A win for Lewis Hamilton in Hungary has put the McLaren driver back in the World Championship hunt ahead of the August summer break, after a run of three races that produced just four points.
Hamilton now lies fourth on 117 points, and is only seven behind second placed Mark Webber, but still a significant 47 off Fernando Alonso,
“This weekend shows that it’s all to play for still,” said Hamilton. “Not enough points taken from Fernando as he still got ten points, but bit by bit, if we can continue with this kind of performance, then we can slowly catch him. We know we need consistency and we need to improve the car still in many areas, and that, I’m sure, we will do. The team is doing a fantastic job.
“We’ve now got the quickest pit stops or usually the quickest pit stops. Today I got the best start I’ve had all year, I was really surprised by it. This is a really good stepping stone for us, especially after the difficult races we’ve had over the last three tough races, it’s great to come and end the summer on this high.”
In the end Hamilton did two stops, although at one point the team came close to switching him to three, as it did with Jenson Button.
“The plan was to do a two-stop but, you know, I had my target laps and the team weren’t confident that I was going to make it to those laps, but I knew I would.
“In my second stint I could have gone longer but they wanted to cover the guys behind which was probably the right thing to do. So, as we did that, then it was just trying to make those tyres last a long time while keeping Kimi behind. So, if we were on another track where overtaking was much easier I think perhaps the result would have been different.”
However, Hamilton said Raikkonen was never a real threat.
“He was never really close enough. I purposely allowed him to close up in certain corners, so that he may have problems with his tyres eventually – but it didn’t look like it was going to happen. But I had to make sure I saved my speed for the last sector and made sure I drew a big enough gap in the last three corners and I did that every lap.
“I could see it was very difficult for them to follow, particularly through those areas, so it was important to make sure you maximise, especially with the DRS.”