Lewis Hamilton is determined to go into the summer break with the wind in his sails after recently seeing his Formula One world title hopes blown off course.
Just over six weeks ago, after his victory in the Canadian Grand Prix, Hamilton resumed the lead in the drivers’ standings, even if only by two points to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
Since then the results of both drivers have veered sharply, with Hamilton collecting just four points from three races and Alonso 68 from a possible 75 with two wins and a runner-up to leave the former trailing the latter by 62.
Unfortunately for Hamilton, the 27-year-old was first taken out by Williams’ Pastor Maldonado on the penultimate lap of the European Grand Prix in Valencia when running third.
At the British Grand Prix a fortnight later his McLaren was off the pace, leaving Hamilton to trail home eighth.
Then just four days ago a puncture sustained running over debris on lap two of the German Grand Prix eventually forced his retirement 10 laps from home.
At the halfway stage of the 20-race campaign, Hamilton knows he has to deliver this weekend in Hungary to ensure the few weeks off in August are not spent reflecting on what might have been.
“The car was great in Germany. We could have won,” Hamilton told PA Sport.
“I’ve always known the team are doing everything they can, and they did a great job to bring the upgrades they did for that race. We have clearly now shown we have the pace.
“I’ve still got confidence within myself, that has never wavered, it was just unfortunate what happened in Germany. That’s just the way it is.
“It would now be good to end this part of the season on a high, and we have another shot at it this weekend in Hungary.”
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh is hoping Hamilton will at least be buoyed by the fact the car was considerably quicker than a fortnight previously at Silverstone, at least in the dry.
Hamilton and teammate Jenson Button were poised to duke it out for pole given their form in the dry during practice, until rain during the second and third qualifying periods saw them struggle.
Hamilton emerged victorious at the Hungaroring in 2007 and 2009, whilst Button triumphed last year on the occasion of his 200th grand prix, and also in 2006 whilst with Honda, his first taste of the top step of the podium.
After finally returning to form on Sunday by finishing runner-up to Alonso, Button is again in a positive mood after a miserable run of six races in which he collected just seven points.
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