Lewis Hamilton has dismissed the claim made by his former teammate, Nico Rosberg, that he is inconsistent and that this is the biggest threat to his challenge to match Juan Manuel Fangio's five titles.
Asked about Rosberg's claim at today's FIA press conference - though the German wasn't named - and how he might address the issue, Hamilton replied: "I think I proved that's not the case last year", suddenly looking a lot more serious.
After a brief pause, the four-time champion added: "I think there's a lot of people that need to get headlines, I guess that's one way of getting them.
"The goal this year is to be even more consistent than I was last year," he added. "Consistency is the reason I won the world championship last year."
Rosberg, who won the 2016 title then promptly announced his retirement, has been revealed as a new recruit to Sky's ever growing army of pundits this season.
"The weakness Lewis has is a bit of inconsistency" he told Sky Sports in the wake of the confirmation of his recruitment. "He has these periods when he is just not on it and if you are able to pounce in those periods and really make the most of it, you can keep him down for a while longer. You have to make the most of it and Sebastian did that pretty well last year.
"When Lewis has his good weekends he is almost unbeatable," admitted the German, "he is unbelievably fast and maybe the best guy out there. The only way to beat Lewis is to be one-hundred percent with everything, do the perfect season. Otherwise there is no chance."
Asked if he feels he's reached his peak as a driver, Hamilton said: "I hope not.
"I'm sure there is a peak for a driver when their fitness level gets harder to reach," he continued, "when your interest starts to decline, and your driving starts to decline, I guess that's when you're over your peak. But I definitely don't feel that... I'm in a good range right now, and that's why I need to continue to extract the most I can."
If nothing else, it's going to be fun watching Rosberg trying to get under his former teammate's skin over the months ahead.
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