Lewis Hamilton is more motivated than ever to win his fourth Formula One drivers' championship despite slipping 25 points behind Sebastian Vettel. The Mercedes driver has won two of the season's opening six races but trails the German after a disastrous Monaco Grand Prix.
After starting in 13th in the blue ribbon race of the season, Hamilton eventually finished seventh but lost more ground on the four-time world champion Vettel. Ferrari are now the outstanding favourites for the title after breaking the Silver Arrows' three-year stranglehold on the sport.
Hamilton has regularly complained of a lack of race pace from his Mercedes car and similar problems could befall the team at the Canadian Grand Prix, a circuit which possesses several long straights. But co-owner Toto Wolff has dismissed suggestions the Briton has lost focus in his title battle with Vettel and believes he is more driven than in 2016 when he lost out to teammate Nico Rosberg.
"Lewis is not a problem but rather a positive influence and I see him wanting it more than he did last year," Wolff told Speed Week ahead of the seventh race of the season. "Also for the team as a whole there will be no problem in this regard."
After a lean period without challenging for the title since last winning the championship back in 2013, Vettel has failed to finish outside of the top two this term. The 29-year-old is bidding to become just the second man to win five world crowns, alongside Juan Manuel Fangio and behind only seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, and Wolff believes his worth ethic has been the driving force behind his revival.
"Each driver has his own way to prepare," he added. "One wants to be perfect and is a meticulous worker, while the other relies more on his instinct. Sebastian was always a worker, so perhaps he understood earlier on how to get the tyre in the right working window. We have to catch up now."