Indian GP: Lewis Hamilton targets fourth win after 'best drive all year'

Sebastian Vettel leads the Indian Grand Prix

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton hailed the Indian Grand Prix as his best race this year and backed his team to help him win before the end of the season.

The Briton finished fourth in Sunday's race but pushed Red Bull's Mark Webber all the way in the battle for third.

"A win is something I'd still like to achieve," he said.

"I still have faith in the team. If I drive like I drove today, which I believe was the best I've driven all year, then I believe I can do it."

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton, who has won three races so far in 2012, qualified third but a slow start saw his drop behind first team-mate Jenson Button, and then Fernando Alonso.

It looked as though the 27-year-old was going to be in for a tough race as he endured issues with the soft tyre compound, before suffering downshift failure with his steering wheel.

However, a slick 3.3 second pit-stop, where his McLaren was fitted with a new steering wheel and the harder set of tyres, improved Hamilton's fortunes and for the latter half of the race he was consistently quick.

In the end, he finished just 0.6 seconds behind Webber.

"Staying in my starting position would have helped a lot and I would have been fighting the Red Bulls a little earlier," added Hamilton.

"Then I had steering wheel failure. The team had to change the wheel in the pits - that's never happened to me in a race. It was so quick. They took it off before I even stopped, chucked it back in, in first gear. It felt awesome.

Lewis Hamilton

"I pushed right to the finish line. I can't remember the last time I was so much over the limit to try to catch someone. It felt great. The tyres lasted so long and we had really good pace. I pushed so hard, but it's a shame we didn't have the ultimate pace at the start."

After his first-lap tussle with Hamilton and Alonso, Button's challenge for a podium place faded as the race wore on, with the former world champion also having struggled on the soft compound.

Ultimately, the highlight of his race was clocking the fastest time on the very last lap, one minute 28.203 seconds, as he finished fifth, 26 seconds behind winner Sebastian Vettel.

"It was a really good fight but after the first two laps, I struggled - I didn't have the pace," Button said.

"Getting the fastest lap at the end was a highlight. He [Vettel] did win the race so we'll give him that one!"

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