After a chaotic start to the Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has won yet again in an absolute canter after another pole to podium domination.
Hamilton led by 27 seconds before a late pit to pick up the fastest lap in a new lap record on the final lap.
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Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of the most wins at one track with eight at the Hungaroring. Schumacher won the French Grand Prix eight times.
Hamilton is now also five short of Michael Schumacher’s win record of 91 wins, claiming his 86th.
It’s almost as expected in 2020 that the Mercedes drivers will top the podium, such has been the dominance of Hamilton and Sky Sports commentator Paul di Resta said it was as good a win as he had ever seen.
“There have been some dominant cars over the years. But this is as big (a gap) as I’ve ever witnessed,” he said.
He finished first ahead of Red Bull’s Max Versteppen and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
“Woah! Yes, guys! What a result. What a result. I want to say a big thank you to the mechanics because you saved the day. You guys are legends. Thanks so much,” Verstappen said.
But it doesn’t tell the whole story as the rain threatened a crazy race early with Verstappen incredibly crashing during the parade lap.
— Nick DeGroot (@ndegroot89) July 19, 2020
It was a shocking start and the Red Bull engineers had to rush to get him ready after losing his front wing in the incident.
It was touch and go with Christian Horner saying the repairs were turned around in 20 minutes in what would normally take an hour and a half.
“He owes that result to them today,” Horner said post-race. “If that had been a wishbone or steering rack, or even an upright, it would have been game over. I think we completed it with 25 seconds to go the wheel went on. The sweat was dripping off the guys, I mean looking at them work was amazing.”
Even Verstappen was appreciative before the race with a radio call saying “Incredible work guys, that’s unbelievable thank you so much”.
— Aston Martin Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) July 19, 2020
Post-race, Verstappen was just as thrilled.
“It was not how I wanted in the beginning of course, ending up in the barriers, a bit of a lack of grip – but the mechanics did an amazing job to fix the car,” he said. “I don’t know how they did it, incredible. Everything was working as normal.
“To pay them back with the second place, I’m very pleased with that.
“We just kept doing our own thing and of course splitting the Mercedes is good for us.
“I thought I was not going to race, so to be second is like a victory for me!”
The team rushed to get him ready and it paid off as he went from seventh to third by the first corner in an incredible move behind Hamilton and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll.
But Team Haas had pulled off a masterstroke by pitting their drivers to switch from wet tyres to dry and taking advantage, pushing right to the front of the race early as all the other teams pit to switch tyres throwing the grid upside down.
Sky Sports’ David Croft called it “chaotic” with McLaren’s Lando Norris seemingly the big loser when it came to leaving the pits as he couldn’t get a clear gap to be released and never recovered, while Williams’ Nicholas Latifi suffered an early puncture when he collided with Carlos Sainz.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was also held back but recovered to sixth overall.
While they did get caught, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen did finish ninth and claimed the team’s first points of the season.
Aussie Daniel Ricciardo also did well, finishing in eighth, his second successive points finish in 2020 after finishing eighth in last week’s Styrian Grand Prix.
While after the opening five laps it was fairly routine, some fans even calling it boring, it was a crazy start to the race with the weather hanging over the race but ultimately not affecting the race.
Iâd love to get into F1, but I turn it on and see Hamilton leading by 22 seconds. ð´ How is there still no other car able to compete with Mercedes? #F1
— Jake Heasman (@jakeheasman) July 19, 2020
— Jeff Pappone ð¨ð¦ (@jpappone) July 19, 2020
The only retirement came when Pierre Gasly pulled into the pits with a smoking engine, while Red Bull will front stewards after reportedly drying Alexander Albon’s grid box before the race.
HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX RESULTS
1st: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2nd: Max Verstappen, Red Bull
3rd: Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
4th: Lance Stroll, Racing Point
5th: Alexander Albon, Red Bull
6th: Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
7th: Sergio Perez, Racing Point
8th: Daniel Ricciardo, Renault
9th: Kevin Magnussen, Haas
10th: Carlos Sainz, McLaren
In what hasn’t been a very fun time at Renault, Daniel Ricciardo is probably in the best position for some good points this season.
Currently eighth with 21 laps left, he has fresh tyres, has driven a nice race and has Sergio Perez and Alex Albon in his sights.
“He’s having a very tidy race, Ricciardo, and I think it will pay dividends towards the end of the race too,” Martin Brundle said.
Red Bull will front the stewards after the race for drying the road in front of Alexander Albon’s car
“Possible trouble for Red Bull – they’ve been called to the stewards after the race for allegedly drying Alex Albon’s grid box before the race.”
It’s not what they need.
Versteppen also appears to be close to losing second on the grid with Bottas within a second with 24 seconds remaining.
Rain has been threatened all race but none has come as yet.
At the halfway point, Lewis Hamilton is ahead by 20 seconds to Max Verstappen with Lance Stroll’s pit dropping him behind Valtteri Bottas in third.
Daniel Ricciardo is in fifth but drviers have been pitting, he’s more likely in ninth with another pit.
Max Verstappen crashed on the parade lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix and it looked like his bad week had got a whole heap worse but it could have been a stroke of luck.
Within 30 minutes, Verstappen went from being out of the race to sitting in second in the race.
It was “chaotic” according to Sky Sports’ David Croft in the early laps with every team pitting in the first five laps to get dry tyres after prerace rain had the teams going conservative.
All except Haas who pitted to change the tyres before the race began.
After 10 laps, Kevin Magnussen was in third and Romain Grosjean was in fifth.
It’s wonderfully placed for a shock result but the shake up in the gird has thrown plenty of spanners in the works throughout the race.
After 13 laps, Lewis Hamilton was 10 seconds ahead with Verstappen 12 seconds ahead of Magnussen, with a blanket thrown over the rest of the drivers.
Only Williams’ Nicholas Latifi is out of points contention after a puncture following an early pit release saw him collide with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.
After his nightmare start with the crash before the race even began, Max Verstappen has got the jump on everyone – moving from seventh to third.
It was a crazy start with Lewis Hamilton staying in first while the rest of the grid was completely mixed up.
Valtteri Bottas could have started before the lights which will be looked at by stewards, but has little to defend himself.
He dropped from second on the grid to sixth.
Bottas and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc then pitted on the first lap to switch tyres.
The race hasn’t even started but Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has already had a crash on the parade lap.
Coming around a corner, Verstappen slid into the wall, knocking off his his front wing.
“That is not something you see,” David Croft said. “You do not see that too often on the way to the grid.”
With Verstappen expected to challenge for the championship and already qualifying in seventh, it’s probably the last thing the Dutch driver wanted.
And with teammate Alexander Albon in 13th, it could be a long day for Red Bull – as well as the grid with slight rain around making it tricky conditions.
Sky Sports commentator Martin Brundle said it would be a warning for the grid of how slippery and difficult it would be to drive in Hungary.
Daniel Ricciardo has expressed his frustration after revealing stewards would have a different ruling if Lance Stroll’s move on the Aussie star happens in Hungary.
It was the penultimate lap of the race when Ricciardo, who had held Stroll off for more than 20 laps, was pushed wide by the Racing Point driver.
Ricciardo dropped from sixth to eighth and finished less than a second behind both Racing Point drivers as McLaren’s Lando Norris went from eighth to fifth.
“Firstly he didn’t really get past, he forced both of us off the track,” Ricciardo said to Sky Sports F1.
“I’ll always be critical of myself and I should of closed the door but I don’t think he was ever making the move so I think it was desperate.
“If he pushes me off but he stays on the track then that’s fair enough, then I definitely should have blocked. But if he takes both of us off then it’s not a move. I’m turning out of the apex to avoid a crash.”
This was before the move was allowed.
Ricciardo told Autosport that if it happened again, they’d swap positions.
“I think after the facts, they accepted that they would have done something different,” he said. “But once Sunday night passes and Monday rolls over, the results are fixed. And you can’t go back and switch positions or anything. So obviously a bit frustrated.
“There is a little bit of comfort knowing that that wouldn’t stick, moving forward. So I guess we can take that.
“But I just felt like at the time, it should have been more more clear, and more obvious. And some of the conversation was also around me going off the track.
“But obviously, it wasn’t my choice. I didn’t drive off there for good fun. And we discussed it. They basically admitted they would do it differently next time.”
The move also appeared to spark a protest from Renault over the brake ducts, which are under investigation by FIA.
The rest of the grid is now taking shots at Racing Point after their rapid development off drawings from the 2019 Mercedes’ with questions over the legality of the team’s rapid redevelopment.
With dramatic changes now scheduled for 2022, FIA implemented a cost-saving token system for the post-COVID world with teams allowed to make two changes.
But with Racing Point taking their parts from last years’ Mercedes, they are exploiting a loophole that is not covered by the token system and giving the team a huge development boost over other teams hamstrung by the token system.
“We are not happy with the fact that there are teams that are allowed to improve their whole package from a 2019 to a 2020 car,” Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said, as quoted by Auto Motor und Sport.
“That’s unfair to those who are only allowed to touch two parts. That limit should apply to everyone.
“We have already registered our tokens.”
It seems as though the war is just beginning.