Hamilton eyes back-to-back wins
Lewis Hamilton is hoping his victory in Belgium 11 days ago is the forerunner to an end-of-season push for the Formula One title.
Hamilton grabbed his third win of the season in Spa to edge him a precarious three points ahead of Red Bull's Mark Webber at the top of the drivers' standings.
Heading into this weekend's race in Italy, their nearest rivals in Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso will be eager to make up ground lost in Belgium.
For one reason or another, none of the trio scored a point between them in the Ardennes, leaving Vettel in third place 31 points down on Hamilton who is 35 clear of Button and 41 ahead of Alonso.
The historic Monza circuit should play to McLaren's strengths given its long straights punctuated by tight chicanes prior to the circus then facing the long haul of five fly-away races.
After achieving back-to-back victories once this season - in Turkey and Canada - Hamilton is eager to repeat the feat on Sunday.
"I've made no secret of my wish to win this race," said Hamilton.
"Monza is an incredible circuit, full of history and stories from the past.
"It has a special feeling in the air you don't find anywhere else in the world.
"It's a circuit that inspires you to race at your limit, and I'll be pushing hard all weekend."
Hamilton knows he has the team behind him to propel him to further success and help him complete his mission of winning on the sport's four most historic tracks - Monaco, Silverstone, Spa and Monza, the first three already in the bag.
"Our victory in Belgium showed that, as a team, we never give up, and that we'll always bounce back from adversity feeling stronger and more determined than before," added Hamilton.
"This team has such an incredible fighting spirit. We strive to win, and I hope Spa is only the start of a run of stronger form for us as we head into the final races of the championship."
Team principal Martin Whitmarsh, however, has warned victory in Monza is now foregone conclusion as many are perhaps expecting.
"Even though, on paper, the Monza circuit's characteristics appear to suit our package, developing a car that performs well on one of the most unique venues on the Formula One calendar is no easy job," said Whitmarsh.
"The low-downforce, extreme high-speed nature of Monza demands its own bespoke aero package, and getting that downforce level correct is not as straightforward as it seems.
"We require a complex number of mechanical and aerodynamic variables to work harmoniously if we are to provide both Jenson and Lewis with front-running machinery this weekend."
Hamilton's win, though, has at least raised morale within the team after the despondency felt during the summer break following their trouncing by Red Bull in the previous race in Hungary.
"Lewis' victory at Spa was perfectly timed, and has substantially motivated the entire workforce ahead of these closing races," added Whitmarsh.
"After Jenson's unfortunate failure to finish in Belgium, we are determined to reignite his championship push to get him back into the hunt for the drivers' title.
"It's no secret there's a tremendous amount of fight in this team, and I'm proud of every single person's efforts to provide us with a winning edge.
"We know how to win races and world championships, and clearly we will again be pushing for victory this weekend."
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