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Formula 1 | Hamilton ‘couldn’t be happier’ and ‘dare to dream’ of victory in Hungary

And 4 for Lewis Hamilton! For his 300th Grand Prix in F1, the Mercedes driver climbed on his 4th consecutive podium. The first with his teammate, George Russell.

Very happy after the race, the 2021 vice-world champion spoke of a real little “triumph. »

“I couldn’t be happier! »

“Of course, if we had won, it would be another step, but I really didn’t expect this result. Obviously I was praying and hoping that we could fight for a podium, like a third place, but I can’t believe we got a second place – that’s huge for us. »

“It’s obviously unfortunate for Charles, but we did a great job on reliability as a team, so I really have to thank the team for that. »

“Collectively, as a team, even though we didn’t have the pace of the leading cars… You know, it’s an incredible result for us, for George and me to be here. George did a great job too. It’s progress, even if we don’t necessarily close the gap as such in qualifying… but those are big points for us. »

Beating Sergio Pérez’s Red Bull at race pace with the two Mercedes was a real accomplishment for the Silver Arrows.

“Yeah, we both did it with George. At first, keeping them behind was really difficult, given that their straight-line speed was impressive. So you had to try to keep them out of the DRS zone, that was really the trick, and then the use of the tires, that was probably the key. »

“I don’t think George and I expected to be second and third. This is huge for me and I can’t wait to bring this positive energy to Budapest. »

However Lewis Hamilton did not seem to have the rhythm of a Max Verstappen who was managing in the lead…

“I was trying to keep up with Max. He was so quick. I stayed with him for two, maybe two laps and then…but literally I’m flat out on the straight and he pulls away. That’s, I think, the biggest…one of the biggest deficits was top speed. So if you lose four tenths, whatever it is, there’s nothing you can do about it. We must work to improve this in the future. And as I’m sure there are a few other points where we could be better. »

Lewis deprived of drink the day he wanted to drink!

Very happy, Lewis Hamilton was also however very dehydrated: his drinking system did not work during the Grand Prix and we saw him lying down, exhausted, after the event quite logically in the ‘cool room’.

“If I’m really honest, I very rarely drink during the race. I always forget. And I hydrated a lot before the race, but on the 20th lap I was like “I could really have a drink” and it didn’t work. And I hadn’t tried for so long. Maybe it hasn’t worked for a long time. Maybe the water evaporated, who knows? It’s not serious. Fortunately, afterwards, I was able to have a drink. »

“But what a day, what a weekend. Especially with the absence of EL1s [remplacé par Nyck de Vries]… I’m very proud of the team – it’s an incredible result. Winning races and getting results like that is a whole package. »

Beyond the improved performance, Lewis Hamilton is keen to emphasize in particular the reliability of his team.

“Of course, we know that we don’t quite have the rhythm of both teams. [Ferrari et Red Bull] ahead, but reliability is a huge fundamental part of the process, so I’m very proud of my team for having the reliability that we have. And what a great result… It’s really special for us. »

A victory in Hungary?

What if in Hungary, with a better pace in qualifying, Lewis Hamilton could take his first victory of the year? After all, the Hungaroring is one of his (many) favorite circuits.

“I dare to dream, that’s for sure! But it will be difficult. Red Bull and Ferrari are so quick, and Ferrari took a big step forward this weekend and it will be hard to beat in Budapest. But it’s going to be hot and I hope our car will be a bit better there. I won’t know until I get there, so fingers crossed! »

This is also promising for the medium term and in particular next year’s Mercedes.

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