• Hungarian Grand Prix

'The better man won' - Hamilton

ESPNF1 Staff
July 31, 2011 « 'The win was in reach' - Vettel | »
Lewis Hamilton held a commanding lead early in the race © Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton refused to blame his team and said that "the better man won" as he endured a difficult Hungarian Grand Prix to finished fourth.

Hamilton led early in the race and looked favourite for victory as he built up a nine second lead by the half way point. With his team-mate Jenson Button in second place McLaren looked to have the race under control, but then the decision to put on supersoft tyres during the third pit stop while Button, Vettel and Webber put on softs with 30 laps to go proved costly.

Hamilton was slower and had to make an extra pit stop, while a rain shower also caused him to spin and lose his lead, before getting a drive through for forcing Paul di Resta off the track as he recovered. Hamilton said he had struggled with his front left tyre, but was full of praise for the race winner.

"First of all congratulations to Jenson," Hamilton said to the BBC. "He was pushing me hard the whole race and the better man won today, he did a fantastic job and congratulations to the team.

"It was an intense race, we obviously got a good start, did great for the first half of the race - I was struggling a lot with the graining on my left front tyre, I don't know if it was my fault for pushing too much - then I had a big mistake. Again my left front tyre was pretty worn so I went a bit wide, came out of the chicane and spun which is very very rare, I think it's one of the first times I've spun. And then after that I have to apologise to Paul di Resta, I didn't see him, so I had absolutely no clue - I don't know where or what happened - but I got a penalty for something which is to be expected I guess sometimes, so I apologise to him."

Hamilton then pitted for intermediate tyres, a decision which dropped him out of the running for a podium, and he refused to blame his team for the error as he it was suffering with communication problems.

"We were having radio issues and I could hear my engineers but they couldn't hear me. So I was constantly asking them for information but they couldn't hear me so it was a very difficult call for them. I think perhaps at one point they got some information from me and I heard them say it was going to rain and it was already spitting so we opted to go for the wet tyres. I think they called me in and I did the lap, anyway the tyres went off, it wasn't necessarily the best call but that's motor racing."

After a frustrating afternoon, Hamilton said that the pace of the car and Button's win showed the level of McLaren's improvement.

"I think we can definitely say that the team has done a fantastic job. For us (he and Button) to both be the most competitive this weekend I think is a fantastic way to go in to the break. Of course we would have loved a one-two, I feel like I let the team down a little bit, but we'll bounce back at the next race."

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