Encouraged Hamilton stays realistic

Lewis Hamilton says he is staying realistic about McLaren's chances of fighting the top two teams despite what the Briton labelled as a huge step forward from his team in Germany

Encouraged Hamilton stays realistic

Although Hamilton finished in 18th place after picking up a puncture on the first lap, the world champion was encouraged by the progress made thanks to the updates introduced last weekend.

Hamilton qualified in a season-best fifth place and looked set for a strong result before his incident.

The Briton, however, believes McLaren's resurgence doesn't mean he will be able to fight with leading teams Red Bull and Brawn.

"It is not a revival, it is as I've said before a work-in-progress," Hamilton said on his website.

"The team has more improvements planned, and it would be great if we could further close the gap to the leaders and think about attacking at some of the races, but we are remaining realistic: Red Bull and Brawn have both got fantastic cars and it will be incredibly hard to just turn up and be able to compete with them.

"At least we are now on the right track with our upgrades and the development process continues for both this year and the next - and while it's nice to think about race results and running at the front - as I've said before I now look at this year as a development year for all of us and one which will only make us stronger.

"I'm confident that we'll have some stronger showings in the next few races, and then we should have a clearer idea of just how we'll go at the end of the season."

The world champion said that, despite the disappointing result, he was looking at the bigger picture and was very encouraged by his car's new-found pace.

"I know I said that I was disappointed after Sunday's race, but it is only natural and we have to look on the positive side: if we'd turned up at the Nurburgring and discovered that the upgrades we'd brought were a disappointment then it would have been a huge blow to everyone, but as far as we know, the upgrades made a huge difference to our performance last weekend and I'm hopeful we can carry that performance and more through to Hungary."

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