Hamilton has Nadal's hunger for success

British Formula one ace Lewis Hamilton has set his sights on matching Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal's unquenchable thirst for success.

updated: July 21, 2008 15:13 IST
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British Formula one ace Lewis Hamilton has set his sights on matching Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal's unquenchable thirst for success.

Just hours after Hamilton won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone 11 days ago, Nadal was beating Roger Federer to claim his first Wimbledon crown in one of the great Grand Slam showdowns.

Nadal refused to be subdued by Federer even when the grass-court legend turned up the heat in a thrilling five-set encounter.

Like many others who left Silverstone at the end of the grand prix, Hamilton listened to radio commentary of the match and the 23-year-old McLaren star recognised a kindred spirit in the Spaniard.

Hamilton believes he has the same bloody-minded determination to win at all costs. After missing out on the world title by a point last season, that hunger to go one step further this year is driving on Hamilton.

"Listening to that Wimbledon final on the way home, it made it just a great weekend, one I will always remember," Hamilton said.

"I thought Federer was going to win. I'm not biased when I say that just because I know him and he is a great guy, a fantastic athlete who has achieved so much.

"Federer had won five times in a row, and he was going for his sixth.

"That is incredible, a bit like Michael Schumacher in many respects as he was someone who had the same determination, the same hunger to win again and again and again.

"But Nadal had something new - he had even more hunger, and I think it is impossible to match that once you have done something a lot of times.

"Nadal had never tasted it, and for me I can probably identify with his hunger to win that first title.

"But that hunger within me is definitely greater this year after what happened to me last year.

"But then I've had that hunger since I was five or six years old. It's always been there, and always will be.

"Next year I know I'm going to be even more hungry to win at Monaco and Silverstone, and that's a positive thing for me."

At the halfway stage of the year Hamilton heads into this weekend's German Grand Prix in a three-way tie for the lead alongside Ferrari duo Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen, but ahead on countback.

Hamilton now has to put the euphoria of his British triumph out of his mind and solely focus on the remaining nine races and winning the title.

"It was an amazing weekend, or an amazing Sunday at least," Hamilton said.

"I'm not going to say it came as a surprise, but it's something I have worked hard for and was hoping for.

"It's going to be difficult to cap that. It was a special weekend for me, something I can carry with me for the rest of my life.

"But I'm going to have to put it to the back of my mind because there are still nine races and the championship to keep pushing for.

"We are just going to focus on trying to build up some momentum and consistency."