Top of the pile: Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton crosses the finish line to win the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit. The lead has changed hands six times this season but the 31-point swing in Hamilton's favour since Hockenheim has given him the largest lead either driver has enjoyed as F1 heads into the summer break.
"I felt, all of a sudden, I got hit from behind", said Vettel, who was fortunate not to be passed by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen after the contact as Raikkonen was right behind him on track. "It's important to capitalise on those hard weekends such as this and I think that's really been a key strength of ours this year", he added.
"'The start was a bit hectic, I got beaten around a little bit". Vettel is confident that Maranello's updates in the second half of the year will give him a big enough performance advantage to overhaul Hamilton's lead.
He said: "We lost out and we came out behind, that didn't help". He broke his front wing but Vettel somehow continued without damage or a puncture, keeping Raikkonen at bay in the process to finish a distant second behind Hamilton. I think which way you look at it depends if it's good or bad.
Together with last week's win in Germany, it moves him 24 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the 2018 drivers championship. A pit stop here costs around 21 seconds. Red Bull surely second-best. For the luckless Bottas, it meant his final laps were reduced to a slithering defence of his position, two collisions, a late pit-stop and fifth place after which he not only received a 10-seconds penalty, for colliding with Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull, but was piqued by Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff praising his work as a "wingman".
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After the race in Hungary, Hamilton said Mercedes held the lead of the title race because, even if Ferrari had the quicker vehicle, the Silver Arrows had "operated better and been better on strategy".
"We had a pretty good vehicle and I was able to make it to fourth".
"Last year we lost the championship in the second half of the year because our vehicle wasn't quick enough, but I am quite confident that we can improve", a spirited Vettel said.
"I had a feeling the auto was fine and it was until the end". I think actually the first time that I saw blue flags for cars ahead of me, when I saw that, I was like 'fuck! Hamilton's first-lap spin, allied to Ferrari's engine step, facilitated Vettel's Silverstone triumph, though two weeks later his dominance on home turf ended in desperate fashion, allowing Hamilton to turn the tables in astonishing fashion. For sure we knew from the start that qualifying, where we qualified, we tried to do something different, I was happy to do that and I think the pace showed today that we were good.