LEWIS Hamilton said he is “grateful” to be in the fight for what has become an increasingly close title race after winning the Italian Grand Prix.
Report by BBC Online
The McLaren driver moved from fifth to second in the standings to trail leader Fernando Alonso by 37 points.
Hamilton (27) said: “This championship has been so unpredictable. I’m so grateful we’re in the fight, we have a good car and we can compete.
“The car’s not necessarily the fastest, but we’re as fast as our rivals.”
With Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber of Red Bull and McLaren’s Jenson Button failing to score, Alonso extended his lead in the championship following his rise from 10th on the grid to third at the finish.
But with Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus netting another strong points finish in fifth, it means just two points separate Hamilton in second, Raikkonen in third and Vettel in fourth. Webber is only eight points further back.
“(The win) is great for the championship,” added Hamilton.
“It just shows that anything can happen. I’ve had some real bad races and some good ones –– and I hope some more good ones are coming.
“We’ve had some great performances in the last few races but I’ve not picked up points in all of them so I need to improve on that area.
“It’s going to be incredibly tough. Fernando let the cat out of the bag and said they’ve got lots of updates coming to the next race (in Singapore).
“I’m going to go back to the factory and hope that the guys are doing the same –– I trust they will be. There are seven more races to go so this is just one step.”
Vettel, who was second in the championship coming to Monza, was philosophical about his title hopes despite failing to reach the finish for the second time this season.
“We lost some points today,” said the reigning world champion.
“It doesn’t help if the others are finishing and we don’t. We did the best we could.”