Lewis Hamilton has fended off suggestions he is dominating F1 at present because of a new focus on his game.
The Briton has won the last three grands prix back-to-back, and he looked to have even strengthened his dominance after a three-week break based on his practice pace in Spain on Friday.
Many believe Hamilton has turned his form around not just because of the speed of Mercedes' field-leading 2014 car, but because he is now happier and more focused.
He is back together with his girlfriend, travelling with an entourage of just his trainer, and leaving his famous pet bulldogs at home rather than hauling them to grands prix.
Last year, Mercedes banned a British journalist from attending press briefings when he suggested Hamilton should not have dogs at formula one races.
But David Coulthard, a former McLaren and Red Bull driver, thinks the press was right to question Hamilton's focus.
"People do not ask questions without reason," the Scot said in a column for the Telegraph. "He simply has not delivered with the same unwavering consistency shown by someone such as Fernando Alonso.
"We lost him (Hamilton) for a while," Coulthard added, "but we have the old Lewis Hamilton back."
But Hamilton on Friday hit back at the suggestions about his new focus in 2014, insisting he leaves his dogs at home now simply because it is "simpler" than taking them around the world.
He said in Spain: "When I had difficult years people said I wasn't focused, when they generally just don't have a clue what I was doing. It was just difficult weekends.
"Now I'm doing exactly the same thing but I've got a great car so I'm able to excel. People say 'He's extra focused', but it's not necessarily the case. I'm as focused as I can be," Hamilton insisted.
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