It will take a lot to recover from this season - Lewis Hamilton

Korean Grand Prix

Venue:
Yeongam
Date:
14-16 October
Friday 14 October:
1st practice: 0155-0335; 2nd practice: 0555-0735 (both on BBC Red Button/online/5 live sports extra)
Saturday 15 October:
3rd practice: 0255-0405, BBC Red Button/online/ 5 live; Qualifying: 0500-0730, BBC One/online/5 live sports extra; Qualifying (repeat): 1300-1415, BBC One/online
Sunday 16 October:
Race: 0600-0915, BBC One/BBC Red Button/online/5 live; Forum: 0910-1015, BBC Red Button/ online; Race (repeat): 1500-1700, BBC One; Highlights: 1900-2000, BBC Three
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton says it will take time to recover from what he has described as his worst season in Formula 1.

The McLaren driver, 26, is on his poorest run of form for more than two years and has been involved in several controversial incidents.

"It will take a lot to recover from the difficulties that I've had this year," said Hamilton.

"I'm my own biggest critic and very hard on myself but I have huge belief in my abilities."

Hamilton is looking to make amends for a "shocking" Japanese Grand Prix where he failed to complete a second run when fighting for pole position and then finished a distant fifth.

In contrast, his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button completed a dominant weekend with his third win of the season, while Hamilton has not been on the podium in the last five races.

"It's about driving, it's about where you are in your head, it's about a combination of things," responded Hamilton when asked if he could pinpoint why his year had been so traumatic.

"I've just not been doing the job. In Spa, I got caught out and should have finished on the podium and I didn't. In Hungary, I was [leading the race] and spun and I could have won the race.

"It is just human errors and you can't do too much other than learn from those things.

"I still keep pushing regardless of how many blows I take. I try and stand up by not giving up, no matter how tough it gets in racing. You just keep going and some day I will be successful."

Hamilton says his team-mate's win in Suzuka has given him renewed confidence that the team can challenge Red Bull and Ferrari this weekend.

But the Brit concedes victory in the Korean Grand Prix alone would not be enough to erase the lows of a season that has been marred by a string of incidents.

"In the last race Jenson proved that we can win," added Hamilton, who finished second to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso at the Yeongam circuit last year in tricky, wet conditions.

"The car is quick enough to win so my mindset right now is to get myself in that position by making sure we are out on track at the right time and getting my second run in qualifying in this weekend. That's a lot of stuff to put in the mix but I think we can do it.

"Coming here knowing that we can be competitive and that there's another chance for me to get back up there, I feel quite chilled.

"I've got another race ahead of me so I'm excited and I'm trying to prepare myself in every possible way."

While Hamilton is looking to find solace in the final four races of 2011, his team-mate Button is determined to carry forward the momentum from his Suzuka win all the way into 2012.

Start of Japanese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel is the only man to have won more races than Button this season and the German's tally of nine victories helped him secure his second world title for Red Bull in Japan.

Vettel finished a close third behind Alonso and Button, who is expecting a tight three-way battle on Korea's demanding circuit that blends the challenges of a high-speed track with those of a tight, street circuit in the final sector.

"It shows that Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren are very close in terms of performance," Button said. "So look out for some good races. We're going to put out some good shows over the next four."

Immediately after getting out of the car in Suzuka, Button had asked Vettel about his racing tactics after the German squeezed him onto the grass off the line.

But the Englishman played down the importance of his comments in Korea, saying he would not change his approach to racing.

"From my point of view at the time, your emotions are running high, you are very outspoken and on the radio I said I thought he should have got a penalty," explained Button.

"But the stewards didn't agree so I agree with them. I was a bit surprised to be two wheels on the grass…but he didn't see me.

"It won't change the way I go racing. We're all out there to win and sometimes it is very close, sometimes it's close to the edge and sometimes it goes over the edge - it's racing."

In an interview with BBC Sport, Alonso agreed when asked whether Vettel was now becoming "annoying" and agreed with Button that Ferrari must continue to keep up the pressure on Red Bull going into next season.

"He is dominating with a very good Red Bull over two years," said Alonso who won last year in South Korea.

"Next year we start with zero with high hopes in a new car. The most important thing is to win as many championships and races as possible."

The F1 field will renew their rivalries in first practice for the Korean GP on Friday at 0200 BST when rain is forecast.

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Lewis Hamilton

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