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Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Friday, 20 August 2010 13:06 UK

Lewis Hamilton ready to renew F1 title push for McLaren

Mark Webber wins the Hungarian Grand Prix

Hungarian Grand Prix in 90 seconds

Lewis Hamilton is ready to renew his title push when the season resumes next week in Belgium after the summer break.

Hamilton lost his championship lead to Red Bull's Mark Webber at the last race in Hungary but the McLaren driver is four points back with seven races left.

"We're all really looking forward to getting back into the title fight," said Hamilton. "I'll be going flat out to get us back in the hunt in Belgium.

"We head into the next two races optimistic of some better results."

Hamilton had held the lead in the championship since the eighth race of the season in Canada after collecting back-to-back wins in Istanbul and Montreal.

But he surrendered his advantage after failing to finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix because of transmission failure.

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Hamilton is confident that August's summer break, which includes an enforced two-week factory shutdown for all of the teams, will help revitalise McLaren's campaign.

"The break gave us some valuable thinking time to consider how to improve our car for the remainder of the season," Hamilton added.

"We are not only optimistic of better results but also of stronger pace for the rest of the year.

"I head to Spa off the back of a disappointing non finish in Hungary. We've investigated the causes and are confident it won't happen again.

"Spa is on one of the great Formula 1 tracks and one I'd really love to win."

Both Spa and Monza should suit our package better than the Hungaroring but it's still important that we regain the momentum we'd reached earlier this season

Jenson Button

The top five drivers are separated by only 20 points as the season approaches its denouement and with 25 points awarded for a race win Webber, Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso are all hotly contesting the title.

Button goes to Spa in fourth place, behind Red Bull rival Vettel and 14 points behind Webber, and the defending world champion is intent on making up ground.

"We have some catching up to do," said Button, who took the chequered flag for McLaren in Australia and China in the early part of the season.

"We didn't have a particularly strong race in Hungary and the whole team wants to get back to the front again as quickly as possible.

"While we're optimistic that the bodywork rules clarification will close the gap among the top teams, and that both Spa and Monza should suit our package better than the Hungaroring, it's still important that we regain the momentum we'd reached earlier this season.

"I don't think these two European races will be pivotal to the title fight but it will be harder to introduce bigger upgrades to the car at the end-of-season fly-aways, so it's important for the whole team that we score well in both events."

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton
McLaren have struggled to maximise their updates in the last three races

McLaren have fallen behind Red Bull in the constructors' standings but have also lost ground to Red Bull and Ferrari in terms of sheer pace on the track.

The updates the team introduced last month in Silverstone - notably their version of the exhaust-blown diffuser - have not delivered enough performance while Red Bull and Ferrari have both benefited from controversial flexible front wings which McLaren have yet to deploy on their cars.

"We are pushing hard to regain the performance relative to our rivals that we had enjoyed earlier this season," added team boss Martin Whitmarsh.

"While we believe our recent upgrades have given us a downforce improvement, it appears that the package hasn't yet delivered to its full potential.

"We believe there are some large areas of performance locked within the car and its recent upgrade, and we are confident that our solid-engineering approach will enable us to fully unlock them sooner rather than later."



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see also
Hamilton excited by title battle
04 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Webber seals vital win in Hungary
01 Aug 10 |  Formula 1


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