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Little breathing space for McLaren during European Grand Prix


By Berthold Bouman

The pressure is still on during the European Grand Prix at Valencia according to the victor of the Canadian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton. After a magnificent win in Canada where he fair and square beat Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, Hamilton is certainly not going to rest on his laurels.

Hamilton wins Canadian GP

“While it’s always pleasing to be leading the championship, I’m only two points ahead of Fernando [Alonso] -– which is nothing, particularly when there are a handful of really strong drivers all separated by a couple of points, so there’s still everything to play for,” Hamilton declared.

Consistency is of paramount importance this season, the 2008 World Champion reckons, “The intensity of this year’s championship means there’s so little breathing space -– we may have won in Canada, but there’s an enormous amount of pressure to keep racking up good results at every Grand Prix. I think that consistency, rather than individual strong results, will be the key to winning this World Championship, so we need to back it up in Valencia with another strong result.”

Interesting fact is that McLaren doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to the European Grand Prix, the last time they won it was in 2007 at the German Nurburgring, with Hamilton’s arch enemy Alonso, now driving for Ferrari, behind the wheel!

Jenson Button is experiencing a difficult season, after winning the first round in Australia the results went downhill and he in fact only managed to finish in the top ten during the Grands Prix of China and Spain.

“The last few races haven’t delivered the results I’d like, but there are still 13 races to go. We’ve had seven different winners and no clear championship leader has emerged, so I’ll be looking to get a decent result under my belt this weekend in order to get my title bid back on track,” said Button.

And about the circuit he said, “Valencia is a track I really enjoy; I’ve already won on a street circuit this year so I’m definitely optimistic about having a great weekend and picking up the momentum again in the title fight.”

Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh knows his McLaren team has to keep pushing very hard if they want to clinch the 2012 title. “Given that the delta between ourselves, Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG and Red Bull Racing is so narrow, we’ll once again be pushing hard on both our operational and technical fronts to ensure we stay at the front.

As always, we aim to bring at least an additional one-tenth [of a second] laptime benefit to each race, and we’re pushing hard to ensure we can over-deliver on that on as regular a basis as possible. It may sound like a negligible increment, but it could prove to be the difference between winning and losing the World Championship.”

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