Friday, May 15, 2009

Lewis on titles, Button and politics

Friday 15th May 2009

Lewis Hamilton has praised Jenson Button for making a stunning start to the Formula One season and believes his fellow English driver will be having the time of his life.

But even though his own chances of world title glory are fading quickly, as Brawn GP's Button races clear in the standings, reigning Champion Hamilton insists he is fully committed to a future with the struggling McLaren team.

Button already has 41 points after four wins in five races, while Hamilton is lagging behind in seventh place with a nine-point haul.

Hamilton admitted winning the title will become "less of a realistic goal" if McLaren continue to fall behind the pace at the front of the grid.

He told the BBC: "I never give up so I have not given up. But, if you look at the Brawn team, they have a Championship-winning car.

"They have a huge head start on us. They're a long way ahead. They've done a fantastic job and I wish them all the best.

"Jenson is doing a great job."

Hamilton added: "I've always had a lot of respect for Jenson. I've known him since he was about nine or 10 years old.

"When he arrived at F1 he was a superstar and he got into a car that wasn't particularly very quick and it went downhill rather than up.

"He struggled for years in a very similar position to where I am. For him to finally get a good car and understand exactly how good that would feel would be a great feeling.

"I've had some very blessed and great experiences and I've got nothing to complain about."

Hamilton won the World title in his second season with the McLaren F1 team, and the 24-year-old - five years Button's junior - is certain the team will come good again.

He said: "I've been through some tough times in my life and McLaren have always been loyal to me.

"We stay with them. We're going to have some tough times together but we'll have many, many successful years together so I'm going to keep on working hard with them."

Hamilton has tried to ignore the current controversy concerning next season's regulations, which has seen Ferrari and Renault warn they will not compete unless changes are made.

The fundamental issue is the introduction of an optional £40million budget cap, which has divided opinions among the teams.

Hamilton said: "For sure you can see both sides of the argument. It's not for me to focus on too much. I've got to let the team get on with it.

"I've got a huge role in this team, which is to try to propel them forward and help them develop the car so that is what I've got to focus on."

Teams are being urged to cut their costs and Hamilton has noticed changes already.

He said: "It's already changed a huge amount this year. As a result of those ideas you're seeing a certain whirlwind coming around and it will be interesting to see the outcome.

"I just don't read it or take any notice of it.

"If they change the cars, they change the cars. I'm not really bothered either way. I get in the car and drive my heart out. As long as I enjoy it, I'll keep going."

Source : Planet F1

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