Hamilton, Button target Red Bull match-up

London: Lewis Hamilton believes it will not be long before he is able to match the pace of rivals Red Bull despite being almost a second slower at the British Grand Prix.

McLaren were unable to get their upgrades working properly in time for the Silverstone race and opted to remove the rear-blown diffuser and revert to a previous car set-up ahead of qualifying.

That meant that although Hamilton was able to extend his lead in the drivers? championship by finishing second, he was over half a second per lap slower than race-winner Mark Webber of Red Bull.

But the 2008 champion is convinced that his `over-delivering` McLaren team will have their upgrades working in time for the German Grand Prix next weekend and stop Red Bull from collecting their third successive win.

He said: "Overall we`re doing a damn solid job with what we have. We`re not the quickest but the car is good. But we`re over-delivering with the package we have. We`re definitely over-delivering.”

"Red Bull are still the quickest. They were over a second quicker in qualifying. I just managed to bring it down to nine tenths, which is huge - and then in the race it was over half a second. We`ve still got a huge amount of time to find in the car.”

"On the lower speed circuits we will be a bit closer to them; maybe two-tenths. But when it`s a high-speed circuit they have a big advantage at the moment. Hopefully in the next race, in the next two races, we should be able to get our upgrades working and we will be with them."

McLaren team-mate Jenson Button warned that rivals Mercedes and Ferrari have also improved and should not be underestimated.

"We`ve seen since the start of the season that the Red Bull has been the car to beat. I`ve won a couple of races, and so has Lewis, and you could say that, for a few races at least, we perhaps had the quickest race pace, and we were able to make the most of that.”

"But Valencia showed us that the opposition never stands still. And a number of teams showed up with some significant upgrades, and even if the results didn`t necessarily show it, we became aware of their intent."

However, the defending champion is confident that his team will raise their game and get their rear-blown diffuser working efficiently in time for the upcoming races.

"It`s not easy to arrive at a track and simply `switch on` a new package - it requires quite a bit of effort - so I think over the next few races, we`re going to see a lot of the top teams further fine-tuning their refinements. So we can`t afford to stand still.”

"I think we`ve perhaps punched above our weight at the last two races - which is great for us - but we`re not standing still.”

"At the moment, we`re hopeful of taking the blown diffuser to Hockenheim to run it on Friday.”

"We learnt quite a bit about it from the day`s testing at Silverstone, and I hope we`ll be in a position to get it working more effectively at the German Grand Prix."

Bureau Report

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