Lewis Hamilton focused on finishing second in Valencia

Lewis Hamilton says his focus will be on trying to finish second in the European Grand Prix - after admitting he is doubtful about being able to fight for victory

Lewis Hamilton focused on finishing second in Valencia

Although the world championship leader is starting from the front row, he thinks the balance issues that have dogged his weekend make it unlikely he has what it takes to move himself to the front of the field.

When asked, in light of the tight title battle, if he would be happy to finish second, he said: "No, but that would be a big plus for me.

"Coming in to this weekend, and definitely as it started, I didn't expect to be as high up as I am now. That is through struggling with the set-up of the car, and knowing that it is a tough circuit for the tyres - and it will be in the race.

"The target is to finish where I am starting, and after that anything above that is a positive."

Team-mate Jenson Button, who starts ninth, thinks that the long run pace of the McLaren is not too bad though - although expects a tough time in the hot conditions when it comes to looking after the tyres.

"I have to be positive about the race," he said. "I think the pace of the car here has been very good and hopefully on the long runs it is also.

"The consistency of the run on Friday was not too bad. The offset in pace was quite big, but some of the teams run a lot less fuel when they do a long run, and hopefully the race will be a good day in terms of consistency and tyre degradation.

"It is very tough around here because there is a lot of traction in first and second gear, which puts a lot of temperature in the tyre and it is tough around here.

"It is the same for everyone; so it will be about who copes best. I think most of the strategy will be quite similar, with one or two stops, and most people will go for a two stop. It will not be about running a different strategy to get a good result; it will be about looking after your tyres and stopping at the right moment."

shares
comments
Schumacher against tyre warmer ban

Previous article

Schumacher against tyre warmer ban

Next article

Mark Webber: European GP fightback difficult from 19th on the grid

Mark Webber: European GP fightback difficult from 19th on the grid
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Author Jonathan Noble
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021