Lewis Hamilton believes he could have fought for victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix had he not had a drag reduction system failure in qualifying that forced him to start only seventh, but he is pleased to have finished on the podium for the fifth race in a row.
Hamilton had a brilliant race at the Hungaroring from seventh place after having a DRS failure in qualifying ahead of the last attempt in Q3 on new tires after the first Q3 lap, like Russell, had been driven on a used set of tires.
Russell took advantage of the great speed of the Mercedes in colder conditions in qualifying and won the first pole position of his career, and Hamilton was left with the first timed lap on used tires, which was only enough for seventh place.
Unlike Russell, who started on the soft, Hamilton took a new set of mediums at the start, got off to a great start and made his way to fifth place in the first lap, and after the second section on the medium, which he extended to the 51st lap, he drove the third section on the software.
In the last stage, Hamilton was in fifth place, but thanks to newer and faster tires he overtook both Sainz and Russell and finished second after France for the second time in a row, which is his fifth consecutive podium and 11th overall in Hungary in 16 appearances.
“I struggled at the start of the race and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make up the gap so I’m so happy to have made it from seventh place,” said Hamilton.
“I had a good start, which was crucial, and after that, little by little, I felt better and better with the balance of the car. Colder temperatures in qualifying and in the race worked for us.”
“We took a big step forward compared to Friday and I’m very grateful for that. If DRS had worked in qualifying, we would have fought for victory.”
“It’s special to have both cars on the podium even though George’s race turned out unluckily for him. An amazing way to go into the summer break, knowing that we have significantly reduced the backlog and have more performance.”
“Hopefully we can bring more improvements in the second part of the season and start to fight with the guys at the top.”
Toto Wolff agrees with Hamilton and believes they could have fought for victory if the seven-time world champion had started from a better position.
“Lewis’ fight was incredible, Budapest continues to be a success story for him,” said Wolff.
“He came out of nowhere and was faster than everyone else. I think we lost the race with him on Saturday with a DRS failure. Otherwise we would be fighting at the top to win.”
“Second consecutive second and third place is great, but we want to fight for the win.”
In Hungary, in addition to the sixth podium this season, Hamilton achieved the second fastest lap after Silverstone.