Wheels24

We're chasing Alonso - Hamilton

2012-08-30 12:49

Belgium - Lewis Hamilton arrived at the Spa circuit eager to get back on track ahead of the 2012 Belgian F1 GP, convinced that McLaren is now a genuine contender for both World championships.

The team struggled during the first half of the 2012 season with costly errors and misfortunes. A late push saw it back in contention in Germany before Hamilton won in Budapest before the five-week hiatus.

Hamiltom, fourth in the title race, admitted his victory had been a welcome boost and the team was now feeling a lot more confident going into the final nine races.

TIGHT TITLE RACE AHEAD


Hamilton said: "My win in Hungary was a fantastic way to go into the summer break. It had the added bonus of sending the whole team away for their holiday with a positive feeling in their hearts.

"It's also given me the hope and assurance that we can come back for the final nine races with a real chance to go for both world championships."

Given the unpredictable start to the season which saw seven different drivers win the opening seven races, the 2008 champion said his main focus would be on reeling in Ferrari's championship leader Fernando Alonso and his 47-point lead.

He said: "Given the unpredictability of the sport, I think it's still difficult to predict accurately who'll win the next GP but I reckon the coming few weeks ought to give us a much clearer idea of the destination of the World title.

"It's going to be an extremely tough, tactical and interesting finale to the season. There's no team with a clear advantage - although we're all pushing hard to catch Fernando's points tally in the Drivers' championship - there's still everything to play for."

'WE WERE OUT-DEVELOPED'

Despite their strong showing at the Hungarian GP and leaving for the summer break as the team in charge, McLaren director Jonathan Neale insisted the team would not be taking anything for granted at Spa on September 2.

Neale admitted the team were feeling a lot more positive following their success in Budapest but were under no illusions that they would simply pick up where they left off and expects a very tightly-contested second half to the season.

Neale said: "I think we were probably out-developed around Easter by some of our competitors, and then we out-developed our competitors through June.

"What happens during July and August is still being played out, so we'll see. But with only a tenth or two separating the top 10 cars, it is still very marginal.

"It's going to be a really excited play-out during the rest of the season."

He added: "We have reasons to believe that we're making progress, but it was a very tight race (in Hungary). This season is going to run long and hard for everybody."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2012 Belgian F1 weekend.

AFP