• Hungarian Grand Prix - FP2

McLaren out to limit damage

ESPNF1 Staff
July 30, 2010 « Vettel plays down advantage | »
Lewis Hamilton tries to keep his spirits up © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton admitted that the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend could be a case of damage limitation even though his McLaren was the best car he had driven around the Hungaroring.

Hamilton finished Friday's free practice session sixth fastest but was still nearly a second and a half slower than Sebastian Vettel's benchmark time.

"It's been an interesting day," said Hamilton. "We've just been focusing on our package and trying to optimise what we have. And the car was the best I've ever driven around here - it felt really great through the corners.

"But, even so, we're losing quite a bit of time in the middle sector, and a couple of tenths in the first and third sectors, too. And then, as you start to push harder, in order to close the gap to the guys in front, the car begins to feel like it's a little bit on the ragged edge."

Although Hamilton said there was still time that the team could make up, he thinks the teams ahead will need to run into trouble to help McLaren's cause.

"I think we're pretty much getting the best out of the package we have - we're dialing-in the set-up pretty effectively - but there's still maybe a few tenths to come. So we know we've got a lot of work to do: this weekend is really about scoring as many points as we can, and hoping the guys ahead run into trouble."

Team-mate Jenson Button, who finished ninth quickest, echoed Hamilton's sentiments about the chances of catching his main rivals.

"I'm reasonably happy with the car today. It didn't feel too great on the Option tyre, but the balance was good on the Prime. However, we're a little bit behind the Red Bulls and the Ferraris.

"It's probably therefore going to be a tricky weekend for us. There are still areas where we can improve, which is positive, but we're unlikely to close the gap completely here in Hungary. Hopefully, though, we'll see an improvement tomorrow, and that will move us closer."