Lewis Hamilton reflects on “unimaginable” moment from 2023 F1 season

The Briton took his 104th career pole at the Hungarian GP

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Lewis Hamilton believes his pole position at the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix was something he didn’t think was possible when he first drove the Mercedes W14 in February that year, highlighting it as the best moment of the season.

Hamilton claimed pole position 104 of his incredible career, beating Max Verstappen’s Red Bull and Lando NorrisMcLaren cars by just 0.003 and 0.085 respectively.

“I think Budapest was the best moment of the year,” Hamilton said to Mercedes F1. “A circuit that I love, where we were somehow able to dethrone the Red Bulls at one point.

“It gave us hope and the feeling that if we kept pushing, we were going to get to their level. When I drove the car for the first time in February, I never thought it was possible to take pole.”

Hamilton’s hopes and encouragement for 2024

Despite the moment being the peak of the season for Mercedes, they did not go on to win a race as Ferrari took the only non-Red Bull grand prix victory in the entire season.

Another moment where they showed pace was at the United States GP in Texas. The team introduced a new floor upgrade that immediately thrust them into contention for a win.

They were doomed to be disqualified for excessive plank wear as soon as they went under parc ferme conditions, but they would’ve taken the flag in first position if it wasn’t for a slow pit stop and that gives Hamilton momentum for 2024.

“With the improvement we got in Austin, with a couple more laps, we would have been in contention to fight for the win,” Hamilton added. “This shows that we are turning this car, little by little, into a competitive machine. 

“It’s becoming a more enjoyable car to drive and it’s in a position where you can look more forward than backward. It’s been positive progress, but it’s still not a race-winning car and that’s what we need to change for 2024.

“The dream is that when February next year starts, the car won’t be a replica of 2023 and feel the same, but I’m sure that’s not going to be the case.”

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