Red Bull’s Max Verstappen came through to win F1 Hungarian GP from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
The threat of rain continued to rumble at the start of F1 Hungarian GP at Hungaroring, but it was dry as Mercedes’ George Russell fended off Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz’s charge into Turn 1 where the Brit remained in front of the Spaniard on the soft tyre.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was third with the two of them on the medium from McLaren’s Lando Norris, who was on the soft tyre. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was up to fifth from Alpine pair of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso on the medium tyres.
The Red Bull pair were on the soft tyre with Sergio Perez initially passing Max Verstappen, but the Dutchman was back ahead in seventh, as Haas’ Kevin Magnussen passed McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo to make it in the Top 10 but had some damage due to minor contact.
There was a Virtual Safety Car period to clear the debris after contact between Williams’ Alexander Albon and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel. The Thai racer was forced to pit, while later on Magnussen was shown black and orange flag for his front wing damage.
The VSC re-start worked well for Russell as he generated a 2s gap over Sainz and Leclerc. Behind them, Hamilton was up to fourth after passing Norris, who also lost out to Verstappen on the same lap. The Dutchman came through after passing the Alpine pair.
He brought Perez along with him as the pit stop game started soon enough. A slow stop for both Russell and Sainz allowed the Brit to retain the lead after all the pit stops were completed. Leclerc having extended his lead jumped his teammate to second.
Verstappen was up to fourth from Hamilton, Perez and Norris. The Alfa Romeo pair of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu slotted in eighth and ninth without having stopped, as Ricciardo passed both Ocon and Alonso in a solid move to be 10th.
Alonso was anyhow furious with Ocon after he was pushed towards the wall at the start. The two jumped to hard tyres and the Frenchman came out just in front of the Spaniard on the track when he was being chased by Ricciardo in the fight for track position.
As Alonso tried a move on Ocon, it allowed Ricciardo to sneak through both on the inside and secure track position. At the front, Leclerc closed in on Russell lap by lap and tried a move on him for couple of laps but the Brit had a solid defence.
He eventually ran out of it on the main straight as Leclerc took the outside line to take the F1 Hungarian GP lead from Russell who then had Sainz on his tail. Verstappen was a bit far off in fourth from Hamilton, Perez, Norris and Ricciardo.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll did well to be in ninth ahead of Ocon in the Top 10, as Vettel passed Alonso for 11th with the two Alpine drivers struggling a bit on the hard tyres. The German also caught the back of the Frenchman for the final point.
AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, meanwhile, had a spin on his own in the left-hander after losing slight control as teammate Pierre Gasly did well in 13th after starting from the pitlane using his fourth power unit which he took along with third for both the Red Bull drivers.
The second round pit stops saw Sainz and Hamilton extend their strategy along with Perez. But with Leclerc switching to hard tyres, it allowed Verstappen to catch him and pass him for track position. But he couldn’t keep up the place for long.
A moment in the left-hander send him into a spin which allowed Leclerc to retake the place as Verstappen held off Russell. The recovery was quick for the Dutchman as he back on tail of the Monegasque and passed him for fourth place.
In the lower half of the Top 10, there was contact between Ricciardo and Stroll when the Canadian tried a move around the outside in the curve corner. It dropped them to outside of the Top 10 as the Australian was handed a 5s time penalty.
At the front, Verstappen took the F1 Hungarian GP lead after Hamilton’s pit stop. Leclerc was second but came under tremendous pressure from Russell as his hard tyres just didn’t give him any grip. He eventually passed him for second at Turn 1 going around the outside.
The strategy didn’t work as Leclerc eventually pitted for soft tyres to drop behind Sainz, Hamilton and Perez in sixth. Norris stationed in seventh from Alonso and Ocon, where the Spaniard got ahead of the Frenchman in the latter laps.
Bottas held to 10th but had Stroll and Vettel on his tail in the fight for the final point. The Finn lost out to both with the Canadian making it in the Top 10 from teammate, much like how it was at Paul Ricard where the German was chasing him for the final point.
At the front, Verstappen was out in the distance as Hamilton passed both Sainz and Russell to move up to second. It was a good fight between the two teammates as Sainz, Perez and Leclerc more or less settled down in the order.
In the lower half, Vettel passed Stroll for the final point as the VSC period was deployed when Bottas stopped on track with a problem. At the front, amid drops of rain Verstappen took the F1 Hungarian GP from 10th on the grid ahead of the Mercedes pair.
Hamilton ended up second from Russell with Sainz in fourth from Perez who fended off a late charge from Leclerc. Norris was seventh from Alonso, Ocon and Vettel in the Top 10. Stroll was 11th from Gasly, Zhou, Haas’ Mick Schumacher and Ricciardo in Top 15.
The Australian dropped back after his penalty, with Magnussen in 16th from Albon, Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, Tsunoda and Bottas where the Finn was classified despite not finishing the race – everyone from Alonso ended up a lap down with Tsunoda being two laps down.
RACE CLASSIFICATION (LAP 70/70)
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