WINNING RUN: The familiar sight of champion Lewis Hamilton celebrating a victory. Image: AP / Mark Schiefelbein
LONDON, England - Mercedes Formula 1 driverLewis Hamilton has issued an ominous warning to his rivals.
The reigning champion has won three of the four races so far this season, leaving his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg trailing in his wake.
Niki Lauda says Rosberg, needs to hit a metaphorical 'reset' and start his 2015 campaign afresh but then veteran Jenson Button says that is not easy to do.
He added: "When your team mate beats you for two or three races on the trot it hurts. You have to take it on the chin, look at the reasons why and move forward but it's easier said than done.
"You have moments where you doubt yourself. Sometimes you're on a high, sometimes a low. It makes a huge difference."
So in stark contrast to Rosberg's low, then, was Hamilton's high. "I want the third title," he told Sport Bild, "like Senna."
Hamilton is already 27 points clear, visibly happier, more relaxed than ever. In Lauda's words - "in top form".
"It feels like Sebastian (Vettel) in the year after his first title," Hamilton was quoted as saying.
Famously, Vettel fought tooth-and-nail against Red Bull team mate Mark Webber in 2010 before utterly crushing that Australian and every other rival in 2011. He won again in 2012 and 2013 and was often accused of cruising to easily to his poles and wins.
"It's like you're hovering on a cloud of success," Hamilton explained. "I'm still hungry for victory but at the same time much more relaxed."
The 30-year-old said managing to find a new gear for 2015 had even been a surprise. "I was thinking more likely it's going to go the other way," he admitted, "but I've almost surprised myself - how I have been driving, how I have been adapting to things.
"I have been really proud of it, generally."
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Formula 1 season.