Korean Grand Prix 2011: Lewis Hamilton aims to bounce back
McLaren driver hopeful he can put a difficult weekend at Suzuka behind him at Sunday's Korean Grand Prix
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton is targeting victory at Sunday’s Korean Grand Prix to bounce back from a difficult weekend at Suzuka.
A mistake from the 2008 world champion in the final qualifying session for the Japanese Grand Prix meant he was unable to make a late push for pole.
And a frustrating race, which saw yet another collision with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, left him fifth as team-mate Jenson Button stormed to his third win of the season.
“I had a pretty good race here last year, finishing second,” Hamilton said. “It was a long, tough afternoon, but I’m glad we got the chance to put on a race for all the fans who’d come for the first-ever grand prix in Korea.
“I think the DRS zone into Turn Three should definitely make for some exciting racing: last year, the back straight didn’t really produce too much overtaking because it was so wet and there was so much spray by the time we reached that downhill braking area, that it wasn’t an easy place to pull off a pass.
“The weather’s supposed to be good next weekend, so I think we’ll really begin to see how this circuit works in the dry.
“You can tell that this track has been designed to be a good place for racing ““ Turns Four, Five and Six are a bit like the end of the lap at Istanbul Park, where you can attack on the inside and the outside and try and fight your way past.
“So, yeah, second was a good place to start last year, but I want to go one better in 2011.”
Button’s win in Japan, his second home, was one of his best drives for the Woking-based team, and while Sebastian Vettel may have wrapped up the drivers’ championship for the second successive year with third place, Button has extra motivation to keep winning after a disappointing outing in Korea last year.
“Winning in Japan was one of the most satisfying and emotional victories of my career,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to carrying that momentum into this weekend, too.
“Although last year’s Korean Grand Prix wasn’t one of my greatest performances ““ we just couldn’t get the car hooked up properly ““ I think that, given the current pace of the car and the form the team has at the moment, I’m going into this year’s race feeling much more positive.
“The most important difference is that I have a car beneath me that I can really trust ““ for me, that wasn’t really the case here last season: but, this year, our car just feels positive in every type of corner, and I feel comfortable pushing hard, because you can really feel the limit. I think you could really see that at Suzuka.
“So I’m feeling much more optimistic about this year’s race.”
Red Bull lead the constructors’ championship with 518 points to McLaren’s 388 with four races remaining.