Lewis Hamilton says he would rather have a “super-close” title battle in Formula 1 this year but says neither he nor Mercedes can be blamed for their early points advantage.
Six-time World Champion Hamilton has opened a 30-point gap over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the Drivers’ Championship after just four rounds.
It is the largest advantage Hamilton has held at this stage of the campaign – overtaking his previous best, which came in 2015, when he fronted Nico Rosberg by 27 points.
The Briton has won three of this year’s four grands prix and has taken seven career victories at Silverstone, the location for the upcoming 70th Anniversary round.
Mercedes’ main rivals have all failed to deliver a regular threat this season, with Red Bull’s RB16 lacking pace, and Ferrari slipping up with its SF1000, ostensibly due to a power shortfall.
“I’m a through and through racer at heart,” said Hamilton, whose British Grand Prix triumph was the 87th of his career, putting him just four shy of Michael Schumacher’s record.
“I’ve grown up, particularly when you’re in karting, you’ve got the wheel-to-wheel racing, that’s what has always excited me, and that’s what gets me up in the morning.
“This is not the championship fight I would have hoped for. I’d much, much prefer to be having a super-close battle with these two [Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc] because that’s what gets me going.
“I think I’m still putting in the laps that are required but it’s not a close battle with Max in qualifying and the same with Charles. I really, really hope that in future it’s closer.”
Mercedes has been the benchmark team since 2014 and is already firm favourite to claim a record-breaking seventh successive Constructors’ crown.
“Ultimately every team is given rules and at the end of the day we’ve just done an exceptional job collectively and you can’t fault my team for that,” he said.
“That’s not our fault. You have to look at the people that run the sport doing a better job moving forwards, I would say, ruling-wise.
“I think Ross [Brawn] is showing us a car for the future that’s going to have us all closer. Hopefully it’s not as slow as a GP2 car, and then hopefully we’ll get some more karting-like races in the future.”