Lewis eyes boost from updates
McLaren drivers confident team should be in good shape at Silverstone
Last Updated: 01/07/12 12:39pm
Lewis Hamilton is hoping McLaren's planned upgrades for the British Grand Prix will help the team respond to Red Bull's big Valencia step forward and "make the nation proud" in next week's race.
Although Ferrari and Fernando Alonso ultimately won last Sunday's European GP to regain the lead of the Drivers' Championship, at one point earlier in the race it had seemed that Sebastian Vettel was on course to claim the most dominant victory of the season prior to the appearance of the Safety Car and his subsequent retirement with an alternator failure.
Up until that point Hamilton, who also lost ground in the championship after being punted out late on by the Williams of Pastor Maldonado, admits he was slightly taken aback by the ease with which the Red Bull had pulled away at the front, although is optimistic things will be different on his and McLaren's home turf at Silverstone.
"I don't think we can be too surprised just because we've seen the rate of their development over the last couple of years," Hamilton told Sky Sports News.
"Of course to see him pull away so far - he was pulling over a second a lap [clear] - that was astonishing for me, but then again I wasn't really that fast so it wasn't like I was in the previous race.
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"So hopefully in the next race we'll have a much better chance of keeping with him, if not being ahead of him. We've got hopefully some upgrades coming, the car felt pretty good in the simulator so I hope that we have a fighting chance to make the nation proud."
While Hamilton will be aiming to emulate his Silverstone victory from four years ago, team-mate Jenson Button's best home results in 12 attempts remain fourth-place finishes in 2004 and 2010.
The 32-year-old is hoping to finally break his podium duck this time around after a succession of disappointing races and, spurred on by the supported of the ever passionate home crowd, is looking to take advantage of what he also expects will be a strong performance from the MP4-27.
"Silverstone's a circuit I love and it's great to have the support there for us," Button said. "There's a lot of union jacks, which you would expect at the British Grand Prix, but last year there were just rocket red [McLaren] caps everywhere which does mean a lot to us, does make a difference.
"It's also a circuit which should suit our car. It's quite a fast circuit, there's not so much low speed. We're very strong in the high-speed corners so hopefully we'll show that at Silverstone."