Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2022

Hamilton sees potential for wins in second half of season

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes were quick enough to challenge for victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix and could contend for wins over the remainder of 2022.

He finished 7.8 seconds behind winner Max Verstappen, despite starting ahead of the Red Bull driver. However Hamilton’s qualifying performance was compromised by a DRS glitch. Team mate George Russell started from pole position.

“I think this weekend, there was a potential for a win,” said Hamilton. “You saw George on pole. I think if we had both been up there, I think we probably could have worked a bit better together as a team. One of us would have had to support each other strategy-wise.”

Mercedes has made gradual improvements to its W13 since the start of the season, when it regularly lagged over a second off the pace. Hamilton hopes its strong showing in the last two races, in which both drivers finished on the podium, is a sign of things to come.

“If we are able to take this pace into the second half of the season for sure we can start to fight with the [other] guys,” he said.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to fight and battle with a Ferrari. That’s huge for us. I think the Red Bulls probably still are ahead. The fact that Max started [10th] and spun and still was 10 seconds ahead says enough about their car.

“But I think we still have made huge progress and huge steps. And so to have this consistency and two double podiums in these last two races gives us great hope and a huge push for the second half.”

Russell, who finished third, said Verstappen was “too fast” for Mercedes to contain at the Hungaroring.

“It was always going to be a tricky afternoon because there was rain in the air throughout,” he said. “Usually, if you’re on pole position, and it’s spitting, you’re pretty disappointed. But knowing I was on the soft tyre, I was kind of rubbing my hands together and made a really good start.

“The first four laps were really strong, pulled the gap, three seconds, I think to Carlos [Sainz Jnr]. And then unfortunately, the rain sort of stopped, the medium tyres came into their own. But we still had a good first stint.

“We pitted early on both occasions to try and cover Max, cover the Ferraris. Ultimately, Max was too fast for us today.”

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2022 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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10 comments on “Hamilton sees potential for wins in second half of season”

  1. Same & similar feeling to Mclaren’s 2009 situation.

    1. He also said something similar after the 2013 race. And Vettel won every single one after that.

      1. Ryan (@giraffeman92)
        1st August 2022, 18:32

        Everyone stopped developing their car that year

  2. After the first couple races consistent podiums seemed like a dream. It could be like 2009 but Russell is better than Kovalainen. Either driver can win now if the car is able.

    1. Indeed, it’s interesting to see this mercedes recovery, really fast too, half a season and they’re arguably as good as ferrari.

  3. Hope so, three teams going for wins would be great. I can’t see them going into a race weekend as favourites in 2022, but there could be a couple of tracks that suit them enough to give them a real shot against Verstappen and Leclerc.

  4. I’ve just run some quick numbers

    If LH wins every GP from here on out with fastest lap = 380pts
    If GR comes second and Ver and Lec share opposite 3rds and 4ths with Ver having 5 thirds to Lec’s 4
    GR = 320 pts, Ver = 381Pts and Lec = 298

    Now we all know that Hamilton is not going to win every race, I’d be surprised if he won more than 1 but mathematically, anyone up to and including Hamilton can still win the WDC. Verstappen might have an 80 point lead now, but a DNF and a couple of low / no scores will change everything very quickly. There are still potentially 234 points up for grabs with wins and fastest laps, and there is also a sprint points to consider too.

    It could still end up being a close finish yet.

    1. As Max just took a new engine packet i don’t think he will DNF of reliability and how much you think that Max scores less then top 3 position as his contant top 3 position (without crashes)

      1. I don’t think he will DNF of his own accord like Leclerc, but there is every possibility that his ICE would go pop as the Honda is less than fully reliable at the moment. With 9 races to go, he is likely to take engine penalties but considering his show at Hungary, he’s still going to be in with a shout of winning.

        Spa and Monza are going to test that new PU of his and Suzuka will be the likeliest venue for a weather affected race, but I don’t see any other circuits putting up enough of a stumbling block to deny him the WDC this year

  5. A year being just like any other driver would maybe do his personality lots of good?

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