From pit lane to the podium for Hamilton in Hungary
Lewis Hamilton recovered from a disastrous qualifying session on Saturday to finish in third place in today’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Brit was forced to start from the pit lane after a fire in the first segment of qualifying forced Mercedes to change his chassis, gearbox and engine.
His race got off to a difficult start after he spun at turn two on the opening lap in tricky and slippery conditions. The two safety car periods helped him to move through the field, but he couldn’t hold off eventual winner Daniel Ricciardo.
Hamilton also failed to find a way past Fernando Alonso after a frantic final few laps at the Hungaroring, while managing to defend from his team-mate Nico Rosberg.
“It is a great result today; I was just pushing as hard as possible to get as high as I could,” he said. “It was obviously damage limitation after what happened yesterday.
“I can’t express the pain I feel when we have issues such as in the last couple of races; it’s hard to swallow and difficult to come back the next day and get the right balance between not attacking too much, but pushing to the limit.
“The two safety car periods helped quite a lot, but naturally I looked fast and had the pace this weekend, so there was an opportunity for more points. I would like to say a big congratulations to Daniel and Fernando.
“It was close at the end and it was getting very hard to keep Nico behind as he was catching at close to 3 seconds a lap. Coming back through shows how great this car and team is, and this result is much more satisfying than an easy win. Going into the break, I’m still in the fight for the championship, which is very satisfying.”
The 2008 world champion was asked at one stage in the race to let his team-mate through, despite Rosberg failing to close the gap. “I was in the same race as Nico and if I let him past and he had the opportunity to pull away, then he would have come back and overtaken me,” Hamilton explained.
“I didn’t understand why the team asked me to do that as he didn’t get close enough to overtake and I didn’t want to lift off and lose ground to Fernando.”
He has now closed to within 11 points of Rosberg in the drivers’ championship heading into the summer break.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.