LONDON, July 1, 2011 (AFP) - Less than a week after writing off his hopes of winning this year's drivers' title Lewis Hamilton did an about turn and pledged to produce a typically thrilling bid for victory in next week's
British Grand Prix - and reboot his challenge.
The 26-year-old Englishman sounded much more upbeat than he had done when defending champion Sebastian Vettel had turned last Sunday's European Grand Prix into a procession and opened up a seemingly unassailable lead in this year's drivers championship.
"I know what we are up against, but nothing is impossible," he said, during one of his events. "And what we all really want is a one-two - think what that would do for British sport and the fans.
"It would feel massively special to us. Hopefully one day there will be a younger version of me at Silverstone looking up at a photo of myself and Jenson on the podium."
Hamilton, who is currently fourth and 89 points behind Vettel, made a point of being upbeat and positive when he met around 180 fans at the McLaren factory on Friday.
The event was a 'fans forum' organised by the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) to discuss sporting and technical issues, but it was clear that the highlight of the day for the supporters was to see, and ask questions of, Hamilton and Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi.
Asked about overtaking - and the pleasure it gave him - Hamilton said: "I think it comes down to who-ever's willing to take the biggest risk. There's a fine line between taking the risk and getting past - as I've shown in the last couple of races!
"It comes down to the mentality you have. I was with (British former racing drivers) David Coulthard and Martin Brundle the other day.
"We were doing a sport together I did the fastest lap and was on the limit because I take everything to the limit. While I came round flat-out, DC was having a lift and Martin Brundle, who was also there and who's a little bit older, went even slower.
"What I began to notice is that it might have something to do with age and, as I start to get a little bit older, I might begin to get afraid of going fast through the corners!
"When you're attacking someone into a corner, my attitude right now is I'm young, I have nothing to lose."
Amid loud applause from an appreciative audience, Hamilton added: "It's exhilarating. It's probably the most exciting part of the race, when you're not too fast compared to the guy in front. You're just creeping up on him and looking to see where he's weaker so that you can attack next time around.
"There's a real science to it. I love it. Every person you catch you want to overtake immediately, but you learn how easy or difficult they are to overtake -- so you have loads of things to weigh up.
"It's massively, massively rewarding when you do eventually get past someone. I don't know if you've ever heard me, but I get really pumped up. I'm immediately on the radio and asking who I can attack next, I want to have that feeling again!"
Hamilton, back in Britain for the build-up period to the British race, had earlier used his Twitter account to tell fans to ignore his comments as reported in the newspapers following Sunday's race in Valencia.
He had said then that Vettel had an unassailable lead and there was no hope of him winning the championship. He added: "It's never over until it's over. We're only coming up to halfway and if we were to win all the other Grands Prix then we can still win the championship. There's still a big gap, but nothing is impossible."
On Twitter, Hamilton had said: "To all our supporters, ignore what u read in the papers today. My team will never give up & I WILL NEVER GIVE UP!!!! Bring on Silverstone, ur support will make a world of difference to us. I'm going to the factory now to do all I can with our team. Lewis."