Hamilton bullish about chances of victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
|By Jonathan Noble||Friday, November 4th 2011, 15:27 GMT|
Lewis Hamilton believes his McLaren team can head to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix confident about its chances of a victory, as it bids to topple Sebastian Vettel once again.
Although Vettel has won the last two times out, Hamilton thinks the long straights and low-speed corners of the Yas Marina circuit should play to the strengths of McLaren.
"I think we've got every reason to be confident for Abu Dhabi," he said. "This circuit should really suit the characteristics of our car - we should be able to capitalise on the layout to maximise the benefit of DRS and KERS, both of which are very strong on our car.
"Red Bull and Sebastian [Vettel] may have clinched both championships, but I'm still determined to end the season on a winning high. I've won two grands prix this year, and I'd love to double that by the end of the year! It would also be a great reward for everybody at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes."
Team-mate Jenson Button is the last man to have beaten Vettel, having triumphed in last month's Japanese GP, and he is equally upbeat about the potential.
"Our car should suit this circuit so I'm very optimistic," he explained. "We saw at the last grand prix that even though we didn't have the ultimate speed to catch and pass Sebastian, we made him work hard for the win.
"Tactically, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ran a first-class race: I got all the right calls from the pit wall and the pit crew did a fantastic job. The championship may not be at stake any more but we're still aiming to win races and put on a tremendous show."
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh says the outfit is still pushing on with developments for its car, with new parts likely to be carried over on to its 2012 challenger.
"Even though we've secured second place in the Constructors' Championship, and Jenson has a very healthy margin in second place in the drivers' championship, the season isn't over for us by any means," Whitmarsh said.
"We're continuing to bring new developments to our car and we'll be fighting every bit as hard as we did at the first race in Australia back in March."