Lewis Hamilton has been hailed as “unbeatable” by his Mercedes team after winning the German Grand Prix and moving 19 points clear of his championship rival and team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Hamilton became the first driver to win four races in a calender month after victories in Austria, Silverstone, Hungary and here in Hockenheim on Sunday.
Indeed Hamilton has now won six of the last seven races to turn a 43-point deficit to Rosberg into a healthy championship lead.
While Rosberg will be left stewing at another indifferent display in which he finished only fourth, Hamilton, who is bidding to become the first British driver to win a quartet of titles, will head into the sport’s summer break on the back of arguably the most emphatic winning streak of his 10-year career.
“That guy has great talent, speed and on a good day, I think he is unbeatable,” said Hamilton’s Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
Rosberg won the opening four rounds of the season largely unchallenged after Hamilton encountered a number of car issues.
But following their first-lap collision at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, Hamilton has taken 160 points from the 175 available, while Rosberg has failed to finish on the podium in four of the seven races since.
“It is a very good streak and an impressive record,” Wolff added. “He has recovered all those points that he lost, and if there is something like momentum it is for him to keep that momentum.”
Responding to Wolff’s comments, a flattered Hamilton said: “I didn’t know he would say that. I never feel invincible or unbeatable. I do feel when I’m at my strongest, number one is where I will be.”
After his victory in Hungary, which enabled him to take charge of the championship for the first time this year, Hamilton described his spectacular collision with Rosberg in Barcelona as the turning point of his season.
Hamilton added that he had hit rock bottom after the opening-lap crash, but never gave up hope of winning his fourth title and with nine rounds left he is now the overwhelming favourite to do just that.
“I’ve definitely been lower but it felt at the time it was almost like it couldn’t go any further,” Hamilton added after the 49th win of his career.
“There was a lyric – it might have been one of my songs – where you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom but you’ve actually gone through the ground and gone further.
“I’m only human, and there were lots of different things going through my mind at the time. I was just trying to bat them off. I’ve got great people round me who depend on me to be upbeat, not to give up, and I never did.”