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Lewis Hamilton & Jenson Button 'must win all races'

Korean Grand Prix, Yeongam, 22-24 October
Race: Sunday 0600-0915 on BBC One, Red Button, online and Radio 5 live
Full coverage times

Sebastian Vettel

Highlights - Korean Grand Prix qualifying

By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport in Yeongam

McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button say they must win the final three races to keep their championship hopes alive.

Heading into Sunday's Korean Grand Prix, Hamilton is 28 points behind leader Mark Webber of Red Bull, with Button three points further back.

"We need to win all of them and that is what we're trying to do," said Hamilton, who won the title in 2008.

Button added: "We have to win the next three races. It's not over yet."

McLaren conceded they had not helped their championship hopes after Hamilton qualified fourth in Korea with Button starting seventh.


Vettel and Webber locked out the front row for Red Bull, with the fifth title contender, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, just behind them in third.

"It's a lot more difficult because the Red Bulls are on the front row," said Button, who is still battling to defend the title he won in 2009 with Brawn. "They're the people we're trying to take points off.

"We haven't made it easy for ourselves but if we have a strong race and the Red Bulls have a messy race then that's a lot of points.

Jenson Button

Button admits qualifying struggle

"Hopefully we can have a better day on Sunday and take some points off the Red Bulls. I know the whole team are working night and day to improve the car."

The McLarens were confident of making a serious challenge to the Red Bulls at the new Yeongam circuit after an encouraging display in Friday practice.

They are running with the new version of the team's 'F-duct' aerodynamic device this weekend and Hamilton was close to matching Webber in the opening two practice sessions.

Hamilton's performance led title rival Fernando Alonso to label him as favourite for Sunday's race.

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton mystified by fourth spot

And Hamilton, who clinched the 2008 title at the very last race in Brazil, is confident he can push on from fourth on the grid.

"We're not sat here trying to get fourth place or seventh place," said Hamilton. "We're doing our best job to get up as high as possible to fight the guys in front of us.

"Everything is possible on Sunday. We've had good starts this year and we're very fast on the straights, so we are in a strong position."

Hamilton, who expressed his confidence during the week about his chances in Korea, said he did not think he could get any more out of the car.

How Hamilton has lost ground

"Of course we would have wanted to be on pole but the team have done a phenomenal job in getting new parts here and the car has felt great all weekend," said Hamilton, who has failed to finish in three of the last five races.

"I think I got more than what we had in the car out of it. I couldn't ask for anymore. I don't know where Red Bull found half a second from.

"I have got to do the best I can with what we have. We can't ask anymore of the guys back at the factory or the guys here and I don't think you could have asked anymore from me."

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh echoed his drivers' optimism by insisting that both the drivers' and constructors' championship - where they trail Red Bull by 45 points - are still up for grabs.

"We are inevitably disappointed with qualifying but it is potentially going to be an exciting race and there's no reason why we can't win on Sunday," Whitmarsh said.

"We'll keep pushing on Sunday, we'll bring new parts to [the next race in] Brazil and we will keep fighting for this championship."

Martin Whitmarsh

Whitmarsh blames track temperature

And Whitmarsh believes the first sector of the track, with its long straights and slow corners, gives his drivers hope on race day.

"We have got some good speed and I think we can make some good starts and on the first part of this lap I think Red Bull are going to be vulnerable."

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see also
Vettel beats Webber to Korea pole
23 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher reprimanded for block
23 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Korean GP qualifying photos
23 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Korean GP qualifying as it happened
23 Oct 10 |  Formula 1
Kubica on top in final practice
23 Oct 10 |  Formula 1

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