Jul 28, 2015

    Hamilton extends lead over Rosberg despite errors


    FORMULA One world champion Lewis Hamilton made a string of errors at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, but still stretched his lead over Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to 21 points.

    "Today was one of the worst performances I've put in for a long, long time. I was all over the place," said the Briton. He started on pole, but then collected a drive-through penalty, dropped to 15th and then finished sixth.

    "I don't know if it was a lack of concentration or what. I'm going to take it on the chin.

    "I definitely had a very bad day in the office," added the double world champion, who has won five of 10 races this season. "Do I deserve any points? By the grace of God, I got some points."

    Before the start, Hamilton had spoken of Hungary fast becoming one of his favourite circuits.

    Having won four times previously at the Hungaroring, he had dominated practice and qualified more than half a second quicker than Rosberg, who started next to him on the front row of the grid.

    Both Mercedes drivers were passed by the Ferraris after an aborted first start, caused by the Williams of Brazilian Felipe Massa being out of position, and the afternoon then became a hard slog in dirty air.

    Hamilton, already fourth, went wide at the chicane on the first lap and dropped to 10th position.

    Yet, even when he had dropped down the order, a victory still looked possible with the Briton lapping more than a second a lap faster than Rosberg, and clawing his way back to fourth place.

    After Force India's Nico Hulkenberg crashed, The deployment of the safety car further bunched up the leaders and helped Hamilton's hand.

    But he then collided with Australian Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull after the restart, collecting a drive-through penalty and having to make an unscheduled stop for a new front wing.

    The Briton even apologised to the team over the radio for his errors.

    "I pushed right to the end, but there were so many obstacles. It's like there were two different directions and each time I chose the wrong one," said Hamilton.

    With Rosberg running in second place, and looking like he could win and take the championship lead, Hamilton had Ricciardo to thank for then wrecking his teammate's race with a late collision.

    Rosberg suffered a puncture and finished eighth.