Vegan F1 Driver Lewis Hamilton Clinches 81st Victory In Hungary

Why Verstappen didn't pit like Hamilton in Hungary

Mercedes matched Red Bull's strategy until gambling with a late additional pit-stop that left Hamilton with 20 laps to make up a 20-second deficit on fresh tyres - a move that worked as Verstappen's tyres faded away.

It proved a Mercedes masterstroke.

"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.

Bottas' nightmare Hungarian Grand Prix, in which he was forced to pit and replace his front wing on the opening lap after making contact with Ferrari's Charles LeClerc, saw team boss Toto Wolff concede that a hard decision needed to be made.

That may sound like welcome news for Bottas, who started on the front row on Sunday and finished eighth to slip 62 points behind Hamilton after 12 of the 21 races.

Red Bull's Pierre Gasly, his future at the team increasingly questioned, had another lacklustre race and was lapped by Verstappen on the way to sixth place.

At the start, Hamilton quickly got ahead of Bottas, as they brushed each other and the Finnish driver was then overtaken by both Ferraris on the 4.4-kilometre Hungaroring circuit. Before his contact with Leclerc, Bottas had a battle with teammate and eventual race victor Lewis Hamilton.

Bottas also had a near miss when overtaking Lance Stroll, just about avoiding contact with the Racing Point driver.

Hamilton pitted after 31 laps, stopped for four seconds and resumed second, 5.5 seconds behind. Right on the Dutchman's rear axle, Hamilton saw an opportunity on lap 38 when the pair lapped Renault's Daniel Ricciardo in the third sector, forcing Verstappen into DRS range.

In the final 10 laps, Hamilton began to carve chunks of laptime out of Verstappen, making the move on the exit of Turn 1 on the 67 of 70 laps.

Hamilton seemed to be feeling the pressure.

When asked how much his decision was influenced by his ability to find Bottas a seat elsewhere, given that he's a later stage of his career than Ocon, Wolff replied: "It absolutely plays a role because we have responsibility for our drivers - we have responsibility for our juniors and for the ones who are in the auto with us right now".

"Keep the pressure on", was the blunt reply.

It was over a minute gap between Hamilton in first and Vettel in third, with the Hungaroring not being a track that suits the style of Ferrari's vehicle.

After taking the checkered flag, Hamilton was quick to recognise his team was right all along. So yes, whatever we decide we consider the option for the driver to go elsewhere, and if it's for Esteban [to] progress, to make it back one day in a Mercedes, or if it's for Valtteri, have a soft landing like you call it.

"Man, that feels so good, guys". "That feels so good". The next race is at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on September 1.



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