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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report


Hamilton puts the pressure on Alonso

Alan Baldwin | June 13, 2007 21:15 IST

Rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton [Images] can stretch his championship lead and add to the discomfort of McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso [Images] in Sunday's US Grand Prix.

The 22-year-old Briton is on a high after celebrating the first victory of a debut season in Formula One that is already exhausting the stock of superlatives with just six races completed.

"Going into Indy, obviously I go there with great confidence," said Hamilton after winning in Canada [Images] last weekend. "We have to try and continue with the performance that we have and I have no doubt we can do that."

Hamilton has never raced at Indianapolis before but Alonso knows the same applied to Montreal, where the youngster led from pole position.

The double world champion is eight points behind and, judging from comments to Spanish reporters this week, not enjoying the experience.

Indianapolis has done Alonso no favours in the past and is the only circuit on the current calendar where he has yet to stand on the podium.

Last year's fifth place was the first time the Spaniard had finished at The Brickyard but McLaren are dominant at present and Hamilton, with six podiums from his first six races, expects his team mate to be fired up.

"At the end of the day, he's the two-time world champion and he'll bounce back without a doubt and I'm sure he'll be extremely quick in the next race," said the Briton. 

Indianapolis last year also heralded the start of an aggressive fightback by Ferrari [Images] and now-retired seven times champion Michael Schumacher [Images], who went on to wipe out a 25-point deficit before Alonso finally prevailed.

Ferrari finished one-two at the U.S. circuit last year but Finland's Kimi Raikkonen [Images] is now 21 points behind Hamilton while third-placed Brazilian Felipe Massa [Images] is 15 adrift.

"Indy has been a good circuit for Ferrari in the past, so I am really looking forward to next weekend," said Raikkonen on his web site (www.kimiraikkonen.com).

Ferrari have won the last five US Grands Prix and six of the seven held at Indianapolis since 2000.

BMW Sauber could also be a threat, with Germany's [Images] Nick Heidfeld second in Montreal, although they will have to wait until Thursday to be sure of Robert Kubica's participation.

The Polish driver emerged unscathed from an horrific crash in Montreal but must still pass a mandatory fitness test in Indianapolis.

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