LONDON, April 7, 2012 (AFP / Tim Collings) - After a year of roller-coaster emotions, with results to match, Lewis Hamilton said he has learned the value of consistency after two podium finishes in the opening races of this season's Formula One world championship.
The 27-year-old has taken pole position in each of the season-opening events in Australia and Malaysia for McLaren, but wound up third each time.
"I won't deny that I'm disappointed to have had two pole positions and not to have been able to convert either of them into victories.
"But I prefer to think of it that luck just hasn't been on my side, and that it will swing my way sooner or later.
"I also think this last year has taught me the value of consistency -- it's no use chasing a great result if you can't back it up with another strong
finish the following week.
"So maybe I'm just playing myself in gently. After all, in 2007, I didn't win a race until the sixth round and I was in the hunt for the title all
through the year.
"I still don't think the pecking order has settled down yet, so it's important to get some good results in the bag while we can. It will be very interesting to see how the order has shaken itself out over the last three weeks - it's going to be an interesting weekend when we go
Hamilton believes that he and his McLaren will be in a position to fight for victory again in China next week, but he conceded he is ready to settle for a points finish again if victory is out of reach.
"I'm looking at the championship as a whole - although, of course, I'd love to win every race. It's more important to be in a good points-scoring position at every race. I think the first two races have shown that, as a team, we're definitely in positions to win.
"I think Malaysia was a good example of how to pick up points when you're looking at the championship - and that was something I really took away as a positive from that race.
"But yes I'll be heading to China looking to win - but it's just as important to pick up some good points if, for whatever reason, a win isn't on
Hamilton won in Shanghai in his title-winning season in 2008 and again last year so he will chasing a third victory at the Chinese track. He is the only driver to win there more than once.