Lewis Hamilton says only a “miracle” will help him achieve victory in tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
“We are in a good position but I don’t envisage it being a win,” he told BBC Sport.
“We’ve got a steep hill to climb with these tires in these [hot] conditions. If we did win it would be a miracle.”
And it appears that the 28-year-old Mercedes driver, who earlier today delivered a stunning performance to claim pole position for tomorrow’s event, has every cause to be doubtful.
The 2008 World Champion is still searching for a first race win of the season, despite accumulating four pole positions and seven front row starts so far this year.
And he has finished seven of this season’s nine races in a lower position than he started.
The Mercedes car used by both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg delivers great speed for a single lap, but – for reasons still not quite clear to the team – overheats the rear tires over the course of a race.
“We have a good car but the race will come down to how we use the tires,” says Hamilton.
“We are working hard to improve in that area and we had some reasonable long runs yesterday. We’ll have to see how it goes because it’s going to be tough in these high temperatures. I would love to have a real race with the guys around me, a proper battle, and the goal has to be to collect as many points as we can.”
In contrast Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who finished second in today’s qualifying session, was in positive mood.
He explains, “I would have loved to have been a little bit faster and be on pole… but still we should have a good race tomorrow and I’m quite confident.”
Vettel’s nearest championship rival, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who qualified in fifth position, is focused on the start of tomorrow’s race in his quest to beat the German and prolong the title fight.
He says, “It is hard to overtake in the race and so it’s even more important to try and make up ground immediately, particularly if we want to prevent Vettel from increasing his lead.”
Is Lewis Hamilton right to think only a “miracle” can help him win tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix? Who do you think will take the victory?