Hamilton gears up for European GP in Valencia

PUBLISHED: 15:48 21 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:21 26 October 2009

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2008, GP of Hungary, Ungarn, ungarischer, 22 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes),
 *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel +++

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2008, GP of Hungary, Ungarn, ungarischer, 22 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel +++

HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel

AFTER a three week break, the Formula 1 season gets back on track with a visit to Valencia, the new home of the European Grand Prix, on Sunday. The Spanish venue will mark the fifth home for the European Grand Prix, which has been held at Brands Hatch, t

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2008, GP of Hungary, Ungarn, ungarischer, 22 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes),
 *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel +++

AFTER a three week break, the Formula 1 season gets back on track with a visit to Valencia, the new home of the European Grand Prix, on Sunday.

The Spanish venue will mark the fifth home for the European Grand Prix, which has been held at Brands Hatch, the Nürburgring, Donington Park and Jerez since its inception in 1983.

Tewin's Lewis Hamilton will be hoping for maximum points on the street circuit as he looks to get his championship assault back on track.

This is after his tyre problems in Hungary, yet he refuses to make any predictions.

He said: "I'm wary of making predictions, the race in Hungary just showed how unpredictable Formula 1 can be, and that's one of the reasons why it's such a fascinating sport.

"Clearly, though, I am still in a good position to challenge for the world championship and that remains my aim."

Herts racer Hamilton heads the driver standings on 62 points, five ahead of Ferrari star and defending world champion Kimi Räikkönen.

European Grand Prix organisers have created a unique and demanding 25-corner circuit that winds around the Juan Carlos I marina, home to the 32nd America's Cup yacht race.

Unlike traditional Formula 1 street circuits, whose tight and twisting configurations place a premium on qualifying at the front, the Valencia track is fast, sweeping and wide, offering several potential opportunities for passing.

Official simulations have estimated a top speed of 200mph on the main straight and an estimated lap time of around 1 minute 37 seconds.

Herts hero Hamilton is confident in his ability to conquer what is certain to be a gruelling circuit.

He said: "We still feel confident about our chances. We know our rivals will be strong, but we've worked hard to improve the car and be competitive this weekend.

"The most important thing is to finish consistently in the points."

And what are the chances of a fourth consecutive McLaren win following Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen's Hungarian GP success?

Norbert Haug, vice president of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, added: "Lewis, Heikki and the entire team performed excellently achieving three race wins in a row.

"Since the beginning of the previous season, we have won 13 out of 28 races and if possible we want to improve this success rate.

"However, the maiden race in Valencia will be a new game for everybody.

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