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Hamilton: My need to win keeps me motivated 23 Sep 2009

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Thursday, 27 August 2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/24 crashes out of the Grand Prix on the final lap.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, Sunday, 13 September 2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/24.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 12 September 2009 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates his pole position in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 12 September 2009

Defending his world championship hasn’t been the easiest of tasks for McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton this season. Certainly, the opening part of the year was a real battle, and while he has enjoyed several finishes in the points, including his solitary win in Hungary, hopes of retaining his title faded a long time ago.

Even so, Hamilton is far from giving up on his quest to take more victories in 2009, and at the last race in Monza this boundless motivation was clear for all to see. Set to take a comfortable third place, he crashed out on the last lap whilst trying to catch Brawn GP’s Jenson Button. Although his efforts ended in retirement, the British driver believes he’ll always push that hard.

“I think it’s just part of my character and who I am,” Hamilton told a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Phone-in. “I’ve just always had it, in whatever I’ve done, especially when it’s competing. I’ve always had this something in side of me that I want to win. A will. And it just keeps me going.

"I guess we can’t win the world championship, just win races, pole positions and fastest laps for the rest of this season. Even if you don’t win, the feeling that you gave it your all, it’s such a great feeling. That’s really what keeps me going. I genuinely don’t have any of those days where I feel I don’t want to push.”

Despite this seemingly limitless drive to succeed, even Hamilton concedes he sometimes needs a boost, especially when the going gets really tough. For encouragement he turns to both his family and members of his team.

“There have been many ups and downs this season,” he said. “Every now and then we have our doubts. But the great thing is being part of such a large team, whenever you’re in doubt, someone’s right by your side and picks you up. I would say in terms of my family team, my dad and brother and mum, have a huge influence. If any of us have any doubts we are there for each other. It’s what being part of a team is all about.”

Although he’ll still be fighting for wins over the last four races, Hamilton’s real focus is bringing himself, and the team, back into championship contention next year. With the FIA proposing a 19-race calendar, and four new teams preparing to join the fray, Formula One racing is going to be a somewhat different in 2010, and the 24 year-old can’t wait.

“I think it’s exciting to at least think of it,” he concluded. “I’ve grown up in Formula One and there have only been 20 or 22 cars on the grid. There have been 15 to 18 races. The more races the merrier. We drivers love going to different countries, different cities and racing these amazing circuits. In terms of the teams, it’s just going to be good for the sport, as long as we don’t lose the competitiveness.”

Hamilton will be back on track on Friday, as the Singapore Grand Prix gets underway.