If I was to jump ship from here, that would be when I stop. But it could be the team's best hope of scoring a win until September's Singapore Grand Prix.
"I really threw it away there".
But he has become something of a peripheral figure on the Formula One tour in recent years and his surprise appearance in Hungary will mark his first grand prix since he flew to Abu Dhabi on the morning of Hamilton's 2014 title decider with Nico Rosberg.
Without his problems, Hamilton may have had the pace to be on the front row, but suspicion is that the long-wheelbase Mercedes is simply not as well suited to the tight and twisty Hungaroring as other, faster tracks.
"To turn your back on that and leave that behind, it would be a hard call to make".
While the French manufacturer have denied that replacing Palmer during the 2017 season itself is a possibility, they are gearing up to give the popular Polish driver Robert Kubica an evaluation run in a current F1 auto to determine whether he is ready for a comeback.
On top of his lucrative salary, and the option of future work as an ambassador for the German vehicle giant, Mercedes also allow him the freedom to enjoy his jet-set lifestyle.More news: Shaq records LaVar Ball diss track
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Hamilton won the British GP two weeks ago while Vettel could manage only seventh.
That year was also the last time anyone other than Hamilton has won at the Hungaroring from pole position and the last year in which the victor in Hungary went on to take the world championship that same season. "I genuinely feel we can". I'm excited and still buzzing from Silverstone.
In the race to pole position, Vettel once more took the honours with teammate Raikkonen making it one-two for Ferrari. I think it is a great track, although, like Monaco, it is very narrow with lots of corners and not so many straights. This has been my most successful track. "Honestly I've not thought about it".
"That's the way it goes and at least I am on the second row", he said. I'd rather just wait until that moment.
He added: "Right now I am feeling in my prime".
The Italian team are now 55-points behind Mercedes in the Constructors' championship and unlike Ferrari where only Sebastian Vettel has been winning races, Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have contributed with wins - a combined six out of the 10 races thus far. "When I saw it was two reds in the first two positions, at the same time the radio opened and there was a big scream!"