McLaren's Lewis Hamilton reckons he has 'good reason' to feel confident ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Although he had a miserable race in Germany with a second lap puncture ending his hopes of a strong result, he was still pleased with the upgrade package debuted at Hockenheim and believes the team has turned a corner. He will need a good result too this Sunday, if he is to kick-start his faltering bid for the F1 2012 drivers' title.
“I rolled the dice in Germany and got two ones. 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!” Hamilton said. “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 pitstops, despite a troubled start at the beginning of the year, are now consistently the fastest in the pitlane.
“Of course, we still have work to do to in order to fully understand the heating characteristics of the Pirelli tyres in wet weather.
"The current forecast is for mixed weather in Budapest, but we're gathering more and more data on the tyres, and those conditions may give us further opportunity to overcome the issues we've recently encountered. I'm really looking forward to the whole weekend.”
McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh meanwhile is adamant the team can still win both championships this season, despite the rather sizeable gaps to their rivals. He concedes, however, that it won't be easy.
“With the halfway point in the 2012 FIA F1 World Championship now behind us, it's important that we head into the second half of the season with a concerted view to picking up as many points as possible in a bid to return us to the top,” he added. “I firmly believe that we have the drivers, car and team to win both titles – and I think the difficulties we encountered during the first 10 races of 2012 have strengthened our resilience and hardened our resolve to fight back to the front.
“At Hockenheim last weekend, we had a car capable of taking on and beating our main rivals – the aim now is to ensure both Jenson [Button] and Lewis both score points in every race and to take as many points away from our rivals as possible.
“On paper, it may look a difficult task, but we are singularly determined to close down the gaps between ourselves and the championship leaders.