F1: 2011 Singapore Grand Prix hopes of street fighter Hamilton
PUBLISHED: 21:57 21 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:29 24 September 2011
FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton is looking to light up Singapore in this weekend’s nighttime grand prix.
The 26-year-old Herts-born F1 racer won the 2009 Singapore GP around the floodlit Marina Bay street circuit.
And the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes star is looking for another podium finish on Sunday when the race returns to the streets of the Asian city.
Hamilton said: “I think we had a car capable of winning in both Belgium and Italy, so I really want to make sure we arrive in Singapore with a good set-up, and that we’re able to run with it through practice and qualifying.
“If it all goes to plan, we should be in good shape on Sunday.”
Previous Singapore Grand Prix winners
2008: Fernando Alonso (Renault)
2009: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2010: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
The spectacular Singapore GP has only been on the F1 calendar since 2008 and Hamilton loves racing around the illuminated cityscape.
He said: “I love street circuits and I really enjoy this place – it’s almost two tracks in one: there are quite a few fast corners, which require good set-up and a bit of commitment, but there are also lots of tighter 90-degree bends, which are slower and more technical.
“You’ve got to keep it precise through these and just be patient, waiting for the tyres to bite before getting on the throttle.
“If you’re impatient, then you end up losing time because you over-stress the tyres and you over-drive the car.
“Still, I’ll really be pushing for a good result.”
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel could retain the world title in Singapore on Sunday.
The young German is 112 points clear of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso with just six grands prix remaining.
Hamilton is a further 14 points adrift of Alonso in fifth place in the drivers’ standings.
"I will never give up and I’ll be driving to win as always."
The 2008 F1 world champion from Hertfordshire said: “Even though the title is now almost out of reach I’ll be pushing hard for the best possible result.
“I will never give up and I’ll be driving to win as always.”
Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate, Jenson Button, is also looking to take the Singapore chequered flag.
Button is currently third in the world championship, nine points ahead of Hamilton.
He said: “This is one of the races I’d most love to win and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to show the same sort of pace that we showed at Monaco and Hungary, where I had two of my best drives of the year.”
Button added: “Given our current form, I’m positive that Singapore will be another strong race for us.
“I’ve been really satisfied with the pace of the car and the efforts of the team.
“Nevertheless, winning is what we’re all about and that’s what we’ll definitely be aiming for this weekend.”
Martin Whitmarsh, the team principal at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, added: “We go to Singapore feeling very encouraged about our performance potential.
“I also think we’re set to continue the trend we’ve witnessed so far this season, with DRS enlivening races that hitherto would have been somewhat processional.”
First practice for the 2011 Singapore GP takes place from 11am on Friday with qualifying starting at noon on Saturday.
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