Surprised Hamilton - I thought Red Bull had a better package
Lewis Hamilton has conceded to surprise at how far Formula 1 Red Bull has been off the pace at the Hungaroring this weekend.
Red Bull was expected to run Mercedes close, particularly at a circuit that has proven beneficial for the team over the years, highlighted by Max Verstappen's pole lap at the circuit a year ago.
But Verstappen could only qualify seventh quickest, a staggering 1.4secs adrift of Hamilton's new lap record of one minute 13.447s, and almost three-tenths of a second down on his time from a year ago.
When informed of the gap, Hamilton replied: "Ow wow! I didn't know that was the case. That is a really big gap. I definitely wasn't expecting them to be as off as they have been this weekend.
"You saw the pace from them last year. This is not a power circuit, this is more about the car, the mechanical grip, and aero package. I thought they had a better package than today's result showed.
"But I don't know if they all had great laps. Either way, that's a big, big gap."
Verstappen's team-mate Alex Albon could only manage 13th in a car he has bemoaned all weekend, notably for lacking grip and balance, while he also complained about being sent into traffic late on in Q2.
Despite that, Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who finished a tenth of a second behind the Briton in qualifying second, said: "[The gap is] Very surprising, for sure. I was expecting them to be maybe potentially closer here than Austria.
"Of course, I don't know the details of how their session went. Was it nice and clean or were there other issues? [But] The whole weekend they've not really been that close, so surprising."
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