HAMIL­TON LEADS, BUT WON’T LIFT OFF

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - Pho­tos: LAT

Lewis Hamil­ton still feels like he is “chas­ing” the cham­pi­onship de­spite tak­ing the points lead from Mercedes team-mate Nico Ros­berg after win­ning the Hun­gar­ian Grand Prix.

The Brit now heads Ros­berg for the first time this sea­son after the pair’s 1-2 fin­ish at the Hun­garor­ing on Sun­day, with Hamil­ton’s ad­van­tage six points.

It marks a rapid turn­around for the world cham­pion, who was 43 points be­hind Ros­berg ear­lier in the year after the Ger­man won the open­ing four races.

But de­spite claim­ing the ad­van­tage, Hamil­ton is not go­ing to change his ap­proach for the rest of the cam­paign.

“It’s not mas­sive,” he said of tak­ing the F1 points lead. “Right now, I am still with the same men­tal­ity of still chas­ing. I am very proud of com­ing back, but there’s a long way to go.”

Hamil­ton is aware that given the num­ber of en­gine fail­ures he had in the early stages of the sea­son, he will soon have to start from the back when penal­ties are ap­plied for us­ing more than the per­mit­ted num­ber of re­place­ment parts.

He added: “I re­ally would love to come out of the next race with an­other re­sult like this so when I do go to Spa or Monza, which­ever one it is where I take the penalty and I start from pit lane or last place, that is the min­i­mum dam­age, it doesn’t mean I am 25 points be­hind.

“I don’t re­ally want to get back to there. I hon­estly feel we are in the strong­est po­si­tion we have been all year in terms of our per­for­mance and how uni­fied we are.”

Ros­berg mean­while has been boosted by sign­ing a new deal to re­main with Mercedes for the next two sea­sons, as his pre­vi­ous con­tract was due to ex­pire at the end of 2016.

De­spite los­ing the ti­tle lead, the Ger­man is now eye­ing his home race this week­end as a chance to seize the ini­tia­tive back.

“It’s very close,” he said. “Now I move my fo­cus to Hockenheim, be­cause it’s my home race. I love the track and so I’m go­ing to try and win there.

“Ev­ery­thing’s still pos­si­ble and I just want to fo­cus on win­ning races, that’s what I wanted to do to­day [in Hun­gary], I had my full fo­cus on that, it didn’t work out un­for­tu­nately, just los­ing out in turn one.”

Brit now heads team­mate by six points

Hamil­ton’s Hun­gary win gave him lead

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