Lewis Hamilton has said he is confident that the F1 championship run-in will be dramatic despite seeing Sebastian Vettel increase his lead at the top of the standings in Hungary.
Vettel's second place finish behind Hamilton's McLaren team-mate Jenson Button means he leads the way by 85 points going into the summer break – while Hamilton himself is three points further back.
The German would appear to be odds-on for a second straight title on the back of his dominance so far this season but with McLaren having pulled itself closer to the pace and with Ferrari also on the way back, Hamilton said he expected a dramatic end to the 2011 campaign.
“The pace is the car is there now, as demonstrated by the two victories, my fastest lap in Germany and our quali pace at both 'Rings,” he said. “We're in a strong position and we will be working hard to maximise that speed when we get back [from the summer break].
“There are 200 points up for grabs and I enter all of the races believing I can win them. We're about to visit some really special venues: Spa-Francorchamps, Monza, Suzuka and Interlagos are some of the greatest tracks in the sport. You really feel their soul and their history.
“We're going to these tracks with three teams battling with similar pace at the top, it's going to be a competitive and dramatic run down to Brazil and the end of the season. I can't wait for it to get started again!"
Hamilton had appeared well placed to close the gap to Vettel in the standings before his hopes went awry in Hungary with a spin that led to a drive-through penalty and a gamble on swapping to intermediates late on only for the track to dry.
However, while disappointed to miss out on his own victory, Hamilton said it was important to look at the result for the team – as McLaren made it two successes in the space of a week.
"I felt on it all weekend and I was naturally disappointed not to be standing on the podium with Jenson after the race,” he said. “The Hungaroring is one of my favourite circuits; I've won there twice before and we had the speed to win there again. However, what we need to take away from Hungary is that the team has won two races in the last eight days, so the MP4-26 is a competitive package.
“We've pushed really hard to bring performance back to the car. They've done an incredible job across the organisation. Off the back of two consecutive wins is a great way to go into the summer break; everyone is now having an important and well deserved rest and we'll be ready to come back fighting in Belgium."