McLaren pair say title hopes rising after recent results
|By Jonathan Noble||Sunday, July 31st 2011, 09:24 GMT|
McLaren duo Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton say that recent successes for their team and Ferrari have lifted hopes that Sebastian Vettel can be beaten to the world championship this year.
Although Vettel still has a comfortable lead in the title standings, he has won only one out of the last four races as both McLaren and Ferrari have closed the performance gap to Red Bull Racing.
And, with McLaren lining up second and third on the grid in Hungary, both its drivers say there is still every reason to keep piling the pressure on Vettel.
Button said: "For me it is a little bit more difficult. The last two races have hurt me quite a bit in a sport where reliability seems to be so good these days.
"It is tricky having non-finishes, and I think Sebastian has twice as many points as I do, but it doesn't mean I am going to be giving up. We will keep fighting, and you never know what can happen.
"Over the last four races he has only won one of them, so there is hope and we will push every race we are in to get the best results. And then we will see at the end of the season what happens."
Hamilton added: "It is a very, very long season. Me and Jenson are the two that the team look to to take what they have built and designed, and put it at the front and get the best points with it.
"What we say and what we do is used as motivation, and there are times when we don't always say the right things. But sometimes when you have races like the last one it kind of answers all the hard work they have put in. It makes it that much more worthwhile, so they are ready to do round two and continue to push for that next step.
"I am glad we had that. All the team have been saying we will win races this year and we are pushing as hard as everyone in the team, so I think that is a great sign."
Hamilton believes that McLaren is well in the hunt for victory in Hungary - despite Vettel having secured yet another pole position.
"We are pushing and we are improving, and it is great to see," he said. "I am massively happy that we are here in the fight.
"At some point we were behind the Red Bull and the Ferraris and now we are splitting them, plus me and Jenson are able to be ahead of Ferraris as well.
"It is a massive push from the team, an improvement, and we were saying today how nice it is to drive the car. We will continue to work on that and hopefully it will be like that for the rest of the season."