Hamilton reaping rewards of summer

Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Lewis Hamilton feels the inspiration for his Formula One world title tilt came from playing it cool over the summer.

Hamilton headed into F1’s three-week summer break in August on the back of a double-whammy after a crash in qualifying in Germany and then a car fire in qualifying in Hungary.

Despite battling back to finish third in both races, the 29-year-old must have thought it was not to be his year.

What followed on in Belgium when he was forced to retire following a collision with Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg added to his woes.

But a much calmer Hamilton this year refused to let the issues get under his skin, and he has since battled back to win the last five races and open up a 24-point lead over Rosberg.

Looking back on the platform for his run of success, Hamilton said of his summer: “I just enjoyed time with family and friends, and every now and then I put in some training to make sure I didn’t put on weight.

“I didn’t go out partying during the whole break, I was getting eight or nine hours sleep every night, feeling fresh and eating well, with my body clock on a constant regime. That was really it.

“So going into Spa, even though I had that big hit, that energy boost I got from that three-week break helped me follow through from there.”

A second world title now beckons, but it is still far from job done as Rosberg proved on Friday by finishing quickest in both practice sessions for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

On both the medium-compound tyre in the first run and soft rubber in FP2, Rosberg was quicker by just over two tenths of a second on each occasion.

Not that Hamilton was perturbed by that, adding: “The car felt good.

“There are a few improvements we can make, but I just didn’t manage to put a lap together. That’s not a big issue though.

“It was just practice, so that’s what we’re out there trying to do.”

For Jenson Button, though, the day was a problematic one as an ERS (energy recovery store) failure consigned him to the garage all bar one installation lap in FP1, putting him on the backfoot in FP2.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso also ran into trouble as a power unit at the end of its life resulted in his car bursting into flames 20 minutes from the end of FP2.

Off track the day was dominated by news Marussia have ceased trading with the loss of 200 jobs as a buyer was unable to be found after the Banbury-based marque was placed in administration on October 27.

Caterham, meanwhile, have announced a crowdfunding project designed to get them on the grid for the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi.

Finbarr O’Connell, who works for administrator Smith & Williamson, remains confident a permanent deal can be struck by the end of next week that will save the team from following Marussia into extinction.

Regarding a buyer, O’Connell told Press Association Sport: “There is one in particular that is an interesting option which is a Middle-Eastern family.

“We’ve interest from other parts of the world, but knowing the next race is in Abu Dhabi, that is of particular interest to them.”

“If it (the team) is not sold by Abu Dhabi, or we’re not on the verge of signing, then it is likely it will be the end for them.

“But I still believe it is more than likely the team will race in Abu Dhabi.”

Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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