Hamilton keen to improve on 'terrible' run

Lewis Hamilton is burning with desire to step back onto the top step of the podium and help McLaren achieve "greatness" again.

Hamilton has so far endured a rollercoaster season that has resulted in frustration with the team's decision-making in Australia and Malaysia, a brush with the law Down Under, and a penultimate lap smash in Spain following a wheel-rim failure.



Despite claiming this season he is driving the best car McLaren have built for him, even better than his 2008 title-winner, victory continues to elude the far-from-happy 25-year-old.



For a driver so accustomed to taking the chequered flag in his first two seasons in Formula One, the last 18 months have been virtually barren by his high standards, as he has triumphed just twice in his last 24 grands prix.



It is a statistic that catches Hamilton by surprise when it is mentioned to him at McLaren's state-of-the-art Technology Centre in Woking at a promotional event for Vodafone's World of Difference programme, of which he is an ambassador.



"That's not good. That sounds terrible," Hamilton told Press Association Sport.



"There were 17 races last year, the majority of which were pretty poor because generally we had a bad car.



"This year I've been unfortunate, but this is racing. Lots of drivers go years and years without having a win or being on the podium.



"So I'm just grateful I've had some wins, and I know I'm in the early stages of my career, so hopefully I have many more to come."



Victory in Turkey in 11 days' time would certainly go some way to easing the unhappiness he is currently feeling as he readily concedes the first part of the season has been up and down.



"In terms of results it's not been a very good season for me so far. I'm not particularly happy with the results I've had, but it's been a learning experience," added Hamilton.



"I've had some great races, and it's great to know the car is competitive, as fast as some of the other guys.



"We at least have a good base to work from, and with 13 races left, there are plenty to win, and lots more points available.



"Apart from once in Spain, I've at least consistently scored points, which is a benefit. Even if you have a bad weekend and you only get one point, it could really help at the end of the year."



But it is the taste of victory again that matters most to Hamilton. He is aware the wait has been too long for a driver of his talent, and given the team behind him - one he knows is not living up to its status at present but which Hamilton remains confident will do.



"The desire to win is burning inside," insisted Hamilton.



"It's there the whole of the way through the season, even if you do have a win because you get that taste and you want to keep on getting it, so it's constantly burning.



"As a team we are also putting ourselves under extreme pressure, and we will continue to do so because that is how you achieve greatness. At least that's how I feel.



"I do feel we will get there. I reckon it's going to take a couple of races and then we will be back up there, back at the front."



Team-mate Jenson Button has at least savoured success in his debut campaign with McLaren this year, although he experienced heartbreak in Monaco on Sunday when he retired after two laps due to a simple mistake made by one member of the team.



That was when a cooling cover was left on a sidepod that covers the radiator, resulting in the engine overheating.



After Hamilton's unreliability in Barcelona, the team have let themselves down over the past two weekends, something Button is looking to be corrected in Turkey next week.



"I was happy before the last two races which were frustrating, especially Monaco with the problem I had," said Button.



"But to be leading into Monaco after five races with the team was not too bad, although I'm obviously not leading now.



"However, it's a lot easier to chase. It's a more difficult position when you're out in front because you're always looking behind to see where the others are coming from.



"But we're still in a good position, and we have a strong team here. Although we've had a couple of issues in the last two races, we have to put those behind us now and focus on the next one in Turkey.



"We've got to come with a stronger car, and we can't make any mistakes."



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Sport
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
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

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home