"Surreal" to equal Schumacher's record, says Hamilton

28 August, 2017, 00:33 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • Ferrari’s Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen celebrating on the podium with his trophy at the Hungaroring racing circuit. – AP

Without this edge, Vettel could not find a way through, with Hamilton pulling clear to take his fifth win of the season and cut the gap at the top of the drivers' championship down to just seven points. "I knew the record was on the horizon, and at some stage I would get the 68th pole".

Mercedes are firm on equal treatment for their drivers, and Hamilton's fair play stood out in the last race before the August break when he relinquished third place to team-mate Valtteri Bottas on the last lap under a prior agreement. "I've had the privilege of racing with him and always admired him and still do". And I feel very privileged.

Vettel said:"I know Mercedes and Lewis are favourites for the championship - but I know I can improve and go faster".

"I think it's highly unlikely that [Seb] will be here", said Hamilton.

The battle between Hamilton and Vettel, a four-times champion, looks like going all the way to the final race in Abu Dhabi in November. "We have made good steps forward and I am looking forward to next week, our home race [the Italian Grand Prix]".

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Kimi Raikkonen starts in fourth for Ferrari ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen and his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo showed great race intelligence and opportunism to pass Bottas after the safety vehicle incident.

"I$3 never really had a chance, so maybe half a chance, quarter of a chance". Mercedes' power and straight-line speed advantage are expected to give Hamilton the edge and he could emerge from the race - to be held on the 1st to 3rd September weekend - in the lead of the driver's world championship.

He was second to Hamilton overall on Friday and his time of one minute 43.916 seconds was comfortably the fastest of the weekend and more than three seconds inside Vettel's 2009 race lap record.

"When I do get asked the Ferrari question it's coming more from fans and media, and not necessarily from Ferrari", he said. I am not entirely happy [about the restart], I was fearing that I was not close enough but I was too close. We had very good pace, if you compare this track with Silverstone. We need to turn that around and make sure that we are not just consistently finishing but are consistently finishing ahead of them and out-performing them. I came to the restart, Sebastian was very, very close, the front tyres weren't switched on initially.

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