Lewis Hamilton in 'best place' since joining Mercedes, says Toto Wolff

Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes' one-two in Montreal means they are now top of the constructors' championship

Lewis Hamilton is in the best mental shape he has been in since joining Mercedes, says team boss Toto Wolff.

Hamilton cut Sebastian Vettel's lead in the title race to 12 points with victory in Canada, a fortnight after his worst race of the year in Monaco.

Wolff said: "Lewis is in the best place I have seen him during any of the five years since he joined the team.

"Not only because he had a great weekend in Montreal - but because he is coping so well with difficult days."

Hamilton has had an up-and-down start to the season, describing his fluctuating results as "a rollercoaster ride".

He has matched Vettel with three wins and has twice finished second to the German - but the Briton has also finished fourth in Russia and seventh in Monaco.

Wolff added: "This is what the very best are made of. When the fight gets tough, they get over it quickly and maximise their opportunities."

Mercedes have also had tricky weekends, struggling to get the best out of the car in Russia and Monaco, even though Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas ended up winning in Sochi after a fast start from third on the grid.

Speaking ahead of this weekend's race in Azerbaijan, Wolff said: "It's a long championship. There will be weekends that are good and ones that are not so good. It's about making the best out of it each time.

"In terms of the car, we've joked about it being a bit of a diva. But it's a good car - though sometimes it can be difficult.

"This is something we have to accept so that we can understand and appreciate the many positive characteristics that it has. I believe our car is the fastest on the grid and I wouldn't want any other."

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
Bottas is third in the drivers' standings, behind Vettel and Hamilton

Wolff also paid tribute to the performance of Bottas, who finished second to Hamilton in Canada, although he said that the Finn needed to put together more races on which he is strong throughout the three days.

Wolff said: "Valtteri is in a strong position. You would never think he joined the team very last minute over the winter and, after, seven grands prix, he has exceeded even our expectations.

"He's been on pole, won a race and challenged Lewis on both Saturday and Sundays. For him, it's now just about putting it all together every single weekend and I have no doubt he will do that."

Bottas joined Mercedes on a one-year contract this season to replace Nico Rosberg, who retired after winning the title last season.

The 27-year-old admitted this week he needs "consistent performance" to be sure of a deal for 2018.

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