Hamilton: Lauda would've been proud of Mercedes' Hungary success
Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix after a strategic gamble from Mercedes that the Formula One champion thought would have made Niki Lauda proud.
Max Verstappen and Hamilton had both pitted for hard tyres in what was expected to be a one-stop race at the Hungaroring, but Mercedes called the championship leader in for a second set of mediums at the end of lap 49 of 70.
Red Bull driver Verstappen stayed out and the Briton ate into his 19-second lead before overtaking at turn one with four laps remaining, the Dutchman having complained his tyres were "dead" moments before.
Hamilton felt the victory would have been admired by former Mercedes non-executive chairman and three-time F1 champion Lauda, who died in February.
"I feel tired, which is how it should be but I feel really grateful for the day and the team who continue to push me to the limits and take a chance on me. We've been together for seven years, but every win feels brand new," said Hamilton.
"We had brake problems all weekend and I was a bit worried, but we made the changes and I was actually doing a lot of lift and coast for half a lap, but I was just trying to save as much as I could.
"It was difficult to get by, the defence was great and I didn't know if I could catch that 19-second gap. I just kept my head down and each lap was like a qualifying lap. I know if Niki was here today, he would take his hat off."
Verstappen was frustrated not to have been pitted in response to Hamilton's stop but tried to find the positives in a weekend that saw him seal his maiden pole position and take the bonus point for the fastest lap.
"We were just not fast enough, but I tried everything I could on those hard tyres to stay alive," he said.
"Unfortunately it wasn't enough, but to finish second with the fastest lap, it was a good weekend overall.
"Of course, congratulations to Lewis for the win and he was pushing me very hard. I was just lacking a bit of grip I guess.
"We tried the one stop and they had the opportunity to do two, and that worked out well."