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GP Week : Issue 127
27 LEWIS Hamilton and Jenson Button set hearts fluttering on the McLaren pitwall on Sunday afternoon in Budapest, after swapping paint in numerous wheel- to-wheel moves. But the short-lived breathlessness was more than worth is as Button eventually emerged as the deserving winner, having coped best with the slippery conditions. McLaren were applauded after the race for letting their drivers battle, with fans having been bitten by team orders at Red Bull and Ferrari in the past year. During one five-lap phase during the race, Button and Hamilton went at it hammer and tongs, providing TV viewers and spectators with a few laps of nail-biting racing. “ The race was a brilliantly eventful one. I had a good battle with Lewis when we were running one-two,” recalled Button. “ We were both driving on the limit and the gap ebbed and flowed, depending on the traffic. It was good fun and I was sorry that we weren’t standing up there on the podium together at the end of it all.” The brief rain shower than precipitated the intra-team battle spelled disaster for Hamilton however, with the moisture ultimately contributing to him losing more than a minute on his team-mate. After losing ten seconds and the lead with the spin at turn 7, Hamilton lost the equivalent of two pitstops by erroneously pitting for intermediate tyres as Button, Vettel and Alonso all stayed out on slicks. The stewards then rubbed more salt into the wound by handing him a drive- through penalty for pushing Paul di Resta off-track as he recovered from his spin. All-in-all, Hamilton went from leading the race by 5.6 seconds on lap 46 to trailing Button by 55.8 seconds 11 laps later. Although he recovered slightly to fourth, the result was a massive disappointment having led 39 or the 70 laps. “ The car felt very good to drive today. I think the cooler conditions helped us, but the team has done a fantastic job to get us where we are,” said Hamilton. “ We’ve now won two races in the space of a week, which is a great way to enter the summer break. “I’m disappointed in myself for spinning. I had to do a doughnut to get myself facing the right way and that forced Paul onto the grass, which is why I got the drive - through penalty. I’ve apologised to Paul and I’ll put the penalty behind me and move on to the next race.” But disastrous 10 laps costs Hamilton a minute McLaren applauded for letting drivers race F1 HUNGARY >>