Formula One Features
Hamilton looking for hat-trick of wins in France
By Elmar Dreher Jun 28, 2007, 15:46 GMT
Magny-Cours, France - Lewis Hamilton can extend his lead over McLaren-Mercedes team-mate Fernando Alonso in the Formula One drivers' standings with a third win in succession at this weekend's French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours.
The 22-year-old Briton has secured seven podium finishes out of seven races in his debut F1 season, including victories in the last two races in Canada and the United States, to sit on 58 points, 10 clear of Alonso.
Another victory at Magny-Cours will see Hamilton tighten his grip at the top but to achieve a race hat-trick he will have to avoid the type of accident he suffered the last time he raced in France in the GP2 series.
'The French round of the GP2 championship last year was not my best weekend. I did make my way up through the field to fifth to score some points, so it is possible to overtake here,' he said.
'My aims remain the same, to take it race by race and keep focused on scoring good points for myself and the team.'
Meanwhile, two-time world champion Alonso will be looking to put the disappointment of finishing second best to Hamilton at Indianapolis behind him by registering a third F1 win of the season.
'Since the United States Grand Prix, I joined the test team at Silverstone for a day. We completed some key programmes as everyone in the team pushes hard to develop performance,' he said.
'The car performed well at Monaco (where Alonso lead home a McLaren 1-2) and I am looking forward to getting it out on track in France on Friday'
Alonso also felt he would benefit from coming back to Europe to race.
'The championship starts now,' he said. 'We have done just seven races and now I'm more comfortable and full of confidence.'
The McLaren team arrives in France with a 35-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors' title race but driver Felipe Massa, who trails Hamilton by 19 points remains confident that he can still challenge for the drivers' title this season.
'The championship isn't decided yet,' said the Brazilian, who has won two races this season, finished third twice and been disqualified in Canada for running a red light in the pit lane during a caution.
Ferrari team-mate Raikkonen is a massive 26 points behind Hamilton but after a positive test at Silverstone, the Finn is optimistic about his chances at Magny-Cours.
'It is a shame that I have not been able to bring better results so far this season. We aim at the best results every time with the team, but it has been quite a while since we got what we were looking for,' he said.
'I'm feeling now more confident with the car. We had a good balance in the last race so let's hope we can carry that into the next two races.'© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur