McLaren ‘back in the hunt’ for Hungary
25 July 2012 – McLaren’s Hockenheim updates paid off significantly, with Jenson Button narrowly missing out on victory as Lewis Hamilton demonstrated rapid pace after being caught out by a puncture. Heading to Hungary this weekend, the Woking team is keen to place its title attack back on track before the Formula 1 summer break begins.
“The result in Germany puts us right back in the hunt,” Button says confidently on Wednesday morning. “In that situation, there’s nothing better than a back-to-back weekender: you return to the cockpit almost before you’ve unpacked your bags from the previous race, so it’s great to carry forward that momentum.
"There’s every reason to believe we can get another good result this year. Our pace at Hockenheim gives us cause for encouragement.”
Hamilton very much featured in the German race despite falling one lap behind; the 2008 World Champion, quicker than the leaders after pitting, unlapped himself from Sebastian Vettel which in the process assisted the chasing Button.
“I rolled the dice in Germany and got two ones,” Hamilton begins. “That’s life, sometimes, but at least I get the chance to give them another roll this weekend – and I’ll be hoping for two sixes! I think there’s good reason to feel confident, too; our Hockenheim upgrade package seems to have delivered the pace we anticipated and a good result just before the summer break would be the perfect way to end the first half of the season.
“Things haven’t always gone our way in the first half, but I certainly feel like we’re experiencing something of a turning point for the whole team. We've really stepped up and delivered the pace we needed, our strategy has been spot-on and our pit-stops - despite a troubled start at the beginning of the year - are now consistently the fastest in the pit lane.”
Both McLaren drivers have won twice in Budapest. Button celebrated his maiden Grand Prix win for Honda in 2006 and won his 200th Grand Prix last year, whereas Hamilton took the chequered flag in 2007 and 2009, with the latter marking a crucial comeback victory that season.