Lewis Hamilton has conceded that it may be time to change his approach to racing after another spirited charge through the field in China failed to help him overhaul teammate Jenson Button.
The McLaren driver has been one of the hardest charging drivers this season – having completed 32 competitive overtaking moves in the first four races – but it is Button who heads the standings, having completed just seven passes. With Button having taken his second victory of the season, Hamilton thinks he may have to start making life a bit easier for himself if he is going to maximize his car's potential.
"I do all that hard racing and don't have the wins, while Jenson has two – which is fantastic for him," said Hamilton. "I've done it the hard way and he's had the easier way.
"I feel I have had great races, but he has made the right decisions and taken the easier route. I have had the harder route and gotten good results, but hopefully soon I will take the easier route and it will be a lot easier. We do both have great chance of the title."
Although Button's success has surprised some of his critics, Hamilton said he always expected a tough time from the reigning World Champion – but insists the pair are getting on very well.
"The good thing with me and Jenson is that we clearly want to beat each other, but Jenson is very smart and does not have that too aggressive flair in him – and neither have I. Neither of us want to crash and ruin our chances of winning. I am really happy for him. He did a better job and I am sure that when the tables turn, as they will, it will be the same for me."
He added: "Jenson is getting the results, it is very impressive but I always thought he would. I'm not surprised he has settled so quickly. There was a lot of stuff about him joining my team and I would be favored. But the team just embraces the drivers, and they want us both to win. They did absolutely everything to get him up to speed and feel comfortable. They did the same for me in 2007.
"They gave him some of my engineers. It is as equal as it can possibly be. The car is great, we get on great. There are no issues."
Ahead of the start of the European season, Hamilton is bullish about his own prospects as he eyes kick-starting his season with a triumph.
"It is important to get some wins. He has two now but I am only 11 points behind. I've scored good points considering things. Spain? The car should be good there. I hope we come with as good a step as everyone else. That's my job to push the guys for the next two weeks to make sure we get absolutely everything."