Words from Lewis Hamilton's father inspired Hungarian Grand Prix pace, says Wolff

Ross Houston
August 6, 2019

Lewis Hamilton regained the momentum in the world championship with a memorable strategic victory yesterday when he overcame young rival Max Verstappen with three laps to go in a tense Hungarian Grand Prix.

While those two men dominated the race, their teammates struggled - Valtteri Bottas saw his championship chances dealt a further blow after struggling to eighth position after an sloppy first lap forced him into an unscheduled pit-stop. However, the Mercedes team boss stands up for his Finnish driver and blames a team protocol for his poor result.

Pierre Gasly qualified sixth in another deeply underwhelming performance in the second Red Bull Racing machine.

While Hamilton and Verstappen were involved in a gripping tussle, Ferrari were nowhere to be seen. It's also the first time a Honda-powered machine will start from pole since Jenson Button headed the grid for the Japanese marque's works team at the 2006 Australian Grand Prix.

Behind them, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel passed teammate Charles Leclerc late to claim third, more than a minute behind the victor.

"Well, firstly that's really awesome that he's supportive", Hamilton said via ESPN. I was watching some of the starts of previous years and watching him in his Renault days, remembering before I got to Formula One watching how unbelievable their starts were.

"It was hard to get by, the defence was great, and I didn't know if I could catch that 19-second gap", said the Briton of a battle with Verstappen that ebbed and flowed throughout the race. "It compromised my race, he was lucky not to get a puncture, so that's not how it should be".

"I mean, I love hard racing, that's for sure, but that was just completely unnecessary".

Hamilton: He'd be a good teammate for you. And catching up with Verstappen, chasing him hard on the hard tyre, you can see that these are two great drivers with great respect for each other.

"I think the onboards distort it slightly, but once you get the helicopter shot then it was pretty clear".

"But somehow he put himself back in the right frame of mind, probably we motivated him over the radio". Bring him back, I don't mind. No, to me he's always been very nice and good.

The incident was looked at by race control but in the end it was decided that neither driver had done anything wrong in the situation.

The Spaniard failed to qualify for the Indy 500 earlier this year and is not due to race competitively again until the Dakar Rally in January.

"The sport needs the best drivers in the best seats".

"I asked my guys [in Mercedes], I said I want everyone to send me an email, be completely straight with me if they think there is anything we can improve on".

Wolff says he will make the decision during the August break, and reassured Bottas that his call will not be dependent on "a bad day" in the cockpit.

Alonso has shown little interest in returning to F1, although McLaren CEO Zak Brown has said the door remains open for the Spaniard to return one day if the team delivers a auto with title-winning credentials.

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