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Hamilton on hunt for Monza win

2013-09-05 08:34

MCLAREN ACE SETS SIGHTS ON MONZA: Lewis Hamilton hopes to achieve his second Monza victory in a row. Image: AFP

Lewis Hamilton returns to Monza with the aim of repeating his convincing display in 2012 when he took pole position and won the Italian F1 GP.

MONZA, Italy - Though boosted by news that Mercedes will be running with a revised version of its low-downforce package used at the 2013 Belgian GP, driver Lewis Hamilton knows he has to deliver a strong result to keep his title hopes alive.

Hamilton may trail Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in the 2013 title race but his speed and form have kept alive his belief that he can mount a late challenge.

'CAR NOT RIGHT'

Mercedes team chief Ross Brawn said: "I don't think we got the car quite right. We were there or thereabouts but it didn't feel quite as sharp for the previous few races. We've made a few changes for Monza and hope this time we get it right."

Monza is one of the fastest circuits on F1 calendar but also one of the most challenging for overtaking. Of the last 13 races, 10 have been won by the driver on pole. The cars can reach speeds of more than 320km/h on a circuit that's dominated by straights, chicanes and fast corners.

One of the best passing opportunities is on the straight after the famous Parabolica, where cars glide in the slipstream of others, as they have been doing since the World championship began in 1950.

Monza, the circuit, the park and the town, are steeped in motor racing history and all ooze atmosphere with the Ferrari logo and flag to be seen everywhere as misty mornings are swept away by late summer sunshine.

It's the Ferrari home race and pressure on the team reaches fever pitch in the crowded paddock where rumours of driver transfers following the confirmation that Daniel Ricciardo will succeed fellow-Australian Mark Webber at Red Bull next year are sure to be rife.

'GREAT MEMORIES'

As always, there will be as much action off the circuit and around the paddock as on it once the cars roar and rush through the woods on the old Autodromo Nazionale.

Vettel said: "This track brings back great memories for me, mainly from my first win there in 2008, with Toro Rosso. I can't describe the feeling of standing on the top of the podium for the first time and Monza was one of the best places to experience it because of the thousands of passionate fans that stand beneath. It always gives you goosebumps."

Like Hamilton, Vettel will be aiming only for a victory and may face a sustained challenge also from Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen, who is hunting a drive alongside Ferrari's two-time champion Fernando Alonso in 2014.

Vettel said: "It's true that I have never won in Italy. For one reason or another things just haven't worked out for me, but it doesn't mean I can't drive the track. Just because I have not won at a circuit in the past it doesn't mean that I won't win or get a good result there in the future."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Italian GP weekend!


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