Toto Wolff, the Team Principal of Mercedes, issued a warning ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, emphasising that Red Bull and Max Verstappen were formidable competitors during long runs in practice.
As Lewis Hamilton prepares to challenge Verstappen for victory, both rivals will start on the front row together for the first time since their intense battle at the controversial Abu Dhabi season-finale in 2021.
Rivals meet again since 2021
The stage is now set for a thrilling battle between the two formidable rivals in Sunday’s race.
Hamilton is fully aware of the significance of this race, as he believes he has a “fighting chance” to end Verstappen’s impressive winning streak. The Mercedes driver and the Red Bull sensation are both on the brink of setting F1 records.
With his incredible pole position, Hamilton became the first-ever F1 driver to claim nine pole positions at a single track, adding to his already impressive tally of 104 pole positions overall. This achievement marks his first pole position since the 2021 Saudi Arabian GP, and he is determined to translate it into a much-awaited victory.
Victory drought since 2021
Notably, Hamilton has not tasted victory in F1 since the December 2021 race. A win on Sunday’s Grand Prix would not only end his personal drought but also make him the first driver in history to clinch a single Grand Prix victory nine times.
On the other hand, Red Bull is eyeing an unprecedented milestone. They are eager to become the first-ever F1 team to achieve 12 consecutive wins. Having equalled McLaren’s 35-year-old record of 11 consecutive wins at the previous race in Silverstone, they now aim to further solidify their dominance in the championship.
As the battle intensifies between Hamilton and Verstappen, the Hungarian Grand Prix promises to be a historic and unforgettable event, with both drivers striving to etch their names in the annals of F1 history. Fans and spectators eagerly await the exciting race and the potential rewriting of records by these two giants of motorsport.
Wolff: “It’s going to be fun”
Hamilton secured pole position beating Verstappen by a mere 0.003 seconds. The prospect of the two drivers fighting each other on track has raised expectations for an exhilarating opening lap says Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
When asked about the likelihood of fireworks during the initial moments of the race, Wolff responded to the media stating, “It will be good fun, neither has anything to risk or to lose. So they will for sure be racing each other at the beginning. It will be great.”
Wolff: Must stay realistic
Wolff acknowledged Hamilton’s determination to engage in a thrilling battle but also stressed the need for realism. He highlighted that Verstappen and Red Bull displayed exceptional performance during the long runs in the third practice session.
“Lewis will be giving it everything he has to have a great fight, but we also need to stay realistic.
“They were in a league of their own in the long runs [in FP3]. But this is motor racing.
However, Wolff emphasized that motor racing is unpredictable, and the race could present different dynamics, with the possibility of other cars and drivers being strong contenders.
“Everything can be different [in the race], maybe we have a car and a driver in the best state of mind to fight against them and other cars that were also strong.”
As the anticipation builds for the race, fans and pundits eagerly await the exciting duel between Hamilton and Verstappen, who have been at the forefront of the F1 title battle in recent years. With both drivers determined to secure victory in Hungary, the stage is set for an exhilarating and potentially dramatic showdown on the track.