F1 » 20 August 2009
Hamilton hoping for Valencia success.
After almost a month to soak up his first victory of the 2009 F1 season, a 'buzzing' Lewis Hamilton returns to action in this weekend's European round at Valencia hoping that upgrades to his MP4-24, plus the KERS power boost, will result in another rewarding weekend.
“It's great to be getting back to business after the four-week break. I'm still buzzing from the win in Hungary and I'm hopeful of being able to carry that pace into the Valencia weekend - particularly with our new upgrades to the car,” said the Stevenage-born ace.
“It's a very demanding circuit, the kind of place that punishes any mistakes hard. It's quite tight and relatively slow, so it should suit our package.
“It's also very difficult to overtake, as we discovered last year - but, with our KERS, Mercedes-Benz has proved that anything can happen and I'm once again hoping that it will provide the difference in the race,” declared the reigning F1 World Champion.
Hamilton heads into round eleven holding eighth in the 2009 standings, but within 6.5 points of fifth-placed Nico Rosberg (Williams).
“While the summer break has meant we've had four weeks to enjoy Lewis' victory in Budapest, it's very important that we are able to maintain that winning momentum into this weekend's race,” declared McLaren-Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh.
“Fortunately, we have made a structured effort to bring further improvements to the car in Spain and the whole team has been buoyed by that win and is really looking forward to another strong set of results this weekend. I've no doubts that we'll certainly hit the ground running on Friday.
“The grand prix also marks the 250th race of our team partnership with Mercedes-Benz, it is pleasing to have reached this important milestone off the back of a win and we are all focused on continuing this form here in Valencia.”
Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen heads to Valencia only twelfth in the championship, ten points behind the Briton and under pressure to perform - something the Finn is confident he can do with the 'fully-updated' car.
“Having driven the fully updated car for the first time in Hungary last month, it was very encouraging to be able to feel just how much progress the team has made developing MP4-24,” he said.
“We've now got a car that's much easier to drive on the limit, and which really rewards your input. So I'm really looking forward to the European Grand Prix, which, while it won't suit us as strongly as the Hungaroring, should be another strong opportunity for us to score some more points.”
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