Hungarian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): “We are closing the gap”

Hungarian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): “We are closing the gap”


It is impossible to feel the wind of the Mercedes cannonball coming. Sunday at the Hungaroring, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell continued the “revival” operation of the Silver Arrows by taking second and third places in the Hungarian Grand Prix, respectively 7″834 and 12″337 behind the winner Max Verstappen (Red Bull). Without having the addition of the safety car as in France, but, of course, with an advantage on the grid compared to the Dutchman, who started in 10th place.

It is impossible to deny the rise of the Grays. Even if they are not yet victorious, they finally opened the company record at Etoile with a good position on Saturday, and the second podium in a row. With a total of six podiums for Hamilton, including five in a row, and five for Russell, Toto Wolff’s team have moved from underdogs – well behind Red Bull and Ferrari and ahead of the rest – and have taken . tooth opponent costume. It got to the point of no longer wondering if he would win, but when.

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Qualified seventh due to the failure of the front wing to be removed – DRS – on Saturday, the LH44 got two places at the start, behind the Alpines of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, and finished strongly in the “soft” ball, thanks to the second stage on “medium” tires better than the first, and the second stopped. Then, again, he let his racing mind do the talking. Twice cautioned for exceeding the limit after lap 40, he beat Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) for P3 on lap 63, then his teammate for P2 a lap later.

A few drops of rain that appeared in the last laps gave him hope to finish the race with bends and turns. But the abandonment of Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) prevented gaps in the peloton (true safety car). When the cars were free to accelerate again, it was too late to threaten Max Verstappen. “I was hoping it would rain at the end so I could challenge Max, but we missed a couple of laps.”

Increase confidence

“I was struggling at the start of the race and I wasn’t sure I could catch the guys.he explained when he arrived. But little by little, I became more and more happy with the balance. I had a very good start too. I really want to thank my team who worked hard and did not give up in this difficult year. To have both cars on the podium twice (after Le Castellet) is very special for us.”

Finally, this record 9th win at the Hungararing may have eluded him the other day. “If we had had a better chance to qualify, if the DRS had been good, we would have been in the race to win.he remembered. But with two second chances in a row, I’m very happy. Thank you so much fans, thank you for your support, have a great summer, be blessed.”

“Lewis’ fight was amazingBudapest continues to be a success story for him, he congratulated Toto Wolff, his boss. He came out of nowhere and was faster than everyone else. I think we lost the race with him yesterday due to DRS failure. Otherwise, we could have fought forward to victory.”

For the future, the current world No. 6 expressed some optimism. “The other players are still a bit ahead but we are closing the gap and it is a fantastic way to go into the break knowing we are at this level. Hopefully we can bring more in the second half of the season and start fighting with the men up front”he said.

Mercedes to pace Red Bull for five Grands Prix

For his part, George Russell did not turn his first pole into a victory, but he led 24 laps and has nothing to complain about. Unfortunately, he never had the right rubber. His “soft” was perfect for the start in the rain, but the “medium” took over. It was the opposite in the last laps: in “medium”, he could not touch Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton, in “soft”. “When it started to rain and we were on ‘soft’ tires at the beginning and everyone was on ‘medium’, I thought we had a good start.handed the world n ° 4, to Sky Sports. After four laps, I led by three seconds. Unfortunately, the rain has stopped. Towards the end, in the ‘middle’ as it rained more, I really struggled. It’s a fantastic job from the team. A good position and a double podium: we are really making progress, so I am proud of the work done.”

With five races, Mercedes has undoubtedly risen to the level of excellence, if we consider performance as a combination of speed and reliability. Since Montreal, Brackley’s team has scored 135 points against 139 for Red Bull and 120 for Ferrari.

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