F1: Hamilton to fight ‘like crazy’ for Italian Grand Prix points
PUBLISHED: 12:22 12 September 2010 | UPDATED: 13:16 12 September 2010
WORLD Formula 1 championship pacesetter Lewis Hamilton will fight “like crazy” for points in today’s 2010 Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The 25-year-old McLaren Mercedes star from Herts could only qualify fifth on the Monza grid yesterday after running without the car’s F-duct.
That proved a costly set-up choice mistake as McLaren colleague Jenson Button – running with the team’s higher downforce package – bagged a place on the front row behind pole-sitter Fernando Alonso.
Hamilton starts today’s race, being shown live on BBC1, with a slender three-point lead over closest title rival Mark Webber.
The Red Bull driver snatched fourth place on the grid from Lewis in the dying seconds of qualifying yesterday (Saturday) and the Aussie will now be Hamilton’s main target around Monza’s famous tarmac.
Speaking after qualifying, Tewin F1 hero Hamilton said: “Today [Saturday] wasn’t my best qualifying performance of the season, but we’ll still push like crazy tomorrow and fight for some good points from the third row.”
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Martin Whitmarsh expects Hamilton to battle all the way for a possible podium.
The McLaren team principal said: “Clearly, having been quick all weekend, Lewis had hoped for better than fifth place in qualifying.
“With hindsight, I think we sent him out just a little too close to Mark [Webber]. It’s always a tricky balancing act, because you want to send your drivers out so that they have a chance of getting a tow, but you don’t want to let them get so close to the cars they’re following that they encounter too much dirty air and therefore ‘wash out’ in the corners.
“I think that’s perhaps what happened to Lewis in Parabolica, hence his slightly disappointing time in sector three.
“Having said all that, Lewis is every bit as focused on scoring heavily tomorrow [Sunday] as is Jenson, and those who know him [Lewis] won’t be surprised to hear me say that he’ll be aiming to make up places as soon as the five red lights go out on the startline gantry.”
While Hamilton chases Webber, McLaren team-mate Button has the chequered flag in his sights.
He said: “It will be an incredible battle at the front tomorrow [Sunday], but, starting from the front row, my aim must be for a victory.
“A win here would be very important; I’ve got the world championship trophy at home – and I want it to stay there!”
The 2010 Italian Grand Prix around the historic Monza track starts at 1pm.
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