Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Hamilton ready to reach new level: McLaren chief

Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a sure sign of his championship-winning potential in 2012, according to McLaren team chief Martin Whitmarsh.Hamilton has endured a rollercoaster year on the Formula One circuit, and off it. Last month he also split up with long-term girlfriend and fiancee Nicole Scherzinger.

On Sunday the Englishman took full advantage of the early retirement of double world champion Sebastian Vettel to win the penultimate race of the season with comfortable aplomb.For Whitmarsh, it is a sign of great things to come.There is no reason why, in my mind, he cannot raise himself to another level now, said Whitmarsh.I think this was a great recovery from where he has been in the last few months, and he can do greater things even than this.I think he is pretty happy with this one. You can see that in him and that enables people to drive with greater confidence and to attack that little bit extra.

We are looking forward now to getting to Brazil and having another race, which is a good feeling for us all.Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso of Spain came home second for Ferrari, wiping away some of the memories of a nightmare race in 2010 when his title challenge was wrecked by strategic mistakes.In third was Jenson Button, who along with Vettel, Alonso and teammate and fellow Briton Hamilton is the only other driver to win races this season.

Whitmarsh added: This win also means both of our drivers have got three great wins apiece this year and I am sure both of them think they can make it four by the end of the season.

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