Hamilton: Everything to play for
Briton confident McLaren in good shape to reel in Alonso
Last Updated: 24/08/12 5:34pm
Lewis Hamilton insists there is "still everything to play for" in the battle for the World Championship ahead entering the season's final nine races - and believes McLaren remain firmly in the hunt.
The 2008 title winner ensured he went into the August summer recess on a high by claiming his second victory of the season at the Hungaroring and, with the five-week break almost completed, the 27-year-old says he prepares to return to action with his confidence in McLaren's chances reaffirmed.
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Hamilton believes that as none of the teams in contention can claim to have an absolute pace advantage he has every chance of closing down his 47-point deficit to Ferrari rival Fernando Alonso.
"My win in Hungary was a fantastic way to go into the summer break: it had the added bonus of sending the whole team away for their holidays with a positive feeling in their hearts. It's also given me the hope and assurance that we can come back for the final nine races with a real chance to go for both world championships," he said.
"Given the unpredictability of the sport, I think it's still difficult to predict accurately who'll win the next grand prix, but I reckon the coming few weeks ought to give us a much clearer idea of the destination of the world title.
"It's going to be an extremely tough, tactical and interesting finale to the season. There's no team with a clear advantage - although we're all pushing hard to catch Fernando [Alonso]'s points tally in the drivers' championship - so there's still everything to play for."
Having opted to carry out its mandatory two-week factory shutdown immediately after the last race in Hungary, McLaren have been able to spend the last two weeks fully preparing for the back-to-back rounds at Spa and Monza.
Team chief Martin Whitmarsh shares Hamilton's optimism over McLaren's chances between now and the season finale in Brazil.
"Following the mandatory factory shutdown, we're fortunate to have had two full weeks available to prepare ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix," Whitmarsh said.
"As usual, we're heading into this double-header hopeful of closing the gap to the leaders in both the drivers' and constructors' championships.
"Lewis's victory in Hungary certainly provided further proof to us that we can take on the fight for both - and that remains our aim: to win both world championships."