Lewis Hamilton is confident that he and McLaren will bounce back in Hungary in a fortnight after his chances of a podium in Sunday’s German Grand Prix were dashed when he picked up a puncture at the start.
The defending world champion was in with a fighting chance of a podium at the Nurburgring after he qualified in fifth place thanks to improvements to the McLaren package for their home race.
For a moment it looked as though he would even take the lead as he used his KERS device to blast around the outside of the leaders.
But a brief coming together with Red Bull’s Mark Webber saw the McLaren driver pick up a puncture which ended his race.
“It damaged the upper floor and brake duct,” Hamilton explained to his official website. “That was my race basically over because I had a handling imbalance for the rest of the afternoon, there was no safety concern but we did lose downforce and made the car difficult to control.”
The Briton is now turning his attention to the Hungarian Grand Prix where he fully expects McLaren to be competitive again.
“I know I said that I was disappointed after Sunday’s race, but it is only natural and we have to look on the positive side: if we’d turned up at the Nurburgring and discovered that the upgrades we’d brought were a disappointment then it would have been a huge blow to everyone, but as far as we know, the upgrades made a huge difference to our performance last weekend and I’m hopeful we can carry that performance and more through to Hungary.”
However, Hamilton concedes that it will be difficult to dethrone championship leaders Brawn and Red Bull this late into the season.
“It would be great if we could further close the gap to the leaders and think about attacking at some of the races, but we are remaining realistic: Red Bull and Brawn have both got fantastic cars and it will be incredibly hard to just turn up and be able to compete with them.”
“At least we are now on the right track with our upgrades and the development process continues for both this year and the next – and while it’s nice to think about race results and running at the front – as I’ve said before I now look at this year as a development year for all of us and one which will only make us stronger. “I’m confident that we’ll have some stronger showings in the next few races, and then we should have a clearer idea of just how we’ll go at the end of the season.”