Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2021

Hamilton confident Mercedes can improve further after Friday ‘front row’

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton was encouraged by Mercedes’ pace in extremely hot conditions at the Hungaroring on Friday.

He and team mate Valtteri Bottas ended the session quickest, Hamilton just two-hundredths of a second slower than his team mate. Championship rival Max Verstappen was almost three-tenths of a second behind.

The Mercedes driver said he “definitely” took encouragement from the team’s showing in the hot conditions.

“It doesn’t really feel great out there, in terms of the grip is poor, there’s a lot of sliding around, I guess because we’re just overheating already as soon as we leave the pit lane,” said Hamilton. “But everyone’s in the same boat there.

“But to see Valtteri and I both on the ‘front row’, pace-wise, I think that’s great for the team and we’ll only improve on that. We’ve got some work to do tonight to see how we can finesse the car a little bit more but it’s a good start.”

Hamilton said it felt like his tyres were “melting” as track temperatures hit 63C during the second hour of practice.

“It’s quite hard to get the balance,” he said. “Quite different to the last race we were at, where everyone was struggling with front tyres.

“They’re a different beast this year and it’s different each race you go to. That’s been an interesting process trying to understand those.”

As Mercedes has tended to perform better in cooler conditions this year, Hamilton was pleased by their showing in the Friday heat.

“I’m quite optimistic with the extreme temperatures right now,” he said. “I’m optimistic because I think we can definitely improve the car balance-wise and if we can do that then it puts us in a better position for the race as well.

“But of course it’s much nicer to drive when it’s cooler. These tyres are not happy most of the time anyway, they definitely don’t like this temperature.”

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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “Hamilton confident Mercedes can improve further after Friday ‘front row’”

  1. A Mercedes one-two will be the perfect answer to Red Bull’s nonsense over the past two weeks.

    1. Or Verstappen doing the same to Hamilton in the first few corners of a race. Then we can listen to Mercedes’ nonsense.

      1. Even Horner says Lewis’s move wasn’t deliberate, but you’d like Max to intentionally crash into Hamilton?

        1. You are not surprised are you? These are the guys who have been bragging about Max’s/RB get out of my way or crash stance and mocking Hamilton for getting out the way of him instead of crashing; but since Silverstone have been wringing their hands and pleading won’t somebody think of the children.

          1. Get over it. New race new chances.
            Lewis fuc#€ up massively but can redeem himself.

          2. The irony is that one of the drivers Max will have learned from in terms of the get out of my way or crash stance, is LH. Just ask NR, who to this day will even himself compliment LH on his ability to move a guy wide and squeeze him and give him the options back off, go wide, or hit me, you decide. It is applauded as a WDC level move, and it is often unpunished by the stewards, and we have therefore come to understand that it is hard racing and allowed.

            At Silverstone LH decided, just as NR got stubborn at one point and was fed up, to not get of out the way this time, and the result was he hit Max. All Max was doing was WDC level driving that is applauded as putting your opponent in the position to decide back off or hit me. You decide. LH decided not to back off, hit Max, was penalized, and this time it happened to hurt Max more. That is not to say LH hasn’t risked being hit too, when NR for example got fed up and stubborn and decided, no this time I’m not backing out, and hit him, and took them both out. LH was saved at Silverstone by a red flag he caused with his penalized move, and the resultant repairs they were able to affect. This time.

          3. Mark in Florida
            30th July 2021, 17:50

            My, my, aren’t we just being holier than thou since Lewis got away with one. Now the very idea that Max is human and therefore might harbor some type of animosity towards someone who smashed him into a wall is just beyond the pale of civilised people who were a few days ago praising the one who started this mess off to begin with. Tsk,tsk.

          4. Nothing @robbie about T1 that Verstappen took with four wheels off track and wasn’t penalized for it? That allowed him to stay in the lead and, ultimately, finished in the wall at Copse. Had he taken the corner the normal way (i.e. not cutting it, hence being second), he would probably have seen the checkered flag (probably because you never know…).

    2. Bottas never beat verstappen on pace this year. Perez beat hamilton on pace in baku and started ahead of him in austria 2.

      1. As well as jumped him in the pits at monaco after a bad weekend for hamilton.

      2. @esploratore1 True. I get your point, it shows how much faster that Red Bull is than Mercedes that even a driver like Perez can have a decent race on one or two occasions .

  2. That would be a pity. Would like to see Perez on the front row for a change.

  3. Perez so far away from Bottas.
    Merc has its act back together and is nr1 car .

    1. @trib4udi

      Make your mind up when Max was winning he was showing Lewis up according to you in the slower car. RedBull have had the outstanding qually car all year. The fact Max has dropped the ball so much is hilarious in terms of qually. And in the races when Merc win it is close Max has had some huge gaps when he wins. RedBull clearly the quicker car. When Checo is nearly on pole in imola 2 races in you know you have a rocketship.

      Reply moderated
  4. Indeed that engine upgrade that Honda err i mean Mercedes brought to Hungary is working well at present ;)

    1. @mobiusclean Ferrari confirmed that they also saw a performance boost from the upgraded Honda engine. So that was real.

      Red Bull are sand bagging though. Fuel corrected and such, both teams were on par in quali and long run pace.

      1. @f1osaurus I guess we shall see in a short while who is doing what but it will be interesting none the less ;)

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