Lewis Hamilton has drawn a line under his Italian Grand Prix error and is now fully focused on next weekend in Singapore.
The McLaren driver crashed out on the first lap of the Monza race, after tagging the Ferrari of Felipe Massa. Despite this, the 25-year-old is ready to put the past behind him and look towards the remainder of the season.
“I’ve already drawn a line under Monza. I’ve learnt from the experience and, while it was extremely disappointing, those things are sometimes what you need to sharpen your mind and raise your game and motivation at an extremely crucial time in the season,” Hamilton said in McLaren’s Singapore Grand Prix preview.
Although Hamilton remains unsure about McLaren’s chances around the Marina Bay circuit, he remains encouraged by feedback from his engineers.
“It’s difficult to say accurately how competitive we’ll be in Singapore,” he said. “If Monza most closely resembled a track like Canada, then Singapore is far closer to places like Monaco and Hungary, where we’ve struggled relative to the competition.
“But the engineers are positive that we’ve made some good progress, so I’m looking forward to getting out on track and sampling the changes for real.
“So I think we head into the weekend with renewed confidence following some positive tests and some developments in the wind tunnel. The race should give us a clearer indication of exactly where we stand as the championship closes down over the next five races, but I definitely want to score as many points as possible in this grand prix.”
Meanwhile team-mate Jenson Button believes that the fifteenth round of the season could have a huge impact on the championship.
“The Singapore Grand Prix will be a very interesting weekend because I think it’ll give us a clearer idea of the destiny of the world championship.” the reigning world champion said. “The last time we were at a low-speed, high-downforce track was in Hungary back at the start of August; our car wasn’t particularly competitive there, and maybe we haven’t had a properly representative view of the top teams’ relative pace because we’ve just visited two high-speed circuits.”
“But, equally, a lot has changed since that race in Budapest – not least, some quite hefty revisions to the rulebook regarding bodywork flexibility and, additionally, a lot of work by the engineers at the MTC to ensure our car is now better suited to slower circuits.
“Singapore will be interesting for all of us we’ll not only get an idea of the speed of the Ferrari and Red Bull, but we’ll get to see for the first time whether all our efforts over the past two months have helped put us back in the ballpark at high-downforce tracks.
“Personally, I think Singapore has quickly established itself as one of the best races on the calendar, and I’m already really looking forward to the race.”
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh is also upbeat about the outfit’s chances, adding: “It’s the first race at a low-speed, high-downforce track since the Hungaroring back in August. It’s also the first high-downforce track we’ve visited since the FIA tightened up its regulations on flexible bodywork, so it’s likely to give us a much clearer idea of the respective pace of the leading teams after two less-representative events in Belgium and Italy.
“This is a race the whole team looks forward to enormously, and we travel to Singapore with a number of new ideas to try out on our cars, feeling positive that we’ll once again be in a position to race at the front.”