Hamilton pleased with McLaren progress

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton is convinced McLaren are putting all the pieces of the jigsaw together as they again seek to become Formula One world champions.

Hamilton's title challenge has been a slow burner this season as he endured a tricky start, notably in watching team-mate Jenson Button win races in Australia and China.

But Hamilton has taken 68 points from a possible maximum of 75 from the last three races to leapfrog his way to the top of the drivers' standings ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old heads into the halfway race of the season with a six-point cushion over Button, whilst McLaren lead the way in the constructors' championship by 30 points from rivals Red Bull.

If McLaren can reproduce or improve on their showing in the first half of the season during the second half of the campaign, the titles should come their way.

Appreciating a level of calm that has descended on McLaren of late, Hamilton said: "Over the last few years we've learned from a number of difficulties, and through those you grow and become stronger.

"Our approach this year as a team as a whole, in terms of power and the operational side of things, has gone very smoothly.

"I feel we've all the right people in the right positions. The team has the two drivers they wanted and we're both doing a job.

"We've the aerodynamicists doing their job, the engineers building the parts doing their job, so it feels bit by bit we're getting all the segments in the right position to win this championship.

"It's still a work in progress, but it's better than it ever has been, and Jenson has contributed heavily to that."

It is another sign of their growing relationship that Hamilton does at least credit Button for his input, even though the 30-year-old has only been with the Woking-based marque six months.

"I do feel the team is growing, and when I get in the car, it feels the best it has ever done since I've been in Formula One," added Hamilton.

"That's due to a lot of work I've put in, a lot of work the team have put in and I've done with them, and a lot of work Jenson has done with us.

"I hope this is a good start to something very special for many years to come.

"As a team, since I've been here, we've not had a car that's been good every year - we've had a good car, then a bad car, now a good car.

"We want to make sure we have a good car every year. We want to be the best, and we're doing everything we can as a team to make sure we optimise everything."