Lewis Hamilton has got himself into the groove for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix by cutting tracks in a Los Angeles recording studio.
The Mercedes driver, subdued and preoccupied at the last race in Germany after his break-up with American singer Nicole Scherzinger, appeared more at ease at the Hungaroring on Thursday and was ready to dispel some rumours.
“I haven’t been writing love songs, as some people have been suggesting, to win anyone back,” he told reporters when the conversation turned towards his recent musical activities.
“It is just something I really enjoy doing and something that I am actually really, really good at,” he said. “There are loads of great studios in LA but that is the best one I have been to. The sound is incredible. It’s good fun.”
The world may never hear the results but the day job is what really matters and Hamilton arrived in Budapest ready for action.
The 2008 world champion has won three times at the circuit outside the capital – with only the now-retired Michael Schumacher boasting a better record there – and arrives chasing a third successive pole position.
New tyres introduced by Pirelli may make the task more difficult, with the Mercedes suffering heavy rear degradation in hot conditions, but Hamilton made it clear that he was in the right frame of mind.
“The break was too long. I just really missed being in the car. Particularly this week I have been really excited about getting back in the car,” he said.
“I had time to really think about how well the season has gone for me. Everyone was talking me down at the beginning of the year. So many things said about whether it was right or wrong decisions, whether it was a silly mistake.
“But the team and I have constantly proved everyone wrong, race by race. We are second in the constructors’ championship which is a massive boost. I feel privileged and grateful that I have been able to contribute to that.”
Hamilton’s team mate Nico Rosberg has won twice so far this season while Hamilton has yet to stand on the top step of the podium since his move from McLaren at the end of last year.
He has, however, had three third places and is fourth in the championship, 58 points behind Red Bull’s overall leader Sebastian Vettel after nine of 19 races.
“I would never have thought we would have been in such a competitive position – still within shooting distance of both championships,” said the Briton.
“I come here positive because I know that the car has been improved for the weekend and knowing that after being on pole at the last race we can have a fighting chance of doing the same again. Whether we will win is yet to be seen.”
Mercedes were not allowed to take part in a young driver test, expanded to regular race drivers if they were testing tyres, at Silverstone last week as punishment for their own ‘secret’ session with Pirelli in Spain in May.
Hamilton expected the team to need all three practice sessions to get fully up to speed with the new tyres which marry the 2012 structure and 2013 compounds to prevent the scary blowouts seen in last month’s British Grand Prix.
“I am pretty sure we are going to be doing long runs in all of them to try and get an understanding of tyre temperatures and other stuff which is going to be totally different,” he said. “The others definitely have an advantage.
“It is just (a question of) whether the tyres are going to work in our favour…hopefully we will be able to keep the pace up a little bit more and fight for higher positions than fifth.” (Reuters)
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