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Hungary GP Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
29/07/2018

Today's post-race press conference with Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

Lewis, an absolutely spectacular job. Completely done today. Fifty per cent of the job done yesterday and the finishing touches into that.
Lewis Hamilton: What a beautiful day. What a great crowd we've had and really an amazing job from the team. We came here knowing that the Ferraris would be real quick this weekend but to come out with these points we'll definitely take as a bonus for us, so we deserve the holiday that's coming.

I can see how drained you are. How physical was it out there under the sun?
LH: I was sweating. You know. It was so hot. Physical but I was obviously able to manage the pace. I think it's the last part here that really kills me, when I go and celebrate with my team, but a big thank you to everyone back at the factory.

How do you look back on the first part of the season as we go into the summer break and you get some time to lie on the beach on the back of these last five grands prix on six weekends.
LH: I'm not really the lay down on the beach kind of type, I'll be doing activities, training and getting ready for the second half, but really happy with how strong it's come the last couple of races and as I said, so grateful for all the hard work and the continued efforts of the team, so they all deserve the break and I hope they keep pushing, we;'ve got to come strong in the next half.

Sebastian, I think that's the best you could have hoped for today wasn't it, getting up to P2. You almost jumped Bottas in the pit stop but I think Carlos Sainz held you up a little and a bit of a tricky pit stop?
Sebastian Vettel: Yeah, I don't know, I think something was stuck at the rear but it was tough race. We were a little bit out of position for the speed that we had. I think we could go with Lewis today in terms of race pace. I had a good start on the harder tyre, which was good, and I was in third. Then I think we did well. I think then it was a bit tricky knowing when to come in. And then obviously we had a little bit of an issue at the pit stop, as you mentioned, and we came out behind Valtteri and then I realised right away I couldn't get him because his tyres were still too fresh, so I was sitting back and waiting and trying to line everything up for the last 10 laps and it worked. His tyres were getting worse and worse and I knew obviously how long those yellow tyres last from the first stint that I had, so I was quite confident I could get him at the end. Obviously P2 is not what we really wanted this weekend but I think it's the maximum we could get today.

Did you think you were clear after you had made that contact down at Turn 2 at the end?
SV: I was surprised to be honest. I was already ahead and I was just trying to brake so that I covered the inside line and not running too deep. Then I got a hit from behind, so I wasn't sure what was going on. Then I was looking in the mirrors and I saw that Valtteri was there with Kimi and obviously after that I was clear and I was lucky nothing was broken and we could carry on.

Kimi, a very strong end to that grand prix. I think you tried a different strategy and I guess you can be quite happy for Ferrari to get two cars on the podium?
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, I think it was the best that we could hope today. Far from ideal start. I think we need to improve those a bit to give us a bit more easier. We catch up with Bottas after the first stop but there was not chance to overtake at that point, so our option was to stop again and try again and at least we got one place back. Far from ideal. I think we had pretty good speed today but what can you do? Sometimes it's like that, but we take the points and go for the next one.

And great to have this little man standing behind you. He looks happy?
KR: Yeah, he's always happy, so that's nice.

Questions From The Floor

(Péter Vámosi - Racingline.hu) A question for Lewis. Two years ago you mentioned Budapest as your top three cities that you like in the world - Tokyo and New York were maybe also there. What exactly is the order? And will you stay here a little bit and maybe doing another bicycle trip again in Budapest and check out some architecture and some buildings?
LH: You want to know what the order of my favourite cities are? I think it was New York, Tokyo, here, London, I think that's about really. I don't plan on staying. The weather is great and the city just seems to get nicer and nicer every time I come. But now it's holiday, I'm going to meet my mum and my sister and niece and nephew tonight and I'll spend the next four or five days with them. It's not too often I get to do family holidays so that's something I'm looking forward to. But I'll always have a chance to come back to Budapest. I've got some friends here. I spent some time already in the city away from the race. It's very cool, because it's still very young as well. They've got a lot of new buildings going up with the great old architecture they have there. It feels like it's growing as well in terms of how young it is, so very cool.

(Livio Oricchio - Globoesporte.com) A question for Lewis. You said that Friday is normally different to Sunday. But on Friday you didn't use the blankets on your rear tyres. You get out from the pits very slowly, I believe not to heat the rear tyres...
LH: I didn't use what?

The electrical blanket on your rear tyres.
LH: When

Friday. We saw it on the TV.
LH: We always use blankets.

Also leaving the pits very slow...
LH: You can't drive these tyres from stone cold. Just so you know. So they are always in the blankets but they might take them out earlier than...

Where I want to arrive is that you have many problems with the ultrasoft tyres. The first stint you were on ultrasoft, the track was 59 degrees, 35 the air, and you had incredible performance, everything exactly the opposite to Friday. Can you make a comment; you changed the car, you understood what was going wrong?
LH: Well, from Friday to Saturday I made a big car change. The balance that I steered towards, I made a big change in P1, because I was uncomfortable with the balance. It's difficult to make change in P1 because you have to wait for the track to come to you rather than chase the set-up. I straight away made a big change and I tried to pursue that direction but by the time I got to the end of P2 I realised it wasn't the right direction so I had to pull back and go another way. We had a bit of running in P3 but the car still wasn't perfect. And then it rained. I didn't make any changes but I knew that Valtteri had had good P2 running and we weren't too far off in the direction that we ended. All the learning you do on a Friday, it wasn't perfect, the way you drive, the way you use the tyres, then you come back on Sunday and you have to bring you're 'a-game'. Friday is not usually the day I bring my 'a-game'. In terms of the tyres, the ultrasoft lasted a lot better than I thought today. I did struggle in P2 but, as I said, I was on a different set-up. The long run was quite good and then we went to the soft and I struggled, as where in P2 I was really good on the soft. So it was completely different. I struggled at the beginning and then we got through some traffic and then I moved a lot of switches around and eventually was able to balance the car and then it was OK. After that I was able to do some decent times and pull the gap. I knew that at some point I'd need to pull the gap to these while they were still behind Valtteri. I knew the strategy that Valtteri was on it was highly unlikely that he was going to make it last and when I pulled away from the grid I knew that Sebastian had been on the soft tyre. We knew that it would also make it very difficult to win, even for me, so that's why the gap was really important. I definitely don't think the team expected me to be able to eke out my first stint to lap 30 or whatever it was. I think they were a little bit too optimistic I would say on the other side to make those tyres go that far. Even for me towards the end of my stint my tyres were on the way out. I probably could have done another 10 laps or 15 laps on them before they were completely dead. Their pace was obviously good but fortunately I'd done enough by then.

(Scott Mitchell - Autosport) For Lewis and Sebastian. At the beginning of the race on alternative tyre strategies, it looked like at one point the race might be swinging more towards Seb, especially when Valtteri pitted and Seb looked like he was going to jump him. So obviously the race went in a different direction. Could I get your comment on how the race changed and also how it impacts the momentum of your respective championship campaigns.
LH: The tyres converge. If you draw a line of the tyre life you've got the ultrasoft which starts quickest and it drops off at a certain point and there's a crossover between the soft and the ultrasoft and then there's the medium which is way off, it's a terrible tyre. So past, kind of like, I think somewhere around lap eight, the soft tyres going to be faster than the ultrasoft - but I was able to... I was taking it quite easy on my tyres at the beginning. I was able to get that gap to Valtteri. I think it was to something like eight seconds. By the time he had pitted, and Sebastian had got clean air, then I was able to react to the times that he was putting in. So we were matching times, which, as I said, the team and we definitely didn't expect. Because, as I said, there's usually that crossover - but I was able to match his times for a good period of time and that's really what made the race. In terms of how it affects our championship, I mean, last year, I don't know if we were leading at this point of last year, but last year I think we had... maybe we felt like we were a little bit stronger than we were compared to this year. This year we all know that Ferrari really do have the upper hand pace-wise but I think all around, performance-wise, in terms of strategy and... y'know, because to win a championship is not just about speed, it's about how you manage things, the strategy calls you make, mistakes, all these different things all weigh up. I think, as a whole, we have hopefully done a slightly better job up until now. So, we've got work to do, we've got things to improve, we've got performance to bring moving forwards. We've got to try and catch them - but we've got to continue to keep rising with all the other elements, which allows us to beat the Ferraris when they don't bring their A game.

Sebastian?
SV: Yeah. In the first stint, I had a good start, obviously. We knew we had to try to do something different today. I think, as it turned out, probably Valtteri was taking it too easy and obviously, Lewis was able to pull away comfortably. Then, I think, looking back, despite the hot temperatures and so on, I think the ultrasoft worked probably better than we all expected. Obviously we tried to do something different with the soft and yeah, the fact that the ultrasoft lasted very well in the beginning, like Lewis' pace showed, and also at the end for me, the tyres felt like new once I was ahead of Valtteri, even though I spent so many laps in traffic, showed that I think the ultrasoft worked better. So, that didn't help to close the gap but I think we did what we could. We effectively passed Valtteri for P2 but then I think I got a bit unlucky with the traffic and lost a couple of seconds, and then obviously we had that little issue at the pitstop, so we ended up coming out behind - and then it was a different race. For sure we knew from the start that qualifying, where we qualified, we tried to do something different, I was happy to do that and I think the pace showed today that we were good. I think if you compare the stint on the soft to the other cars, obviously we were different fuel loads and mirrored strategy but was very good. So, I don't know. As we've seen this year the pendulum seems to swing once this side, once that side, obviously y'know if it's like this, consistency is the key. Scoring points. I didn't do myself a favour last week but I think it's part of racing. Stuff happens. Compared to last year, we lost the championship I think because our car wasn't quick enough to be a match in the final part of the season, despite what happened with the DNFs. So I hope that this year, and I think this year has shown so far that our car is more efficient, our car 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 . So, we'll see. Should be an exciting second part of the year.

Check out our Sunday gallery from the Hungaroring, here.

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