McLaren's Brits ponder London GP prospect
Fri, 29 Jun 2012 11:56a.m.
The 2012 Formula One season has been enthralling viewing.
Eight races and seven different winners has led to one of the most open - and incident packed - seasons the sport has seen.
With the British Grand Prix just ten days away, McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were in the Royal Automobile Club on Thursday (28th June) reflecting on the season so far, looking ahead to their "home" race, and speculating about a prospect sure to capture the imagination of plenty of formula one fans - a potential race through the iconic streets of London.
Button has never won on home soil, something he is keen to amend, but was clear that the huge support that McLaren and both drivers receive annually at the British Grand Prix, leads him to believe that the more races staged on British soil, the better.
Hamilton won at Silverstone back in 2008 - the year he lifted the drivers Championship - and with a fondness for both the British crowd and street circuits such as Monaco, he was hugely enthusiastic about a potential London race.
While McLaren sponsors Santander had concocted a potential route past some of London's most famous landmarks, it is unclear whether this plan will ever come to fruition, and in the meantime, the drivers need to concentrate on their next outing - the British Grand Prix at Silverstone early next month.
With all eyes due to be on London and the Olympic games later in July, British sport is certainly on a high this year and Button admits that the huge and vocal support that he and Hamilton receive at Silverstone never fails to give them a boost.
The drivers Championship itself remains wide open.
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso became the first driver to pick up a second win of the season and leads the overall standings on 111 points, but the top of the table is congested and Hamilton believes it's the most competitive season that he's been involved in.
Hamilton won in Canada and has finished third on three occasions so far this season, but botched pit stops and a fuel issue in qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix have cost him points and places.
A collision with Williams driver Pastor Maldonado effectively cost him third place in the European Grand Prix in Valencia with just three laps of the race remaining.
Despite all of that, McLaren have been on the front row of the grid in every race and Hamilton believes that they will continue to challenge and that the results will eventually come their way.
Button has also not been without his problems.
An alarming drop in form has seen him take just six points in his last five outings, having started the season on a high when he cruised to victory in Melbourne.
But the experienced driver also believes that a return to form lies ahead and is confident that his form will improve at Silverstone.
Double defending Champion Sebastian Vettel currently lies fourth in the standings, and with his Redbull contact up at the end of the season, there has been speculation that he is set to join Alonso at Ferrari in 2013.
Ferrari has traditionally been a team with a clear number one driver, but Hamilton believes that if it can work at McLaren with two equal drivers, there is no reason why other teams wouldn't thrive in the same situation.
Hamilton was unwilling to speculate on his own future past the end of this season.
His contract with McLaren is in it's final year, but he described negotiations as a distractions, and was adamant that in a season as competitive as this one, he was keen to just focus on his driving.
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