In-form Hamilton eyes third time lucky

BRITAIN’S Lewis Hamilton has vowed to finally nail the Valencia circuit as he seeks to extend his advantage at the top of the drivers’ championship.

The 2008 champion has finished runner-up on the two previous occasions he has raced the port track, and is determined to go one better on Sunday. And should he need further motivation, victory would bring Hamilton his first hat-trick of wins, having notched back-to-back triumphs in Turkey and Canada.

“I feel like I have some unfinished business,” said Hamilton. “It’s not a circuit where we’ve seen too much passing in the past, but I think this year could be different. The grid is so tight, with battles all through the field as we saw in Montreal last week, so we could have a close and exciting race this weekend.”

While maximum points is Hamilton’s target, the Englishman is acutely aware that consistently high scoring is what is most important in the hardest-fought F1 season for years.

“I’m the fifth leader of the championship so far this year, so it’s pretty clear it’s not so easy staying on top,” he added. “This championship is going to be as much about playing the long game – minimising mistakes, scoring points at every race – as it is about success at individual races.

“I think that’s the first time you can probably say that about a Formula One championship.

“You’ve got to be on the limit all the time and I love that, because that’s how I love to race.”