Lewis Hamilton: China '07 Won't Haunt Me

Adam PooleAnalyst IOctober 15, 2008

Lewis Hamilton remains un-fazed by last year's Chinese Grand Prix incident, in which an error in the pit lane saw Hamilton park his McLaren into a gravel trap. He went on to lose the title to Kimi Raikkonen by one point after Interlagos.

With a five-point cushion over Massa as he heads to China, Hamilton insists that China '07 will be the last thing on his mind.

In a team preview, Lewis was asked if images of China last year still haunted him. He quickly replied, "No, not really. Sometimes I’ve been on YouTube and seen a video clip or a picture of me in the gravel last year and thought, ‘Damn! That shouldn’t have happened.’ But it was a learning mistake."

Last week we saw McLaren CEO Martin Whitmarsh and Hamilton say they would be heading into Fuji with a "conservative attitude."  Despite this, Lewis headed into turn one and spectacularly locked his front wheels, forcing himself and Raikkonen wide, resulting in a drive-through penalty for the 23-year-old English driver.

Speaking about this weekend's race, Whitmarsh has said, "For qualifying, you want to have a suitably aggressive strategy; otherwise you are not going to be in the race.

"Then, as the race develops, you are afforded the possibility to become slightly more circumspect to ensure you’re scoring the points you need to fight for the world championship."

Whitmarsh also added that he thinks the difference between the performance of McLaren and Ferrari will be unnoticeable this weekend.

"As this season has progressed, it’s become increasingly difficult to characterize the circuits that favor ourselves or favor Ferrari. This is a result of both teams, understandably, addressing some of the weaknesses of their cars."

Lewis could claim the drivers championship in China if he finishes the race with a lead of 11 or more over Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica. The constructors championship could also be won this weekend by Ferrari if they finish with more than 13 points between them.