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Page last updated at 07:21 GMT, Wednesday, 20 August 2008 08:21 UK

Consistency is key, says Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton has been in a rich run of form in recent races

Lewis Hamilton believes he and his McLaren team will have to eliminate mistakes if he is to win the Formula One world title this season.

He leads the championship from Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen by five points as the season resumes in Valencia this weekend after a summer break.

"Every driver who has won a race has also failed to score on at least two other occasions," said the Englishman.

"I think we'll see consistency becoming crucial towards the end of the season."

Hamilton heads into this weekend's European Grand Prix on the Spanish's city's new street circuit hoping to make up for his disappointment in the previous race in Hungary.

Hamilton was fighting for victory with Ferrari's Felipe Massa at the Hungaroring when he suffered a puncture and had to settle for fifth place.

The race was even worse for the Brazilian, whose engine broke three laps from the end.

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Had he won, Massa would have been leading the title chase. As it is, he is in third place - eight points behind Hamilton.

"That made it really clear to us all how important it is to finish races and pick up good points," stated Hamilton.

"So, much as I want to win in Valencia, I know the most important thing is to score well because the big picture is the championship and not just once race."

Nevertheless, the 23-year-old will be favourite to win going into the weekend.

He has been in dominant form on all the street circuits so far this season, winning in Australia and at Monaco, and outpacing his rivals in Canada before crashing into Raikkonen in the pit lane.

After a mid-season slump, when a poor performance in France followed his error in Canada, Hamilton and McLaren have also been the form pairing over the last few races.

Formula Three cars race on the new Valencia street circuit, which hosts its inaugural Grand Prix this weekend
The Valencia track is expected to be an unusually fast street circuit
He won brilliantly in both Britain and Germany and, despite a strong resurgence from Ferrari in Hungary, was in a close battle with Massa before hitting trouble.

The Valencia track, with 25 corners that wind around the America's Cup marina, looks set to be unusually fast and wide for a street track.

It also appears to offer more overtaking opportunities than is usual on this type of circuit.

"It looks pretty fast," added Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, who took his maiden victory following Massa's retirement in Hungary.

"You get used to street circuits being quite slow, with lots of slow-to-medium-speed corners and very short straights but this is almost the opposite.

"There are a lot of fast kinks and esses, a couple of decent straights and lots of high-speed stuff.

"It's too early to say whether there will be opportunities to overtake around here but there are a couple of hairpins where it might be possible."

Follow live coverage of the European Grand Prix on the BBC Sport website and 5 Live. Qualifying starts at 1300 BST on Saturday, with the race 24 hours later.


see also
Hamilton sees positives in defeat
03 Aug 08 |  Formula One
Kovalainen claims maiden victory
03 Aug 08 |  Formula One


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