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Hamilton and McLaren over the moon after Hungarian GP win


By Berthold Bouman

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton was elated after taking the first-place trophy today at the Hungaroring this afternoon. “Well, what can I say?! I’m over the moon! The team did a fantastic job! Absolutely brilliant! It was a really enjoyable race — but it wasn’t at all easy. In fact, I reckon that it was one of the toughest races I’ve ever driven — but, guess what, I’ll savour it all the more for that,” said Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton wins Hungarian GP

The 2008 World Champion was quick away at the start, and although he did lose the lead due to his pit stops, no other driver could really spoil the day for Hamilton. Only Romain Grosjean could keep up with the McLaren during the first stage of the race, but could not get close enough for an overtaking move, same for Kimi Raikkonen in the other Lotus who was very close behind Hamilton at the closing stages of the race, but not quite close enough.

“I was under a lot of pressure throughout all 69 laps. First, Romain and then Kimi were right behind me, all the way through, and I had to look after my tyres without letting my pace drop, which was pretty tricky at times,” commented the victor of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

But it wasn’t an easy race, and managing the gap to his opponents in particular, was very difficult, “The feel of the car is changing all the time. You get different messages from the tyres with every lap. But they lasted — I managed to make them last. It was a case of managing the gap behind me, over the whole lap, every lap. In particular, I had to make sure that, every lap, I always had a big enough gap at the last corner, so that I wouldn’t be overtaken in the DRS zone on the pit straight. And I managed to do that every time!”

And he added, “To be able to win a Grand Prix on the weekend that the Olympic Games started in the UK too, well, I feel like we’ve done our part to contribute to what I hope will be many more British successes over the Olympic Games period. Someone has just told me that we’ve scored Britain’s first gold medal of 2012. Well, it isn’t really that, is it? But it’s the first British victory of the Olympic Games period, which is pretty cool.”

McLaren Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh was just as happy as the winner himself. “Lewis drove with tremendous composure all afternoon, and the result was a meticulously judged victory, wrought under intense pressure throughout,” said Whitmarsh.

And he further said, “He made a superb start from pole position, then controlled the race with masterful authority, all the while balancing the necessity to execute rapid laps against the equally pressing requirement to conserve his tyres.

“The 25 points he annexed today have taken his season-so-far total to 117. Although he’s still a little way behind the Drivers’ World Championship leader, he’s now very well placed to mount an assault on the Drivers’ World Championship crown over the remaining nine races of the season. Believe me, it’s still all up for grabs!”

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