Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he had some doubts over Toto Wolff's surprise radio message during the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Mercedes team principal Wolff is not often heard on the team radio but made a rare appearance to share some words of motivation with Hamilton. The British driver was trying to work his way back to the front of the pack after dropping down the order following the race restart, and had reached fifth place when Wolff came on the radio to say: "Lewis, you can win this."
With leader Esteban Ocon and second-placed Sebastian Vettel some distance ahead, Hamilton has joked that he wished he could have had the same level of optimism that Wolff had.
"He's got a great heart, Toto," Hamilton told RacingNews365.com and other select media. "But will all due respect, when I got the call, I was like, 'I want whatever they're smoking at the end of this race!'
"Because you guys [Ocon and Vettel] were so far ahead, and I had to make another pit stop I think at the same time, and I was like, '[it's] impossible to catch you guys.'"
However, Hamilton was grateful to receive the support from Wolff and appreciated the reminder that the team are alongside him during the race.
"For sure, when you’re out there it can definitely seem lonely at some stages," the seven-times World Champion explained. "And sometimes you’ve got such tunnel vision that it’s like ten laps, it’s like a light year.
"It’s just so much time has gone by in that period of time, it feels like you’re travelling through time. It’s a very, very strange experience and then you forget that people are on the other line, so it’s nice to be reminded that they’re there."
Hamilton was able to work his way up to third, though was later promoted to second given that Vettel was disqualified. This means that the Briton now has an eight-point lead over title rival Max Verstappen in the World Championship standings.