McLaren wants to return to the top during Hungarian Grand Prix
By Berthold Bouman
According to Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren wants to pick up as many points as they can at the Hungaroring this weekend, in order to return to the top of Grand Prix racing. Whitmarsh is confident of his team, “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.”
About McLaren’s fortunes the past weekend at Hockenheim he stated, “We had a car capable of taking on and beating our main rivals — the aim now is to ensure both Jenson and Lewis both score points in every race and to take as many points away from our rivals as possible.” And he added, “On paper, it may look a difficult task, but we are singularly determined to close down the gaps between ourselves and the championship leaders!”
Jenson Button, who finished second in Germany, is also confident his team is back on track again. “The result in Germany puts us right back in the hunt. In that situation, there’s nothing better than a back-to-back weekender: you return to the cockpit almost before you’ve unpacked your bags from the previous race, so it’s great to carry forward that momentum,” said Button.
Button celebrated his maiden win on the Hungaroring in 2006 for BAR-Honda, and also celebrated his 200th Grand Prix at the same track, and he is therefore adamant he will be successful this weekend as well, “There’s every reason to believe we can get another good result this year. Our pace at Hockenheim gives us cause for encouragement — it’s just that, as always, we’ll need to run flawlessly through qualifying and the race if we’re to be in the hunt at the end. I’m satisfied that we’re pushing hard enough to be up at the sharp end, so it would be fantastic to take home a winning result to reward all our recent hard work.”
Lewis Hamilton is sure the latest upgrade package will do its work on the Hungarian track as well. “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,” he commented.
The 2008 World Champion thinks the tyres are going to play an important role again, “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.”
Thanks to Button’s second place in Germany, McLaren is currently in third place of the Constructors’ Championship, albeit 70 points behind leader Red Bull, but just 17 points behind Ferrari who are second. McLaren could therefore theoretically beat Ferrari and go on a well-deserved holiday with second place in the bag.
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