Skip to main content

McLaren insists F1 title 'still up for grabs'

updated 10:34 AM EDT, Mon July 30, 2012
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton won at the Hungaroring in 2007 and 2009.
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton won at the Hungaroring in 2007 and 2009.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Martin Whitmarsh believes Lewis Hamilton can win 2012 F1 title
  • Hamilton won from pole position at Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix
  • The 2008 champion is fourth in drivers' standings, 47 points behind leader
  • The F1 season now takes a five-week break before the Belgian Grand Prix

(CNN) -- McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is confident Lewis Hamilton can challenge for the Formula One drivers' championship after his dominant victory in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton's win at the Hungaroring, his second of the 2012 season, left the Briton fourth in the title race with 117 points, 47 behind Ferrari's double world champion Fernando Alonso at the top of the standings.

Despite the gap, Whitmarsh is backing the 2008 title winner to challenge for the championship over the year's remaining nine races.

"Although he's still a little way behind the drivers' world championship leader, he's now very well placed to mount an assault," Whitmarsh told the British team's official website. "Believe me, it's still all up for grabs.

Simulating the F1 experience
When Silver Arrows dominated F1

"Lewis drove with tremendous composure all afternoon, and the result was a meticulously judged victory, wrought under intense pressure throughout."

Hamilton, whose other race this season came in Canada in June, was delighted to have recorded the third Hungarian GP victory of his six-year F1 career.

"It was a really enjoyable race -- but it wasn't at all easy," said the 27-year-old. "In fact, I reckon that it was one of the toughest races I've ever driven -- but, guess what, I'll savour it all the more for that.

"Looking at the season as a whole, it's clear that after the midseason break we'll have a lot of work to do. But, for now, let's celebrate -- all of us, family, friends and fans -- and put on our Vodafone rocket-red tops, and enjoy the moment."

F1 teams and drivers now have five weeks to rest and recuperate before the season resumes with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa on September 2.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
updated 10:59 AM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
updated 11:16 AM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
ADVERTISEMENT