Lewis Hamilton felt that he had wrung all he could from his McLaren-Mercedes car despite being more than a second off the pace in yesterday's qualifying session for today's Hungarian Grand Prix. The world championship leader will line up fifth, despite being 1.5 seconds slower than Sebastian Vettel's pole position time, and he said he was just relieved to have made the top 10. "I'm happy with today's result," he said. "I was relieved to get into Q3 - it was very close - and I feel I pulled every last drop out of the car.
"So I'm satisfied with the job we did today." The 2008 world champion, who leads the standings by 14 points over his teammate Jenson Button with eight rounds to go, is hoping that a good start will move him up the order, having made up places off the line in the last three races. "Obviously, we'll have to work hard again tomorrow, but, all things considered, it's a good place for us to be starting from.
"It's on the clean side of the track, which is a positive, and it's a long haul down to Turn 1. So anything's possible. "As I say, I'm quite happy. Our car is the best it's ever been at this circuit. And we'll stay focused for tomorrow: I need to get as good a start as I've been getting for the past few races, stay clean, get around the first corner and keep moving forwards after that. "It would be great to make up some places off the grid because it's very hard to overtake around here. But we'll do the best job we can. I'm ready for it."
Hamilton has won twice before at the Hungaroring, in 2007 and then last year when he triumphed from fourth on the grid. Last season, he moved up to third at the first corner. He passed Mark Webber's Red Bull on the second lap and then inherited the lead when Fernando Alonso's Renault was forced to retire after a wheel fell off the car following a botched pit stop. * Compiled by Graham Caygill, with agencies