F1 2011 Italian Grand Prix: McLaren fighting for Monza victory
PUBLISHED: 21:29 31 August 2011 | UPDATED: 19:47 09 September 2011
UNDER-FIRE Lewis Hamilton hopes to get his Formula 1 season back on track in Italy next month after crashing out of the 2011 Belgian Grand Prix.
The Herts-born Vodafone McLaren Mercedes racer took the blame for his shunt in Spa on Sunday.
He smashed through an advertising hoarding after clashing with the Sauber of Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi on lap 13 at Les Combes.
As the dust settles on another controversial incident in a troubled season for the 2008 F1 world champion, Hamilton is looking ahead to Monza and the Italian GP on Sunday, September 11.
Speaking after his latest disappointment in Belgium, Hamilton, 26, said: “There have been quite a few races this year where we’ve not finished, and this is another – but that’s motor racing.
"Our car and our drivers showed strong pace throughout this weekend [in Belgium], and we’ll be aiming to convert that speed into victory at Monza."
“At least our pace was reasonably good this weekend, so let’s hope we can win more races in the remainder of the season.”
Like Lewis, Jenson Button is also looking forward to Monza – for entirely different reasons.
Hamilton’s colleague in the McLaren garage stormed through the field from 13th on the grid to cross the line third at Spa-Francorchamps.
And 2009 F1 world champion Button is happy in the McLaren hotseat and is aiming for another podium in Italy, preferably the top step this time.
"After watching the replay, I realize it was my fault today 100%."
He said: “Our car is the best it’s been all year, and I feel better than I ever have in Formula 1.
“We just need to stop the little mistakes from happening so that we can win even more races.
“Hopefully, we can go out and fight for the win in Monza.”
That’s certainly the goal of Martin Whitmarsh, the team principal at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.
“Looking forward to the Santander Italian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time, then, we’re focusing on the positives,” said Whitmarsh.
“Our car and our drivers showed strong pace throughout this weekend, and we’ll be aiming to convert that speed into victory at Monza.
“As for the world championship(s), all we can do is focus all our efforts on trying to win as many of the remaining seven grands prix as we possibly can.
“As I often say, it’s still mathematically possible, which means it’s still possible.”
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