2016 Formula 1 title would mean more than others, Hamilton feels

Lewis Hamilton says the 2016 season has been his most challenging yet and so winning this Formula 1 world championship will mean more to him than his previous three

2016 Formula 1 title would mean more than others, Hamilton feels

Of the two Mercedes drivers, Hamilton has suffered the brunt of unreliability problems this year - contributing to his 43-point deficit to title rival and team-mate Nico Rosberg after the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

Formula 1's mid-season driver ratings

He then went on a run of six wins in seven races, converting that gap into a 19-point lead before the summer break.

However, he has resigned himself to having to take a double penalty at a grand prix to build a pool of engines to get him through the rest of the season, having reached his maximum tally of five turbochargers and MGU-Hs in Austria.

"I've had ups and downs [in other years] but I think this has definitely been harder because it hasn't felt so much like fault from me not being focused, or me not training or taking the time," he said.

"It's more other things, outside things.

"It's been a really good experience and I honestly feel stronger today and able to handle whatever it is that is going to be thrown at me."

When asked if the problems he has faced this season would make a 2016 title feel more valuable than the others, he said: "I think it will.

"All race wins feel different for a different reason.

"Sometimes it's been easier and sometimes it's been harder, sometimes you've felt more stress, sometimes you've felt fitter, all these different things.

"Every championship I've won, I seem to enjoy it more and more and more.

"Winning those championships has always been a different journey.

"If I get to where I want to be at the end of this journey then it's going to feel as good if not greater than ever before."

Hamilton said his priority for the summer break, which ends with this weekend's Belgian GP, was to balance downtime and focus.

"There have been breaks where I've just been exhausted after the break because I've done a lot and done the training and just done too much," he said.

"But [2015] was just amazing because I was around good people, I got the training in but it wasn't my priority and it was just enjoying wherever I was.

"I was buzzing when I came back.

"You want to see the world and do different things without losing focus on the ultimate goal, which is winning the championship."

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