Hamilton says Mercedes have ‘potential to win’ after ‘fairly epic’ drive to second in Hungary

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has set his sights on a primary victory of the season when F1 returns following the summer time break, after the Mercedes driver delivered his best drive of the season to complete second in Hungary – his fifth podium in succession.

Hamilton was on the again foot for the Budapest race after a DRS concern in qualifying meant he began seventh – whereas workforce mate George Russell began on pole for the primary time in his profession, because the Silver Arrows confirmed a shock flip of tempo after a depressing day on Friday in free observe.

READ MORE: Verstappen recovers from P10 to take Hungarian GP win as Mercedes safe double podium

However a formidable begin hauled Hamilton into fifth and two robust stints on the medium tyre opened the door for a remaining stint on the mushy, which gave him the tempo to grab second from Russell, crossing the road 7.8s adrift of race winner Max Verstappen.

“It’s vastly satisfying and an awesome feeling for us given the 12 months we’ve had and to see the progress we’ve began to make,” mentioned Hamilton. “Simply getting P2 final week [in France] was large and it’s two races in a row George and myself have shared the rostrum, which is incredible.

“To begin seventh and rise up right here is a superb restoration. The race was misplaced on the primary medium tyre stint, however sure, the second and third a part of the race was fairly epic.”

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix: Pole-sitter Russell battles to remain forward at begin in Hungary

He added: “There was potential for a win. If we had each been up there, we might have labored along with help technique clever, but when we’re capable of take this tempo within the second half we will combat with [Red Bull and Ferrari].

“To combat and battle with Ferrari for the primary time, that’s large. Pink Bull are forward. The very fact Max spun and completed 10 seconds forward says sufficient, however we’ve nonetheless made large progress and so to have consistency and two double podiums within the final two races provides us nice hope.”

It was a case of combined feelings from Russell, who fended off the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz after which Charles Leclerc to take care of the lead early on – however didn’t have the tempo to cope with a fast-recovering Verstappen within the Pink Bull and struggled on the mediums within the remaining stint as gentle rain fell and temperatures dropped.

READ MORE: ‘It was a catastrophe’ – Leclerc ‘very dissatisfied’ with P6 end in Budapest as he singles out what price him victory likelihood

“We did every part proper for each of us to combat for the win however it didn’t go our manner,” mentioned Russell. “It was all the time going to be tough as a result of there was rain all through.

“Understanding you’re on mushy tyres I used to be rubbing my palms, pulled a niche to Carlos after which the rain stopped. It was an excellent first stint and I pitted early to cowl Max and the Ferraris however Max was too quick and that put us in a tough place on the final stint on the mediums.

“I used to be struggling. My engineer mentioned we had 25 laps to go and I believed this is able to be tough. Lewis did an incredible job and had higher tempo on the finish.”

Reigning world champions Mercedes are actually simply 30 factors behind Ferrari within the chase for second within the constructors’ championship, as F1 heads into its summer time break earlier than the Belgian Grand Prix on August twenty eighth.

Leave a Comment