Hamilton wins with virtuoso performance in Hungary

Lewis Hamilton controlled a rain-affected Hungarian Grand Prix from start to finish equalling, Michael Schumacher’s record for the most wins at a single Grand Prix. 

Hamilton led nearly every lap and won the race with ease, never looking like he was under threat even with a wet start throwing a spanner in the works.

Rain was the main debate at the start of the race with all of the build-up being conducted in consistent rain.

On his way to the grid in the inclement weather, Verstappen locked up into turn 12 and crashed into the barriers.

He was able to back out but had no front wing and damaged suspension. Red Bull then worked very hard on the grid to fix his suspension and with 20 seconds to go successfully got the car ready for the race.

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The majority of the grid started on intermediates but both Haas cars pitted off the formation lap for slicks.

Hamilton kept the lead but it all kicked off behind with a poor start for his teammate Valtteri Bottas who ended lap one in seventh.

Verstappen flew up to third behind Lance Stroll in second with Sebastian Vettel behind.

The early running was frenetic on the rapidly drying track, on lap three, the pitstops for slicks started.

Hamilton kept a commanding lead afterwards and steadily pulled away all race. There was no challenge to him.

The only potential fight could come from Max Verstappen who dragged his car to a very respectable second after the pitstops and kept it there with phenomenal pace for the Red Bull.

Verstappen ran second the entire race, coming under pressure from Bottas right at the end as Mercedes sought to repeat their strategy from last year which yielded the win, but Bottas was unable to get past having fought his way back up through the field.

The whole race seemed to be threatened with rain with every few laps a team radio message giving a different prediction of how many minutes to light rain, how many laps to the medium rain and drivers asking for confirmation so they could change their worn-out slicks.

But the rain did not return and the race continued to be a dominant affair.

There were the obligatory strong performances in the midfield with the two Haas cars getting everyone excited when their lap one gamble netted them third and fourth by lap four.

They slipped back as the race went on but Kevin Magnussen achieved the team’s first points of the season in ninth.

Bottas seemed to have a jump start slipping forward and stopping but no penalty was given in the end, similar to Vettel in Suzuka last year.

Lance Stroll finished fourth after arguably one of his best performances all weekend running a net third for a long time until Bottas was able to get past.

Alex Albon fought his way to fifth having to pass multiple cars along the way with some very bold moves on both Ferraris and Grosjean to be the final car on the lead lap.

But Albon was under investigation after the Red Bull mechanics allegedly dried his grid slot with dry ice before the race which is a strict breach of the rules. A result will be given on the investigation in due course and could be a slam dunk disqualification.

Sebastian Vettel lost out to Albon right at the end when he slipped wide on ancient tyres eventually finishing a lap down.

Sergio Perez got an awful start jostling with Bottas for seventh during lap one and fell further back at the pitstops but was able to work his way back using the fast Racing Point to his advantage.

Daniel Ricciardo employed an alternate strategy going very long on his first dry stint before coming back on medium tyres and finished a solid eight place just behind Perez at the end.

Magnussen was in ninth and Carlos Sainz rounded out the points after a late race scrap with a struggling Charles Leclerc who had tyre issues all race being one of the only cars to put on soft tyres after the rain. They wore out very early on.

Daniil Kvyat finished in 12th on the same strategy as Leclerc with Lando Norris under a second behind unable to repeat the quality performances of the first two races this year.

Esteban Ocon had a quiet race finishing where he started in 14th with Grosjean behind in 15th who just fell back as the race went on.

Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi finished 16th and 17th with Russell and Latifi rounding out the finishing runners.

Latifi had a mega start and was in the heady heights of tenth place. But in the pitstops he was released into Sainz and got a puncture ending up three laps down by the end.

Pierre Gasly had a woeful end to a horrid weekend. Failures in every session for him compounded by an engine failure early in the race.

Hamilton got the fastest lap after pitting at the end and nailing it on the last lap giving him the maximum points for the weekend and the championship lead.

This race marks the end of the second ever F1 triple-header with another to come in two weeks time when we go to Silverstone for two races and then Barcelona!

Position Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 laps
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull +8.702
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +9.452
4 Lance Stroll Racing Point +57.579
5 Alex Albon Red Bull +1:18.316
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +1 lap
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point +1 lap
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault +1 lap
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas +1 lap
10 Carlos Sainz Jr McLaren +1 lap
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +1 lap
12 Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri +1 lap
13 Lando Norris McLaren +1 lap
14 Esteban Ocon Renault +1 lap
15 Romain Grosjean Haas +1 lap
16 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo +1 lap
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo +1 lap
18 George Russell Williams +1 lap
19 Nicolas Latifi Williams +5 laps
NC Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri DNF