Lewis Hamilton is optimistic that he is still in the World Championship hunt thanks to his second place in the Korean Grand Prix, although he admitted that McLaren needed to find more pace to give him a shot in the last two rounds.
Following a three-race absence from the podium, Hamilton chased winner Fernando Alonso home at Yeongam today. With the Red Bulls both retiring, Hamilton is now third in the standings, 20 points behind new leader Alonso.
"Today we picked up some good points," said Hamilton, "it could have been better but if you look at the last four races we didn't pick up such good points.
"We have to make some improvements to the car as the qualifying pace is not good enough. We have some good things coming so it's not impossible. We will keep pushing and as you saw today anything can happen, we didn't expect two Red Bulls to go out, but that is how close this championship is. Fernando is quick but it is still open."
While most drivers insisted over their radios that conditions were too bad to race during the long initial safety car period, Hamilton was adamant that the track was dry enough.
"I wasn't frustrated, I just wanted to race," he said.
Hamilton could have been in a position to inherit the win when Sebastian Vettel stopped, as he briefly got up to second when Alonso was delayed in the pits during the mid-race safety car period. But the McLaren ran wide at the first corner on the restart, letting Alonso back through.
"I was just really struggling with the brakes, locking fronts and rears, and locked both fronts," said Hamilton. But otherwise we were very, very quick everywhere else."