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Lewis Hamilton targets competitive start to 2011

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton accuses Renault of hold-up tactics

Lewis Hamilton said McLaren aimed to be strong from the start in 2011 after he and Jenson Button finished second and third in the season's final grand prix.

"It's not been the most spectacular season for us," admitted Hamilton, who won three grands prix in 2010.

"But we ended it on really quite a high, for us both be on the podium and to clinch second in the constructors.

"Hopefully next year our car will be even better and we'll be able to compete from the first race onwards."

Hamilton, champion in 2008, finished fourth in the drivers' championship. Last year's world champion Button, who won two races, was fifth.

Hamilton added: "We would have liked to have had a better year. Jenson and me have been pushing the team all year long, and they never gave up, so I'm very, very proud of them.

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Hamilton had hoped to fight for victory in Abu Dhabi with race-winner - and new world champion - Sebastian Vettel.

But after chasing the German closely through the first part of the race his hopes were ended when he came out from his pit stop behind Renault's Robert Kubica.

Hamilton suggested Renault had helped Red Bull - who use Renault engines - by holding up the McLarens during the course of the race.

"It was impossible to get past [Renault driver Robert] Kubica, he made it as difficult as it could be, so I guess that's what happens when you have a couple of other 'step-teams' in the field," he said.

The Pole rejected that, saying he was driving his own race.

Jenson Button

Button 'had a good year'

Button was also pleased to have ended the season on a strong note after a difficult period for the former world champion.

"It was great to be on the podium with Lewis and also the new world champion," he said.

"Losing the number one from the car hurts a little bit, but it also makes you hungry. While he [Vettel] is out partying over the next few days, we will be at the factory making sure the car is quicker next year.

"Sundays have been great for me, but Saturdays I have to work on. I know that. We will be back next year."

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh paid tribute to Vettel's drive at the Yas Marina circuit.

Whitmarsh said: "Overall we can't be too disappointed. Red Bull had a quick car all year and Sebastian has certainly done a great job of closing the season off.

Robert Kubica

Kubica plays down role in title race

"This evening's podium was a significant one from a historic perspective: the three most recent world champions, standing shoulder to shoulder.

"It shouldn't be forgotten that we notched up 33 world championship points, which is more than any other team scored today.

"That more than consolidated our second position in the constructors' world championship, lifting us a comfortable 58 points clear of our friends at Ferrari.

"We're delighted to have beaten them in 2010; let battle commence again in 2011."



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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

RaceLast updated: 15 Nov 2012 12:34 UK
Position Country Driver Race Time
1 germany S Vettel 1:39:36.837
2 great britain L Hamilton 1:39:46.999
3 great britain J Button 1:39:47.884
4 germany N Rosberg 1:40:07.584
5 poland R Kubica 1:40:15.863
6 russian federation V Petrov 1:40:20.357
7 spain F Alonso 1:40:20.634
8 australia M Webber 1:40:21.080
9 spain J Alguersuari 1:40:27.038
10 brazil F Massa 1:40:27.705


see also
Alonso defends strategy decision
14 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Webber downbeat as title bid ends
14 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel win seals maiden F1 title
14 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Abu Dhabi GP as it happened
14 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix photos
14 Nov 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel storms to Abu Dhabi pole
13 Nov 10 |  Formula 1


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