Hamilton: Battling on after missed opportunity in Hungary
Last weekend’s Hungarian race was a bittersweet affair for McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. Sweet because the MP4-26 was in fine form throughout the weekend, but crushingly bitter because Hamilton’s own hopes of a podium finish were dashed by a drive-through penalty and an ill-fated strategy call.
Although he eventually finished in a not-too-shabby fourth place, the Briton could be forgiven for feeling a little disheartened, especially with team mate Jenson Button clinching an outstanding victory. Hamilton, however, has already shaken off any feelings of disappointment and is heading into his summer holidays happy in the knowledge his car is finally a frontrunner.
“I felt on it all weekend and I was naturally disappointed not to be standing on the podium with Jenson after the race,” he explained in an interview on his official website. “The Hungaroring is one of my favourite circuits; I’ve won there twice before and we had the speed to win there again.
“However, what we need to take away from Hungary is that the team has won two races in the last eight days, so the MP4-26 is a competitive package. We’ve pushed really hard to bring performance back to the car. Off the back of two consecutive wins is a great way to go into the summer break; everyone is now having an important and well-deserved rest and we’ll be ready to come back fighting in Belgium.”
With Button’s Hungaroring win matching Hamilton’s own victory at Germany’s Nurburgring the week before, McLaren certainly seem to have stolen a march on rivals Red Bull and Ferrari. And Hamilton can’t wait to return to the fray later this month.
“The pace in the car is there now, as demonstrated by the two victories, my fastest lap in Germany and our qualifying pace at both ‘Rings.” Hamilton said. “We’re in a strong position and we will be working hard to maximise that speed when we get back. There are 200 points up for grabs and I enter all of the races believing I can win them. I can’t wait for it to get started again"
With just over three weeks to go before the next event, and Formula One racing’s annual two-week shutdown to comply with, Hamilton will have some time for reflection - and training - ahead of the forthcoming Belgian event.
“I’m going to spend some quality time with my friends and family,” he concluded. “It will be relaxing to have some time out, catch up with people, but I’ll continue to do plenty of training"
Hamilton and his rivals will be back on track at Spa-Francorchamps from August 26-28.
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