Hamilton seeking winning finish

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton is determined to sign off his year as Formula One world champion with a win in a bid to provide the perfect platform going into next season.

McLaren star Hamilton heads into the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the driver in form, even if Jenson Button took his crown in Brazil 10 days ago.

The 24-year-old, though, has amassed 40 points from the last seven races, underlining his performances of late with a superb drive to third from 17th on the grid at Interlagos.

With the curtain set to fall on a dramatic year, Hamilton feels he has the car beneath him to see it out in style in what will be F1's first day-to-night race around the new Yas Marina circuit.

"We've had a fantastic second half of the season, and it would be perfect to end the year with a win," assessed Hamilton.

"It would send us into the winter fully motivated and pumped up for the 2010 season.

"All the signs point to Abu Dhabi being another strong track for us as there are plenty of slow corners leading onto long straights, where KERS will be very advantageous.

"Seeing as it's likely to be the last race for KERS, it would be fantastic to send it off with a perfect result.

"That would be a very fitting farewell for all the engineers who have worked so hard to make the system the best in the business."

Victory for Hamilton would likely result in McLaren obtaining their goal of finishing third in the constructors' championship after finally overhauling great rivals Ferrari in Brazil.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: "Being just one point ahead with one race remaining, means we go into the weekend fully focused on scoring the maximum possible points to consolidate our position.

"As usual, there has been no let-up in our preparations.

"We go into the race not only extremely encouraged by the improved pace we showed in Brazil, but also very optimistic the final race of the year offers us another chance to challenge for victory."

With a 500-room hotel at its heart, the circuit is poised to offer an experience unlike anything previously witnessed.

"Everything I've seen and heard about the Abu Dhabi circuit speaks of the race organisers' total passion and commitment to perfection," added Whitmarsh.

"The track already looks to have eclipsed the facilities we have anywhere else in the world.

"I'm very optimistic, like Singapore before it, the race will set a new benchmark for Formula One and open up new opportunities for the sport in the Middle East and the rest of the world."