Hamilton targets perfection
10:06pm Monday 12th May 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Lewis Hamilton has vowed to find perfection in his determined bid to win the Monaco Grand Prix, after enduring a wretched weekend at the principality a year ago.
Hamilton should have been on top of the world on Sunday after taking the chequered flag in the Spanish Grand Prix, his fourth consecutive victory that has propelled him to the summit of the Formula One drivers' standings for the first time in almost two years.
Instead, the 29-year-old, who finished just 0.6secs ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, was relatively sombre as he felt he had not given his best at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.
It is a case of Hamilton believing in his talent to such an extent he feels Rosberg should not have pushed him to the line as ferociously as he did over the closing stages.
It is also why Hamilton will now analyse in detail over the next few days where he can improve to ensure Rosberg does not again win next up in Monaco on May 25, as the German did a year ago.
Hamilton knows that was a chance that slipped through his fingers, and he is eager to ensure there will be no repeat.
"I want to win there," said Hamilton.
"Monaco is one of those I always target before the season - that one and Silverstone are the two real ones you point out.
"I won both races there in Formula Three in 2005 and both again in GP2 in 2006.
"I was quick enough to win in 2007 (in his first year in F1) but I couldn't get past (Fernando Alonso). I had got held up in qualifying and I ended up second.
"Then in 2008 I won, and in 2009 I was probably quick enough, but I crashed. Then after that we weren't quick enough.
"Last year, I finally had a car to win again and I drove like a w*****.
"When I say that, I don't mean the whole race. I drove well until the safety car pit-stop period.
"I also struggled with the car last year. I lost three tenths (of a second) in qualifying from turn one to the top of the hill, and yet I only qualified half a tenth behind him (Rosberg).
"I was just very uncomfortable with the car.
"After struggling over the weekend in Spain, I'm going there thinking how I can avoid that, otherwise I will be quick there."
It is hard to appreciate a driver 'struggling', as Hamilton points out, when he won the race from pole position.
Yet that is how Hamilton is wired and why he will be striving for the kind of performance that saw him crush Rosberg in Malaysia and China, not the one where it was too close to call as in Bahrain and Spain.
"It's still encouraging I won," said Hamilton.
"As in Bahrain I felt massively good after that, but I know what I've got and I feel it shouldn't have been that close.
"That's what I'm working towards (being further ahead). The places where I finished ahead, like Malaysia and China, that's how it should be.
"In Spain and Bahrain he was quicker. Even though I finished ahead and it's positive in the sense I know I'm able to behave well under pressure, ultimately he was quicker.
"I'm not being negative, it's just I'm a perfectionist. Most people would be like 'yeah, I won the race. Even though the other guy was right on my tail, I won the race'.
"But I should have been quicker. It shouldn't have been as hard.
"As I say, I'm striving for perfection. It's not that I'm unhappy. I had an amazing day (on Sunday), an amazing weekend, even though I struggled in qualifying when I nearly lost it.
"But I just pulled out a really good lap and got pole. That's a real positive, but it was a risky lap.
"In the race, I managed to stay ahead, did a good job, but I want to be better. That's what I'm getting at."