• IN WORDS: Lewis & Valtteri Talk Hungary

Our drivers throw forward to this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix...

'The pressure is huge'

The title fight this year is proving to be incredibly tense and Lewis believes the pressure is as high as it has ever been.

"The psychological game is, in any sport, the hardest thing," he explained. "Whilst you see me here, you don't see me away from the track.

"That's probably the most demanding thing - keeping your mind in the game from March all the way until the end, arriving every weekend 100%.

"I can honestly say not every single weekend I have hit the nail on the top of the head. But the goal is to try and do that. There were big setbacks - like qualifying in the last race.

"The pressures are huge this year and the desires of the drivers - of myself and Sebastian. The pressure is higher than ever as you can see.

"Generally, I always felt that under pressure that's when you are the best. I welcome the pressure."

'I'm really proud'

Valtteri's new contract with the team for 2019 and potentially beyond was announced at the last round in Germany.

Now, following some time to reflect on the news, how does our Fast Finn feel about staying on with the team? 

"Of course, at this point of the year, it's a very, very good point to know what you're doing next year," he explained.

"The team, they were evaluating all the options, as always, which is fair enough. So, I'm also really proud that the team wanted me and no-one else for the seat.

"I feel by the end of last year I started to improve quite a bit and I think I've been able to carry that performance into this year.

"Obviously, where I am in the Drivers' standings, it's not quite ideal. But I know and the team knows my performance each weekend and we can see it's been a step-up from last year."

'We have to work hard'

Lewis believes his drive to victory in Germany was one of his best in F1 so far - but there's always room for improvement.

"It was definitely one of my best races, one that I am very proud of and I want to continue to learn from," the four-time World Champion said.

"We are focused on how we can improve. We haven't performed 100% every single weekend so far. Ferrari have taken a step ahead as you have seen - particularly in their qualifying performance, which we are under no illusions about.

"We have to work hard to battle against them. That's the best thing about this team, they just keep their heads down, don't make any complaints and try to get better.

"You see from an issue we have on a Saturday or Sunday, we will have fixes for the next weekend."

'Everything is possible'

The Hungaroring - the venue for this weekend's Hungarian GP - isn't a circuit that has typically suited our cars in the past.

But, while Valtteri is expecting another tough battle in Hungary, he admits you can't predict anything in Formula One.

"I think historically for Mercedes it's not been the strongest race," he explained. "That is a fact.

"We know at the tracks where you need maximum downforce, normally Red Bull has been really strong and Ferrari for sure as well. I think coming into this weekend, we can't say we're the favourites.

"We come to this weekend knowing that we can do pretty well if we can get everything right and that it's going to be a close battle between three teams for the win.

"We've been seeing some really crazy races this year and I think it's going to be a close fight again. Everything is possible."