Formula One driver Hamilton arrives in Montreal in confident mood
Lewis Hamilton almost floated into Montreal's Gilles Villeneuve circuit on Thursday, his confidence buoyed by what he has called the greatest win of his career in Monaco a fortnight ago.
Monaco was special for Hamilton not only because of his brilliant performance, but because his hero Ayrton Senna was a serial winner at Formula One's most prestigious circuit.
However, while Hamilton now looks back on Monaco as the favourite of his six race victories, he still has a place in his heart for Canada 2007 - the first occasion on which he sampled the sweet taste of winner's champagne, the AFP reported.
"It was my first time at the circuit so I had never really seen the surroundings," Hamilton recalled. "I just remember it being a great experience. I came here with a clear mind and up for the fight with my team-mate [Fernando Alonso]. I got pole and won the race.
"When I got pole I was happy with that but I wanted to convert it into a win. Then I had all these safety cars coming out, but I still managed to pull it off and it was a spectacular win.
"Even now when I look back on last year I wonder how I did it all, it is so hard to be consistent. Beforehand I knew I could win races, but believing you can do it and actually making it happen are different things.
"It opened that doorway and I was able to win from then on. After the win in Canada the other drivers thought: Shoot he is for real, maybe he is a real competitor.' They started to realise that I was a serious threat."
The whole motor racing world knows that Hamilton is a real threat now. He arrives in Montreal three points clear of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen at the top of the championship and is expecting this year's McLaren to be even quicker than the 2007 version was.
"This year I think we should be better over the kerbs," said the 23-year-old Brit. "We should be quick overall but it is going to be interesting. We know who is going to be quick here and Ferrari will be difficult to beat but I still feel optimistic we can do well here.
"I was confident before Monaco as we had had a couple of strong races. But I think for the team it was a real confidence boost as they had been working so hard and they deserved it.
"For sure it was nice to win but I am not getting overly excited about it."
Since Monaco, Hamilton has been recharging his batteries with friends in Los Angeles, keeping a low profile and completely ignoring the ongoing Max Mosley saga that threatens to overshadow events on the track.
"I haven't paid any attention to any of the stuff that has been said in the newspapers," he continued. "I am just focussing on my job and making sure I am ready for this weekend.
"My focus has to be on the title so I am knuckling down making sure we are consistent. The rest of it - I don't want to have anything to do with it."