Lewis Hamilton heads into the summer break in an upbeat mood has he feels his Budapest win has vaulted him back into the title race.
The 28-year-old claimed his maiden victory as a Mercedes driver on Sunday as he won the Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position. Despite the win, Hamilton is still 48 points behind Sebastian Vettel in the standings.
Vettel remains favourite for the Championship, but Hamilton's odds at Paddy Power have shortened after his latest success.
Asked if he can now challenge for the title, he replied: "Of course, it's definitely in the back of my mind.
"When I signed I didn't think I would win a race this season. [Now] we've had the hottest race of the whole year and we had a performance like we did.
"It definitely gives me confidence for the next nine races [that] we can continue moving forward and have some more good opportunities to win, especially when we go to Spa where it's cooler [which] might be better for us."
There are still nine races left in the season and what will be pleasing to Mercedes is the fact several of the tracks suit Hamilton's driving style. You can put money on back-to-back wins for Hamilton and more at Paddy Power.
For now Hamilton and the rest of the Formula One fraternity can relax a bit as the sport is on a four-week break, and the 2008 World Champion believes his win came at just the right time for his Mercedes squad.
"There is no better feeling for a team to go into a break than to win," he is quoted as saying by Autosport.
"I was lucky enough to do it with McLaren. It was always a real good boost for them to go into that period of time relaxed, knowing we'd had a win.
"I feel it will do the same for this team, [as it is] the first time they have had that feeling going into a break. It's a big boost for us.
"Maybe we have a better chance of moving forward these next few races.
"It definitely picks you up - for the next few days it will keep me right on a high.
"Normally I don't really train much over the summer break, but this time I'm going to train intensely and hopefully come back stronger for the second half of the season."
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