• McLaren news

Hamilton feels title chances starting to slip

ESPNF1 Staff
August 3, 2010 « Button vows to work harder | »
Lewis Hamilton retired from the Hungarian Grand Prix © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton believes he and McLaren are hanging onto their title chances "for dear life", after entering the summer break four points down on championship leader Mark Webber.

Hamilton had led the standings since the Canadian Grand Prix but his second retirement of the season in Hungary dropped him to second. His concern is that the McLaren is a long way off the performance of the Red Bull after he qualified 1.7 seconds shy of Sebastian Vettel last weekend.

"If I was to sit here and say I am confident I will win the world championship that would not be right," he told the Daily Telegraph. "But I have to remain optimistic. I have enough in me to win the championship but whether we will have the package to deliver, I can't answer. We just have to keep working. We are hanging on for dear life."

McLaren shut down its factory at midnight on Sunday in order to observe the compulsory two-week summer holiday in F1 this season. Hamilton said the timing was not ideal as he was keen to question his car's designers over a number of features on the car.

"If we were not going on holiday I would love to go straight to the factory," he said. "I'm not an engineer but I would drag the chief designer down to the wind tunnel, question him many times and try to understand it because that is what I do. Things I have suggested in the past have worked. I don't think I am going to come up with the idea this time, but the more you ask, the easier you get to the solution. I feel it's just as much my job to kick them as it is for them to kick me.

He added: "I am sure while the engineers are away on the beach, they will have their notepads out and be thinking of ideas even though they are holiday. I have to believe they will find something. I hope that the geniuses that we have can figure out what is not working with our car."