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Hamilton shrugs off internal Mercedes claims

Hamilton shrugs off internal Mercedes claims

Hamilton shrugs off internal Mercedes claims

Hamilton shrugs off internal Mercedes claims

Lewis Hamilton has dismissed claims from within his own Mercedes team that he has reached a new level in F1 during his championship battle with Max Verstappen.

The seven-time champion was on the brink of losing out to the Red Bull driver when he was disqualified from qualifying in Brazil and sent to the back of the grid for the sprint.

But after charging through to fifth in the 24-lap event before winning the grand prix after another five-place grid penalty for an engine change, Hamilton then went to Qatar and sealed pole position and a second win in a row to reduce the margin to Verstappen to just eight points.

Mercedes director of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin and technical director Mike Elliott both suggested Hamilton had reached new levels of performance in recent times.

With these opinions put to him ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Hamilton replied: "I don't know if I agree with it to be honest.

"I don't believe I have gone to a different level, I think I am just at a good level in general.

"Maybe I tapped into something different in Brazil, maybe I haven't been there before, I don't know. I definitely have in my career, I have come back from those positions many, many times before.

"I like to think I have been delivering well all year but you are constantly learning, you are learning more all year, about your surroundings and particularly the car and how you work with the team, how to get more out of every individual and the team.

"I like to think all of us have, not just me but the engineers, the mechanics, it has been absolutely every individual in the team has pulled out more and that is what has been needed.

"We always need more, we need more performance, more focus, more power and strength. I think everyone collectively has."

Hamilton heads into qualifying at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit after finishing quickest in both of Friday's practice sessions.

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