Lewis Hamilton’s ‘natural ability is fantastic’ says Button
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Toto Wolff reckons Red Bull will be the favourites again in Hungary, despite a swing in the championship after Lewis Hamilton's controversial win at Silverstone. Hamilton stormed his way to victory, despite colliding with championship leader Max Verstappen on the opening lap of the Grand Prix.
The incident caused huge ripples in the paddock, as Red Bull boss Christian Horner branded Hamilton a "dirty driver," with Helmut Marko demanding the FIA look at a one-race ban for his "reckless" behaviour.
The seven-time world champion was hit with a ten-second time penalty, which he overcame to take victory in front of his home crowd, slicing the Dutchman's lead to just eight points heading to round 11 in Hungary.
Yet despite their strong weekend in Silverstone, which saw Red Bull’s lead in the Constructors’ Championship slashed to just four points, Wolff doesn’t believe Mercedes are favourites heading into the last race before the summer break.
"On paper, we can't claim that we are among the favourites," Wolff told RTL.
Toto Wolff (Image: GETTY)
"But of course we will stretch wherever we can to keep the championship open or maybe even get an advantage.
"But it will certainly be much more difficult for us there than at Silverstone. On the other hand, I think we understand a little more now.
"In the Formula 1 environment, we tend to oscillate between mania and despair. So if you have a bad race, like we did before Silverstone, then we are written off.
"Then we win at Silverstone and suddenly we have mome ntum again. "
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In the aftermath, Horner was left furious at the British driver, believing Hamilton's actions put Verstappen's life directly in jeopardy.
"Putting a fellow driver in hospital and writing off a car, receiving a menial penalty and still winning the Grand Prix, doesn't feel like much of a punishment," said Horner, directly after the race.
"The disappointing thing from me is that it just felt like a desperate move from Lewis.
"He'd lost the start, he'd had a go down the Wellington straight.
"He started wheel-banging with Max down there and then to stick a wheel up the inside at Copse Corner, one of the fastest in this championship, pretty much flat-out at 180mph, there's only ever likely to be one consequence of that.
"It's disappointing from a seven-time world champion that he make such a desperate move and puts a fellow driver in hospital."
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