Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel admitted that he had the pace to match Lewis Hamilton in the Hungarian Grand Prix, but things didn’t quite play out as the Ferrari driver had hoped which ultimately meant he was unable to challenge the Briton. Seb started fourth but passed his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen at Turn 2 and kept with the two Mercedes cars despite running the harder soft compound tyre, whereas Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas drive their first stint on the ultrasoft.
The German driver took the lead after Hamilton and Bottas made their first stops and looked set to come out ahead of Bottas when he eventually stopped, however a slow stop meant he emerged just a few tenths behind and that’s when his race unravelled as he was unable to pass the Finn for several laps, allowing Hamilton to open up a large gap.
“It was a tough race, we were a bit out of position for the speed we had,” he said. “We could have gone with Lewis in terms of race pace. P2 wasn’t what we really wanted – but I think it was the maximum we could get today. It was a good start, a bit surprising on the harder tyres. I was in third. Then we did well. Then it was a bit tricky knowing when to come in. We had a little issue with the pitstop, we came out behind Bottas and then realised I couldn’t get him. I was sitting back and waiting, trying to line up for the last 10 laps.” – he explained at the end of the race.
Sebastian Vettel managed to pass Bottas at Turn 2, but the pair collided, forcing Bottas to stop for a new front-wing, which allowed both Ferraris through: “It worked, his [Bottas] tyres were getting worse and worse, I knew how long those yellow tyres last from my first stint. I was quite confident I could get him at the end. I was surprised because I was already ahead,” he said of the incident with Bottas. “I was trying to brake to cover the inside line and not run too deep. I got a hit from behind. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I was looking in the mirror, I saw he was there with Kimi . Lucky the car wasn’t broken and we could carry on.”