Lewis Hamilton may have dominated the early part of the Hungarian Grand Prix
weekend, but he admits that there is still work to be done before he can contemplate
becoming the latest driver to notch up multiple victories in the 2012 F1 season.
The Canadian Grand Prix
winner topped both practice sessions on Friday and returned to take P1 in each phase of qualifying, including the 23rd pole position of his career and the 150th in McLaren
history, but insists that that does not make him a lock for victory at the Hungaroring. With Romain Grosjean
starting alongside in a Lotus reckoned to have good race day performance, and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel
lining up directly behind the McLaren
on the cleaner side of the circuit, Hamilton knows that he needs everything to go his way from the moment the lights go out.
"It's been a really positive weekend so far and to finally see the upgrades working this weekend, I've been able to put the car in places that I previously wasn't able to do," he told journalists in Budapest, "Generally, every lap has been quite good throughout practice and qualifying, apart from the first run in Q3, [but] I'm really happy with the work the guys have done.
"Obviously, [McLaren team-mate] Jenson [Button] showed the pace of the car in the last race, but to be able to put that to work through qualifying feels fantastic. This is a good boost to the team. We have a very long race tomorrow - lots can happen and we just need to keep our cool. Tyre strategy will be important [and] degradation will be interesting. I just hope, for once, we have a good start....
"I think we know the Lotus is very, very strong on long runs, and so is the Red Bull, so we just need to focus on us and really hope we can improve this weekend with those upgrades. Jenson showed in the last race that it is an improvement so, hopefully, I can show the same thing tomorrow. "
After retirements in both Valencia and Germany, Hamilton has fallen to fifth place in the standings, some 62 points behind leader Fernando Alonso, but has not yet given up hopes of fighting for a second world title.
"We're not saying we're relaxed about it, but we know that we've got a lot of work to do and we're trying to make sure that we start that work from this weekend," he pointed out, before reflecting on the challenge of starting at the front of the field, "I'm always striving for perfection and the pressure that we're all under to get that perfect lap is intense, yet exciting. If you get it right, it's incredibly empowering. This weekend, we've obviously had the pace so I knew that it was possible, it was just a case of doing it - if I didn't, I would be quite disappointed considering I've had the pace all weekend. Fortunately, I did it...."