BUDAPEST: Lewis Hamilton’s faith in Mercedes was repaid by a victory that will give him the momentum to mount a title bid in the second half of the Formula One season, according to team chief Ross Brawn.
In the aftermath of the 28-year-old’s breakthrough first win for his new team after leaving McLaren, Brawn said he believed Mercedes had given themselves and Hamilton a chance to chase and challenge Red Bull.
“It [the championship] is so fragile,” he said. “I think it is still open and we certainly won’t be giving up. If we can replicate that, there is no reason why we cannot win more races. If we don’t replicate, then it won’t happen.”
Hamilton’s dominance at the hot Hungaroring pointed to Mercedes having made a major step forward in their understanding of the new Pirelli tyres.
“I hope it is another step,” said Brawn. “It is an important step to get that race win and there is absolutely no reason why more should not follow. I hope we have now started to demonstrate that his faith [in us] was justified.”
Alonso-Red Bull rumours gather pace
The Formula One circus broke up for its European summer holidays yesterday awash with rumours that Red Bull had added Fernando Alonso to the short-list of contenders to partner the current world champion Sebastian Vettel next year.
As the teams packed up ahead of the sport’s four-week break, the better-established tradition of ‘silly season’ speculation was ignited — and sent Ferrari into denial overdrive.
Ferrari claim that Alonso is under contract with them until 2016.
Both Horner and Alonso avoided direct statements to kill the story when they were confronted with it by reporters and Vettel himself talked openly about the prospect of partnering his Spanish rival.
Horner said, “Any conversations between any of the drivers and any of the parties will always remain confidential ... but, of course, there have been quite a few drivers who have expressed an interest in the seat, as you can imagine.”
Asked about the potential dynamics of an Alonso-Vettel partnership, he added, “It would be interesting.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.
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