Lewis Hamilton says he is enjoying the challenges presented by his long Formula 1 win drought, but hopes it is "only for the short term."
Hamilton has not claimed victory since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, some 31 races ago while then-title rival Max Verstappen has taken 21 and two World Championships as Red Bull have usurped Mercedes as the dominant force.
The 103-time Grand Prix winner went winless for the first time in his career in 2022, and has a pair of second place finishes to his name in 2023 while Verstappen is set for a third title.
Despite the long drought between wins, Hamilton has explained the challenge of trying extract the most from himself while not being rewarded with the big prizes.
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"You still have a job to do, you still have to go out there and deliver it, you still have to focus you still cannot make mistakes, you still have to make the right decisions," Hamilton told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"That comes with a lot of pressure, so for me it's easy to just stay focused on the job in hand and focus on the things I can control, which is my performance and making sure the team continue consistently pushing forward.
"I never got tired of it, I never got comfortable with it, and it's a great feeling when you know you've got a car you can compete with on a weekend.
"From our perspective, we know we're not fighting for a win, and you're hopeful that you're able to find a little bit of magic throughout the weekend.
"Every position you gain in qualifying makes that difference. I would say I've been enjoying this more for the short term."
Looking after the car
During his heyday of success between 2014 and 2020, Hamilton would often be able to reduce the stress on his race-winning car as a method of sustaining dominance over the course of the season.
With Max Verstappen and Red Bull enjoying a similar advantage in 2023, the Mercedes driver explained how having the fastest car-driver combination can reduce the "risky choices" and bring additional rewards.
"Once you get on top of the car, when you know that the car works in this window, and it's just consistent, it's easier to get that set-up," he said.
"When you have the car that I have now for example, you're trying everything, every different set-up combination to try and eke out a little more performance.
"But when you have performance in hand, you're not necessarily always having to make risky choices throughout practice in order to get that extra half-a-tenth or whatever.
"You don't have to push the bodywork as close and tight as possible, put the engine on the limit of the temperature because you have a little bit of space.
"You don't have to push the tyres as hard because you've got that little bit [in hand], so you can lift and coast a bit more, which ultimately mean longer stints.
"All these different things just compound and the more you practice, the easier it gets."