‘Lewis is act­ing like a true world cham­pion’

Mercedes team boss Wolff praises Bri­tish driver’s at­ti­tude

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Lewis Hamil­ton may have had an in­dif­fer­ent start to the For­mula One sea­son but Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff be­lieves the Bri­tish driver is han­dling the pres­sure like a “true cham­pion”.

Team-mate Nico Rosberg is rac­ing ahead in the driv­ers’ cham­pi­onship with three suc­ces­sive vic­to­ries and 36-point lead ahead of Hamil­ton go­ing into this week­end’s Rus­sian Grand Prix at the Sochi Au­to­drom. But de­spite the re­sults Wolff has been im­pressed with Hamil­ton’s han­dling of the sit­u­a­tion.

“We may have made a solid start - but at this stage it’s about col­lect­ing points with­out look­ing too much at the cham­pi­onship,” said Wolff. “We are just three races down with 18 still to go. I have no doubt that we will see a close fight on all fronts right up to the end of the sea­son. Both driv­ers are a good place men­tally. Nico is on great form but keep­ing his feet firmly on the ground. “Lewis would have ev­ery right to feel dis­heart­ened by his start - but he is calm and con­fi­dent, han­dling ad­ver­sity like a true cham­pion.” Hamil­ton started from the back of the grid at the Chi­nese Grand Prix be­fore fin­ish­ing in seventh. He will look to turn his sea­son around in Rus­sia where he has won the two pre­vi­ous races.

“There was plenty go­ing through my head af­ter China, as you’d ex­pect,” said the reign­ing world cham­pion.

“But, af­ter all th­ese years, ex­pe­ri­ence has taught me to stay calm and keep push­ing for­wards when I get knocked back.

“I’ve been here be­fore a few times now. But ad­ver­sity is part of the jour­ney: it brings us closer, makes us stronger and I know that to­gether we’ll bounce back, so I’m con­fi­dent of bet­ter week­ends to come.

“There are lots of pos­i­tives to carry into the next bat­tle. It’s Rus­sia up next - a race that I’ve won on both oc­ca­sions so far and a track that seems to suit me pretty well, so let’s see what we can do there.”

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