F1: Hamilton Does U-turn After Writing Off 2011 Title Photo:
Mike Stevens | Jun, 29 2011 | 0 Comments

Lewis Hamilton had a change of heart after writing off his world championship chances in Valencia.

The McLaren driver as well as Ferrari's Fernando Alonso had played down their hopes of chasing down runaway championship leader Sebastian Vettel in 2011.

"It's finished really, in the sense of the championship it's almost over already," said Hamilton.

But a day later, the 26-year-old appeared to point his finger at the media.

"To all our supporters, ignore what you read in the papers today. My team will never give up and I will never give up!" Hamilton wrote on Twitter on Monday.

British journalists were unimpressed, including the Sunday Express' Bob McKenzie who presumed Hamilton had woken on Monday morning "with a flea in his ear from McLaren".

And the Telegraph's Tom Cary said "a night's sleep seemingly restored Hamilton's fighting qualities".

But realistically, many observers think Hamilton was right in the first instance, L'Equipe claiming Vettel is now "alone in the championship".

Said Hamilton's teammate Jenson Button: "Silverstone is not going to be a better circuit for us.

"Let's hope (British tennis player) Andy (Murray) does a good job this weekend (at Wimbledon) then there won't be so much pressure on us."



Buemi moves under spotlight at Toro Rosso - reports

Sebastien Buemi is now the Toro Rosso driver under pressure after two strong races by his teammate Jaime Alguersuari.

Alguersuari was besieged at Valencia by widespread speculation that he will soon lose his race cockpit to the promising Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

But he ran strongly to eighth place in both Canada and Spain, and the AS and Blick newspapers now believe it is Swiss Buemi who is most at risk of losing his seat.

"With these two races he has secured his year and his future," the Faenza based team's boss Franz Tost is quoted as saying, referring to Alguersuari.

Veteran Blick correspondent Roger Benoit wrote: "Must the Swiss (Buemi) now tremble?"

Ferrari test driver and Alguersuari's countryman Marc Gene agrees that the Spaniard has looked stronger of late.

"Previously his big problem was understanding the behaviour of the tyres, but his pace is now impressive. Valencia was a super result when he needed it the most."

Alguersuari, 21, is quoted by El Mundo newspaper: "My goal is to finish races, score points and be ahead of my teammate."



Brawn asks Rosberg to have faith in Mercedes' future

Nico Rosberg may be losing patience with Mercedes' lagging form.

The German moved from Williams last year expecting to fight for wins with the famous marque, but - while he has shown the way to Michael Schumacher - Mercedes is not yet ready to challenge the 'big three' teams.

"It can not go on like this," Bild newspaper quotes the veteran of almost 100 grands prix, who turned 26 on Monday, as saying after Valencia.

He added: "I have spoken with Ross (Brawn) and Norbert (Haug) and they have a clear plan about how to get this team back to the front."

But Rosberg's strong form against Schumacher has reportedly attracted the attention of faster teams, moving boss Brawn to admit Mercedes might have to fight to keep him.

"Well, I guess I am asking for his faith," the Briton told F1's official website, "and asking him what he sees.

"I am sure it is a frustration for him and he is definitely a driver good enough to win races. So it is up to us to prove to him that we know what we are doing -- and we are getting there.

"We have faith in him and I hope he has faith in us -- that's the basis we have to work on. I hope he stays in our boat because our boat is getting there!" added Brawn.



Manager insists Schumacher's 2012 seat secure

Michael Schumacher's manager insists the seven time world champion is staying at Mercedes next year.

After a strong race in Canada, speculation about the 42-year-old's future returned when he finished a lowly seventeenth last Sunday at Valencia.

At the Spanish port venue, team boss Ross Brawn was quoted as suggesting Schumacher's contract actually covers only 2010 and 2011, with the famous German in control of a one-year 'option' for 2012.

But Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm told DPA that the subsequent media reports were wrong.

"The interpretation that has been applied is wrong," she said.

"Michael's contract for 2012 is secure -- he has a three-year contract."

Mercedes' motor racing vice-president Norbert Haug agreed: "Michael has said it himself that he has signed a three-year contract with Mercedes GP, and I acknowledge that."


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