“Whoever said formula one is boring looks stupid now,” declared F1 legend Niki Lauda after a thrilling Hungarian grand prix.
Sunday marked the end to Mercedes’ impressive and – to some – tedious run of dominance, as it was the first race in the new ‘power unit’ era not featuring a set of silver overalls on the post-race podium.
Team boss Toto Wolff acknowledged it was a “great race for formula one” but joked to Bild newspaper: “Now I’m going to lock myself in the toilet and cry.”
Even Bernie Ecclestone, the F1 ‘ringmaster’, gatecrashed Wolff’s media rounds to mischievously declare: “Thanks for making it interesting but you didn’t have to go overboard!”
World champion Lewis Hamilton thinks it was his worst personal performance since Fuji 2008, even apologising on the radio long before the chequered flag.
He denied the poignancy of the pre-race focus on Jules Bianchi’s death – culminating in the late Frenchman’s family joining the minute’s silence on the grid – had got to him.
“It was nothing to do with that,” said Hamilton, although he did admit he struggled to sleep on Saturday night and had begun the race with a “strange” feeling.
Jonathan McEvoy, the Daily Mail correspondent, said Hamilton’s driving belonged in an episode of ‘Wacky Races’, while Mercedes’ Lauda agreed that the Briton had been “too aggressive”.
“Do I deserve any points? By the grace of god I got some,” Hamilton said afterwards. “When you make a fool of yourself — sometimes you just have to laugh it off and know you can do better,” he added.
Teammate Nico Rosberg also admitted he was “gutted” the events of the race conspired against him, resulting in a second win of the season for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and the two Red Bull drivers flanking him on the podium.
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