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Latest F1 news in brief - Monday (Update) UPDATE Updates shown in red below.

  • Lewis and former girlfriend Nicole
    Heartbroken Hamilton back in title chase
  • Pirelli would prefer winter running in Bahrain
  • Hungary extends race contract through 2021
  • No tire war unless rules change - Hembery
  • Ecclestone admits India facing F1 axe
  • Pirelli believes tire woes behind Mercedes New
  • Ferrari confirms James Allison's arrival New

Heartbroken Hamilton back in title chase
(GMM)  Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton went into Sunday's Hungarian grand prix having written off his title chances and insisting victory would require a "miracle".

When the checkered flag dropped, the 'miracle' had been in the form of a dominant display, leaving Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda to deny the team had spent the weekend bluffing.

Briton Hamilton also insisted: "I'm baffled.

"Honestly, we really didn't expect this.  We bolted the tires on and they worked for us."

He had said just before the race at the Hungaroring that if Mercedes had struggled with tires in milder temperatures, then hot Budapest would leave the W04 nowhere.

So, Lauda is now sounding hopeful Hamilton, 48 points behind, can track down Sebastian Vettel's championship lead.

"Vettel is the absolute favorite," he told German broadcaster RTL, "without question.  But I can tell you that Spa and then Monza will suit us."

Indeed, with some teams now starting to switch off developments of the 2013 cars, team boss Ross Brawn told Auto Motor und Sort there will be upgrades at both of those forthcoming high-speed circuits.

"After that we will decide on our priorities for the rest of the season," he added.

For the moment, then, Hamilton is "very much" in the title fight, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner insists.

Hamilton agreed: "You never know what the tires are going to do elsewhere, but if we came here and made our tires last then we should be able to do it anywhere.

"I hope this is not the last time the tires work for me."

2008 world champion Hamilton also admitted to feeling melancholy throughout the Hungaroring weekend, and devoted the win to his former girlfriend Nicole.

"It's been the toughest couple of months of my life," the emotional former McLaren driver, his voice trembling, told British television Sky.

Lauda joked to Bild newspaper: "As long as he drives as he did in Hungary, long may his heartache live!"

Pirelli would prefer winter running in Bahrain
(GMM)  F1 appears headed to Dubai for pre-season testing early next year.

But the local The National newspaper said that, following team boss meetings in Hungary at the weekend, Abu Dhabi is also still in the running to host the guaranteed dry-weather running of the new V6-powered cars.

And according to Pirelli's Paul Hembery, Bahrain should be yet another contender.

"We have agreed that some of the (winter) tests will be in the Middle East, in hot weather, which from our point of view is progress even though we are talking about before the start of the season," he said.

Hembery is quoted by Russia's f1news.ru as admitting that Dubai is the frontrunner.

"We (Pirelli) have been there before, for many kinds of different races, but the problem is that the circuit is used rarely and there's a lot of sand on the asphalt.

"I would regard Bahrain as the best option for testing," he added.

The National said next season's three-test winter period will begin in late January at Jerez, Spain.

Hungary extends race contract through 2021 
The Hungaroring has extended its Formula 1 race contract through 2021, marking a five-year extension to the previous agreement that was due to expire in 2016.

The deal was signed by Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone on the top floor of the Red Bull Energy Station ahead of Sunday afternoon's Hungarian Grand Prix, with Zsuzsanna Nemeth, current Minister of National Development, also in attendance.

Ahead of the 2014 event, circuit organizers are expected to make improvements to the medical centre and main pit building, while track modifications are also planned.

No tire war unless rules change - Hembery
(GMM)  Paul Hembery has played down reports Pirelli might have to go wheel-to-wheel with Michelin in formula one next year.

There are rumors the apparently Jean Todt-supported French marque Michelin, last on the grid as the Bridgestone tire war ended in 2006, is planning a F1-related announcement for the middle of this week.

Michelin is believed to favor a competitive situation for a return to F1, while Pirelli is more content with the current one-supplier rules designed to keep costs down.

Asked if the Michelin reports have him worried, Pirelli's motor sport director Hembery replied: "We have a contract with the teams, but the rules do not allow competition between tire manufacturers.

"We are doing our job," he told f1news.ru, as Pirelli pushes for a new multi-year contract to be the sport's sole supplier of tires beyond 2013.

Hembery concluded: "If the rules change, we will be told about it."

Ecclestone admits India facing F1 axe
(GMM)  Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed reports a question mark hangs above India's grand prix.

We reported on Friday that, with teams keen to limit the calendar to 20 races, F1's chief executive had identified India and Korea as the most likely to go.

"I think there is a consensus about doing 20 races," Mercedes' Toto Wolff said in Hungary, following meetings with his fellow F1 chiefs.

"Anything more and you need to ramp up the organization.  So let's stick to 20."

The main problem in India is a tax issue, with the government insisting teams and drivers should be taxed at a full rate on their high incomes.

"Is India going to happen next year?  Probably not," Ecclestone admitted, according to Reuters news agency.

He confirmed the problem is "political".

The Indian broadcaster NDTV quoted a spokesman for Indian race promoter Jaypee as saying its contract with F1 is until 2015, and that it wants to continue to host the race.

Pirelli believes tire woes behind Mercedes
Paul Hembery reckons Mercedes could have found a permanent solution to its tire woes at the Hungarian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton delivering a dominant race performance to secure his first victory since joining the Silver Arrows.

Having started from pole position, Hamilton kept Red Bull rival Sebastian Vettel and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean at bay in the opening stint, before pulling off a range of passes as differing strategies met on-track to move comfortably clear of the field.

And unlike in previous races this season, Pirelli's Motorsport Director said the team showed no signs of overheating rubber, suggesting its problems may be resolved.

"We saw a dominant race from start to finish from Lewis Hamilton," said Hembery. "The big difference here was that they didn’t have the overheating problems that we’ve seen throughout the last 18 months on the rear tires. Maybe they’ve overcome those problems; if they have then Mercedes are going to be strong going into the end of this season."

Hamilton echoed Hembery's sentiments, the 2008 World Champion hopeful that his display at the Hungaroring marks a turning point for the Brackley-based outfit.

"The team has just done an exceptional job: we have worked so hard to understand these tires and we got the balance spot on," Hamilton said. "I am very hopeful this could be a real turning point for us as we coped with these high track temperatures."

Mercedes enters the break 69 points behind championship leaders Red Bull.

Ferrari confirms James Allison's arrival
(GMM)  Ferrari on Monday confirmed reports James Allison is joining the famous Italian team.

We reported on Saturday that the Maranello based team is buying out the remainder of former technical director and Briton Allison's Lotus contract.

"It is believed Allison could get to work (at Ferrari) in the early autumn", working alongside Pat Fry and Nicolas Tombazis, the Finnish newspaper Turun Sanomat had claimed.

Indeed, in a media statement on Monday, Ferrari said Allison will start work as chassis technical director on 1 September.

It means Pat Fry is stepping sideways into a new position, director of engineering.

Both men will report directly to team boss Stefano Domenicali, who left Budapest on Sunday having to deny reports Ferrari could lose Fernando Alonso to Red Bull at the end of the year.

Asked if he is worried, the Italian insisted: "No.

"For sure, Fernando is an asset to the team.  First of all we have a contract with him," he is quoted by the Daily Mail.

"We need him to work very closely with everyone because after all this is a difficult moment in the season.

"It's about teamwork.  We have to deliver a job.  Full stop.  This is the same for everyone, not only for him," Domenicali added.

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