Hungary: Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton said Mercedes’ performance in Hungary boosts hopes of a first win of the season in the Formula One world championship when they return from the August break.
The British driver finished second in the race, ahead of teammate George Russell at the Hungaroring, to take the duo to the podium for the second time in a row.
It was the last episode of a series of encouraging levels for Mercedes after Russell took pole position on Saturday for the first time for the driver and the team since the Saudi Grand Prix last year.
“If we keep that pace in the second half of the season, we can definitely start fighting,” Hamilton, 37, told reporters, adding that finishing second behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was a “massively satisfying” result.
“It’s the first time we’ve been able to compete against Ferrari and beat them, and that’s a huge achievement for us,” said Hamilton, who started seventh because of a moving rear wing problem in qualifying.
The Hungarian Grand Prix gave indications that Mercedes, who has struggled with a change in the sport’s rules this year, is on track to regain its lustre.
The defending champion is now 30 points behind Ferrari in the constructors’ standings.
Hamilton, the winner of a record 103 races, admitted that Red Bull had a faster car on Sunday, and despite Verstappen starting from 10th and turning his car, he was able to win in the end.
But he stressed that Mercedes could have won if the cars had started from closed positions.
“I think we could have won this week. We can still make tremendous progress, so being stable together and being on the podium together in the last two races gives us great hope of going big in the second half.”
The season will be completed in Belgium on August 28.