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Hamilton: Great to start weekend on a high

Lewis Hamilton: We had a much smoother Friday here than we did at the Nurburgring, so I'm pretty happy. The car looks reasonably competitive, given the balance and the fuel load that we had.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was 'pretty happy' after setting the pace today in practice at the Hungaroring.

Hamilton, who won last weekend's race at the Nurburgring, began in exactly the same vein, topping FP1 on a 1 minute 23.350 seconds, which put him 0.214 seconds up on Sebastian Vettel. He then improved and posted a 1m 21.018s lap in FP2 and was again over two tenths up on his closest rival, which this time was his former team-mate, Ferrari man, Fernando Alonso.

Despite a positive day though, Hamilton wasn't getting too carried away and he knows that the real work starts tomorrow.

“It's a great feeling to start the weekend on a high. We had a much smoother Friday here than we did at the Nurburgring, so I'm pretty happy,” Hamilton said. “The car looks reasonably competitive, given the balance and the fuel load that we had.

“It's important not to read too much into Fridays, though. The track may be different tomorrow, as may the temperatures. Having said that, I think we've probably got about the same pace as we had in Germany, which is encouraging.

“The guys have been pushing very, very hard back at the factory. We've got a couple of upgrades here this weekend and it's a great achievement by everyone to have got them here in such a short space of time.”

Team-mate Jenson Button meanwhile was also pretty encouraged and he was fifth in FP1 and third in FP2 - his best lap a 1m 21.322s, which left him 0.304s off the sister car.

“A trouble-free day, which is nice. We managed a lot of good runs and did a lot of useful set-up work, so it was a good day. I'm very happy with the direction we've taken with the car,” Button continued. “We're strong in the first and last sectors. I'm quickest in the first sector and Lewis is fastest in the last. If we can put it all together, we'll be looking pretty good.

“I enjoy driving at the Hungaroring. With a few more set-up tweaks, I think we can be competitive. I hope to challenge for victory, but I'm not the only driver thinking that. Ferrari and Red Bull will also be looking to have good weekends, but that's great for F1.”

“We've had a pretty straightforward day,” added McLaren boss, Martin Whitmarsh. “It's good to see Lewis topping the time sheets, and both drivers have been pretty competitive on their long runs.

“There's a huge amount of evolution in the track here, from Friday morning through to Saturday morning. It only therefore starts becoming representative on Friday afternoon, so there are still some question-marks. But it's definitely a better feeling to go back to the hotel on a Friday night at the top of the timesheets rather than in the middle somewhere. So far, so good.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
29.07.2011  Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26
29.07.2011  Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26
29.07.2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26
29.07.2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26
28.07.2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren Mercedes, MP4-26 with Pat Fry (ENG), Scuderia Ferrari
24.07.2011- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26

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