Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took an uncontested win at the 2018 Formula 1 Hungary Grand Prix, taking his sixth victory at the Hungaroring. "I think we could have gone with Lewis today with the race pace", said Vettel. That he isn't must surely be a cause for concern at Maranello, even if the German was not admitting it after the race.
However, Hamilton could not build on his extraordinary success in his first two seasons and finished either fourth or fifth in the following four seasons for McLaren.
But the rain in qualifying turned events in Hamilton's favour.
Bottas displayed excellent defense in second place to try and deny the Ferrari duo.
Ferrari was lapping up the compliments about having the quickest vehicle on the circuit and Vettel seemed in the ascendancy after taking a superb pole in Germany.
"But the rear tyres started to die". He collided with Vettel at Turn 2, suffering damage to the front left wing.
For a while, it looked as if it might be going Ferrari's way.
Despite running on ultrasoft tyres against the softs on the Mercedes, Vettel then had to spend nearly twenty laps behind Bottas while an untroubled Hamilton cruised to victory. Everybody knows that this year that Ferrari have the upper-hand pace-wise, but speed alone can not win titles.
Vettel finished second ahead of Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
He was able to do so until the final laps, by which point Hamilton had eased away for victory.
A virtual safety auto after McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne retired briefly raised Ferrari hopes but no further drama unfolded until Vettel managed to overtake Bottas five laps from the end. It would have been close.
Ferrari pitted Raikkonen for a second tire change on lap 39, and Vettel finally came in the next lap.
"I just ended up being a mess in the end with a broken vehicle", Bottas said. A pit stop here costs around 21 seconds.
Regardless, Vettel's title hopes still remain strong and he was looking ahead positively for the rest of the season. All good. We'll keep pushing! "Then, it is hard to foresee the traffic and knowing how well you go through it or not".
"And he would have said the same about Lewis if he'd be in same situation and had a similar race".
After the race in Hungary, Hamilton said Mercedes held the lead of the title race because, even if Ferrari had the quicker auto, the Silver Arrows had "operated better and been better on strategy".
"It didn't happen [this time] but it wasn't an issue, not a big deal in the end". You don't want to do that. I think then it was a bit tricky knowing when to come in. Surely it didn't help. "But that is part of racing". So I hope that this year, and I think this year has shown so far that our vehicle is more efficient, our auto is stronger and still has a lot of potential to unleash - so I'm quite confident with what's sitting in the pipeline that we can improve.
'Absolutely not, and it is far too early to think about that when you consider the ups and downs we have had this year, ' Hamilton said when asked if he was closing in on the title. I was the only one damaged, which was fair enough.
Mercedes lacked pace compared to Ferrari in dry conditions on Friday but secured a front-row lockout in wet weather on Saturday, and was braced for a challenge as the warm conditions returned on Sunday.
By common consent, Ferrari rather than world champions Mercedes have possessed the fastest auto in the sport in the first half of 2018.
In addition to this, he is leading this season's championship at the halfway stage, with another championship imminent as he has historically been stronger in the second half of the season.
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