6 November 2012
Hamilton hoping to win before leaving McLaren
Lewis Hamilton hopes to get a chance to give McLaren at least one more win before he leaves for Mercedes in 2013.
After the frustration of seeing another likely race win go begging in Abu Dhabi, Lewis Hamilton says he is even more determined to give McLaren a fitting send-off over the final two rounds of the 2012 F1 season.
The Briton was the dominant force at Yas Marina topping all but one session, and claiming a comfortable pole position before pulling away of the opening 19 laps of the race. However, just as a fourth win if the year appeared to be on the cards, the McLaren slowed with fuel pressure problems, allowing Kimi Raikkonen through to take his first victory since returning to the top flight.
Hamilton, despite the obvious disappointment of not being able to convert his pace into a podium - as was the case in Singapore - remained optimistic that he would be able to leave McLaren with at least one more trophy before the end of their relationship, which has just the re-established USGP and Brazilian Grand Prix to run.
"I feel that, if the car drives as well in the USA and Brazil as it did in Abu Dhabi, then I will have another shot," Hamilton was quoted by Sky Sports, "So I'm going to go there with the same mentality and enthusiasm in the hope we can win one. In particular, after winning the last US Grand Prix, I would love to win the first [one] on F1's return [to America]."
Succeeding at the all-new Circuit of the Americas would be something special to Hamilton, who recognises an anomaly in his record at F1's latest venues.
"To be honest, I don't think I've ever had a circuit where I've been able to put my name to it as the first person to win," he noted, "I've just never had the car to do it, but perhaps I do now."
And victory in Brazil, another race to have eluded the Briton over his six-year F1 career despite being the site of his 2008 world title, would also have added significance, given his affinity to local hero Ayrton Senna.
"I've never won there but, again, if the car drives like it did in Abu Dhabi, to win there would be absolutely phenomenal," he confirmed, "If I won there, I don't know how I would handle it."
Those hopes, of course, rest largely on McLaren's shoulders, as Hamilton has been sidelined by his car three times in the last nine rounds and hampered by it in at least two more. Combined with the pit-stop problems that afflicted both McLaren drivers at the start of the year, the Briton has been unable to mount a concerted challenge for the title. He leaves for Mercedes at the end of the season.
"We've had a lot of failures in the last five races," the 27-year old concluded, "Reliability has been a big issue for us, but I've no doubts the team can fix [it]. The last four or five races we've had something fail on the car, even when we've managed to finish the race, so hopefully luck will swing our way in the last two races."
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