The seven-time world champion moved within eight points of Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings after his dominant victory in the Qatar Grand Prix last weekend.
But after a campaign in which he has had spells of bad weather, or his Mercedes struggling for pace against Red Bull, Hamilton believes everything is falling into place at the right time.
And, in particular, it is clear that the physical difficulties he had at the start of the season because of the after-effects of the coronavirus, which he caught in late 2020, have now been shaken.
“I feel good,” he said after his victory at Losail.
“I feel in the best physical shape I have been all year.
“Obviously at the beginning [of the year], not particularly good, so yes, I feel good. The car feels better than ever and I am optimistic for the next few races.
“I think they should be good enough for our car, so I’m looking forward to this battle.”
Hamilton’s success in the Qatar race is his first straight win since the Portuguese and Spanish Grands Prix in May, and comes at the expense of his Mercedes team getting more comfortable with the W12 setup. .
The resulting confidence has left Hamilton optimistic about his chances in the last two races in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12
Photo By: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
“Over the year we have come to understand the car better,” he said.
“We were certainly able to squeeze more performance out of the package without making any upgrades.
“We haven’t had an upgrade from Silverstone so it’s pretty phenomenal to see the increments we’ve improved.
“I think it’s very close between the two cars, clearly. So I think this sets us up for a big battle.
“But yeah, in those last two I think we just could have done a better job overall. Hopefully we can take that shape in the next two.”
Mercedes herself has been impressed with the work Hamilton has done over the past two weekends – and called her performance in Brazil a career record.
Track Technical Director Andrew Shovlin said: “I think Brazil was the best race I have ever seen them compete. Qualifying this lap was amazing when you think about how close Red Bull has been to us.
“Today [in Qatar] he had the race under control from start to finish so he didn’t have to work as hard as we thought.
“Lewis knows what it takes to win these championships and the team knows what to do. We are all doing it and doing it. Having him there in the car is just a huge boost to our confidence. “