Lewis Hamilton has explained how he was “hungry” to claim his first win of the season and first for Mercedes at today’s Hungarian Grand Prix, spurring him on to lead Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel across the line.
“I think you could tell I was hungry for it today,” Hamilton said on the podium after the race. “I was going all out.”
Hamilton explained how getting stuck in traffic was his biggest problem, but he was able to pull off some strong overtakes to ensure that he did not lose time unlike Sebastian Vettel, who was stuck behind Jenson Button for twelve laps of the race.
“I needed to get past those people, usually I got stuck. Today I wasn’t having it, I was going for every move I had.”
The Briton also believes that this is one of the most important wins of his career, being the first with his new team after joining Mercedes at the beginning of the season.
“I think this is probably one of the most important grand prix wins of my career. To go to a new team and win with Mercedes Benz is a real privilege, the guys did a great job. It’s an incredible feeling and my team did an incredible job.”
The win was Hamilton’s fourth at the Hungaroring, drawing him level with Michael Schumacher for the record number at the circuit. The result also sees the 2008 world champion draw close to Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso in the drivers’ championship, and a strong finish to the season could yet see him challenge Vettel for the title.
MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. The 2017 season behind the wheel was better for Ed Carpenter than either of the last two years, but still wasn’t ideal results-wise in his six oval starts.
Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet
- 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish
- 2017: 22nd Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 7th, Best Start 2nd, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 11.3 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish
Ed Carpenter’s 2017 season was largely one of frustration, both behind the wheel and as a team owner.
While a respectable turnaround in results occurred – Carpenter finished between seventh and 12th in five of his six oval races after a nightmare season of ending 18th or worse in each of his 2016 starts – this is still not what he sets out to strive for in the races he does. Lost opportunities loomed larger than any official result he or the Ed Carpenter Racing team achieved.
Carpenter and new teammate JR Hildebrand, in for the departed Josef Newgarden, dominated preseason testing in Phoenix but Hildebrand could only muster third in the race, Carpenter a season-best seventh. Then at Indianapolis, Carpenter (second) and Hildebrand (sixth) flew the flag for Chevrolet in qualifying and practice pace, but they fell to 11th and 16th on race day owing to a front-wing change and late-race penalty for passing before a restart.
Both drivers got collected in incidents at Texas. Hildebrand qualified and finished a season-best second in Iowa but that result came only after the ECR crew rebuilt his car from a crash in practice. Then Carpenter had a practice crash in Pocono and despite a rapid rebuild, they missed the clock to qualify by mere minutes and were unable to do so. Carpenter’s spin on a slick Gateway track at the start of the race sent him over Will Power’s nose assembly in one of the scarier looking incidents of the year, although fortunately he was OK.
In a similar refrain as we often write, it’s not that Carpenter’s lost his ability to drive and he remains one of the series’ savviest and smartest people in the paddock. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances of late, and it almost felt as though this team had “empty nest” components. Since September, Carpenter has had to secure his team’s future with a move away from its Speedway, Ind. shop, line up Spencer Pigot for a full-time drive replacing Hildebrand in the No. 21 car, find a new road/street course driver in the No. 20 car, and manage both driving and owning himself.