Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in
Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton in stark admission over F1 form

The pole-sitter finished fourth in Budapest as Mercedes fluctuated in Hungary.

Hamilton Hungary
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Lewis Hamilton has conceded he has not been at his "best" in Formula 1 for over a year after his run to fourth in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver took his first pole position since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in qualifying but was beaten off the line by Max Verstappen and found himself fourth after McLaren pair Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri both got past.

Seven-time champion Hamilton then struggled throughout the first stint of the race with the W14 lacking in balance, although the car improved later in the race, as he fell 1.5secs short of overhauling Sergio Perez for the podium.

Hamilton's concession

"I haven't been at my best for over a year," Hamilton told media including RacingNews365 after a sixth top-four result of the season.

"I felt like [qualifying] was me getting back in the game and we may have been able to finish third with a better start.

"Max just got a better start than me, and I got a bit of wheel-spin and was a bit compromised after that.

"We were just too slow in the first two stints, the balance was not good and the car was jut slow.

"But then the balance picked up a lot at the end and all of a sudden, I was able to apply the pressure [on Perez] but it was too late.

"It is obvious that we're not the quickest, we don't have the quickest car and I am very proud of the job that we did [in qualifying] to get pole position and out-perform the World Champion and the other guy that is quicker and the other two cars [the McLarens] that were quicker than us.

"It's just the reality - we're not fast enough. I was told the strategy this morning that I would be five or six-tenths slower than the Red Bull, so the fight was not with Max and I was hoping that we could fight the McLarens."

F1 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

Join the conversation!

HOW TO WATCH Final hours of the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours