Italian Grand Prix 2011: Lewis Hamilton focused on Monza
McLaren driver is looking forward to this weekend's race despite a disappointing season so far
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton insists he is fully focused ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Monza despite his inconsistent season thus far.
The 26-year-old crashed out of the Belgian Grand Prix two weeks ago, colliding with Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi and all but ending his hopes of winning this year’s title.
Hamilton is currently in fifth in the standings, 113 points behind Red Bull’s leader and defending champion Sebastian Vettel, but the McLaren driver says he is raring to go at this weekend’s race.
“Last year, I won at Spa and failed to finish at Monza. For this year, I guess I’m looking to reverse that sequence!” said Hamilton.
“I’ve already moved on from my non-finish in Belgium and I’m really looking forward to returning to Italy, a place where I spent a lot of time racing karts – it’s a country I really love.
“I think we go into the weekend feeling pretty optimistic. I’ve never won at Monza and I’d love to get a good result this year.”
Meanwhile, McLaren’s principal race engineer Phil Prew has backed Hamilton to learn from the mistakes he has made this season.
Prew told the BBC: “Lewis is a very clever guy and a very good racing driver. He will reflect on the difficulties he’s had and come back stronger.
“Lewis has had an up-and-down season. Lewis is a great driver who has won races this year and every year he’s driven for McLaren. He’s always pushing very hard.
“Obviously he came into the season with great hopes of winning the championship and that’s going to be an upward struggle from here.
“Pushing hard brings some consequences of high risk. I think that’s what we’re seeing.
“We will not ask him to change. Lewis is Lewis. He gets results with a very charging, aggressive approach. We fully support that. We’ve seen it’s won him championships and that’s our intention.”