Lewis Hamilton, after securing an impressive pole position, faced a daunting challenge at the Hungarian GP.
Max Verstappen, aiming to set new records himself, managed to overtake Hamilton at the start, causing Hamilton to lose ground. The opening lap turned into a nightmare for Hamilton as he slipped from first to fourth position, with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris also making their moves.
In the end, Verstappen dominated the race, claiming a massive victory with a significant 33.731-second margin.
Hamilton expressed his frustration, stating that Verstappen’s aggressive move pushed him wide, leaving the door open for the McLaren drivers to capitalize on the situation.
“The start actually, the initial getaway wasn’t the worst I’ve ever had, but it obviously wasn’t as good as Max’s,” Hamilton told Sky F1.
“Had a bit of wheelspin and then obviously Max was on the inside and he ran me wide and I got done by the two McLarens. So definitely not a great start, kind of reminiscent of 2015 when I fell back from first.”
After falling behind the leading trio, Hamilton faced difficulties in keeping up with their pace during the race. He expressed his dissatisfaction over the team radio as McLaren drivers extended their lead.
At one point, he even inquired if Mercedes had reduced the engine’s power. However, in the final stint, Hamilton’s performance improved significantly, allowing him to overtake Piastri and narrowly miss the opportunity to challenge Sergio Perez from Red Bull for the last podium spot.
And then after that just didn’t have the pace to keep up with the guys,” Hamilton continued.
“The balance in the car was pretty awful on that first stint, a lot of understeer and oversteer through corner balance and I just couldn’t keep up with them.
“So then, bit by bit as we got through the next couple of stints, the car started to become more drivable, and then the last stint obviously was much better.
“If we had had the pace we had at the end, we would have been a little bit better I think through the day.
“But I’m going to take the positives from yesterday, amazing effort from the team to get to where we were and to beat everybody in qualifying was really spectacular for us, and obviously shows that whilst we don’t have the best car, it was an incredible lap.
“And we have a lot of work to do. We’re a long way away off beating the Red Bull in a race. And obviously now we’re behind the McLarens, but we still keep pushing.”