Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton arrives in Budapest on a high, following that imperious performance at his home race last time out – a performance which saw him slash Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead from 20 points to one. This weekend could see him go into the summer break ahead of his rival – and could also see him match Michael Schumacher’s all-time pole position record. Hamilton, however, is taking nothing for granted…
Q: Will Hungary be a more difficult race for you and Mercedes than Silverstone two weeks ago?
Lewis Hamilton: I really feel great and excited coming here. It is still buzzing after Silverstone. The Hungarian GP has been a great race for me for many years and Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities. I am enjoying it, going into the city and have good food, and also the track is spectacular. The race will for sure be a challenge, knowing that the Friday will be the cooler day opposed to Saturday and Sunday. For the Red Bulls this should be a good track for them, as it is not a great power sensitive circuit, so it will be a good race between the top three teams. At the end of the day it is still the driver that makes the difference - at least this is the plan.
Looking at the last qualifying session in Silverstone, I know that it was not only the good car in place, but also when I came into play. I hope that I am able to extract the fact this weekend even more.
I think this track has been my most successful track, and I hope that this is still the case this weekend. It is also a track that has been a real challenge in regards to the weather ups and downs, but I think this weekend is forecast to stay quite neutral. Nevertheless, this track is very hard to overtake, and I think that it will be very close between us and Ferrari, and this is going to be very exciting for the fans.
Q: How would you evaluate this season so far, now that we are halfway through?
LH: We would be an 8.8 on a scale of 10, I would say. So there is still some room to improve. For sure Silverstone was the best moment of this season, as it would be very hard to top that. It is my home Grand Prix and I do not get to crowd surf anywhere else. Having had my family in Silverstone was really great. They do not really get affected by this Formula One driver status. Of course they do watch the races, but I am still just Lewis to them, and just another member of the family. That helps me a lot to stay grounded. And it was really great to share that experience with them. I wanted them to stand on stage with me and feel what I get to feel. We had a great photo, which was a good memory for us.