Lewis Hamilton is not yet allowing himself to think he is on course to claim a second World Championship title this year, despite leading the standings at the halfway point of the season.
The McLaren driver has outscored pace-setters Red Bull Racing through consistency and hard-charging driving up to now, but he says he is not yet thinking he can go on and triumph at the end of the season. Instead, Hamilton insists his mindset is still to take every race as it comes – especially as he reckons McLaren is not yet as fast as main rivals Red Bull.
"One race at a time – it's how I've always taken it," said Hamilton at Hockenheim. "I've never gone into a season and said: 'OK, this is it.'
"I relate it to golf. When I play that, I say, 'OK, I'm on the third hole and if I have this amount by the eighth hole I should be doing good.' And, if it doesn't go the way you want it, you have to take it one step at a time.
"So that is what I like to do when I am racing – one step at a time, one race at a time, and focus on what is happening now. That is how it is happening this year and I see no reason why it should change."
Hamilton also said that the fact he was leading the title chase at the moment did not make him any more confident about his title prospects – especially because he thinks Red Bull Racing has the potential to still walk away with the crown.
"I feel good about what we've achieved so far, but I don't feel confident going into the second half, because they might fix their problems and be blisteringly quick and you can't catch them. They would be away in the lead if they had followed through on all their pole positions, so I think we were very fortunate in certain situations. We have done an awesome job with the limited pace that we've had in certain areas.
"It's just about doing a better job than anyone else, and that's why we are leading the championship. But it's not because we have been the quickest. I still think today we are not quickest. We are quick, but it's not enough. But we'll get there. If we are able to make that step in pure pace then we should be smiling. But let's see."
McLaren is hoping that its revised blown diffuser works much better in German this weekend than it did at Silverstone, with Hamilton predicting the performance gap between his team and Red Bull Racing will be much closer this weekend.
"If it's dry, I hope our package should be working so we should be all pretty close," he said. "I don't think there'll be a gap like there was in the last race. I think we'll be a lot, lot closer and hopefully if our package works we'll be closer than normal. I think it will be a bit like Valencia."