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Confident Hamilton ‘can return to form’ on run-in

Lewis Hamilton celebrates his win in Germany

Lewis Hamilton last tasted victory in July at the German Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton says he is confident he can return to the form he needs to reclaim the championship lead and win his fourth world title this year.

Before Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, Hamilton is eight points behind team-mate Nico Rosberg with six races to go.

The 31-year-old world champion said: “It’s going to take some good results to get back in front and stay there.

“But I’ve had plenty of those in the past there’s no reason to think they won’t come back to me again.”

Fellow Mercedes driver Rosberg has won the last three races to turn around what had been a 19-point deficit for the German at the end of July.

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Rosberg edges the 2016 season slightly boasting more points, wins and less consecutive races without a win

Rosberg heads into Malaysia after recording probably the most convincing victory he has ever taken over Hamilton in Singapore last time out.

The 31-year-old German dominated the entire weekend and Hamilton could only finish third.

“Singapore was a difficult weekend for me, so to come away with a podium in the circumstances was pretty good damage limitation,” the Briton said.

“Ultimately, Nico did an exceptional job and I didn’t have my best weekend.

“But that’s the way it goes. We’re both fiercely competitive. Some weekends he does great, some weekends I do great.

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Coming third was “damage limitation” for Lewis Hamilton as Nico Rosberg stormed to victory in Singapore

“It’s a combination of things that all come together to make a strong weekend and every one is different.

“I have no idea if the momentum will swing back to me or when it might. But we still have six races left, so I just have to keep giving it my all and hope for the best. That’s all you can do as a sportsman.”

Rosberg said: “I’ve had a good run lately and I’m enjoying the moment. But as far as the next race goes, or the next one after that and so on… it’s anyone’s game.

“Red Bull and Ferrari are both pushing us really hard, so there will be some tough weekends ahead.”

Malaysia was one of only three races that Mercedes did not win last year, Sebastian Vettel taking his first victory for Ferrari thanks to a better strategy and tyre usage.

Mercedes can win the constructors’ championship in Malaysia if they score 36 points more than Red Bull.

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Malaysia was one of three victories for Sebastian Vettel last season – this year he is still looking for his first

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff said: “Like Singapore, this was a race where we underperformed last year, so we will need to push hard to put that right.

“We can guarantee that the drivers will be doing just that.

“This year more than ever, we’ve seen that they are pushing each other to new heights,” he added.

“We’re entering a gruelling phase of this record 21-race season, where the physical and mental challenge of a championship reaches its absolute peak.

“We’re in good shape – but we must remain on our toes to get the ball over the line.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/formula1/37473930