• Turkish Grand Prix

Hamilton delighted to 'take the battle to Red Bull'

ESPNF1 Staff
May 30, 2010
There were few smiles on the podium © Sutton Images

A surprisingly subdued Lewis Hamilton said he hoped the McLaren 1-2 at the Turkish Grand Prix would give the team the push it needed to challenge the Red Bulls in the world championship. Hamilton took the chequered flag from Jenson Button after the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel had taken each other out on lap 41. Although Webber recovered to finish third, Vettel was forced to retire.

"Red Bull made it tough for us and we put up a good fight," said Hamilton, who had been on Webber's tail throughout the early stages. "You can see how close it is between the four of us. It's down to momentum, and we'll do the best we can to win both championships.

"We have been ragging their tails for some time. It's such an achievement for us, to really be able to take the battle to them. They had one strength that was particularly good here, we had a strength here, and we didn't know how it would pan out. We were able to compete with them and push our hardest to be on their tails. To get our second 1-2 is fantastic."

Asked about the clash between the Red Bulls, Hamilton, who was only a couple of seconds behind them, admitted it was not too upsetting. "It was great to watch … like an action movie in HD or 3D. It was fantastic. I got the best view of it.

"I just saw Seb go up the inside, Mark held his line and had no room to move right, and there was no reason for Seb to move to the right. It was unfortunate for them and fortunate for us."

Button was delighted the McLarens matched the pace of the Red Bulls as "so many times we have seen them disappear into the distance". He added: "The pace of the car was good. As soon as the Red Bulls were out of way we picked up the pace. It was a good fun race."

Asked about a thrilling battle he had with Hamilton when the pair went through several corners side by side, with Button briefly taking the lead before Hamilton fought back, he smiled. "We were both told to save fuel but it's always difficult to know how much. When Lewis got back past me I was told to keep saving and I think it got a bit critical towards the end.

"It was fun to battle at the end with Lewis. We got a 1-2 so the team should be happy with the result this weekend. A few weeks ago you could say we might not be able to challenge the Red Bulls, so we have to say thanks to the team."

Inevitably, all the questions put to Webber concentrated on the clash with Vettel. "Neither want to make contact but it can happen sometimes when both are in front," he said. "It's never ideal but it happened."