Lewis Hamilton is not confident his McLaren team has the potential to take on Red Bull Racing in the next few races, after declaring his belief that his squad is in great shape for the next phase of the championship battle.
With Hamilton having moved to the top of the championship standings with back-to-back wins in Turkey and Canada, the title fight has been blown wide open after Red Bull Racing's recent troubles. Although Red Bull Racing is hoping an upgrade to its RB6 can help improve matters for the next race in Valencia, Hamilton is hopeful McLaren now holds the edge for the remainder of the campaign.
"We have got a couple of good races coming up," said Hamilton. "Valencia is a strong one for me. Silverstone is a good circuit. It has been in the past, but we will have to see how the new section of the circuit is.
"Hopefully our car will improve over those couple of races. Hungary is a good one for us, too, so there are good races coming up. If I am able to keep my head and stay focused, as this is where you really have to knuckle and grind, to brush it down to the bone, then this is where you can make a difference.
"You can see how close it is, and I am sure if you are able to get a fair enough gap you might be able to maintain that for the rest of the year. That has got to be the target."
Hamilton had a frustrating start to the campaign where, despite some stirring drives, he missed out on good results – especially in Australia after a collision with Mark Webber and in Spain when a wheel failure pitched him off the track. But despite those early woes, he says he never doubted that he could win the World Championship this year.
"I have not felt that that wasn't the case, even though I wasn't at the front," he said. "I feel I have been doing good races and driving well all year. I feel stronger than ever. But just now the opportunities are coming and I am taking them with both hands."