Belfast Telegraph

Formula One: Still all to play for, says Lewis Hamilton

By David Tremayne

Lewis Hamilton was feeling particularly patriotic after his own spectacular goldrush in Hungary yesterday. "It does feel extra special to win here after the recent Olympics [opening] ceremony. I'm rooting for all our teams and wishing them the best, and I can't wait to watch it all on TV. Having the Olympics back in the UK is great for Great Britain, which is why I carried the flag on my helmet today. And now I feel like I've done my part even though we're not there."

His majestic victory, as he withstood everything that Lotus could throw at him, has reignited his title chances. It also struck an important psychological blow for McLaren to pull something back after the previous three races yielded him only four points, and got something meaningful in the bag before Formula One's summer break. Now they have matched Red Bull and Ferrari in each winning three races this season.

"This weekend shows it's all to play for," Hamilton said. "It's not enough points taken from Fernando, but if we can continue this kind of performance we can catch up. We need consistency and to improve the car in many areas, and I am sure we will do that.

"It's nice to go into the break knowing that we have had a win. Now it's very important how I manage the summer break. We should take from this a good pat on the back, but know that clearly we have a lot of work to do."

Hamilton knows that a significant part of his success was down to McLaren's ability to qualify fastest, and Lotus's ongoing failure to do so. "These guys were absolutely rapid," he said, gesturing at Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean whom he beat into second and third places. "If they had qualified at the front it would have been impossible to get past them.

"But it was never really close. There was a small temptation to make a third stop – the team talked of it but the plan was always to do just two stops. I had my target laps and the team were confident I'd make it and so was I. I could have gone longer in my second stint but we wanted to cover the guys behind with our stops. I just made sure I saved my speed for the last sector so I had a big enough gap in the last three corners.

"When you win like this when under intense pressure from great drivers like Romain and Kimi, this is the kind of day when you have to have your mind 100 per cent. I feel great, because the team didn't flinch and neither did I."

Belfast Telegraph


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