Lewis Hamilton has spoken of his confidence for the upcoming race at the new street circuit in Valencia, Eastern Spain. The British world champion won last time out in Hungary and believes that the development and update work on his initially lacklustre McLaren MP4-24 will continue to pay dividends.
“It s great to be getting back to business after the four-week break. I m still buzzing from the win in Hungary and I m hopeful of being able to carry that pace into the Valencia weekend particularly with our new upgrades to the car,â€ Hamilton said.
He went out to point out that the Valencia track shares characteristics with the Budapest track where McLaren won, and also to a lesser extent the Nurburgring, where Hamilton was also competitive.
“It s a very demanding circuit, the kind of place that punishes any mistakes hard. It s quite tight and relatively slow, so it should suit our package. It s also very difficult to overtake, as we discovered last year but, with our KERS, Mercedes-Benz has proved that anything can happen and I m once again hoping that it will provide the difference in the race.â€
McLaren are dark horses for the run-in to the championship, with Brawn suffering from uncompetitive updates, and driver rivalry over at Red Bull potentially sapping their challenge. It remains to be seen how the MP4-24 will fare on the next few tracks, but Hamilton is confident enough to speak out.
Hamilton’s pace has never been in doubt, but lately his ability to develop a car has improved, in tandem with team-mates Heikki Kovalainen and Pedro de la Rosa. Whether he is able to mount a consistent challenge to the leaders is another point entirely, but while the championship remains mathematically possible McLaren will be fighting.