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Page last updated at 16:25 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 17:25 UK

Hamilton confident ahead of Spain

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton's 13th place in Bahrain was his lowest in Grands Prix

Lewis Hamilton is optimistic about getting his season back on track by challenging for victory at the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona on 27 April.

Hamilton's error-strewn weekend in Bahrain saw the 23-year-old lose his lead in the drivers' standings to reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

"Looking into the next race I feel very confident we can do a better job," said the McLaren driver.

"The car is feeling better and I feel a little bit more comfortable in it."

Following his triumph in Australia on the opening weekend of the season and a fifth place finish in Malaysia, Hamilton endured a forgettable time in Bahrain in early April.

The Englishman crashed in practice, stalled on the grid at the start of the race, ploughed into the back of former team-mate Fernando Alonso and then finished 13th, the lowest position of his Grand Prix career.

But the Circuit de Catalunya, where Hamilton was racially abused by spectators during pre-season testing, offers the first opportunity to compete on European soil this season.


"It's great to be back in Europe," he said. "This is when it really starts getting busy, and you are closer to home so it's a great feeling.

"You are also closer to the team, so I think we can be a bit more productive when we are back here."

McLaren, who trail BMW Sauber and Ferrari in the constructors' world championship, have been testing new parts on their MP4-23 in Barcelona this week in a bid to edge them back in front of their rivals.

"There were a few bits, not a lot, but we definitely made some steps forward," Hamilton added.

"I think at this test everyone is doing something different. Some people are running slick tyres and some are running grooves.

"We feel quite strong here."

see also
I've let down the team - Hamilton
07 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Massa wins as Hamilton stumbles
06 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton unhurt in Bahrain crash
04 Apr 08 |  Formula One
Raikkonen eases to Malaysia win
23 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton wins dramatic F1 opener
16 Mar 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton saddened by racist abuse
04 Feb 08 |  Formula One

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