Max Verstappen again surpasses Charles Leclerc, who continues to struggle with tough tyres
Max Verstappen returned from 10th place on the grid to win the Hungarian Grand Prix and extend his title lead over Charles Leclerc after another miserable Sunday for the Ferrari driver.
In a captivating race where three teams were in contention for victory, Verstappen returned from his credibility-disrupting qualification with a quicker pace and better Red Bull strategy, and won by seven seconds over Lewis Hamilton and pole-sitter George Russell. , as Mercedes celebrated another double podium in Ferrari’s avoidable absence.
Leclerc was the victim of more questionable pit-stop calls from Ferrari and will eventually take a sixth, meaning Verstappen has an 80-point title lead in F1’s summer break.
Max Verstappen crosses the line from 10th on the grid for a stunning win, Lewis Hamilton in second!
It was another victory that slipped through Leclerc’s fingers.
Monegasque started in third place and overcame teammate Carlos Sainz, ending Russell’s credible resistance to the lead on lap 31, the level at which he returned from his Paul Ricard crash to take a championship-boosting victory. Appeared ready to pounce.
But trying to respond to Verstappen’s pace, Ferrari put Leclerc on the hard tire and left him a sitting duck for Red Bull and indeed other rivals. Verstappen would pass Leclerc twice – before and after a nervous spin in slippery conditions – to seal his victory with essentially 25 laps remaining.
Anthony Davidson is in Skypad to analyze the problems of Charles Leclerc’s strategy, which led to him finishing P6 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Leclerc called the strategy a “disaster” and would stop again behind Sergio Pérez, who was the only Red Bull, Mercedes or Ferrari driver not to hold an edge at some stage.
Sainz was fourth and, like Russell, he overtook Hamilton as the seven-time world champion took off on soft tyres.
George Russell can’t hold off Lewis Hamilton for very long who is now up to P2 in the Hungarian GP.
Lando Norris could not retain his starting position in fourth place, but did well to keep the Alpines in seventh place, with McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo picking up a penalty for a disappointing 15th and Lance Stroll struggling.
Hungarian GP Race Results: Top 10
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3) George Russell, Mercedes
4) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
6) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
7) Lando Norris, McLaren
8) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
9) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
10) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin
How Verstappen blasted off the field to win in Hungary
Three places lost to Leclerc, nine places to Verstappen … and a title lead of 80 points. The Hungarian GP gave another major swing in championship momentum, and potentially defined one.
Despite a drizzle just before the lights, Verstappen made a strong start from 10th to seventh on the first lap, and once the air cleared he was matching the pace of the leading cars, Russell, Sainz and Leclerc.
He easily sent off the Alpines, and cut Hamilton.
Max Verstappen takes a spin and Charles Leclerc bounces to go ahead of the Dutchman
But Leclerc, too, had a stormy pace once overtaking Sainz and produced the overtake of the day to extend the lead outside Russell’s Mercedes at turn one just before halfway. He then took a lead of five seconds.
Verstappen’s second stop, however, appeared to frighten Ferrari and instead of Sainz reacting with his second car, he stopped Leclerc.
After using only the medium tires so far and with over 20 laps remaining, the hard tires – which were by far the slowest available on Sunday – were fitted, and Verstappen on the mediums was quickly at the firing range.
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both pass Lado Norris on lap 12.
The world champion passed Leclerc with a DRS on lap 41, before giving that spot back the following lap with a spin at Turn 13, which almost opened the door for Russell.
Instead, Verstappen regained restraint and overtook Leclerc on lap 45.
This put him in a net lead and, once Hamilton had his final stop, Verstappen only had to manage the pace and not even a light shower in the closing stages could rain on his parade. Was.
George Russell passes Charles Leclerc and is up to P2 as things go from bad to worse for Ferrari.
As for Ferrari and Leclerc, the team said they were surprised by the lack of tough pace, while Leclerc called the strategy a “disaster”. Either way, he’ll be in the pit to go back to sixth, to be soft again.
“We will talk about it inside the team,” said Leclerc, facing yet another questioning in this title fight with Ferrari.
Just as Red Bull benefited from Ferrari’s struggles, so did Mercedes, who once again impressed on race day.
Charles Leclerc says the team’s decision to put him on hard tyres was a disaster.
Russell started on Soft and fought well from pole, Mercedes consistently responding to the tactics of Ferrari and Verstappen, while Hamilton played the long game, ending his tenure on Soft with a fiery stint.
He noticed that he passed both Sainz and his teammates late.
Lewis Hamilton is feeling really excited about the second half of the season, after finishing P2 and having the pace to compete with Ferrari.
What’s next in F1 2022?
Sport now starts on 28 August, over a four-week summer break ahead of the Belgian GP. The prestigious Spa-Francorchamps race kickstarts a European triple header with Zandvoort and Monza.
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