F1 »

Hamilton not concerned with second.

Lewis Hamilton has suggested that tyre management could be the key to winning the first European Grand Prix held around the Americas Cup harbour in Valencia, but remains confident that his McLaren team has a good set-up for the race.

The Briton appeared on course for pole position on the all-new circuit until title rival Felipe Massa produced a faster time at the last moment, but believes that he has the machinery to take the fight to Ferrari, despite being out-gunned by Massa three weeks ago in Hungary.

"We just watched Felipe's qualifying lap and, in sector one, he destroyed everyone," Hamilton reflected, "I think I was already down a tenth or two tenths after the first corner, and then turn three, turn four and five didn't seem to be as strong as I would like. That is probably where the time went.

"[Ferrari] are going to be hard to beat tomorrow, but we will push as hard as we can. I think we've done a great job. To come here, the way we've prepared, I think our approach was as good as ever. We really come here with quite a strong package and I think we are the closest to the Ferraris at least. I'm really quite happy with the job we did today. Being on the front row really puts us in a good position to fight for a win tomorrow. I'm very, very happy."

Asked whether he would be looking to turn the tables on Massa and gain the upper hand off the start line as the Brazilian did in Budapest, the points leader said he would have to wait and see how track conditions were when they lined up.

"As I say, it's a good opportunity for me to start on the front row, but we don't know how the starts are going to be," he confessed, "I don't particularly think there is a clean or dirty side, so it's important that we get a good start. I will be aiming to challenge Felipe but. if I don't get close enough, then I will just try to keep my position."

Braking and grip levels have dominated technical discussions throughout the weekend, and Hamilton admits that both will play a part in the defining the outcome of the race - although he doesn't necessarily share his rivals' views on the severity of the problems.

"I don't think it's slippery," he maintained, "I think there's grip out there but, when you're pushing on the limit, you eventually go over that grip level and that's what everyone's doing. Unfortunately, Felipe was able to stay on that line, especially in the first sector, and pull it out.

"I think everyone's having some lock-up issues - locking the rears, locking the fronts - and it's really trying to find the best balance, trying not to push too much, but still pushing, trying to find the limit. I don't think it's a problem.

"I think it's quite a severe circuit for braking, and I'm sure some people will be struggling, but it won't be a problem for us. I think tomorrow will be about managing the tyres and trying to make them last through a longer run but, again, I don't think we will have a problem."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-23, Valencia F1 Grand Prix, 22nd-24th, August 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Ian - Unregistered

August 24, 2008 1:39 PM

Dunno about tyres, all I can say is this track makes for boring TV. Just lots and lots of concrete and steel fences, it''s very hard to follow the race and makes viewing tedious.

rich ard

August 25, 2008 3:39 PM

i just returned to this thread to comment on tyres and what do i find, the usual pointless comment from someone who likes to think that he is damon hill!! my original comment was made in the light of comments that tyres would be a problem. and as everyone knows,lulu is harder on his tyres than anyone.this was even admitted by mclaren and they planned their strategy accordingly. hence my totally reasonable comment.i now find that tyre fears were grossly exagerated and NOBODY had any problems. lulus soft tyres looked good at the end and previous worries were foundless. ANY circuit that has tyre wear problems will affect lulu the most and this is a stated and acknowledged fact. live with it!



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.