Published: Tue, July 31, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Lewis Hamilton fears Ferrari in the run-up to Hungary

Lewis Hamilton fears Ferrari in the run-up to Hungary

His mishap opened the door wide open for Hamilton, who is 17 points clear of Vettel after trailing by eight beforehand.

Mercedes lead with 310 points to Ferrari on 302 points while in the drivers' Hamilton has 188 and Vettel has 171.

He said: "It is very hard (to win) from that position and highly unlikely but you have always got to believe". I kept pushing, kept believing and it happens. The team did a great job; I'm so grateful. The vehicle was fantastic today.

Both Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen pitted for new tyres after the safety vehicle was deployed following Vettel's costly accident. "Then there was the post-race thunderstorm and the rain". Their lap times began degrading rapidly, however, forcing them to stop on laps 28 and 29 respectively.

The last driver holding out hope for rain was Hamilton, who was up to third ahead of Bottas and Verstappen but on badly degraded soft tyres. But on lap 42, Hamilton's tyres were in tatters, and he had to come in.

"He showed it again on Sunday by taking home the win".

Chaos ensued, with drivers tip-toeing over the wet circuit on slick tyres. For the uninitiated, a brief rainshower hit the track and Vettel collided with the barriers.

The German was furious with his error, bashing both hands on the steering wheel seven times.

"I have been part of the Mercedes racing family for 20 years and I have never been happier inside a team than I am right now". "But it was a huge impact on the race". It's just a tremendous day for us - I've never had a race like this.

"We don't need to analyse what happened".

The German said there were more positives to draw from the weekend than there were negatives.

"It's my mistake - apologies to the team. But this one I didn't make any mistakes, I was really proud of it".

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His crash brought out the safety vehicle, behind which Bottas and Raikkonen stopped for fresh ultrasoft tyres, dropping to second and third behind Hamilton but giving themselves a new-tyre advantage over the Briton for the restart, which got underway on lap 58.

Shortly after, Bottas was firmly told on team radio to "hold position" and not challenge Hamilton, who secured his fourth win of the season and 66th overall.

"Conditions were ideal for business time!" "Conditions were flawless because when it rained, I knew that I would be in a good position".

"It was so tough out there".

Pole-sitter Vettel had been in charge of his home race and should have extended his lead in the standings to as many as 21 points before his stunning, and potentially, title-deciding mistake.

Hamilton then reported heavier rain as Bottas passed his fellow-Finn for second.

"As a driver of course the win was what you're looking for", he said.

The FIA has explained the delay in the opening of the investigation into Lewis Hamilton's cutting of the pitlane entry in the German GP which briefly put his race victory in doubt.

He pummelled the steering wheel angrily after the auto crumpled against the tyre wall, the lap 52 incident bringing out the safety vehicle.

His victory came just three days after Mercedes had announced he had agreed a blockbuster two-year contract extension with the team. "Identical call. It was about bringing it home irrespective of who was in front".

German driver Nico Hulkenberg was fifth for Renault, with Romain Grosjean sixth for Haas ahead of Mexican Sergio Perez and Frenchman Esteban Ocon for Force India in seventh and eighth positions.

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