Hamilton: I’m in the battle for the title and there’s still a long way to go
2 July, 2012
Jul.2 (Reuters) McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton has written off his Valencia run-in with Pastor Maldonado as merely a blip on the graph of what he hopes will be a winning season, and is now firmly focused on regaining his consistency to challenge for the title..
“I just move forward. It’s in the past, it doesn’t really matter now,” Hamilton said at a London event for sponsors Santander.
“I’m still in the battle for the title, there’s still a long, long way to go and I’ve been massively consistent all the way up until here and in terms of my preparation and my approach I will continue to keep the same,” he added.
“It’s not as if I drove into the wall on my own. I didn’t make the mistake on my own so I think I will just continue to do what I’m doing and try and stay out of trouble more.”
Hamilton was defending third place in the European Grand Prix against Maldonado on the penultimate lap when the Venezuelan lost control of his Williams and shunted Hamilton into the wall and out of the race.
Maldonado, a winner of the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona in May, was blamed by stewards and given a time penalty after the race that cost him 10th place.
Hamilton had been leading the championship after seven races, two points clear of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, but he ended up 23 points adrift of the Spaniard following the eighth round in Valencia.
“I definitely didn’t get out of the car smiling but these things happen. This is what motor racing is about, it’s what competition is about and you go through these kinds of experiences,” said Hamilton.
“I feel it’s just a blip in what can be a great year.”
With 12 races still to come, including Silverstone, he still has plenty of time to catch up even if Alonso has been remarkably consistent so far.
The Briton said he would be going all out at Silverstone to win for the second time a race that was up there with winning Monaco, another grand prix he has dominated in the past, in his list of favourites.
McLaren have been plagued with pitlane problems that are proving tough to eradicate, despite marked improvements in procedures, and that will be a concern for both Hamilton and team mate Jenson Button.
“They’re always a concern because its been a problem every race so far,” said Hamilton.
“You put it behind you, you go to the next race with the mindset that there’s not going to be any problems. Last weekend our first pitstop was I think the fastest pitstop of all time, the fastest in Formula One ever, or so I’m told.
“So if we can try and keep up with that, or even just slow up a little bit, and still be quicker than other people’s and have consistency then we’re in good shape.”
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