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Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Sunday, 4 April 2010 13:16 UK

Lewis Hamilton delighted with fightback in Malaysia

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton and Button happy with positive drives

Lewis Hamilton admitted he was "well happy" after battling his way from 20th on the grid to a sixth-placed finish at the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

The Englishman swept past eight cars on the first lap on his way to eight points, behind Red Bull's one-two of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

"Overall, I'm well happy and could not ask for more," said Hamilton.

"It's closer in the constructors' championship now and the team deserve it. Clearly, it's a positive day."

Hamilton's result, alongside team-mate Jenson Button's eighth-place, takes McLaren up to 66 points in the teams' title battle - 10 off leaders Ferrari and five ahead of Red Bull.

And the 25-year-old now sits sixth in the drivers' championship on 31 points, four points behind Button and only eight behind leader Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who is two points ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso and Vettel.

In fact, just nine points separate the top seven drivers.

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It could have been even better for Hamilton had he been able to pass Force India's Adrian Sutil into fifth, having trailed him for large periods at the tail-end of the race.

Hamilton said: "I tried to get by him but he drove a fantastic race. He was faultless, so well done to him.

"Force India have always been quite quick - they've got the same [Mercedes] engine as us, after all."

While Hamilton was pressing to gain a place at the end of the race, Button was desperately trying to defend his against Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Having conceded position to Alonso's team-mate Felipe Massa on lap 44, Button was momentarily passed by the Spaniard on two occasions before battling back only for Alonso, struggling throughout the race with a broken clutch, to retire with engine trouble on the penultimate lap.

"That was hard work," said Button, the reigning world champion. "It was very tough. I just about held off Fernando, which was pretty good, but that was a tough race for an eighth-place finish.

"Credit to Lewis, he drove a fantastic race to get sixth. We went completely different ways with the strategy and I think I made the wrong choice on the tyres to start with.

"I'm happy with the result, though. We got some reasonable points considering where we started."



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see also
Malaysian Grand Prix race results
24 Feb 10 |  Results
Vettel storms to Malaysian GP win
04 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren & Ferrari rue rain errors
03 Apr 10 |  Formula 1


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