Hamilton aggression backed despite crash

Lewis Hamilton and his McLaren team have come to Singapore to play hardball, and yesterday the 2008 world champion rubbed his hands as he surveyed inclement weather which could assist his determination to regain the points lead he lost when he crashed out on the first lap if the recent Italian GP.

"That's one of those experiences that happens in motor racing sometimes," he said of the brush with Felipe Massa's Ferrari in the second chicane during the opening lap at Monza. "It's always so disappointing, because your adrenaline is really flowing and then, immediately, it gets cut short right when you're in the heat of battle. But it's not the first time my race has ended on the first lap, and it probably won't be the last, unfortunately."

Paddock wisdom suggests that this is the race at which Red Bull will regain their aerodynamic advantage that was missing in the last two races, at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, which required only low downforce. Singapore is a street race, and therefore requires high downforce, the area in which Adrian Newey's Red Bull RB6 has been spectacularly dominant this year. Ferrari, too, have high hopes of repeating their Monza success as their car is competitive in either guise. Historically the McLaren has lacked ultimate downforce, but even that may change here.

Their chief race engineer, Phil Prew, said that the team are confident their latest aerodynamic upgrade will result in a significant improvement in high-downforce performance.

"This is a big weekend, particularly big after the difficulty we had with a lack of pace in Hungary, which is our reference for high-downforce, slow-speed tracks," he said. "And the regulations now in place over bodywork testing means it should be a level playing field," he added, referring to the belief that Red Bull and Ferrari have had to make changes (which they strongly deny) to their cars after a tightening of the rules on front-wing flexibility.

"We have some quite big upgrades but also our understanding of our car and how to exploit it, how to get downforce from the car, has improved since Hungary. So we're optimistic."

Hamilton said he had been encouraged by team principal Martin Whitmarsh's support and belief that he should not fundamentally change the attacking style that has won him races in the past but which got him into trouble at Monza. "It's always nice to hear about the support you get," he said. "But, in other ways, it actually goes without saying as I couldn't really ask for more support from my team – I know they're always behind me. You feel like you've let them down when you have a bad result, so I'll be fighting harder than ever for the rest of the season.

"I've had two non-finishes and one win in the last three races – and, while that's not bad, it does mean that I lost points to some of the other drivers in the hunt for the title. And those results aren't enough to get me the title. I'll keep pushing. I'll take each race as it comes, but I'll also be making sure I get to the finish of the next five races – that's more important than anything."

But the competitive spirit reared up again as he added an important distinction: "I'm in Singapore to win."

Singapore could be as important to F1 as Monaco

The man in charge of the Singapore Grand Prix said yesterday that he wants his race to be up there with Monaco as one of the Formula One calendar's blue riband events.

"I want to see this race institutionalised, so that we are a Monaco, and an absolute must for Formula One," the executive director Michael Roche said. "We got very flattered in recent years when people used terms like a 'Jewel in the Crown' or the 'Monaco of the East' and things like that, but you cannot be complacent about it. You are only as good as yesterday gave you." Roche stressed, however, that the ultimate aim was not to challenge or emulate the Monaco race, but to create a unique position for Singapore in its own right.

Although Singapore was at the epicentre of motor racing's biggest scandal when the former team principal of Renault, Flavio Briatore, was instrumental in rigging the outcome of the inaugural race in 2008, the Singapore Grand Prix is one of the Formula One teams' favourites.

David Tremayne

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain