Lewis Hamilton says his qualifying performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix was not good enough as he ended up third on the grid.
Max Verstappen took the first pole position of his career with an excellent final lap, edging out Valtteri Bottas by just 0.018s in a thrilling qualifying session. Hamilton was third but 0.2s off pole having been the fastest driver in final practice, and he says he did not perform as well as he should have during qualifying.
“On my side I lost a bit of performance,” Hamilton said. “I was a little bit ahead of Valtteri throughout the practices and then I came out behind. So there should have been good potential for us to be up there, and obviously Valtteri was right near him so it could have been — and should have been — a lot closer on my side. So I’m a little bit disappointed in that respect but we’re still up there in the fight and tomorrow we’ll give it all we’ve got.
“I don’t know what the opportunities are, but tomorrow of course I’m hoping to try and move forward. I’ve got to move forward, because today has not been good enough.”
Hamilton was still keen to look for positives despite the disappointment in his own performance, saying the fact that Verstappen is isolated against the two Mercedes drivers in second and third could give his team more opportunities strategically to try and beat the Red Bull on a track that is notoriously difficult to overtake on.
“We’re in a good position in terms of working as a team tomorrow. We’re in a fortunate position, potentially, if we can hold onto Max to be able to work together to pull him closer to us and give him a bit of a run for his money.
“It’s a little bit harder when you’re on your own at the front in the team, because you can come under attack from undercuts and all that sort of thing. We’ll see how that plays out but we’ve got a long run down to Turn 1, so hopefully we will have a nice long battle down there and then after that it’s down to team tactics.”