OCTOBER 31, 2010
McLaren men vow to attack in Brazil
Interlagos is the site of momentous moments for both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button and both are hoping to continue that tradition and keep the championship battle alive in Brazil next weekend.
"I always seem to have a unique experience at Brazil!" Hamilton said. "In my first year in F1 I battled past a load of cars but could only finish seventh, losing out on the world championship. The following year I had another tricky race, but managed to take fifth position on the final lap to win the world title. Last year, we got qualifying wrong, I started 17th and used KERS to boost my way up to third in one of the best races of my career. I guess what I'm saying is that I'd like a nice, straightforward race this year!
"We go to Brazil knowing that we may not have the fastest car, but we'll have a decent package that should work well. We have a strong engine and good straight line speed, so I think we'll still be quick - crucially, that combination should give us the opportunity to pass into the first corner, which is probably the best overtaking spot on the track.
"I know the world championship is figuring in everybody's thoughts but I'm not thinking about it too much: I need to get a good result in Brazil to take the fight to Abu Dhabi, so that's my priority."
Jenson Button, effectively out of the drivers' championship but still able to play a strong role as McLaren challenges for the team prize, said: "Brazilian is a special race for me because it's where I won the world championship last year. This will be the first time I've been back since then, so I'm really looking forward to it.
"Interlagos is an incredible racetrack - a place where you can race hard, where all your mistakes are punished and where you're really rewarded for attacking. I think our package will be well suited to this circuit.
"When I was here last year I learnt an important lesson: I qualified 14th while my team-mate put his car on pole - but when I thought it was almost all over, I threw caution to the wind and drove one of the most attacking, best drives of my F1 career. And that's something that I'll be taking with me into this weekend, when I know I'll not only need a strong result, but also to rely on others failing to score to keep me in the hunt for the championship.
"Given the points situation, I know that I face an uphill struggle to hold on to the world title, but I'll be giving it everything I've got to stay in contention. I fought hard to become the 2009 world champion, and I won't give up my title without a fight."
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh added: "If F1 has taught us one thing over the past couple of years, it's to never give up hope until the odds are no longer possible, and that the most unexpected outcome can become a very real and viable possibility sooner than you can readily imagine. With that in mind, we go to Brazil and Abu Dhabi still determined to wrest both world championships.