• Belgian Grand Prix

'I have as good a chance as any' - Hamilton

ESPN Staff
August 30, 2012 « Massa keen to prove himself | Di Resta wants management future resolved »
Lewis Hamilton closed the gap to Fernando Alonso by 15 points with victory in Hungary © Sutton Images
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Lewis Hamilton believes he has "as good a chance as anyone at the moment" to win the championship.

After his win in Hungary, Hamilton currently sits 47 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso. While Hamilton has dismissed Alonso's claims that Ferrari has the slowest car of the championship contenders, he does admit he doesn't feel that the gap is by any means insurmountable.

"I don't know why he'd say his car is not as quick, unless he feels he's taken a step backwards," Hamilton said. "But I don't think that's the case. Fernando's still probably the best all-round driver at the moment; he's bringing in points consistently and finishing every race in the points. So he's doing a solid job there and he has won several races so I definitely wouldn't say he has the worst car.

"I definitely feel that we have as good a chance as anyone at the moment in this championship. While we've lost some points, there's still a lot to play for, and there's still a lot that we can achieve if we continue with the performance that we had in the last race. We have to assume that everyone's going to have some ups and downs through these next nine races, and we have to be the team that has the least."

Hamilton said the key to winning the championship would be to find more race pace in the MP4-27, citing Lotus as having the strongest car at the moment.

"We've got to continue to improve the car. We're currently not the quickest. I think we're quite quick over a qualifying lap for several reasons, but then in the race we're still not quickest. We're very, very similar to the others; I think Lotus perhaps has just taken a step ahead to being quickest in the race. I think now is about trying to improve our race pace, if we can improve our race pace and match our qualifying pace then I think we'll be very strong. But I think it's still a race of development for the rest of the year and on the drivers' front it's consistency - as I've been saying from the beginning."

With team-mate Jenson Button 40 points further back in the standings, there have been suggestions he should help Hamilton close the championship gap. Hamilton, however, says he doesn't expect McLaren to ask Button to do so and wouldn't want him to either.

"Jenson races for the team and he races for points for himself as well. He's getting stronger as the season goes on so I anticipate that's going to be the case throughout the rest of the season. We need him - and I need him - to be scoring points as well, so I want him to do well.

"I watch back at the years when drivers have let drivers past to win the championship and it doesn't feel right to me. It doesn't feel right, so I won't be asking for that … if I'm not quick enough then I'm not quick enough. I want to win because I'm quickest, not because I was given points by someone being held up."