Lewis Hamilton says that McLaren can’t sit back, despite its winning performance in China last weekend.
Hamilton admitted that the team needed the boost of a victory but added that it was just the start of the battle for the 2011 title.
“Yeah, we needed this win,” said Hamilton on his website today. “Looking back at the last few weeks, we have done something incredible at this team. To have turned the car around and made it a winner – we’ve never done something that big in such a short space of time. I take my hat off to everybody back at the MTC. Once again, they’ve performed miracles. But we can’t sit still.
“We’ve still got more work to do to be able to match Red Bull. Don’t get me wrong, what we’ve done has been incredible, but we need to go into the Turkish Grand Prix with more upgrades and improvements if we’re to continue fighting at the front. And we know that other teams won’t be standing still either. So although this win is the perfect way to head back to Europe and prepare for Istanbul, this is just the start of the fight.”
Hamilton said the win ranked with Monaco and Silverstone in 2008, his two favourite wins.
“For me, it wasn’t just an attacking race, although there was a big element of pure racing, which I love. Those two wins weren’t just about aggression either – I won those races through pure speed but also with intelligence, and with support from everyone in the pitlane. They were really complete race wins – and they’re the most satisfying.
“So, on the one hand, China was great because we made it work out on the track – it’s always sweeter to win a race when you’ve overtaken the cars ahead. And in my final stint I got past Nico, Felipe and Sebastian for the win, which hopefully was great for all the fans watching.
“But it was also really satisfying because we worked to make the race strategy work from the moment we arrived at the track on Thursday. After Malaysia, I really wanted to make sure we’d have enough tyres for the race, so I went into our first engineering meeting of the weekend with my mind made up that I wanted to hold onto my tyres and keep as many sets as fresh for the race.
“The best thing about Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is the way we work as a team. Our teamwork is incredible. And it would have been easy for the engineers to have just looked at me and said, ‘No’, but they always listen and they always find a way of making it work. We really collaborated to make everything work, even on Friday night, when we pulled the car to bits to improve the car – we always keep pushing.
“So not only did we have a good car and a good strategy going into the race, but we were aggressive and we kept pushing throughout the race. You know, the mechanics and the pit crew worked perfectly and my engineers were brilliant.”