Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton explains why his form has improved so much in 2017

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Lewis Hamilton believes Nico Rosberg's departure from Mercedes, a discussion with Toto Wolff and cutting meat out of his diet are the principle factors in his good form this season.

The 32-year-old is currently on top of the Formula One standings with 331 points, 9 victories and 12 podiums thus far in 2017.

Hamilton was recently victorious in the U.S Grand Prix last weekend, finishing over 10 seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel in second. The Englishman is 66 points ahead of Ferrari's Vettel in the standings and looks on course to claim this year's world championship.

Stevenage-born Hamilton will likely seize his fourth championship this weekend at the Mexico Grand Prix. 

The race for first position in the Formula One standings this year has been somewhat of a formality for Hamilton, with his main rival from last season Nico Rosberg announcing his shock retirement back in December 2016.

And Hamilton believes Rosberg's retirement has had a massive impact - on his performances this year.

When questioned whether the Mercedes team dynamic would be as harmonious as is currently the case if had Rosberg stayed on, Hamilton answered, "no".

"People in the team will be able to tell you what the dynamic was, and I can't say it was great last year," he said.

The Englishman went on to emphasise that his efforts have been focused more on improving this year, something much easier to achieve without the distraction of a rivalry with his own teammate. 

He added: "When you have two strong drivers in the team, as we had - well, when the battle is within the team - it's like a hurricane, with strong energy, and it is just stuck in the room.

"Whereas now, together, we have this hurricane or whatever bundle of energy which we are firing to the car, and it is overall a much happier dynamic."

Indeed the battle of egos had been brewing since Hamilton's move from McLaren to Mercedes in 2015. It came to a head during the 2016 championship at the Austrian Grand Prix when Hamilton would win with a damaged car after a collision between the pair, while Rosberg dropped to fourth in the final corners.

Both drivers blamed the other, while enraged team boss Toto Wolff threatened team orders in future races.

A conversation in Wolff's kitchen in December last year was another factor behind Hamilton's good form in 2017. It crucially came two weeks after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where the former McLaren man ignored instructions from the Mercedes pit wall.

Hamilton continued: "Going and seeing Toto at the end of last year was crucial in solidifying the longevity in the team. We just put everything on the table and said what needed to be said. And then to build on creating a new stronger relationship which we have done."

On cutting meat out of his diet, Hamilton declared that he feels "the best I have ever felt, physically and mentally. Physically I have taken a big step and that is with the decision I have taken to change my diet."

The decision to become vegan was made at the Singapore Grand Prix and appears to be paying dividends now. Up next for Hamilton is the Mexico GP this weekend, where he will be aiming to clinch his fourth title.

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Topics:
Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton
Formula 1
Mercedes

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