F1: Lewis Hamilton switch to Mercedes vindicated by victory says Ross Brawn
The British driver left McLaren at the end of last season
Tuesday 30 July 2013
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn believes Lewis Hamilton's decision to quit McLaren is now starting to bear fruit.
Hamilton was criticised in some quarters last year when he agreed to join Mercedes and bring the curtain down on his 14-year association with McLaren.
At the time there appeared justification for the scepticism given Mercedes ended last season with a record of one win in 58 grands prix since returning to Formula One in 2010.
Even Hamilton claimed at the start of the season he did not think he would take the chequered flag this year, instead preferring to focus on the long-term possibilities.
But after enviously seeing team-mate Nico Rosberg triumph twice this year, Hamilton finally clinched his maiden win for Mercedes on Sunday in Hungary and Brawn now believes his fellow Briton has silenced a few of his critics.
He said: "It was an important step to get that win. There's absolutely no reason why more won't follow.
"He showed faith in us at the end of last year and people speculated on the wisdom of that move.
"I hope we are now starting to show his faith was justified. It's very early days, but it's very encouraging."
The victory means Hamilton is 48 points adrift of championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who finished third at the Hungaroring behind Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen.
Heading into F1's summer break, and with Mercedes finally appearing to have cracked the code surrounding Pirelli's tyres, Brawn would like to believe his team are now in the title hunt.
"We had a strong weekend from beginning to end and if we replicate that there's no reason why momentum can't build," added Brawn.
"But we have to get both cars to the finish (Rosberg retired with an engine failure late on) and we didn't do that on Sunday.
"But I think it (the title race) is still open myself and certainly we won't be giving up."
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is in no doubt that Mercedes and Hamilton will be a threat over the second half of the season to their hopes of winning four successive world titles.
"Lewis obviously won because he had the best car - it is as simple as that," said Horner.
"He did a great job, drove very well, everything fell perfectly for them.
"Mercedes have a very strong car. Since the second race they have been very quick, taking pole position in seven and they have won three.
"I think we are set for a really intense second half of the year. We just have to maintain our consistency no matter who the opponent is."
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
World Cup 2014: Football Manager developers predict the team of the tournament - but which England player makes it into the XI?
Transfer news: Manchester United step up chase for Internazionale midfielder Fredy Guarin - reports
Ashes 2013/14 third Test: Is Waca on the way out?
Manchester City should have known rules in Bayern Munich match, says Rafa Benitez
Champions League last 16 draw 2013: Who could Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United meet?
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white