Hamilton ready to take down German in chilly Shanghai

09:19, April 16, 2010      

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Dethroned world champion Lewis Hamilton loves his new MP4-25 and is aching to show Germany's golden boy Sebastian Vettel who is the boss this weekend at the Chinese Grand Prix.

"Vettel is a great driver, and he has a great chance of winning this weekend, but we're going to do the best job we can to beat them," the McLaren-Mercedes driver said yesterday during a tour of the UK pavilion at Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Lewis, who handed his 2008 crown over to teammate Jenson Button at the tail-end of last season in Brazil, admits the McLarens are playing second fiddle to Red Bull Renault this year but predicts this set of affairs will not last.

"They've got an extremely competitive car and I think everyone is just trying to catch up with them in general," he said. "But they don't have the best reliability, so that's what all the other teams are kind of relying on at the moment. We're all pushing as hard as we can to beat them."

McLaren still has a five-point advantage over Red Bull in the constructor's championship while Ferrari is sitting comfortably ahead of both teams. Ferrari also has drivers Felipe Massa of Brazil (39 points) and Spain's Fernando Alonso (37) at the top of the standings. Vettel also has 37 while Hamilton trails him by six.

But while Vettel is on fire right now after claiming the previous race in Malaysia, as well as triumphing here in Shanghai last year, so is Hamilton - who won in Shanghai the year before.

Both drivers impressed two weeks ago in Sepang: the German by racing from third to pole and the Brit by getting up to sixth from 20th after the wet weather soured his qualifying chances.

Hamilton said he was praying for sunshine on Sunday despite forecasts of showers after he came unstuck here by the weather last time round.

"I mean last year here I remember driving, and the car was not so good, and it rained. I got quite high up, but it wasn't a good race," he said. "This year we've got a much better car. It's very competitive in both conditions. So I hope it's dry, but I can't believe how cold it is."

Temperatures in the city dropped as low as 2 degrees Celsius last night but will keep rising from today until after the race, one of Hamilton's favorites.

Hamilton, who is looking to beat his third-place finish at the curtain-raiser in Bahrain, said he did not follow Button's example by tweaking the MP4-25 back in Woking, England, last week to help balance it out.

"No, I'd already done the work before the last race," he said. "We have worked on the set up of the car, and we have made a few changes, but nothing - you probably won't even notice."

Source:China Daily


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