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Lewis Hamilton & Jenson Button expect Turkish GP boost

21 May 10 12:30 GMT

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton believes his team will be more competitive at the next race of the season in Turkey.

Hamilton ended up in fifth at Monaco last weekend while team-mate Jenson Button retired on the second lap as Red Bull secured a dominant one-two finish.

But Hamilton said: "At a place like Istanbul Park, our car will be back in its element."

And Button added: "We've got some upgrades for this race. We've got a good chance of going well there."

McLaren are now playing catch-up to Red Bull after losing the lead in both championships with disappointing results in the last two races - in Spain and Monaco.

Hamilton was on course for second place in Barcelona but crashed out on the penultimate lap with wheel-rim failure, while an overheating engine put Button out of the Monaco race.

Button finished fifth in Spain and Hamilton did the same in Monaco, while Red Bull dominated both races.

Australian Mark Webber claimed back-to-back victories to take the championship lead ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

The results have dropped McLaren down to third in the constructors' standings, with Red Bull taking a 20-point lead over Ferrari.

But Hamilton is confident McLaren's fortunes can improve in Turkey on 30 May.

"I'm looking forward to Turkey," the 2008 world champion said.

"We came away from Monaco with a respectable result but the MP4-25 wasn't particularly well suited to a tight and bumpy track like that.

"It loves smooth, fast circuits, where the aero can really work over the car through the long, fast corners. It should be fantastic to drive.

"Looking at the characteristics of the track, it's a place where we should be able to pick up from where we left off in Spain.

"We're not under any illusions, but we think we'll be able to get another decent result and we're hopeful of taking the fight to the cars at the front."

Earlier in the week, Hamilton insisted McLaren needed to close the gap on Red Bull.

"We plan to break the stranglehold at the front rather than look back at what might have been," he said on his website.

"We're confident that we know what needs to be done to get back to the front.

"We've got some developments in the pipeline - they won't be immediate, but we think we know what we need to do to close the gap to the leaders."

Button has said he hopes Red Bull would make errors as he seeks to regain the championship lead.

The reliability problems that stalled Red Bull's 2009 title challenge returned to haunt them in the early part of this season when Vettel suffered a spark plug failure in Bahrain and a wheel problem in Australia.

But Red Bull have consistently out-paced the pack, claiming pole position for all six races.

And a major aerodynamic upgrade and two clean weekends in Barcelona and Monaco have seen them convert pace into dominant victories.

"I hope they do fall by the wayside," added Button, who now trails Webber by eight points in the standings. "Hopefully we're going to see them make some more mistakes.

"That's what we need at this point. We need to have the best race we can and hopefully they don't.

"They are going to be hard to catch now.

"It's a big lead they had in Barcelona, especially with a second (advantage) in qualifying, but no one is going to give up chasing them, especially not our team. We're going to do everything we can."

Button insists McLaren are working hard to eradicate their own reliability issues, which proved costly in the last two races.

"We learned a couple of difficult lessons in Spain and Monaco, but I know that we'll benefit from them," Button said on his personal website.

"The one thing that hasn't changed is the need for consistency and reliability.

"Both Lewis and I have failed to finish in one race, and the whole team has got to make sure that's the only time this year that we fail to score points.

"We've seen all the top teams make small mistakes this year but those small errors can sometimes have bigger consequences.

"If you're going to fight for the title then you've got to be scoring regularly."

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