Posts Tagged ‘Lewis Hamilton’

Button and Hamilton hope to be all smiles at Silverstone

McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button have vowed to do all they can to win the British Grand Prix next weekend.

The British pair have both won a race apiece this season – the only races where Sebastian Vettel has finished off the top step of the podium.

“I know what we are up against, but nothing is impossible,”Hamiltonsaid,

“What we really want is a one-two – think what that would do for British sport and the fans.

“It would feel massively special to us. Hopefully one day there will be a younger version of me at Silverstone looking up at a photo of myself and Jenson on the podium,” the 2008 world champion said.

Hamiltonfinished fourth inValenciaand trails Vettel by 89 points in the standings.

Team-mate Button lies second in the championship but he is still 77 points adrift of the German ace.

But the Somerset-born driver is optimistic that McLaren can create a race-winning package for his home Grand Prix.

“You always want to do well in front of your home crowd,” he said. “Last year was just a sea of rocket red [McLaren] caps everywhere, and it was quite emotional.

“It was great to see the support, and you always want to put on a good show for your own fans. Hopefully this year I can get a podium finish.”

Button has never finished on the podium in 11 attempts at Silverstone and despite finishing a lowly sixth last time out, he is confident he can challenge Red Bull’s dominance.

The 2009 champion said: “We’re still going to be trying. We have a fantastic team and if we keep pushing hard, we can slowly, slowly pull Vettel back.

“The only people to beat him this season are Lewis and myself. We are the challengers.”

Hamilton all smiles before his Canada horror show

Lewis Hamilton has vowed to stay at McLaren for as long as they can provide him with a competitive car.

The 2008 world champion’s future has been the subject of much speculation all season.

And Hamilton on Saturday was seen talking to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner in Montreal.

But the 26 year-old has rubbished speculation of him moving to the Milton Keynes-based outfit when his contract expires at the end of next season.

“In terms of where I am, again I’m just very fortunate to be a part of McLaren,” said Hamilton at a promotional event with NASCAR’s Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen.

“So as long as we have the car that can do the job, then there will be no reason to leave.

“It’s one of the best teams there with great history, and we’ve now a car which is capable of winning, as my team-mate showed at the weekend.”

Sunday’s crash is unlikely to have helped relations between Hamilton and Jenson Button within the team.

The incident on lap nine forced Hamilton to retire with a broken rear suspension after he struck the pit-lane wall trying to overtake the eventual race winner.

He is now 76 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

But there was no indication of any ill-feeling after the race as Hamilton praised Button for his drive.

Hamilton – a race-winner in China back in April – is confident McLaren can produce a title-winning car – although his 2008 triumph is the team’s only title since 1999.

“We are the only other team that has won Grand Prix this year, so I don’t see why you’d particularly want to move when you have the most competitive car.

“I’ve grown up wanting to be world champion and I’ve definitely not achieved all that I want to,” he said.

Hamilton said it was not unusual to talk to other teams during the course of a weekend.

“I know Stefano Domenicali and we chat all the time, with Norbert Haug we chat all the time, and Christian.

“When I was going from Formula Three to GP2 I had a meeting with Christian when he was running the Red Bull team back in Formula 3000 I think it was.

“But I know everyone, so I speak to all the people during the weekend.”

Horner said last Thursday that Red Bull were trying to tie-up Mark Webber’s contract for 2012.

But the Australian appeared somewhat less keen. Webber said: “We’ll see how we go. There’s a bit to go yet in the summer. [I’ll] keep thinking.”

Button was denied victory by safety cars in Monaco

McLaren are remaining bullish about their championship hopes despite Sebastian Vettel’s scintillating start to the season according to technical director Paddy Lowe.

The former Williams man said the 2011 season still had a lot of mileage left to run.

“There are another 12 or 13 races to come,” Lowe said during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in.

“The championship is still there for the taking. I think that we’ve been quicker than them in the last few races – in race trim. Our car’s actually outperforming them at that point of the weekend.

“We are very buoyed up by the race pace at both a close circuit like Monaco and at a circuit such as Spain, which at first looked very tough for us and very strong for Red Bull. To have the pace there in the race was very encouraging for us,” he said.

The McLaren MP4-26’s performances on race-days have recently been on a par with Red Bull.

In Spain Lewis Hamilton shadowed Vettel all the way to the flag and finished just six-tenths behind Vettel and at the last race in Monaco Jenson Button would have won but for a poor tyre strategy.

But McLaren have struggled to match the Red Bulls in qualifying. Hamilton was eight-tenths slower than pole-sitter Webber in Spain and still managed to challenge for victory on Sunday.

The Montreal track with its long straights is likely to suit the McLaren more with the team having won on three of its last five visits to Canada.

McLaren will have to start clawing back Vettel’s 61-point lead soon as they seek only a second constructors’ or drivers’ title this century.

Vettel’s run of five wins and a second place in the opening six races equals the best ever start to a F1 season set by Michael Schumacher for Benetton in 1994.

The German has won seven of the last eight races in total – a run stretching back to the Brazilian Grand Prix last year.