It was an exhilarating double podium for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team on their 250th race with title partner PETRONAS.
The team completed a satisfying double podium for the second weekend running as Lewis Hamilton took P2 and George Russell P3 under changeable weather conditions in Budapest.
An impressive start from both drivers saw George retain the lead smartly through the first corners, while Lewis moved up to P5 with precise driving.
George led the race for 30 laps before the pace of Leclerc’s Ferrari caught up with him. After the second round of pit stops, giving him work to do to move back up from P7 to P2, where he stood with 5 laps to go.
A strong second stint from Lewis on the Medium, going long and eventually leading, put him in position for a charging final stint on fresher tyres than those around him.
Lewis lit up the timing screens on the Soft tyre as he moved through the field, eventually catching and passing his teammate to complete an impressive comeback: P7 on the grid, P2 at the chequered flag, bonus point for fastest lap.
George brought the W13 home in P3, completing a strong weekend in which he scored his first F1 pole and continuing the positive momentum the team has showed in recent races.
The team head into the summer break P3 in the 2022 F1 Constructors’ Standings, 30 points behind Ferrari.
‘I was struggling at the beginning of the race and wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to catch up so I’m happy I was able to recover from P7. I had a good start, which was crucial and, bit by bit, I felt more comfortable with the balance of the car. The cooler temperatures in qualifying and the race seemed to work well for us. We made a massive step from Friday and I’m very grateful for it. If the DRS had been working yesterday, we could have been in the run for the win. I want to acknowledge my team, who have continued to push and have never given up through this tough year that we’ve had so far. It’s very special for us to have both cars on the podium today, although how the race unfolded was unlucky for George. It’s an amazing way to go into the break, knowing we’re clearly closing the gap and have more performance. Hopefully, we’ll bring some more into the second part of the season and start fighting with the guys in the front.’
‘I had a really strong start, and it was a first good stint. We pitted quite early on both stints and tried to keep the tyres out until the end, as well as pushing as fast as possible at the same time. Towards the end on the mediums when the rain started to come down, I struggled and lost temperature. It was challenging to manage the tyres, so there’s lots to look into and see where we could’ve done better. Amazing job by the team, pole position yesterday and double podium today. We’re making progress and I’m proud of the work everybody has put into it. We will come back to the second half of the season with a reset, refocussed and will try to fight for some victories.’
‘George had a great qualifying session with pole and drove a solid race. He was in the fight utilising the tyres but ran out of them in the second stint. Lewis’ fight today was unbelievable, Budapest continues to be a success story for him. He came out of nowhere and was quicker than everyone else. I think we lost the race with him yesterday with the DRS failing. Otherwise, we would have been able to fight at the front for the victory today. P2 and P3 twice in a row is great but we want to fight for the win. We have a result we can work with, given we had a really bad Friday. It’s very frustrating and not easy to pick yourself up and stay motivated, so it’s a learning process. Today, we had good pace, but we need to stay humble and look at race weekend after race weekend so we can try to gain more learnings and experiment to put us in a situation where we can actually fight for wins at the end of the season.’
‘Well done to the whole team! The team and drivers can be really proud of the way we’d turned the weekend around after Friday. George’s first pole and the team’s first with the W13 was a nice achievement and another double podium is a great way to head into the break. We still need a little more to get that first win of the season but every week it feels like it’s getting closer and closer and the team is determined to make it to the top step soon. It’s been the hardest start to a season that we’ve had for a long time, but it’s been hugely satisfying to see the team and drivers work so hard to get the car back to where we need it to be. Everyone is looking forward to the shutdown for some time to rest and recharge, but we’ll be wanting to continue where we left off in Spa and hoping for a strong finish to the year.’