Lewis Hamilton says he is eager to secure a win in Korea this weekend having fallen just short of victory on his two previous visits to the Yeongam circuit.
The McLaren driver has finished second on the two previous occasions that the race has been run and heads into the race weekend confident of being able to challenge towards the front.
“The car that I ended the race with in Japan felt great – and I'm confident that we'll kick off the race weekend in Korea with a strong package,” he said. “I put the car on pole there last year. That was a very significant moment for me – I'd been trying so hard all year to get a pole, and it took everything I had to get the best out of the car. It was a huge effort, and a bit overwhelming at the time.
“In the race, unfortunately, we just didn't have the pace to stay with Sebastian [Vettel] in the Red Bull – he was able to dive past me and pull away. I still managed to finish second, though: it was an unbelievably tough race – I had a handling problem because the front wing was clogged up with tyre debris, so I had to try everything to keep Mark [Webber] behind me.
“I think we've had the potential to win both Korean Grands Prix in the past, but I've never had a race weekend there on which everything has gone quite right for me. We've got momentum on our side once again, so I head to Korea determined to fight for victory.”
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh said he was confident that McLaren can still fight for the championship titles through the remainder of the season and said he was hopeful of a strong run in Korea to keep the team's title bid alive.
“The Korean Grand Prix is still very much a new venue for Formula 1, and I hope that the third edition of the race will help further to cement our sport's reputation in a country that clearly embraces high technology,” he said. “In many ways the circuit is one of the most impressive facilities we visit all year. The track configuration has been supremely well designed to generate good and close racing – something we witnessed with some degree of tension last year as Lewis valiantly battled to keep himself ahead of Mark Webber. In fact, Lewis used every trick in the book – and a few more! – to finish a brilliant second.
“The result in Suzuka showed that anything can still happen in this world championship. I'm still convinced that we can fight for, and win, both titles in 2012 – and we head to Korea determined to narrow the gap to the top in both world championship points tables.”