Lewis Hamilton in the spotlight after Hungary woes

Lewis Hamilton failed to convert pole position into victory at the 2023 Hungarian GP.

Lewis Hamilton’s start to the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix, where he was overtaken by Max Verstappen and the McLaren duo, has been defended by Ralf Schumacher.

Hamilton, who secured pole position in Budapest, faced a challenging race start and eventually settled for fourth place.

Speaking to Sky Germany, Schumacher analysed Hamilton’s start, stating that the driver’s reaction time was not the issue. 

Instead, he pointed to the team’s data collection and the predefined sequence of actions during the start. If certain conditions, such as tire or temperature window, are not met, it can lead to a poor start. 

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Schumacher absolved Hamilton of blame for the reaction and attributed it to technical factors.

Discussing Mercedes’ strategy in Hungary, Schumacher noted that the team tended to stay out on the track for too long, affecting their tire usage. 

He suggested that fuel levels could have played a role, as lighter cars tend to perform better. 

Schumacher observed that Hamilton’s pace improved towards the end of the race, indicating that the team needs to address their overall performance, especially when it comes to overtaking difficulties with DRS (Drag Reduction System).

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Regarding the impressive McLaren pair, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, Schumacher praised their competitive yet healthy relationship within the team. 

He highlighted that both drivers share the same goals, which allows them to push each other and contribute to the team’s development.

READ: Lando Norris says he got ‘screwed’

Switching focus to Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, Schumacher commented on Leclerc’s five-second time penalty for pitlane speeding, which affected his race and relegated him to P7. 

Schumacher expressed disappointment in such mistakes, suggesting that with Leclerc’s experience, such errors should be avoided. 

He acknowledged that unfortunate incidents can sometimes compound for drivers, but stressed that they should not occur in crucial areas where Leclerc competes.