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Page last updated at 18:24 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 19:24 UK

Hamilton upbeat for Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton is out to get his season back on track at Silverstone

Lewis Hamilton says he is happy with improvements to his McLaren ahead of next weekend's British Grand Prix.

Around 10,000 fans attended Thursday's final test at Silverstone before the 6 July race, giving Hamilton a taste of the fervour for British success.

"Today's test was really encouraging," he said after completing 88 laps.

"The changes we've made have really improved the car which feels strong around here. I can't wait to be racing in front of my home crowd again."

Hamilton, hoping to bounce back from two disappointing races in France and Canada where he suffered penalties, set the fastest time of the week with a lap of one minute 19.170 seconds.

"Driving into Silverstone this morning felt really cool," he said.

"I couldn't believe how many fans were at the track so early in the morning. They're pretty special, the most dedicated F1 supporters in the world.

"Whilst I couldn't say hi to all of them, their support always gives me a special lift."

The Golden Boots of Fernando Torres

Hamilton will be back on track next Friday for practice in front of a 65,000 crowd, followed by further sell-outs of 85,000 on Saturday for qualifying, and then 90,000 on race day.

The majority will all be hoping for a Hamilton win following his recent problems which have left him 10 points adrift of Ferrari's Felipe Massa in the drivers' championship.

He managed to steer clear of further trouble on Thursday, which saw several incidents including Timo Glock running into David Coulthard.

Glock was second quickest in his Toyota, and the only other driver to post a sub 80-second lap this week with a time of 1:19.815.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was over a second down on Hamilton, with Fernando Alonso in his Renault fourth quickest.

Coulthard's Red Bull spent most of the day being repaired because of the damage suffered in the collision with Glock.

When he eventually emerged late in the day, the Scot managed a further four laps before smoke emerged from the back of the car to end his session.

see also
Hamilton 'must focus on driving'
24 Jun 08 |  Formula One
Defiant Hamilton vows to fight on
22 Jun 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton feeling heat of F1 fight
18 Jun 08 |  Formula One
Crash penalty is harsh - Hamilton
10 Jun 08 |  Formula One

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