Hamilton says he is still driving well

Lewis Hamilton is confident that he is still driving as well this season as he did when winning last year's world title, even though he is now struggling to get into the points due to McLaren's decline

Hamilton says he is still driving well

The reigning champion has been eliminated in Q1 for the past two events, and could only manage 13th place in Turkey last weekend, but felt he did his absolute best in that race.

"I'm competitive so when you have a tough day, you feel it but you will live to see another day and you've got to get up and fight," Hamilton told BBC Radio 1.

"We are pushing as hard as we can. What you won't see that much is that you're driving really well. I had a really good race, I enjoyed it, but I finished 13th."

Hamilton said he had quickly resigned himself to 2009 being a very tough season.

"We have clearly had a terrible year compared to the past years," he said. "I've got a great team, such smart intelligent people who every year work as hard as they can to put the car together. So we all work together to really bring that package.

"Unfortunately with the rules changing, we didn't knock it on the head, we didn't get it right and the others did. Whilst we've got a great engine, the car's not really willing to go round the high speed corners very well.

"It's not a case of getting used to it, you get used to it straight away but we've had the same problems since day one. You wouldn't believe the amount of work, the development that's gone on - you won't really see it at the track so much.

"We were three seconds off at the beginning and now we're only a second and a half or something off. So we've found a lot of time but that costs a lot of money and with the way the world is we don't have a huge amount of money to throw at it. So we have to keep everything in balance."

He remains confident that 2009 will prove to be a one-off and that McLaren will be a contender again next year.

"I have to be grateful for the fact that I'm 24 years old, I'm in Formula 1 which has been my dream since I was six years old," said Hamilton.

"I'm driving for my favourite team - the best team - and we all have our ups and downs. Other drivers have had bad years so I'm looking forward to the next few good years hopefully."

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