Lewis Hamilton has put his drive to sixth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix down as his worst performance in a Formula 1 race “for a long, long time”.
From pole position, the reigning champion endured a torrid race, slipping to fourth in the opening corners before a trip through the gravel on the first lap dropped him to 10th.
Hamilton recovered to fourth place by the time of a late Safety Car period, only to damage his front-wing and earn himself a drive-through penalty in an attempt to defend from an attacking Daniel Ricciardo at the restart at Turn 1.
That dropped the Mercedes driver out of the points, although fresh tyres and further incidents up ahead – crucially including teammate Nico Rosberg, who suffered a puncture after also coming to blows with Ricciardo – allowed him to recover to sixth.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton wrote off the race as one of his worst in recent times, describing his own performance as “all over the place”.
“Today was incredibly bizarre,” he said. “Did I deserve any points? By the grace of God. I need to take a breather and come back stronger next race.
“Today was one of the worst performances I’ve put in for a long, long time. I was all over the place.
“I don’t know if it was a lack of concentration or what. I’m going to take it on the chin.
“I definitely had a very bad day in the office, but the team did a great job with the [strategy] calls so I could at least get a couple of points."
Hamilton now goes into the summer break with an extended points advantage of 21 at the top of the drivers’ standings after Rosberg finished in eighth.
Asked if he was relieved to have beaten his teammate despite all his troubles, Hamilton said: "To be honest, I haven't even thought of that yet, so I don't feel relieved.”
Rosberg: That's the way it is sometimes
Rosberg meanwhile was magnanimous after losing a potential second place to his collision with Ricciardo, which he agreed with the race stewards was a racing incident.
"It was going very well, I was very pleased with the race until lap 64, and after that I was nowhere,” said the German.
“It was a pity, the sport is real tough sometimes, to lose all those points. But that's the way it is."
"I assumed it was my corner because I took the ideal line, and [Ricciardo] went straight on because he braked too late, but he still had his front wing there and he didn't back out of it."