• Indian Grand Prix

Hamilton confident of another competitive showing

ESPNF1 Staff
October 27, 2011 « 'We all take a certain risk', says Vettel | Ferrari to take more risks - Alonso »
Lewis Hamilton fancies his chances at the new Buddh International Circuit © Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is confident McLaren will be competitive at the Indian Grand Prix as he believes the new circuit bears a resemblance to Korea, where he returned to form two weeks ago.

Hamilton qualified on pole position in Korea, but lost out to Sebastian Vettel on the first lap and ended up in a tight battle with Mark Webber for second. Nevertheless, it was his first podium in five races and he's positive his car will be strong again in India.

"It looks just the same as Korea in terms of setup," he said of the new circuit. "I think the characteristics of our car will suit the track just as they did in Korea. Perhaps a little bit better with high-speed downforce, because we have pretty good high-speed downforce. I think we could be in a good position."

Despite finishing 12 seconds down on Vettel, Hamilton feels he could have enjoyed a closer fight had he not lost a position to the Red Bull on the first lap. He also blamed pieces of rubber stuck on his front wing for his slow pace towards the end of the race.

"I was able to hold on to Sebastian for quite some time, so I think if I was ahead maybe I would have been able to stay ahead," he said. "But once I got all that stuff in my front wing I lost quite a lot of downforce and I really struggled, particularly in the last sector."

McLaren team-mate Jenson Button is also confident the car should suit the new Buddh International Circuit, which he believes has the potential to provide some exciting racing.

"It's an unusual layout for a Tilke circuit," Button said. "It's fast, which is great, and I think it looks very exciting. In the simulator it's good fun and I'm hoping it's fun in reality. You've got some very low-speed corners and I think they've done a great job having a nice wide entrance so that you have the opportunity to overtake. Then the apex and exit is very slow, and with slow apex speeds overtaking is easier. Then you've got a lot of high-speed corners which is good - you don't see enough of them these days and what they've done with them here is great. It'll be a great challenge and our car seems to work well in high-speed corners at the moment."