Lewis Hamilton describes his victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix as a bonus after winning on a circuit that was expected to favor Ferrari and Red Bull.
Mercedes looked like the third-fastest team during Friday practice but took full advantage of wet conditions in qualifying to lock out the front row. Having maintained those positions off the line, Hamilton was able to pull away and was largely unchallenged as Sebastian Vettel got stuck behind Valtteri Bottas in the second part of the race, despite showing strong pace.
After the win, which follows a recovery from 14th on the grid to win in Germany last weekend, Hamilton was full of praise for Mercedes amid the back-to-back victories.
“We came here knowing that the Ferraris would be real quick this weekend but to come out with these points we’ll definitely take as a bonus for us,” Hamilton said.
“They’re both special in their own way. Honestly the last race was one of the most special races, for sure, but coming into this weekend we knew that it was going to be a difficult race for us. Obviously didn’t know whereabouts we would sit. We hoped that we would be just as quick but we were kind of offset to these guys and also a little bit to the Red Bulls.
“Friday didn’t look great, the long runs didn’t look great but for some reason I guess switching to a different mode on a Sunday and tire usage and all those kind of things and pace was quite good. So it was definitely a bit of a surprise. Valtteri I think did a great job, that’s a long old stint on those tires and it’s unfortunate that he wasn’t able to keep the second place.
“But I’m really just proud of all the team even though these guys [Ferrari] turned up the heat in the last few races. So to come away with two wins I think is testament to the strength in depth our team.”
And Hamilton admits it was unlikely he would have had the pace to win the race without yesterday’s qualifying performance, even with an improved showing on Sunday.
“It was a very important day yesterday with the rain, because I think Ferrari have really shown that they’ve been the fastest, at least in the last few races. Particularly at this one we wouldn’t have been able to get on the front row with the pace advantage that they had.
“So they would have possibly disappeared into the distance. I probably would have been able to hold on with the pace that I had today, but qualifying was a very important moment for us.”