Button: Lewis and I are still in the hunt

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The Independent Online

Jenson Button insists McLaren's world title hopes are far from over despite their dismal Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

Sunday's race in Budapest saw Button end up a lap down in eighth while team-mate Lewis Hamilton failed to finish due to a gearbox problem, losing his world championship lead to race winner Mark Webber. The result also saw McLaren fall behind Red Bull at the top of the constructors' championship.

Hamilton said immediately after his retirement that his title hopes were now "hanging by a thin thread" given the staggering pace shown by Webber and Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, while Ferrari's resurgence has brought Fernando Alonso back into the title picture.

"We have some work to do to close the gap to the front," Button said. "I know how hard everyone is working at McLaren to make that happen and I'm confident that we'll be back in the hunt sooner rather than later. Lewis and I are still very much in the hunt, even if the last few races haven't seemed to favour our car as much as they did earlier this year. I know the strength of this team and our determination and ambition to hit back. I'm confident that we'll be more competitive in both Spa and Monza."

Despite his poor show in Hungary, Button is just 14 points behind Webber. Hamilton is only four points behind the Australian and, having had time to reflect on the weekend's events, shares his team-mate's optimism that McLaren can recover. "I know we can come back even stronger in the final seven races," he said. "We have some very promising developments in the pipeline, and we're making progress. I know that we will dig deep once more."