Hungarian GP: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes wary of Ferrari's fast starts

Max Verstappen

Toto Wolff said he thought Mercedes' fortunes had changed after Hamilton and Bottas gave the Silver Arrows a one-two at Hockenheim last weekend following Sebatian Vettel's crash.

World championship leader Lewis Hamilton put Mercedes on pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix but it was a tough day for Australia's Daniel Ricciardo, who failed to make the top 10 after a qualifying session with thunder, lightning and plumes of spray.

And Hamilton, who described his pole position as a "shock", added: "There's a difference between the two tyres, particularly for that long straight, so I think it's highly unlikely we're going to sacrifice keeping our positions at the start".

The Ferrari driver clocked a best lap of one minute and 16.170 seconds to wind up narrowly ahead of Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes by 0.059 seconds and his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. "But we weren't quick enough", Vettel said.

"I was unlucky with the last run".

The scenario changed in a matter of seconds, and Vettel will start fourth behind Raikkonen.

Max Verstappen has now retired from four races this season
Max Verstappen has now retired from four races this season

Villeneuve also described the reigning champion's post-qualifying comments as being "like the Sermon on the Mount", and Hamilton's dramatic gestures on the podium as being "so everyone could see who sent the sudden rain" that allowed the Briton to secure his 66th victory in Formula One.

Referring to the Mercedes driver's alleged biblical conduct at the Hockenheim, Villeneuve said: "The way [Hamilton] knelt next to his vehicle after having his problem in qualifying looked like the suffering of Christ". "I think in the dry we were in control but it wasn't meant to be". Overtaking might be hard here but we have been surprised many times this year already.

Vettel was fastest in the final practice in dry conditions and also in Friday's second practice.

"In wet conditions we are not as confident as in the dry so there is some work to do and I think today it was a tricky session and it could have been anything".

Teammate Max Verstappen could manage only seventh behind French driver Pierre Gasly's Toro Rosso auto and the Renault of fifth-place Carlos Sainz.

Still, it was a chipper Raikkonen that faced the media when he stepped out of his SF71H, having outqualified a team mate in Hungary - Sebastian Vettel finished P4 - for the first time since 2007. Early into qualifying, Hamilton even feared his tires were "falling apart" but once again he proved himself to be the best in wet conditions.

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