Lewis Hamilton believes a race win was within reach at the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix after an impressive drive that saw him climb from seventh on the grid to second at the chequered flag.
The Mercedes star finished 7.8 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen, who took his eighth victory of the season despite starting 10th on the grid.
While reflecting on what was a “hugely satisfying” performance, Hamilton stated a poor first stint on the medium tyre likely cost him a chance at taking the battle to Verstappen.
“Going longer in that second stint, which gave me the option to then go to the softer tyre at the end,” Hamilton said when asked what the key moment of his race was.
“I think the the race was lost, probably with the first stint with that medium tyre. But that second or third part of the race was pretty epic.”
When asked if starting on the softs would have helped his chances at victory, Hamilton added that a clean qualifying session would have been helpful as well.
The DRS flap on his Mercedes failed to activate during his final qualifying run, which resulted in him starting seventh. Teammate George Russell suffered no issues, and took his maiden pole position.
“I would definitely have been closer to Max, I would have thought, but who knows?,” Hamilton said.
“Maybe I wouldn’t have been able to go the same distance on those tyres. But if we had started where I think we probably should have started without the problem yesterday, I think we would have been in a much better place to race Max.”
Hamilton pleased with Mercedes progress
Sunday’s result made it consecutive second-place finishes for Hamilton, and he admits it’s great to see Mercedes make the progress they have in recent weeks after a difficult start to the campaign.
“It’s a great feeling for us given the year we’ve had, and to obviously see the progress that we’ve started to make,” said Hamilton.
“Just getting the second place last week was huge for us already.
“This is now two races in a row that George and I have shared a podium, which is fantastic for the team, points wise.
“To both finish ahead of the Ferrari was huge for us given the pace they’ve had, and for me, obviously, starting the race in seventh, and getting up there is a great recovery.
“Given the troubles we had through the weekend, it shows that we’ve got really great pace.”