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F1 | Hungarian GP | Toto Wolff on Hamilton’s recovery: ”A success story.”

Mercedes’ Team Principal is pleased by the consistency and qualifying pace shown by his drivers this weekend, but reckons that Verstappen and Leclerc are still “o ahead of everyone else”.

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F1 | Hungarian GP | Toto Wolff on Hamilton’s recovery: ”A success story.”
Fuente imagen: Mercedes F1 Team

Mercedes has come a long way from the beginning of season, when Lewis Hamilton was kicked out off Q1, as the German team scored the second double podium finish in a row and got their first pole under the new regulations.

However, Team Principal Toto Wolff is convinced that the weekend could have been even better for them, as he told Sky Sports UK after the race:

"First of all, one must say George had a great qualifying session with pole and drove a super solid race, but he was always in that fight and therefore you’re utilising the tyres, you’re leaning on it a lot. And then he ran a little bit out of tyres in the second stint."

In particular, he believes that, had Hamilton not suffered from a DRS issue in the late stages of yesterday's qualifying session, the seven times World Champion could have had a shot at winning the race:

“But where Lewis came from is unbelievable. He was a little bit in the shadow, nobody really looked at him where he came from, and suddenly he was banging in times quicker than the leaders."

"And I think in qualifying if we wouldn’t have failed the DRS yesterday, I think we would have had a fun fight at the front for victory.”

Wolff was also asked about Hamilton's tyre strategy, as the British had been holding track position on eventual race winner Max Verstappen until Red Bull pitted him extremely early, completing the undercut.

"At that point they simply took a big risk, or they took the risk to undercut us and to go very early on the tyre," said Wolff.

“It wasn’t yet clear whether it was a one-stop or two-stop and for us it was just simply too early and they gambled, they took the risk, and at the end the tyre lives were extended more than we thought.”

On the other hand, at-time race leader George Russell mirrored the move, which left him struggling in the late stages of the race with his tyres. In the Team Principal's opinion, the way the move worked only for the leading team is proof of the superior level they are competing on at the moment.

"I think you need to acknowledge Max in the Red Bull is just simply, at the moment – I think also Charles with the Ferrari – ahead of everybody else I don’t know how much today."

"And I think with Lewis and Budapest, that’s a success story. And I think we lost that race with him yesterday.

However, the positive results obtained lately, such as Hamilton, who has now been on the podium more times in 2022 than title contender Charles Leclerc, in the final top three for the last five races in a row, shouldn't distract the team from focusing on the next round after the summer break:

"At least we have a result we can work with. We had a really bad Friday, so we know what not to do. So we’ll do the opposite, but Spa is very different. So let’s not celebrate yet that we are there because we aren’t yet.”

 

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