BUDAPEST, July 27 – Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton said Sunday he hopes his surprise Hungarian Grand Prix win will signal a major change of fortune for the team."We have to take as much as we can from this weekend. We need to continue to push. It doesn’t mean we can start slowing down," said the McLaren driver.
"We will keep pushing. We have improvements to make and work to do to beat these guys on a regular basis. It’s one huge leap for us, let’s keep going."
Hamilton praised his McLaren Mercedes team for their hard work in delivering the vastly-improved car that carried him to victory, his first of the season.
The 24-year-old Englishman said he was proud of everyone who worked for McLaren for their unstinting efforts to improve a car that was so difficult to drive in the opening half of the 2009 season.
"It’s an incredible feeling to be back here on the podium. It feels such a long time away – and such a struggle with me and the team, but as I said on the in-lap I am so proud of the guys," said Hamilton.
"I go to the factory and see how hard everyone is pushing. They never gave up and it is something very rare to see in a large group of people.
"I don’t think we expected to win this weekend. I didn’t feel we had the pace we needed to win here, but the car felt fantastic to drive. And for me it is incredibly special to be back up here not just on the podium, but to win. It’s just incredible."
Hamilton had scored only nine points this year before Sunday’s race at the Hungaroring and he had not won a race since the Chinese Grand Prix last year.
It was also a first race victory for McLaren’s new team chief Martin Whitmarsh who took over from Ron Dennis earlier this year.
Hamilton added: "The car was fantastic. The team asked me to look after the tyres, and through experience I was able to do that, so thanks to the guys and fans, and my family."
Hamilton also spoke for friend and rival Brazilian Felipe Massa who crashed in his Ferrari during Saturday’s qualifying session.
"I want to say yesterday was, for all us drivers, quite a sad day and to see Felipe not here today I think I can speak on behalf of us all — we miss him and wish him a quick recovery."