F1 2012: Hamilton and McLaren Hungary for grand prix success

PUBLISHED: 11:10 25 July 2012 | UPDATED: 19:41 29 July 2012

Lewis Hamilton competing in 2012 German Grand Prix qualifying at Hockenheim [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

Lewis Hamilton competing in 2012 German Grand Prix qualifying at Hockenheim [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

HOCH ZWEI

FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton heads to Budapest this week for the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix hoping to get his season back on track before the sport's mid-summer break.

2012 FIA F1 World Drivers’ Championship

Official standings after revised 2012 German Grand Prix result

1 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 154 pts

2 Mark Webber (Red Bull) 120

3 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 110

4 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 98

5 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 92

6 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 76

7 Jenson Button (McLaren) 68

8 Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 61

The 27-year-old former F1 world champion from Hertfordshire retired from Sunday’s 2012 Santander German Grand Prix at Hockenheim with car damage after suffering a second-lap puncture.

However, the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ace was encouraged by the team’s upgrades, which clawed back some of the time on championship pacesetters Red Bull and Ferrari.

And he’s looking to challenge for a podium on Sunday in the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring.

Speaking after the race in Germany, Hamilton said: “At least I was able to have some fun out on track – my pace was good enough to be able to match the leaders during the middle stint.

Official FIA F1 Constructors’ Championship

Revised constructors’ standings after 2012 German Grand Prix

1 Red Bull 230 pts

2 Ferrari 177

3 McLaren Mercedes 160

4 Lotus 159

5 Mercedes 105

6 Sauber 80

7 Williams 47

8 Force India 46

“And that’s encouraging for me, because we know our car’s been genuinely quick this weekend.

“A big thank-you to everyone back at the factory for all their efforts to get a lot of new parts onto the car this weekend – every little bit helps, and we know there’s even more in the pipeline.

“We’ll put that pace in our pockets and take it to Hungary next weekend. I’m back in the car in five days’ time – and that’s the best possible news for me after a day like today.”

Hamilton’s McLaren teammate Jenson Button crossed the finish line third in Germany but was promoted to second in the official results after Red Bull’s reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel with hit with a 20-second time penalty by race stewards.

Official 2012 German Grand Prix result

The official finishing order at Hockenheim

1 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

2 Jenson Button (McLaren)

3 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)

4 Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber)

5 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)*

6 Sergio Perez (Sauber)

7 Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)

8 Mark Webber (Red Bull)

* 20 second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage when rejoining.

Button was delighted to return to the podium, with McLaren’s upgrades working well.

Speaking after Sunday’s race, he said: “There are two strong positives to take away from today: firstly, although it proved very difficult to overtake, we’re right up there with Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of speed.

“Our upgrade package is working well: if we can sort out qualifying, we’re in the mix, and we’ll have a really good chance of winning races this season.

“Secondly, although there’s previously been some negative talk about our pitstops, the boys did an unbelievable job today [Sunday].

“My fastest stop was a 2.31s – the blink of an eye, and, I’m told, the fastest pitstop in history. They were phenomenal and gave it absolutely everything – all our effort is really paying off now.”

He added: “I’m already looking forward to Hungary – it’s a special place for me, and I feel really encouraged that we can have another great race next weekend.”

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is also optimistic of another podium this weekend.

He said: “Looking ahead to Hungary next weekend, we know we’ve got a good car and a good recent track record there – we won in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011.

“Winning just before the shutdown is always positive because it provides you with great momentum across the summer break.

“The underlying news is that we were very competitive this afternoon in the Santander German Grand Prix.

“There’s a lot of races ahead and I think we can have some great results.”

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