Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Motor Racing: Hamilton Happy with Progress; Motor Sport Lewis Eyes Repeat Victory in Montreal CANADIAN GRAND PRIX

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Motor Racing: Hamilton Happy with Progress; Motor Sport Lewis Eyes Repeat Victory in Montreal CANADIAN GRAND PRIX

Article excerpt

LEWIS HAMILTON returns to the scene of his maiden Formula One win tomorrow believing he has matured and grown stronger as a driver in the intervening year.

After a run of five successive podium finishes to start his rookie year, Hamilton finally clambered onto the top step in Canada after starting from pole for the first time.

It was an unforgettable weekend for Hamilton as he truly made his mark on the sport, proving beyond all doubt he was a genuine title contender.

Twelve months on and Hamilton is back in Montreal in possession of the lead in the world championship following his stirring victory in Monaco a fortnight ago.

It was a triumph Hamilton described as the highlight of his career to date, and potentially the highlight of his life.

Hamilton certainly produced a performance to underline his belief he has changed since that heady day in Canada last June.

The 23-year-old overcame an early slide into a wall, sustaining a puncture, and treacherously wet conditions to take the chequered flag.

"As I said at the time, winning at Monaco is the highlight of my career," said Hamilton.

"It was a very emotional victory for me as it is something I have dreamed of since I was a kid.

"I will never forget the moment, but now my only focus with the team is Canada, one of my favourite tracks.

"Following my debut win there it is a very special place for me.

"Last year was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, to take my maiden pole and victory in Formula One was incredible.

"It would be great to go back there and do the same, and that is what we are working hard to achieve.

"Since then I think I've matured a lot, grown stronger as a driver and have become closer to the team." And although Hamilton is looking forward to his return he will certainly go into the race with his feet on the ground because he will know he has achieved nothing yet this season.

But in holding a three-point lead over Kimi Raikkonen, he added: "We have good momentum right now and we are pushing to keep that going and to keep developing. "I just hope we will be quick there again this year, although it is a circuit renowned for its difficult surfaces and the walls "Despite being very fast, it can feel like a street circuit with the barriers very close. …

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