Button, Hamilton keen to win Indian GP

New Delhi: McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button said that they are keen to win the inaugural Indian Grand Prix and the remaining two races of the season so that they can lay a strong base for next year.

The Red Bull is placed at the top of the table with 558 points followed by McLaren Mercedes at 418 points and both the drivers feel that they can turn the tables around in 2012.

"Red Bull has already won the championship this year but we were pretty close to them. We would be looking at winning the last couple of races so that in the next season we can have a good base.”

"We are working very hard and always pushing ourselves. We are the second best team in the last two years. I hope we would be able do well in the last few races. We are looking to win here as well," said Hamilton on the sidelines of a promotional event.

Button added: "It is important for us to end on a high. There is no reason why we can`t take the fight to Red Bull. We`ve matched them at the last few races and I hope that trend continues until the end of the year.”

"Although the world titles are settled, we`re incredibly motivated to win every race and if you win a Grand Prix in F1, you know you`ve done a great job. That`s what we`re aiming for in India."

McLaren will be looking to close the gap between them and rivals Red Bull by upgrading their car for the Indian Grand Prix this Sunday.

The 2008 world champion Hamilton said that he was quite surprised to see the hype of the Formula One in India and hopes that it will match cricket in terms of popularity. "Cricket is the most popular sport in this country as the team has done well but I don`t think we ever expected there to be such a great following from Formula One fans and now I am sure that even F1 will achieve that kind of a popularity," Hamilton said.

"I hope the people here enjoy the race and we would be looking to put up the best show here," said the 26-year-old British driver.

Button, second in the leader board behind Red Bull`s Sebastian Vettel, said that since Indian team -- Sahara Force India -- and Indian drivers are in the circuit, the local crowd would be even more keen.

"Since Force India and Indian drivers in Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandok are already associated with F1, it is going to be interesting for the local spectators."

Hailing Karthikeyan, Button said that the Indian driver was really "fast".

"Karthikeyan is really talented and drives really fast but he has got one of the slowest cars and no doubt that it is tough for him."

Button said that he thought that the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida was interesting.

"The track seems interesting. It is always going to be different. It is a bit up and down and quite slow to begin with and then fast for the remainder of the lap. There are quite a few corners and some sharp turns, so it is going to be pretty tight," said Button.

The winner of the Canada, Hungary and Japan Grand Prix, Button said that he has been enjoying the Indian cuisines and loved the celebrations on Diwali night.

"Food has been phenomenal here. I love the dry curries that I had but I am consciously avoiding all spicy stuff. It was pretty fascinating to see the fireworks on Diwali night."


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