Lewis Hamilton: Hungarian GP victory feels like my first win
Lewis Hamilton says his Hungarian Grand Prix win “felt like his first” as he hunted down and overtook Max Verstappen for victory.
Hamilton trailed Verstappen through the first stint and extended his opening phase on the Medium tyres by seven laps, emerging six seconds behind, before reeling in the Red Bull driver.
Hamilton caught Verstappen but was then unable to pass, after which Mercedes called in the Briton for a second pit stop, exchanging Hard tyres for Mediums.
Hamilton emerged 20 seconds behind Verstappen but, as the Red Bull driver’s tyres wore down, started taking seconds per lap out of the youngster’s lead.
Hamilton completed the race-winning pace along the pit straight with four laps to go to secure his eighth win of the campaign.
He now leads the standings over Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 62 points.
“Was I thinking worth a try at the time? Naturally, I have a different viewpoint from the car,” said Hamilton of the call for a second stop.
“I was behind him, came out with six or seven lap fresher tyres, something like that, and at the time I was much quicker, I was like ‘OK I've just got to hold it back here and keep the pressure on him’.
“I'm thinking I don't know when I'm going to be able to open up the window, we've got traffic and things, and then they told me we're going to the two-stop strategy.
“And I couldn't compute how that was going to work if I'm really honesty
“They put me onto the Medium tyre, and it didn't feel great initially when I got out, but then afterwards it was OK, and I was like ‘jeez, he nearly started matching my times’.
“I was like ‘I've got to start doing qualifying laps now, and I don't think the tyres are going to last, but if they do, great’.
“So after that, just had to put any doubt out of my mind and go for it. If it didn't work out, it didn't work out.
“If it hadn't worked out, it would have been really frustrating because it felt like when I was behind him on the Hards, I thought that I would have multiple opportunities to get by, but either way.
“I was really, really, so determined to win this race today, and kind of recover from the last race. It really, really feels great.
“You wouldn't believe it, but it feels like a first, I don't know how, I've been doing this a long time. It really, really feels like one of the first wins.”
Hamilton’s victory was his seventh at the Hungarian Grand Prix, extending his own record.