Lewis Hamilton claims that he has never felt so much pressure in a title fight than what he is experiencing in 2018. The Briton is going head-to-head with fellow four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel for the title this season.
After winning three of the last four races, Hamilton boasts a 30 point lead to Vettel at the top of the standings. Last weekend, he took victory at Monza while Vettel was forced to recover from the back of the field following a lap 1 incident with Hamilton.
Despite holding a sizeable gap in the standings, Hamilton claims that the pressure is as high as its ever been for him this year: “The heat is there and it is unavoidable for all of us. It is very difficult for people watching who are not naturally in it to feel what we feel. The pressure is at its highest I can ever remember. That’s the pressure you put on yourself to success and your desires and your fears and all the people who are depending on you, which is a lot of people."
Hamilton admits that he would rather take the final stretch of the season weekend by weekend, rather than focus on 'what ifs': “I don’t really want to talk about the ifs and put anything out there just yet. I want to take it one race at a time than say, ‘If this happens or that happens.’ The pressure is so high, all I can do is try and deliver every weekend.
"All I can say is that I am definitely extracting more out of the car, but I think definitely these last three races, and those three wins, those weekends, we’ve not had the upper hand. We have been one or two steps behind and then finish ahead — that’s an incredibly proud feeling for everyone in the team and I am sure it is that excitement which is spurring everyone else on.
“There are still seven races to go and a lot of points and trust me, we are not being complacent at all. We know we have got to work even harder than they are to close the gap or to make sure we deliver results like this more often," he added.
Singapore hosts the next round of the 2018 championship in two weeks' time. Last year, Hamilton struggled throughout the weekend before taking an unexpected victory following an opening lap collision involving the two Ferrari's and Max Verstappen.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing