Hamilton relieved after ‘really bad performance, one of the worst in a long time’

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Lewis Hamilton remains on course to win back-to-back Formula One championships despite what he described as one of his “worst performances in a long time” at the eventful Hungarian Grand Prix.

The 30-year-old endured a sluggish start, a trip through the gravel, an unscheduled pit stop following a collision with Daniel Ricciardo, and a subsequent drive-through penalty, yet miraculously he heads into the four-week summer break still leading the title race.

Indeed Hamilton managed to extend his margin over Nico Rosberg to 21 points after his Mercedes team-mate suffered an equally-chaotic outing in one of the most thrilling races in recent memory.

“It was a really bad performance from me, one of the worst in a long time,” Hamilton said. “But considering how bad it was, one thing I can take from it is that I never gave up.

“There was never a moment where I was like ’I’ll throw my toys out of the pram – it is over’. I never gave up hope of turning my wrong into a right.

“While I finished the race and got some points – how the hell I managed to extend the lead in the championship – I am grateful with myself and ultimately as I said when I was in the car, I apologise to the team for losing them points today.”

Hamilton was facing the prospect of seeing Rosberg slash his championship lead, but the German suffered a puncture with just five laps remaining after he tangled with Ricciardo.

Rosberg had been challenging Sebastian Vettel for the victory but crossed the line a disappointing eighth.

Asked if he was relieved to see Rosberg’s late drama unfold, Hamilton replied: “I am a different kind of sportsman to that. I am not like ’thank God’ or ’good’ or anything like that. Honestly I am more thinking about myself.

“I could have done a way better job today and then I would not have even been in this position.

“I don’t know what happened with him, but I guess he touched Ricciardo just like I did and it just shows that I wasn’t the only one to make mistakes today.”

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