Lewis Hamilton achieved his 22nd career victory and his first as a Silver Arrows driver at the Hungaroring this afternoon.
Lewis’ win was the 13th Formula One win for a Silver Arrow and the third victory in five races for the team. Lewis’ fourth win at the Hungaroring also took the tally of wins for Mercedes-Benz F1 engines to 99. Lewis completed three pit stops on laps 9, 31 and 50, running option/prime/prime/prime. Nico tangled with Felipe Massa in turn 5 on lap one and dropped to P12. He also made three stops but retired with an engine failure on lap 65. Lewis’ victory strengthened the team’s second position in the Constructors’ Championship at the season’s halfway point.
What a great weekend! We really didn’t expect this when we came here this weekend and I said last night that I would need a miracle to win today. Well, just maybe they do happen. The team called the strategy and the pit stops just right and then it was just about managing the gap. I had some racing to do out there, though, with Jenson and Mark and I think we had the pace on everyone today. The team has just done an exceptional job: we have worked so hard to understand these tyres and we got the balance spot on today. I am very hopeful this could be a real turning point for us as we coped with these high track temperatures. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at the team here and at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth. Team work achieved this result today and I really couldn’t be happier.
Today was a great day for the team, for Lewis and a brilliant job by everyone here at the track and back at our factories. Unfortunately my weekend didn’t go quite so well and it’s a shame that we couldn’t have had a two-car finish today. I got a good start but then Felipe and I came together on the first lap which was unfortunate as I was in front and had left some space for him but his front wing hit my rear tyre. That cost me a lot of positions and it’s really difficult to make the places back up on this track. Then my day came to an early conclusion with the engine failure. However there are lots of positives for us to take as a team from this weekend and now I really look forward to the upcoming races as we know that we have a quick car and we made the new tyres work for us this weekend.
We went into this race not really knowing where we stood in terms of tyre performance and behaviour but as the race unfolded, it became clear that we were able to stay competitive with both cars and drivers. Lewis drove an absolutely perfect race and didn’t put a foot wrong all afternoon. He was able to race aggressively and keep the tyres alive to make our strategy work. Nico was unfortunate to get tangled up with Massa on the first lap and then suffered an engine failure, which was a little worrying in the closing laps as we hadn’t seen any signs of overheating. Overall, this has been a very encouraging weekend. In extremely hot conditions, we maintained our Saturday afternoon competitiveness on Sunday afternoon and it certainly feels like we have made a good step forward today. Now we need to get our heads down before the well-deserved two-week shutdown so that we arrive in Spa as well prepared as we possibly can.
What an outstanding drive from Lewis this afternoon – he got a clean getaway and then executed the race strategy perfectly, including some really strong and aggressive overtaking moves when he needed to. He did a great job, just like the team with six clean pit stops for our drivers and the right race strategy. Nico lost positions on the first lap tangling with Felipe and then was making up places when his engine failed near the end of the race. That gave us a nervous few closing laps but we were able to bring Lewis’ car home safely. We came into this weekend with a lot of discussion over how the new tyres would affect us. We did our homework in practice, found the right set-up and managed to take a good step forward this afternoon with how we managed the tyres in race conditions. It is only halfway through the season and our rivals have been consistently competitive while we have experienced some ups and downs in the first ten races. Our target for the second half of the year must be to consolidate our performance and deliver this kind of speed consistently. We are still the underdogs right now but we are on an upward trend and we will keep working hard. Thank you to everyone at our factories back in Brackley and Brixworth for their hard work and enjoy a well-deserved summer break. Congratulations as well to our customer sport team-mates who took victory for Mercedes-Benz in the Spa 24 Hours. It’s been a good day for the three-pointed star!
Source: Mercedes AMG