Mercedes made an admitted strategic mistake before the Hungarian Grand Prix restart, when Lewis Hamilton was left as the only car on the track on intermediate tyres, which ultimately dropped him down to the back of the field.
However, Lewis then managed to get back up to P12, behind Daniel Ricciardo. It is there that he experienced pace problems, which Mercedes solved with a brilliant strategy call.
“Well, it is a really difficult track to overtake,” Elliott explained in Mercedes’ post-race debrief.
“When you’ve got the sort of same tyres at the same life, it’s very difficult to have a pace advantage big enough to get by the car in front.
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“So, although Lewis was able to get by a few of the slower cars earlier on, as he came on up to the back of Ricciardo we were really struggling.
“We waited to a point where we thought we had to undercut both, on Ricciardo and on Max [Verstappen], to see if we could get by both of them at the same time, and as it turned out, we were able to make that strategy work.
“From that point on we were on a two-stop strategy, where Lewis was able to drive aggressively all the way through the race and to maximise the performance in the car,” concluded Mercedes’ technical boss.
Lewis ultimatel finished in P3, and got promoted to P2 after Sebastian Vettel got disqualified. However, had he not been held up by Fernando Alonso for several laps, he would have given race leader Esteban Ocon a run for his money.