Lewis Hamilton thought Mercedes turned his engine down

Lewis Hamilton spent the majority of the Hungarian GP behind both McLaren drivers.

Lewis Hamilton endured a challenging Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, as the Mercedes driver failed to convert his 104th pole position into victory.

Hamilton had to settle for fourth at the Hungaroring, after being beaten by both Red Bull’s and Lando Norris.

The seven-time World Champion lost three places at the opening corner after being forced wide by Max Verstappen, a move which saw the Dutchman take the lead.

Oscar Piastri and Norris both also snuck past, with both drivers having then cleared off ahead of Hamilton.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

The British driver remained a few seconds behind the pair for several laps, until he was suddenly nine seconds behind following the opening pit-stops.

Hamilton’s sudden deficit to the McLaren pair shocked the Mercedes driver, who questioned the size of the gap over the team radio.

“How have they [McLaren] got nine seconds all of a sudden? That’s a crazy amount,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton went on to ask where he was losing so much time to the Woking-based team, with most of it having been down the straights.

Article continues below

“Where am I losing all the time? It’s just the car is slow?” Hamilton asked.

“A lot of it is straight line. Then in turns 11 and 14,” replied his race engineer.

Hamilton was struggling so much, that he even asked the team if they were “turning the engines down?”

“Negative. We are doing things to improve temperature situation,” replied his race engineer.

Hamilton’s pace did improve in the closing stages of the race, to the extent where he was able to overtake Piastri.

However, the move was only enough for fourth as both drivers had been overtaken by Sergio Perez.

Hamilton almost got onto the gearbox of Perez as the race reached its climax; however, he ran out of laps.

He openly admitted after the race that he simply “didn’t have the pace” to stay amongst the podium places, with Mercedes having work to do.

READ: Nico Rosberg’s verdict after Lewis Hamilton loses his voice

“The initial getaway wasn’t the worst I’ve ever had but it obviously wasn’t as good as Max’s, had a bit of wheelspin, and obviously Max was on the inside and run me wide and I got done by the two McLarens, so definitely not a great start – kind of reminiscent of 2015 when I fell back from first,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 after the race.

“After that I just didn’t have the pace to keep up with the guys, the balance of the car was pretty awful in that first stint, I had a lot of understeer, snap of oversteer through corners and I just couldn’t keep up with them. And bit by bit as we got through the next couple of stints the car started to become more drivable.

“But I’m going to take the positives from yesterday, amazing from the team to get to where we were and to beat everybody in qualifying was really spectacular for us and while it shows we don’t have the best car it was an incredible lap. We have a lot of work to do, it looks like we are a long way from the Red Bull in a race and now we are behind the McLaren but we just got to keep pushing.”