Lewis: Title bid hinges on upgrades
Hamilton also suggests lack of 'boxer's nose' could be causing problems
Last Updated: 09/07/12 2:47pm
Lewis Hamilton has admitted McLaren must find a swift step forward in pace if they are to stay in contention for the World Championship in wake of their worst race of the season at Silverstone.
The Woking outfit's eighth and 10th place race finishes saw lead points runner Hamilton not only lose further touch with Fernando Alonso at the top of the Drivers' Championship but the team also slip from second to fourth in the Constructors' standings.
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Hamilton, who now trails his Ferrari rival by 37 points heading into the mid-point of the season, insists he isn't out of the hunt yet with 11 races still to go but acknowledges McLaren's competitiveness must improve if they are to avoid falling further behind.
"We are still in the fight but unless we find something it is going to be hard to stay in the fight," he said.
"I raced my heart out as always but we just struggled, we did not have enough speed in general. I wish we could have done better at my home grand prix but the others have clearly made another step forward so it was a real tough race.
"We have a lot of time to find from somewhere, we need a lot of downforce from somewhere.
"I don't know where the guys can find that but I really pray that they can find it."
Since locking out the front row at the opening two rounds of the season McLaren have claimed just three further podium finishes since Malaysia and Jenson Button even suggested after Sunday's dismal Silverstone showing that McLaren had slipped behind Sauber and Williams on pace.
While Hamilton believes "we can get there" he has also floated the possibility that the lack of a boxer's nose on the MP4-27 could be causing problems relative to the opposition and may be something McLaren have to change for 2013.
Asked if in wake of its Silverstone performance the car was fundamentally flawed, Hamilton was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: "I'm not using those words; I'll let you use those words.
"You've got to look at the cars in detail - just look at them and ours look different from the others."
Clearly referring to the nose, which was nonetheless raised from the Spanish GP in May, Hamilton added: "That's a significant difference. I'm not an aerodynamicist but there's got to be something there, so that's what we're looking at for this car, but also for next year's car.
"It is too big a change for this season."