"Just one thing, guys," Lewis Hamilton began yesterday, and it wasn't hard to guess what was coming next. All talk of last week was off limits…
Last week, of course, he alleviated the disappointment of the British GP at Silverstone by running with the Olympic flame in Luton's St George's Square before letting his hair down in London and, it is alleged, upsetting his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger.
Yesterday he was all business, but he was also smiling, excited not just by the prospect of starting his 100th grand prix, but of running the significant upgrade package upon which McLaren are pinning their hopes of reversing their decline in competitiveness that was evident at Valencia and Silverstone. "It's very, very satisfying to reach 100 grands prix, it's an incredible milestone," he said.
"Starting one grand prix was a dream, and now I've got to 100. I can't really believe it. I've never known a 100 milestone before in my career. It's a great feeling, but I guess it also means that I'm getting old!"
He admitted that he doesn't remember his 50th or his 10th race, "but of course I remember the ones that I won, and I'll want to remember the first and the last".
He also hopes to remember the next two, here in Germany and next week in Hungary. Success in both is crucial to shore up his fading world championship prospects after the last two races have seen him slide from the lead in the points table to fourth place, 37 adrift of Fernando Alonso.
"They're important for us," he said. "As a team we are very aware that we have underperformed in our last two races. We have no illusions that we have a hell of a lot of work to do and they have been flat out back at the factory."Reuse content