SAU PAULO // Lewis Hamilton is ready to revel in Sao Paulo's samba-fueled party atmosphere this year. The Brazilian Grand Prix has seen Hamilton embroiled in a world championship fight in the last two seasons, losing out in 2007 prior to taking the crown in dramatic fashion a year ago. Twelve months on, the McLaren star is simply an interested spectator as his potential successor for the drivers' title slug it out at Interlagos on Sunday.
McLaren's abysmal start to the campaign has denied Hamilton, 24, the chance of being in the title shake-up along with Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello and Sebastian Vettel. But it leaves the British driver able to soak up more of Sao Paulo and Interlagos, one of motor racing's respected and renowned circuits. "I'm really looking forward to this year's Brazilian Grand Prix, said Hamilton. "It will be the first time I've been in Sao Paulo without being in contention for the world championship.
"I'm actually looking forward to taking in a bit more of the city and relaxing and enjoying the experience. "One of the greatest things about racing at Interlagos is the crowd. There's such a great atmosphere. The fans have so much energy and life. It's a party while you're working, and it's great to see everyone happy." The McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, also suspects this weekend will be a more relaxed affair for the entire team in comparison to the last two high-pressure occasions in Brazil.
"Nobody on our team will forget the dramatic final laps of the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix as they are memories that will live with us forever," he said. "Travelling to Sao Paulo this year with our focus solely on achieving the very best result will allow us to attack the race weekend without any additional considerations." * PA Sport