Friday, May 22, 2009

Hamilton: I have a fighting chance

Thursday 21st May 2009

For the first time this season reigning World Champ Lewis Hamilton sees a chance for winning a grand prix after a stellar performance in Thursday's Monaco practices.

After a dismal Spanish GP, which saw Hamilton lack the pace needed to finish in the points never mind on the podium, the Brit came to Monte Carlo hoping for a better result as many predicted that the circuit's slow, twisty design would suit the characteristics of the MP4-24.

And that proved to be true during Thursday's opening two practices.

The McLaren driver posted the third best time in Practice One and went one better later in the afternoon when he finished in second place, two-tenths slower than pace-setter Nico Rosberg.

"It definitely gives me a much better fighting chance for this weekend in terms of getting the car a bit further up - but the others looks very strong," said an upbeat Hamilton.

"We just have to try and do the best job we can, and bit by bit we get a little bit quicker. But we have to see what the others are doing."

As for McLaren's MP4-24, Hamilton has very few complaints, although one of them is a lack of downforce.

"My mechanical grip is quite good. It is very bumpy here and it is still very, very hard work and I do struggle in the high speed corners," he said.

"In Turn 3 and Turn 12/13/14 - the high speed corners - I am probably losing two or three tenths through all those corners.

"I am doing everything I can to catch it up a little bit but we just don't have it in the car. On the other areas we are able to do a bit better than the others.

"Fingers crossed that gives us a better fighting chance."

The Brit is now looking ahead to Saturday's qualifying, where he hopes to make it into Q3 and perhaps even put his car on the front row of the grid.

"From today's results, I definitely feel Q3 should be possible this weekend rather than how it was in Barcelona, and when we get there we have to see how we do," he said.

"Here the most important thing is to be as close to the front as possible, if not on the front row. But to beat the Brawns again will be tough."

Source : Planet F1

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