Hamilton: Hopefully at some stage we’ll get a car to challenge at the front
9 July, 2012
Jul.9 (Reuters) Lewis Hamilton fears his Formula 1 title hopes could disappear unless McLaren can pick up the pace after a disappointing showing by the team’s two drivers in their home grand prix, at Silverstone.
The 2008 world champion finished in eighth place, while team mate and 2009 champion Jenson Button could manage only 10th. Hamilton told the BBC, “We are still in the fight, but unless we find something it’s going to be hard to stay in the fight. I raced my heart out as always but we just struggled; we did not have enough speed in general.”
Hamilton, who won at Silverstone in 2008, briefly led the race in the early stages before a pit stop. He was never able to get back into contention in a grand prix won by Australian Mark Webber for Red Bull.
“I was expecting us to get at least fifth, but those teams in front of us were much quicker,” added Hamilton, who is fourth in the championship on 92 points. Spaniard Fernando Alonso, second on Sunday, leads the standings on 129.
“We will keep our heads down, stay focused and hopefully at some stage we will get a car to challenge at the front,” added Hamilton.
Meanwhile, Button’s race was compromised on Saturday when he could do no better than qualify 18th but he had an effective, if unspectacular afternoon, rising to tenth by the chequered flag, within sight of his team-mate. “To actually see Lewis at the end was a surprise, considering how far back we started. I don’t think we did anything wrong with strategy, I think it all worked out pretty well: we just weren’t quick enough today.”
Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh suggested after the race that McLaren had been wrong-footed by the unexpectedly rain-free conditions. “A dry race wasn’t what we were expecting – and, undoubtedly, had it been a wet race, as was predicted, our competitiveness relative to that of our opposition would have been significantly enhanced,” he said.
McLaren have slipped from second to fourth in the constructors’ championship, behind leaders Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus.
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