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Sunday images from the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix

F1: Lewis back on top in Budapest

Jul 242016

It got hot and heavy in Hungary this weekend, as Lewis Hamilton raced to victory on the freshly laid blacktop of the legendary Hungaroring circuit. Still riding high after his awesome hometown win at Silverstone a fortnight ago, Lewis’ victory in the furnace-like conditions on the outskirts of Budapest – with track temperatures peaking at nearly 60°C during Sunday’s race – means he has dealt a double knockout blow to his team-mate ahead of the final race in Germany before the mid-season summer break.

Not only has Lewis snatched the lead in the drivers championship by six points – with a total of 192 ahead of Nico’s tally of 186 points - but he did it all with an epic start from P2 on the grid; after a yellow flag mixed up the expected start order between the Silver Arrows drivers, allowing Nico Rosberg to snatch a record 26th career pole position.

Speaking from the top step of the podium, following his fifth victory in six races in which he has transformed a 43-championship point deficit into a six-point lead, Lewis said: “It's been an awesome few races and I've just got to keep that kind of form up for the rest of the season. I think Spain was definitely a turning point. It didn’t feel like it was but it was rock bottom basically. The only way was up. I just managed to get my head together and get my shit together and get on with it, even though I have less engines, my mechanics had been changed. All these different things which didn’t seem to be working; I just had to deal with it. Since then we’ve pulled together. I’d love to come out of the next race with a result like this so when I do go to Spa or Monza, and have a penalty and start from the pit lane or last place, that is a minimum damage. It doesn’t mean I’m 25 points behind; I don’t really want to go back to there.


“I honestly feel we’re in the strongest position we’ve been in all year, and how unified we are. Today was one of the hottest races I can remember here. Looking after the tyres in those conditions was really hard, so I'm glad I managed. Thank you to everyone in the team for all their hard work - and to all the fans I have here. I don't know why but, when I go to Budapest, I always seem to have a lot of support. I love it here so it makes for a great week”

Down but definitely not out, Nico is determined to regain the lead at his home race at the equally epic Hockenheimring in Germany next weekend, saying: “Really, I lost the win in the first corner when I dropped down two positions, so I'm disappointed as I wanted to win the race and was confident I had a strong possibility to do so. It wasn't the best start from me, so it was good to catch Daniel directly in T1 and get P2 back. But behind Lewis it was impossible to overtake on this track. I had great pace in the race, which is very positive - but unfortunately I wasn't able to make the most of it.


“I’ve always said I’m not counting points. I fully expected him to come back and I didn’t expect to be 43 points in front all the time, it ebbs and flows and it’s always going to be a tough battle against him because he’s the world champion. I’m disappointed because I wanted to win Hungary. I will be very excited again soon though, because it’s my home race next and I’ll try and get the thrill from the home crowd, so hopefully I can get the win. It’s still close and it just takes a small thing to switch it the other way and I want to do that at Hockenheim.


Result – 70 laps:
1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes            1h40m30.115s
2    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes            1.977s
3    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull/Renault        27.539s
4    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari                28.213s
5    Max Verstappen    Red Bull/Renault        48.659s
6    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari                49.044s
7    Fernando Alonso    McLaren/Honda        1 Lap
8    Carlos Sainz        Toro Rosso/Ferrari        1 Lap
9    Valtteri Bottas    Williams/Mercedes        1 Lap
10    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India/Mercedes    1 Lap
11    Sergio Perez    Force India/Mercedes        1 Lap
12    Jolyon Palmer    Renault            1 Lap
13    Esteban Gutierrez    Haas/Ferrari            1 Lap
14    Romain Grosjean    Haas/Ferrari            1 Lap
15    Kevin Magnussen    Renault            1 Lap
16    Daniil Kvyat        Toro Rosso/Ferrari        1 Lap
17    Felipe Nasr        Sauber/Ferrari        1 Lap
18    Felipe Massa        Williams/Mercedes        2 Laps
19    Pascal Wehrlein    Manor/Mercedes        2 Laps
20    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber/Ferrari        2 Laps
21    Rio Haryanto        Manor/Mercedes        2 Laps
-    Jenson Button    McLaren/Honda        Retirement