Max Verstappen believes Lewis Hamilton’s charge to victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix demonstrated that Mercedes still boasts the “dominant” 2019 Formula 1 car.

Having switched to a two-stopper following an inspired strategy call by Mercedes, Hamilton found himself 20 seconds behind the Red Bull driver with 20 laps remaining.

The reigning world champion made the most of his fresh Medium tyres to obliterate Verstappen’s advantage, before sweeping past to snatch the lead at Turn 1 with three laps to go.

"I think you can see how much margin they still have when they really need to push," Verstappen said following the race.

"Today Lewis was on fire as well, but you see, once he really has to go for it, you can see that that car is still the dominant car.

"It's as simple as that. Whereas in some races it's maybe not as necessary [to go flat-out].

"Of course they had their issues in Austria with overheating so [they] push. In Hockenheim it was tricky conditions as well, so [you] can't really drive to the limit of the car.

"But here today I think he had to go for it, flatout, because I was also pushing flatout, and you can see what they are capable of as a team.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner conceded that Mercedes was a “little bit quicker” throughout Sunday’s race but did not immediately understand its rivals pace advantage.

Asked why he felt Mercedes was quicker in race trim - usually an area of strength for Red Bull - Horner replied: “I don’t know to be honest. That’s something for us to analyse.

“They were able to follow very closely and push quite hard, and obviously the two guys were so far ahead of the rest of the field. There are lessons to learn.”

 

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