F1 ace Hamilton aiming for French GP podium

PUBLISHED: 13:10 20 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:43 26 October 2009

Motorsports / Formel 1: Formula One World Championship 2007, Grand Prix of France 2007,  2 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), 
 *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel

Motorsports / Formel 1: Formula One World Championship 2007, Grand Prix of France 2007, 2 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel

HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel

HERTS Formula 1 hero Lewis Hamilton is as focused for Sunday s French Grand Prix as he is for any other race - despite a 10 place demotion down the grid. That was the punishment handed out to the 23-year-old McLaren driver following his pit-lane crash in

Motorsports / Formel 1: Formula One World Championship 2007, Grand Prix of France 2007,  2 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), 
 *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel

HERTS Formula 1 hero Lewis Hamilton is as focused for Sunday's French Grand Prix as he is for any other race - despite a 10 place demotion down the grid.

That was the punishment handed out to the 23-year-old McLaren driver following his pit-lane crash in Montreal with title rival Kimi Raikkonen, and will come into effect after tomorrow's qualifying session.

But Hamilton refuses to let this penalty worry him as he prepares to tackle the Magny-Cours race circuit.

He said: "It's a race, I'm here to win and so I approach it the same. Obviously we want to finish, we want to get as many points as possible.

Motorsports / Formel 1: Formula One World Championship 2007, Grand Prix of France 2007,  2 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), 
 *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel

"It (the penalty) just makes that harder, that's the way to goes."

Lewis added: "Realistically I think we just have to try and aim for a podium finish if possible, but I think it's going to be very, very tough.

"There's now quite a few teams that are very competitive and this is not the easiest track to overtake at as well, so I will keep my fingers crossed and do the best job I can.

"I hope we can push and finish in the top five."

Hamilton, whose family live in Tewin, believes the demotion shouldn't affect his race strategy as he seeks to make ground on the Drivers' Championship leader.

He added: "Obviously it would be nice to qualify on the front row, which would put us just outside the top 10, but I don't know.

"I will have to wait and speak to my engineers."

Hamilton was third in France last season after starting on the front row.

He said: "I like this circuit and I think it is quite challenging, very technical.

"I think this year we have a better chance in terms of the package we have.

"It is a better package than we had last year, so therefore we should be quicker."

Hamilton currently trails Robert Kubica by four points in the championship.

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