Lewis: racing Schumi will be special

Lewis Hamilton today confirmed that racing against Michael Schumacher would see the realisation of one of his aspirations to race the best in the world.

The Englishman, speaking at the McLaren launch directly to forumula1.com, said that although he would have loved to race against Ayrton Senna it would nevertheless be very special to go wheel-to-wheel with Schumacher.

‘It will be pretty special to race against Michael. As I was growing up he was the one I was watching on TV, and to see him on the grid in your mirrors, or in front, or wherever, will be something else. Hopefully he’ll be behind,” quipped the Stevenage man.

Hamilton was coy about what the MP4-25 had felt like in the simulator, saying that although it got reasonably close it would not help with tyre simulation.

He and team-mate Jenson Button would not be drawn in greater detail on the behaviour of the car in McLaren’s simulator, which is known to be one of the most realistic in the sport. Instead, both said they would be waiting for Valencia to find out what the car’s real performance was like.

‘It will be harder to stop the car [because of the extra fuel weight]’ said Button. ‘The narrow front tyres will hurt front grip and it will be a massive fuel load compared with what we’re used to…I think in my career I’ve only ever driven cars with 80 or 90kg of fuel in them,’ said the Frome man. This year’s fuel tank will hold up to 160kg.