dealing with the pressure of influences outside of his control, adding: “It’s not a case of ignoring it [the pressure] because it’s there, but it’s the understanding that what will be will be.
"All you can do is prepare the best way you can, all you can do is give it 100 per cent and what’s coming up is coming up. So I just don’t worry about those things.
“I’ve been very fortunate in the past. I’ve had lots of ups and downs but I’ve had an amazing time, a lot of growth, so I just don’t worry about ‘what if?’.
“I just try and prepare for now. That means making sure I’ve done the work with the guys at the factory, with Bono [Peter Bonnington - Hamilton's race engineer] and the team, and then ultimately let me enjoy it. Just go out there and enjoy it."