Hamilton hungry for 'dream' Monaco win
|By Jonathan Noble and Pablo Elizalde||Wednesday, May 21st 2008, 14:12 GMT|
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton says he will do his best to score a "dream" victory at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.
"This is the race to win, and one of the races I've always wanted to win," Hamilton told reporters at Monte Carlo.
"It would be a dream to win here, for me especially. So I am pushing very hard to make sure we do that this weekend."
He added: "You have to score points, that's the key. For me this weekend is about scoring as many points as possible, and as a team collectively, we want to get as many points together.
"But for me, I want to win the race, although I don't see it as vital we win for the title challenge, but for sure it would help."
Hamilton finished in second place on his debut in a Formula One car at Monte Carlo last year, in a race that stirred controversy amid claims from the British media that the McLaren driver was not allowed to fight teammate Fernando Alonso for victory.
The Briton admits that, looking back, he believes the team made the right calls during the race.
"You learn a lot when you are behind someone anyway, but I just had to look at it and say 'I'm here in Formula One, and it is my first Monaco Grand Prix," he added. "If I don't win it, I'm still second, on the podium.'
"So I had to be happy with that. I think anyone would have been happy with that. I learned how to keep the car on the track, and throughout the race you improve.
"You also learn more and more about the circuit, so coming here I should hopefully be in a better position.
"I was happy that I was on the podium. It was a great finish, it was great for the team. At the time I wanted to win because it is one of the most special races there is.
"Looking back, I don't have any regrets, and the team did the right thing."
Hamilton arrives in Monaco as one of the favourites for victory, as the street circuit seems to favour his McLaren and also thanks to the pace he showed in the last race in Turkey, where he was second despite having to make an extra pitstop for safety reasons.
The Briton admits the Istanbul result was a boost for the whole team.
"It made a huge difference," he said of the Turkish GP result. "Going into qualifying I was told I would have to go for a three-stopper, and that it was unlikely I would be able to win from there. When you go into qualifying you go with the thought 'okay, this lap is going to help me win the race'.
"And when you're told it's very unlikely you will be able to win the race, then you are like 'what the hell am I here for?'
"But to go from a possibility of finishing fourth, to then push, push, push - and the team did an amazing job as well - to then come second, it felt like a win.
"It was very satisfying for the whole team."
The McLaren driver also reckons Ferrari are likely to be more competitive this season after his team dominated the race last year.
"On the slower, tighter circuits last year we were quicker than them (Ferrari). This year it's probably going to be closer," he added.