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United States GP: Hamilton wants to be the first GP winner at the Circuit Of The Americas


By Berthold Bouman

Although Lewis Hamilton retired from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix while in the lead for McLaren, the 2008 World Champion has already left all of this behind him and is now looking forward to a new challenge: the United States Grand Prix.

Jenson Button, McLaren

“It’s crazy to think that the last United States Grand Prix was five years ago! It’s a race I still remember like yesterday, though — the nervy anticipation as I drove into the [Indianapolis] Speedway for the very first time, the thousands of supportive fans, and the fantastic car I had beneath me that enable me to take my second Grand Prix victory in the space of a week. For me, those were incredible, thrilling times,” Hamilton commented.

Like all drivers, he only knows the circuit from the simulator, “I think the Circuit Of The Americas looks like it could also be the place that modern Formula One finally calls home. I’ve only driven it on the computer and in the sim, but I think it’s going to be a track that drivers enjoy, which produces some great, close racing, and which fans will quickly love.”

Hamilton really wants to win this race, “This is a new circuit, a new challenge and a new opportunity — I’m definitely looking to be the first Grand Prix winner at the Circuit Of The Americas.”

After his fourth place in Abu Dhabi, Jenson Button is confident the race in the United States will be ‘brilliant’, and he is thrilled with the prospect of visiting the city of Austin as well. “I think we’re in for a fantastic weekend — I really cannot wait to get out to Austin and see the city, the people and the track. I think it’s going to be brilliant,” said Button.

About the circuit he commented, “On paper, the circuit looks to have a little bit of everything — the plan-view certainly looks familiar; you can see elements of the Maggotts/Becketts complex from Silverstone; there’s a reverse of Istanbul Park’s Turn Eight, too; and I can even see a bit of the Hockenheim infield, too. Whether those elements will blend together to make a satisfying whole remains to be seen, but there are a couple of long straights into tight corners, too, which should at least open up the possibility of overtaking.”

Not much luck for Hamilton at Abu Dhabi

And last but not least, Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh is happy Formula One will return to the United States again, as McLaren is also a sportscar manufacturer. “I’ve always maintained that Formula One’s presence in the United States is crucial, so I’m personally pleased and satisfied that we’re finally returning to America after spending far too long away from its shores,” said the Briton.

He thinks this race is an opportunity for Formula One to re-instate itself in America, “On a wider level, the arrival of a state-of-the-art, purpose-build Grand Prix track is perfect for Formula One, and this is a golden opportunity for the sport to finally put down roots and find a long-term home.”

And he added, “From a business perspective, too, we are in the right place at the right time. This is an invaluable commercial opportunity for the sport, for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and our partners.”

And what about his expectations? “With Lewis, we won the last Grand Prix to be held in the United States back in 2007. After a strong, but ultimately disappointing, performance in Abu Dhabi last week, I know that both Lewis and Jenson head to Austin, determined to pick up the baton and return us to the top step of the podium.

“This should be a great race for Formula One!”

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