Lewis Hamilton has described the feeling of leading the Formula One world championship for the first time this season as "empowering", following his dominant victory at the Italian Grand Prix.
Hamilton led every lap bar one en route to claiming his sixth victory of the campaign at Monza, as he became the first back-to-back winner of 2017, having added to his Belgian Grand Prix triumph from the previous weekend.
The result has seen the Mercedes driver move into a three-point lead over chief title rival Sebastian Vettel -- who recovered to finish third at Ferrari's home race -- with seven rounds remaining.
"It's an empowering feeling for sure," Hamilton said when asked how it felt to be leading the championship. "It's been a real constant search and battle for perfection, which is what's been needed to overhaul the Ferraris -- because they've been exceptional all year long.
"You come into a season and there's certain decisions you make in your life on the way and not necessarily knowing how they are going to impact on your future or how you perform, but all with the goal of performing as I have been. To come to these last few races, which have been real solid races, I definitely feel like I've found more heart and passion within myself in the last three or four races."
Hamilton says he has felt rejuvenated ever since his commanding win at the British Grand Prix, which spurred him on to claim victories in two of the next three races. However, the Briton insists he is in no position to start feeling complacent given how closely fought the battle with Ferrari has been so far this year.
"I think Silverstone was a real empowering weekend and kind of from then it's sparked a forest fire within me and I think that's hopefully reflecting on my driving and when I'm working with my guys. So to be leading, while it's only by a couple of points, I'm grateful for it and by no means do I feel comfortable.
"I'm going to apply myself the same as I have these past three or four races and hope that I can revert the picture, because earlier on in the year it was obviously 20 points or whatever, the gap between myself and him [Vettel]. I want to see if he can have that feeling for a while."