Toto Wolff was left to rue not having two Mercedes fighting at the front of the race after Lewis Hamilton's strong recovery drive to second place at the Hungarian Grand Prix. With teammate George Russell starting from pole position, Hamilton began the race from seventh place after a DRS issue in qualifying. The Briton was able stay in touch with the lead battles over the opening stints on Medium tyres, but made progress in the final laps of the race when he switched to the Soft compound. From there, he passed Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Russell to take second place, finishing 10 seconds off race-winner Max Verstappen. Speaking after the race, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff was delighted to see the outfit take a double podium on merit, but wondered if more was achievable with a better qualifying session for Hamilton. "At the beginning it looked a little bit like we were in the race, but it was still a long shot for us to win," Wolff told Viaplay . "We were second and third on the road today and, who knows, if Lewis would have started at the front it would have been a fun battle. "It's two good results [including France] that we can rely on, that we can look at the data and, as we discussed before, Friday was such a disaster so at least we know what not to do, and we know what to do that made it better."
Wolff offers theory on Ferrari strategy call
Mercedes were one of the beneficiaries of Ferrari's decision to pit Charles Leclerc for Hard tyres in the later stages of the race. With Leclerc previously leading, the Monegasque fell behind both Russell and Hamilton, allowing Mercedes to compete for the podium positions. Wolff believed that Ferrari's tyre call was a costly one, and was surprised that they were willing to try them. "Yeah, we broke the Hard tyres on Friday and it was a total 'no no, can't do that'," Wolff added. "That's why we kept the Medium for the race, and that was the race-winning strategy and I guess that's what cost Ferrari the win."