Hamilton out to banish French farce

Last updated at 17:54 27 June 2007

Lewis Hamilton is determined there will be no repeat of the French farce he suffered last season as he bids to strengthen his grip on his world championship lead.

Hamilton swept his rivals aside en route to winning the GP2 title in style,

although at Magny-Cours the 22-year-old did not have it all his own way.

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Lewis Hamilton

Now leading the Formula One battle by 10 points from McLaren team-mate Fernando

Alonso, Hamilton is eager not to let his advantage slip going into Sunday's

French Grand Prix.

"It's not been one of my best circuits to race at," said Hamilton.

"The French round of the GP2 championship last season was not my best weekend

as I had a coming together in the first race.

"That led to me starting race two from 19th. I did make my way up through the

field to fifth to score some points, so it is possible to overtake here.

"Although you always want to be on pole, you can pass at Magny-Cours, while

there is a short pit lane that means there are more strategy options.

"It is not as much of a penalty when you stop for tyres and fuel.

"At the moment I'm obviously more looking forward to the British Grand Prix at

Silverstone (on July 8) because it's my home circuit.

"But I know I first need to go to Magny-Cours and score points to maintain my

lead in the championship.

"To be going there as championship leader is an awesome feeling."

Since returning to England from his back-to-back wins in Canada and the United

States, Hamilton has finally savoured the impact he has made in this country.

An event in London last Thursday for team sponsors Vodafone was followed by an

appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Sunday where he was given a

rousing reception.

Hamilton took it all in his stride, but now he cannot wait to get back to

business this weekend.

"I just want to get back out on track," insisted Hamilton.

"But my aims remain the same - to take it race by race and keep focused on

scoring good points for myself and the team."

Alonso, meanwhile, is hoping the Gallic influence will come to the fore, as it

did for his last victory at the Monaco Grand Prix last month, and help him close

the gap on Hamilton.

"Although they have very different characteristics in general, there are some

similarities between Magny-Cours and Monaco," assessed Alonso.

"They both have a lot of tight, twisty corners, so given the car performed

well at Monaco, I am looking forward to getting it out on track in France on


Like Hamilton, the Spaniard is itching to get back behind the wheel again,

adding: "After the races (in north America) it seems like a long time since we

last raced.

"I want to get back on track, and am really motivated to drive the car, which

is quick. I hope we can get the best out of it at Magny-Cours."

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