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Hamilton aims to end season on a high

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Hamilton aims to end season on a high
Oct 31, 2009, 10:16 PM

Lewis Hamilton has been in a class of one this weekend and today he looks set to end the season on a real high with a victory at the first Abu Dhab...

Lewis Hamilton has been in a class of one this weekend and today he looks set to end the season on a real high with a victory at the first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Photo: Darren Heath

If that happens, it will be his third victory in the second half of the season, to go with three podiums; an outcome few would have predicted when the McLaren was two seconds off the pace in the Barcelona test.

Hamilton was asked this evening whether he feels that with the car he now has, he could have competed for the world championship and his answer was interesting,

“I don't think so, it's hard to say. There are some tracks where the car has been quite poor, like Spa. This car, even though it feels quite good here on these low speed corners, is still not the best car, by a fair amount. We still have a lot to improve on. The foundations of the car are what’s not perfect so we need to get that right for next year.

“The faster we go the worse the car gets, in the high speed corners. We have got closer and if we had this car from the beginning we would be a lot closer.

As for this weekend, Hamilton has been the red hot favourite right from first practice, but he seemed to stretch away from the rest during qualifying, rather like Usain Bolt. We've grown used to Bolt doing that now in sprint races, but the first time he did it was a surprise and Hamilton says his margin over the field here has come as a surprise,

“I didn’t expect (to be this dominant), it’s a real surprise, the car feels the best it’s felt all year and it’s a surprise to all of us," he said.

"We are getting no more than we normally get from KERS, It was probably the best lap I’ve done all year. It was near to my perfect lap, maybe a few hundredths here or there but it was good.”

Team mate Heikki Kovalainen, making what is likely to be his last appearance for McLaren, looks set to start from 18th on the grid after a five place penalty for a gearbox change.

Meanwhile Kimi Raikkonen has said that it's McLaren or nothing for him next season as he only wants to drive a car capable of winning races. McLaren have let it be known that there is interest in Jenson Button, to cool Raikkonen's financial demands and this is not doing Button's cause with Brawn any harm. Although I get the feeling that there isn't much movement there and Button is going to struggle to squeeze more money out of the team. He knows that he would be ill advised to go up against Hamilton in a McLaren and Raikkonen knows that too.

The Finn is probably the only driver on the grid who would take on that challenge.

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The final day of the season

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton Shop Now