Lewis Hamilton says he "couldn't compute" Mercedes' decision to switch him onto a two-stop strategy midway through Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix before it sent him on his way to an eighth victory of the season ahead of Max Verstappen.

Hamilton trailed Verstappen throughout the first stint of the race before closing up after the pit stops, sitting within a second of the Red Bull driver entering the final third of the race.

Instead of letting him fight Verstappen directly on six-lap fresher Hard tyres, Mercedes called Hamilton into the pits at the end of Lap 48 to move him onto the Medium compound for the final stint, dropping him 20 seconds back from the leader in the process.

Hamilton initially struggled to reduce the gap to Verstappen at the front, but was able to make up the time quickly once he hit clean air before ultimately taking the lead with four laps to go.

Speaking after the race, Hamilton conceded he had serious doubts over whether the strategy would work, having questioned the call over team radio soon after it was made.

"I was behind him, I came out with six or seven-lap fresher [Hard] tyres, something like that, and at the time I was much quicker, I was like OK I've just got to hold it back here and keep the pressure on him," Hamilton explained.

"But I had this brake issue. I'm thinking I don't know when I'm going to be able to open up the window, we've got traffic and things - and then they told me we're going to the two-stop strategy. I couldn't compute how that was going to work if I'm really honest.

"We did box the opposite. I thought I could make my tyres go to the end, the Hards, so I knew that he would be able to do the same thing. I was thinking jeez, pitting is going to be difficult. I hadn't even had time to think what tyres I was going to go onto.

"They put me onto the Medium tyre, and it didn't feel great initially when I got out, but then afterwards it was OK, and I was like 'jeez, he nearly started matching my times, I've got to start doing qualifying laps now, and I don't think the tyres are going to last, but if they do, great.'

"So after that, just had to put any doubt out of my mind and go for it. If it didn't work out, it didn't work out. If it hadn't worked out, it would have been really frustrating, because it felt like when I was behind him on the Hards, I thought that I would have multiple opportunities to get by.

"But either way, I was really, really, so determined to win this race today, and kind of recover from the last race. It really, really feels great.

"You wouldn't believe it, but it feels like a first. I don't know how, I've been doing this a long time. It really, really feels like one of the first wins."

The result saw Hamilton extend his lead in the F1 drivers' championship to 62 points heading into the summer break after Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas could only finish eighth.



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