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Lewis: “I’m doing absolutely everything I can to get back on level terms”

Lewis: “I’m doing absolutely everything I can to get back on level terms”

I was very proud that we could put both cars on the podium for Mercedes-Benz in Germany in front of all the Mercedes employees there last weekend. From a personal point of view, I couldn't be too ecstatic about the race because it was a tough weekend for me and ultimately I lost more points to Nico in the Championship battle. But I had great fun out there and did as good a job as I could. To get the car from right at the back to the podium was quite an achievement for everyone involved and I'm grateful that we could limit the damage after qualifying. The Hungarian Grand Prix is always a special one for me, with four pole positions and four wins from my seven races there so far – including my first victory for Mercedes last season. I don’t really have any secrets there – I’ve just been very fortunate over the years and it’s a circuit I really enjoy. It’s one where you can really attack, which works for an attacking driver like myself, so perhaps it suits my driving style a little bit more than some others. I’ve always had great support there from the fans too, so I’m looking forward to it. I'm doing absolutely everything I can to get back on level terms with Nico in the title battle – I can't focus more or work harder than I am doing right now. This Championship is proving a big challenge for me but that's how I love it – and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Budapest: In The Cockpit with Lewis

The weather is usually fantastic in Hungary and the circuit is quite an old-school layout, so it’s got plenty of great characteristics. It definitely suits my ‘aggressive’ driving style – as I think a lot of people like to call it. You start the lap with DRS across the pit straight – which is actually quite short compared to a lot of other tracks. You’re then late on the brakes into the right-hander of Turn One, ideally hitting the apex right in the middle, then hard on the power and opening the DRS once again on exit.

You have to brake really deep into the left-handed Turn Two and really hug the apex, with a good line crucial to allow you to go flat-out through the right-hander at Turn Three – using all of the kerb on exit. It’s really hard to see the apex at Turn Four, which arrives very quickly and is another really fast corner. Turn Five is then a bit slower – heading back to the right and with a bumpy surface on exit which can easily lead to oversteer moments.

A good run through the Turn Six / Seven chicane needs you to take all the available kerb through the first part and then get hard on the power out of the second – leading into a really nice left-right-left-right sequence at Turns Eight, Nine, 10 and 11. You have to be really patient through here, as a good rhythm is important.

Finally, you’re into the last sector – beginning with Turn 12. There is a lot of grip on the way into this corner, which requires minimum kerb contact on entry but maximum on exit. You need patience once more through Turn 13, which you almost have to make into a ‘vee’ for the best line, and again through the final corner, Turn 14, which is crucial for a good run down the straight.

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