BARCELONA (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton says he can see something of himself in Manny Pacquiao, even if the Filipino lost the ‘Fight of the Century’ last weekend.
The Mercedes driver had a ringside seat at the welterweight’s title fight in Las Vegas with Floyd Mayweather Jr. and surprisingly identified more with the beaten boxer than the winner.
“When I was watching the fight, I felt Pacquaio won. He was the attacking one,” Hamilton told reporters at the Spanish Grand Prix on Thursday.
”I felt I had more similarities with him, watching his style, I was thinking he’s the attacking guy, he’s out there, he’s hungry. He wants it more than anything.
“But otherwise I’ve not really learnt anything from those guys, apart from they wear much bigger shorts than me,” he grinned.
Hamilton, winner of three of four races so far this season, faces his own fight at the Circuit de Catalunya this weekend and can deliver another big blow to team mate and title rival Nico Rosberg.
The Briton, who has a 27 point lead over the German, has started every race in pole position this season and won in Barcelona from pole last year.
While every team is hoping to make a step up in the first round of the season in Europe, now that they have had time back at their factories after the long-haul openers, Hamilton was confident Mercedes could stay ahead.
“I feel confident that the team have done everything they could and that they can do to be as strong as they can this weekend and to improve,” he said.
”I think others will have improved as well but I’m confident in my guys. We’ve not come with a ton of upgrades...it’s generally not the philosophy of the team to just pile on lots of different things.
“We’ve come with quality upgrades rather than quantity,” added the double champion who spent most of the three week break between Bahrain and Spain in the United States with his half-brother Nicolas.
He sent his 1.2 million Instagram followers photographs from Los Angeles, where he took his classic Cobra sportscar out for a spin along the coast, Las Vegas and New York.
“I am probably the happiest I have been for a long, long time. Career-wise and then outside,” he said on Thursday as he turned his focus back to Formula One.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis