Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in the drivers' standings over Sebastian Vettel to 24 points by winning in Hungary on Sunday, and he will already be thinking about enhancing that advantage at Spa-Francorchamps next month.
The Hungarian Grand Prix may have ended in disappointing fashion for one Mercedes driver in Valtteri Bottas, but there is no doubt that his Silver Arrows teammate dominated the race from start to finish. Pole was Hamilton's, the front-row to Bottas, with Vettel only fourth, behind Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Daniel Ricciardo meanwhile finished just outside the podium on Sunday (local time), although he was named driver of the day after surging from 12th spot on the grid to finish in fourth, recording the fastest lap of the race in the process. "I'm really happy with how strong it's come in the last couple of races". "I don't believe there is ever a time when you think you have got your hand on the title".
"The second half of the season is always intense, but it is usually when it gets a bit better on our side", he said, referring to his Mercedes team, in the aftermath of their polished triumph at the Hungaroring. He broke his front wing but Vettel somehow continued without damage or a puncture, keeping Raikkonen at bay in the process to finish a distant second behind Hamilton.
"I think if you compare the stint on the soft to the other cars, obviously we were different fuel loads and mirrored strategy but was very good".
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Raikkonen had pitted a lap earlier, falling to fifth behind Ricciardo, who had yet to stop. "I think we could have gone with Lewis today with the race pace", Vetel said. "But what's really important is that we continue to keep up the pressure and keep working as we have done until now".
Bottas added that he wanted to discuss his perceived role as a "wingman" in the team, or as a driver to be used tactically to help Hamilton's bid for a fifth world title.
"With Sebastian, he had a good run in Turn Two". Red Bull team principal Christian Horner blamed the Renault engine as being substandard.
"We came here knowing that the Ferrari would be really quick this weekend", Hamilton said shortly after getting out of his auto. Stuff happens." "Last year, we lost the championship because our auto was not quick enough in the final part of the season, but this year it is more efficient and it is stronger and still has a lot of potential. But Stoffel Vandoorne had a power failure with about 20 laps to go leaving Birthday boy Alonso out on his own. This year has shown so far that our auto is more efficient, our vehicle is stronger and still has a lot of potential to unleash - I'm quite confident with what's in the pipeline that we can improve. Honestly I'm really happy because we knew that with Toro Rosso, two, three times in the year you have big opportunities like this where the auto works better than expected, things come your way.
"I know what he meant".
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