Lewis weighs in on Silverstone
EYEING A WIN: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton is upbeat ahead of this weekend's 2012 British F1 GP in which he hopes to repeat his 2008 victory.
SILVERSTONE, England - Lewis Hamilton is hoping that the latest upgrades to his McLaren and significantly cooler conditions will boost his hopes of delivering a home win to enhance his title challenge in Sunday's British Grand Prix.
The 27-year-old Englishman, who crashed out of third place at June's sizzling European GP in Valencia, slipped from leading the Drivers' title race to third and is now 23 points behind Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
He said: "It wasn't an ideal way to end that weekend but we have some upgrades on the way and will need them now because the other teams have obviously made some big steps forward. The Red Bulls and the Ferrari are very fast and it is going to be a big fight at Silverstone - but I think we can be competitive."
'NOTHING LIKE IT'
Hamilton will be seeking a second home win at Silverstone - he won there in 2008 on his way to the Drivers' championship and cherishes that memory as one of the best of his career. "Winning at Silverstone is right up there with winning at Monaco. Standing on the top step of the podium in 2008 was among the sweetest moments of my career and I would love to taste that again.
"There is nothing like racing in front of your own fans and they really do make a big difference - you can feel the support out on the track and it is amazing to give back something at Silverstone."
He felt McLaren's flop in Spain was partly because its cars do not perform as effectively on slower circuits and forecast that he would be stronger this weekend, especially if cool weather helps them with tyre management.
NEW RED BULL THREAT
Defending double World champion Sebastian Vettel dominated from pole at Valencia until forced into retirement by an alternator failure. His supremacy, after early-season frustrations, was due to a major rear-bodywork change that rivals are concerned has made the Red Bull faster and potentially beyond their reach.
Vettel's Red Bull team mate Mark Webber is second in the championship, 20 points behind Alonso, while Vettel is fourth, a further six behind - a position that's left Hamilton desperate to join Alonso in becoming only the second double race winner this year in Sunday's ninth round of the championship.
Hamilton said: "Our car doesn't seem to go so well on slower speed circuits such as Valencia but at Silverstone we should be more competitive. Trying to look after our tyres is our biggest problem so I hope there's a better chance with the upgrades.
"Sometimes you have to accept it when things don't go your way in racing. It was frustrating to lose so close to the finish but that's motor racing - you put it behind you and move on to the next race - which is at Silverstone, my home circuit. It's special because I get such a boost from all the fans and the best way to respond to a disappointment is to bounce back with a good race.
"That's what I aim to do this weekend."
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