Silverstone win the turning point of 2017 - Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton says his victory in the British Grand Prix was the turning point of his Formula 1 season, as it "sparked a forest fire" within him.

Silverstone win the turning point of 2017 - Hamilton
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1, second place Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 celebrate with the team
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates on the podium
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08

The Mercedes driver took the lead of the championship for the first time this year after winning at Monza on Sunday, in what was his third win in four races since Silverstone.

Hamilton says that he has driven with more "heart and passion" since winning his home race.

Although Hamilton was on equal points with Vettel after China – when both men had earned a win and a second place – he is now in the outright lead for the first time in 2017, albeit by the slim margin of 238 to 235.

"It's an empowering feeling for sure," Hamilton said of gaining the lead of the title chase. "Because it's been a real constant search and battle for perfection, which is what's been needed to overhaul the Ferraris, because they've been exceptional all year long.

"You come into a season and there's certain decisions you make in your life along the way, not necessarily knowing how they're going to impact on your future or how you're going to perform. But all with the goal of performing as I have been.

"To come through these last races, they've been real solid races. I think I've felt more heart and passion within myself, I've found more in the last three or four races.

"I think Silverstone was a real empowering weekend, and kind of from then it's sparked a forest fire within me, and that's hopefully reflected in my driving and the way I'm working with my guys. To be leading, whilst it's only a couple of points, I'm grateful for it.

"By no means do I feel comfortable, and I will apply myself the same that I have these past three or four races and hope that I can [reverse] the picture, because earlier on in the year it was obviously 20 points gap or whatever between myself and him, so I'm going to see if we can have that feeling for a while."

Having won both races since the summer break Hamilton acknowledged that he had returned in top form.

"The whole season is kind of full flat chat, pedal to the metal, all year long, and I think even going into that break for a little bit I was flat out," he said.

"And I timed it just perfectly where I came off and made sure I recharged the batteries, and that's what they are, they're fully charged and ready to go.

"It's like an ERS pack, towards the end of the season you're running on the low end of the battery pack, whereas I'm operating at the top end, and it's a good feeling.

"Whilst I feel I always drive with my heart, my heart is the engine and the power and the force behind what I do, my mind is really like the rudder, and I feel like it's really steering me in the right direction in terms of how I prepared."

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