Britain's Lewis Hamilton was left wondering how he managed to extend his championship lead after an error-strewn performance saw him finish sixth at a dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix yesterday.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took the chequered flag to secure his second win of the season ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat, who recorded the first podium finish of his career, and third-placed Daniel Ricciardo of Australia.
But despite enduring a turbulent race, world champion Hamilton still managed to bolster his advantage over Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg, who crossed the line in eighth following a late puncture, to 21 points.
“It was incredibly bizarre. Do I deserve any points? By the grace of God I have some points today,” said Hamilton, who was bidding for a record fifth victory in Budapest.
“I mean I didn’t give up and I drove as hard as I could with good pace but today was one of the worst performances I have put in for a long time. It shows we are still all human.
“I don’t try to rely on luck, just hard work. I did everything I could in the race but I was a bit wobbly. I will regain my stability.”
Pole-sitter Hamilton’s woes began with a slow getaway, followed by a failed attempt to overtake Rosberg which saw him rejoin the track in 10th, while he also endured a late collision with Ricciardo.
“I was all over the place. I really don’t have any words to explain what happened today but it was a really bad performance,” added Hamilton.
“I don’t know if it was a lack of concentration or what. I pushed and kept trying and never gave up right until the finish line but there were so many obstacles along the way.
“It was like there were two different directions and each time I chose the wrong one.”
The drivers’ paddock held a minute’s silence before the race in memory of Jules Bianchi, who last week died having been in a coma since his Marussia car collided with a recovery vehicle at the Japanese Grand Prix in October.
Germany’s four-time world champion Vettel, who started the race from third, dedicated his victory to Frenchman Bianchi.
“This victory is for Jules,” said Vettel. “We know this has been an incredibly tough week. It has been difficult and this one is for him.”
Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen finished in fourth place, followed by Spain’s Fernando Alonso in fifth -- McLaren’s best result of the season. Britain’s Jenson Button came ninth to seal points for only the second time this calendar year.
Red Bull 96
Force India 39