Hamilton: Now is the time to fight 04 Oct 2010
After three retirements from the last four races, McLarens Lewis Hamilton knows he cannot afford another DNF in this weekends Japanese Grand Prix if he is to keep his title hopes alive. He also knows, however, that an overly cautious approach could cost him the points he needs to close on championship leader Mark Webber.
Hamilton finished third at Suzuka last year - his first Formula One race at the legendary circuit - when McLaren were outpaced by the likes of Red Bull and Toyota. This season, the former champion is out to make amends.
Suzuka is very much unfinished business for me, he said. I raced the best I could last year, but our car just wasnt fast enough. This year, Im holding nothing back - I need a strong result to get my title hopes back on track, and that will be my complete focus from the moment I first sit in the cockpit on Friday morning.
Hamilton limped out of the last round in Singapore with suspension damage after contact with Webbers Red Bull, which stewards deemed a racing incident. The preceding round at Monza ended in similar fashion after he ran into Felipe Massas Ferrari; and he knows that Suzuka will punish any further errors.
Its a real drivers circuit - you need to be committed and precise to do well there, and theres no room for error either: no tarmac run-off, and all the barriers are pretty close, so any mistake is going to hurt your chances big-time, he added.
Following Singapore, Hamilton dropped from second to third in the drivers' table and now has 182 points to Webbers 202 and Fernando Alonsos 191. With just four races remaining, and with McLaren struggling to match the pace of the Red Bulls and Ferraris, he knows he must attack in Japan.
Now is not the time to hold back; now is the time to fight, he concluded.
The Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka takes place on October 08-10.
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