Max Verstappen won the Hungarian Grand Prix with a massive run from 10th place on the grid. He and his Red Bull team launched a complete coup at Hungaroring as Ferrari were again found wanting. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell put up a great fight in a resurgent, motionless Mercedes to claim second and third place, but Scuderia’s strategy left drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in sixth and fourth places to claim victory. Had an excellent chance and had a great chance to score back points. Dutchman. Sergio Perez finished fifth for Red Bull.
After an afternoon that began with a loss limit, Red Bull and Verstappen delivered a remarkable run, which included repeated overtakes. Verstappen’s win over Ferrari despite a major spin mid-race charge was too quick here throughout the weekend, showing just how wrong his strategy was, especially for Leclerc. Hamilton and Russell delivered their best races of the season to finish second and third in a row, as Mercedes also managed them brilliantly in a race that was defined by calls from the pit wall.
Verstappen’s 28th win is his first in Hungary and his eighth of 13 races this season, a formidable comeback with nine yet to come and a major blow to the championship hopes of the Scuderia and especially Leclerc. His lead over Leclerc in the championship, which was already formidable, is now a chasm. He is ahead by 80 points, which appears to be an insurmountable advantage.
On pole, Russell had to defend against a charging Sainz from the start, but held his ground when he got out of a turn, while Hamilton made a fine start from seventh to fifth. Verstappen was also already leading, from tenth to eighth behind two alpines, which he tackled quickly, finishing sixth on lap seven.
Verstappen caught Hamilton on lap 11, placing the British driver behind Lando Norris. Both Hamilton and Verstappen took turns passing Norris on lap 12.
Russell’s lead remained in the two seconds and both Ferraris fell behind him. Sainz closed, but could not bridge the gap as Russell stood on lap 17. Ferrari then pitched Sainz up while Leclerc and Hamilton stayed out, with Leclerc needing a few quick laps to pass his teammate through the stop. Hamilton stopped on lap 20 and Leclerc two laps later. As the pit stops, Russell had taken his lead and Leclerc actually leapt to take Sainz to second place, while Verstappen moved up to fourth with Hamilton in fifth.
So far so good for Ferrari. Russell had caught Leclerc two seconds earlier, but the Monegasque driver on fresher rubber was within DRS range from lap 28. Leclerc attacked and Russell had to mount a formidable defense, which he managed brilliantly. Russell was flawless as Leclerc climbed past the Mercedes until he made it stick, braking brilliantly outside turn one for the lead on lap 31.
The second stop, however, was important. Verstappen stopped again on lap 39 and Leclerc and Russell later pitched their stops to cover a lap. Ferrari opted to give Leclerc the slowest, hardest rubber. Russell emerges behind the Dutchman. Verstappen was on the charge on fast medium rubber and as soon as Leclerc’s tires came up to temperature, he took a lap to replace the latter, but only for a short time. He then overcooked it at Turn 13 and Kata, Leclerc shooting past and Russell almost doing the same.
It was fast and furious stuff and the Dutchman once again recovered to take place through turn one on lap 45. Ferrari had committed to Leclerc’s hard rubber and this proved disastrous. Verstappen threw in some relentlessly quick laps opening an eight-second lead over Leclerc, while Russell fought back to catch the Ferrari driver on soft tyres and made a pass on lap 54.
Ferrari’s gamble did not pay off, with the team pitting Leclerc again on lap 55, a third stop to take soft tyres, but their plan was in pieces as Leclerc emerged sixth behind Pérez, against whom He couldn’t make any progress, his running went bad.
Verstappen led Russell, Sainz and Hamilton, but Ferrari’s day got worse when Hamilton passed Sainz for third straight on lap 63. Hamilton had great speed on the soft rubber, then took Russell to second on lap 65.
Verstappen closed for the win and Mercedes had a powerful double podium finish, while Ferrari missed another chance.
Lando Norris was sixth for McLaren, Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon was eighth and ninth for Alpine and Sebastian Vettel tenth for Aston Martin.