Formula One: Silver Arrows blaze to victory in Hungary.
Lewis Hamilton: “I don’t know what the secret is here. Naturally, having a great team and everything coming together is key. But it’s a track that I think really works well for an aggressive driver. Today was one of the hottest races I can remember here. Looking after the tyres in those conditions was really hard, so I’m glad I managed. Thank you to everyone in the team for all their hard work – and to all the fans I have here. I don’t know why but, when I go to Budapest, I always seem to have a lot of support. I love it here so it makes for a great week. I didn’t know how long the tyres were going to last, so trying to spend the money wisely in terms of tyre life and being able to push when I needed to push was a tricky balance to find. The race was going really well and I was just thinking “huh, no mistakes so far” when I managed to lock up and went off at T12! At that point I was like “hey, stay focused and get back on it!” which luckily I managed to do.
I’ve not really thought about the standings much but it’s definitely a good feeling to get the job done here – particularly as it’s not been my strongest weekend. Not as strong as Silverstone, for example. But it’s been an awesome few races and I’ve just got to keep that kind of form up for the rest of the season.”
Nico Rosberg: “Really, I lost the win in the first corner when I dropped down two positions, so I’m disappointed as I wanted to win the race and was confident I had a strong possibility to do so. It wasn’t the best start from me, so it was good to catch Daniel directly in T1 and get P2 back. But behind Lewis it was impossible to overtake on this track. I had great pace in the race, which is very positive – but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make the most of it. It’s great that my second home race is coming up so soon. I look forward to Hockenheim and will be pushing flat out to repeat the win from 2014.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “We’re delighted with today’s result. To take a one-two finish at a circuit that hasn’t been so good to us in the past two years is really satisfying. This place has been Red Bull and Ferrari territory, so it just shows what a great place we have got to with our chassis and engine package that we were able to take such a strong finish and control the race like we did. It was a race that needed a lot of management and we had told the drivers all weekend that winning would depend on making the tyres last. They both did this really well – though when things got a bit close for comfort in the second stint, we asked Lewis to pick up the pace and he responded well to build the gap we needed after Red Bull rolled the dice with Ricciardo’s strategy.
The back markers were a challenge like always here, particularly some of the usual suspects, but they didn’t end up influencing the outcome which was good. There has been a lot of talk about the Championship situation but, if this was a football match, we’d have only just completed the first half. There’s still a very long way to go this season. We have seen a lot of action so far and I am sure there will be much more to come…”
Excellent 1-2 finish.
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “After the rather drawn out excitement of yesterday’s Qualifying session we were hoping for something slightly more straightforward today – and so it proved to be. Strong starts from all of the top five drivers meant they came into T1 in close formation. It looked for a moment like Lewis might lose the lead he’d grasped off the line and that Nico would find himself down to third. However, great driving from both saw Lewis hang on in front while Nico produced a fantastic manoeuvre around the outside at T2 to re-establish a 1-2 for the team. From there, it was a matter of controlling the pace and tyre usage through a two stop strategy. Red Bull chose to make a very early final stop for Ricciardo which put some pressure on us – as I’m sure it was intended to do. But both cars were able to respond with enough pace to keep him covered and stick to our original plan. Overall an excellent 1-2 finish and an excellent way to cap off the first half of the season, which we can be very proud of thus far. Congratulations to the drivers – and also to the pit crew, who achieved a second consecutive fastest race pit stop. We now very much look forward to our home race in Germany next week.”