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Hungry Hamilton looking for high five

2014-07-24 07:54


FIGHT FOR FIVE: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton hopes to win his fifth race and have better luck in Budapest this weekend for the 2014 Hungarian GP. Image: AFP/David Ebener

BUDAPEST, Hungary - Lewis Hamilton may not be putting the Buddha into Budapest this weekend (July 27 2014) but he could be tempted to seek divine assistance if luck goes against him in Sunday's Hungarian Formula 1 GP.

The Mercedes driver needs a win to cut into team mate Nico Rosberg's 14-point championship lead after 10 of the 19 races and Hungary offers the perfect opportunity - Hamilton has won there four times out of seven, including the previous two.

The Englishman shares with Michael Schumacher the wins record at the slow and twisty Hungaroring while Rosberg's best is fourth, for Williams, in 2009.


However Hamilton's 2014 season has been beset by bad luck: two retirements and problems such as front-brake disc failurein qualifying that led to him starting 20th for the previous weekend's German F1 GP. He still finished third.

"I'm going to Hungary to try to win," he told reporters after finishing third at Hockenheim. "I just hope the car sticks together so I can go out and do the job... I'm not planning on starting from the back there."

Hamilton, like most F1 drivers, believes "you make your own luck in motor racing" but it would be nice if some of the bad stuff went away in the last GP before the three-week European summer shutdown. He added:

"A clean weekend is what I'm looking for," he said. "To come away with some strong points going into the break, get some rest time and then head back into the last part of the season. Maybe I need to go and visit some Indians, go and visit the Buddha, rub the Buddha belly or whatever... try all the different religions to see if I can get some luck."


Rosberg will be Hamilton's main rival, with Mercedes having won nine of the 10 races so far, but Hungary is more about aerodynamics and downforce than having the best engine. That could put Red Bull more into the mix - although quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel has never won in Hungary despite finishing on the podium three times.

Williams - particularly Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas - has been the team pushing Mercedes hardest of late and the revived former champion crew is hoping for another good weekend.

Bottas was second in the previous two races, third in the one before that, and Hungary has long been seen as a home race for F1's Finnish drivers due to linguistic similarities and proximity. He said:

"We know it's not the best circuit for our car but we're working on getting more grip in the corners and we have some upgrades that should help. A good few practice sessions should help us get the set-up right.

"There are always a few fans from Finland, it's almost like a Finnish GP, so I hope to pay them back with a good result."


Hungary also has happy memories for McLaren's Jenson Button and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso; each took the first win of their F1 career at the circuit. Button has won there twice - most recently in 2011 - while Alonso's sole victory was in 2003. Button said:

"The Hungaroring is a great track. Everybody thinks of it as a slow circuit but, out the back, it's got some pretty decent corners... the sequence of S-bends that make up Turns 8 to 11 are really satisfying to drive.

"Nonetheless, it's still a circuit where you require lots of downforce and grip and I think we are making positive steps in that direction.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Hungarian GP this weekend.

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