Lewis Hamilton says poor starts could cost him the Formula 1 title
Lewis Hamilton says his title chances this year could depend on whether he can end his problems with race starts.
The Briton, 31, finished second in the last race in Italy, behind Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, after dropping from pole to sixth at the beginning.
"If you gauge my season, then the championship could be lost by starts," he said. "From a lot of pole positions, I've lost the race from the start."
He leads Rosberg by two points before this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix.
Hamilton's shaky starts this season
"You do all the work during the weekend, and then two seconds or whatever it is, has determined some of the races for me," added Britain's reigning world champion.
Hamilton has converted only three of his seven pole positions into wins this season, while Germany's Rosberg has managed to do it four times out of six.
In total, Hamilton has five wins and seven poles, while Rosberg has six wins and six poles.
Rosberg said he did not believe starts would determine the result of the championship over the remaining seven races but added: "I am aware it is an ongoing challenge and it will not become easier.
"But I have become feeling good recently and had some good starts recently but I have also had some difficulties - I lost Hockenheim and Hungary due to not very good starts."
The rules were changed this season to introduce more variability in starts. Drivers now have to use only one clutch to get the car off the line - rather than the two they could call upon until the end of last season, which made it easier to control the getaway.
In addition, teams are not able to change the clutch settings once the car has left the garage before the start of a race, nor give the driver any advice over the radio in the car before the start.
Hamilton said: "Would I prefer my clutch to not have inconsistency? Sure. But it is not going to change any time soon."
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