Hamilton scores his eighth Hungarian Grand Prix victory

Six-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton achieved his eighth victory at the Hungaroring with a dominant lights-to-flag drive to success.

The Mercedes driver was in total control throughout the race after starting on pole position and was never under threat from his rivals. Lewis finished well clear of second-placed Max Verstappen, who secured the runner-up position despite crashing on his way to the grid before the race.

Full credit to Red Bull Racing in repairing Verstappen’s car moments before the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Fixing the front suspension and front wing in a mad rush, but the job got done and Max delivered the result with second.

Hamilton was leading Verstappen by over 25 seconds but decided to make a late pitstop to secure the fastest lap point.

With this race win, Hamilton becomes the second Formula 1 driver to triumph in the same event eight times alongside Michael Schumacher, who also took eight victories in the French Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas completed the podium in third position after a terrible start saw him drop down the order from second on the grid, but the Mercedes driver lost the championship lead to his teammate.

Racing Point’s Lance Stroll finished fourth ahead of Red Bull’s Alex Albon and Sebastian Vettel in the best of the Ferraris, as teammate Charles Leclerc failed to score.

At the start, Bottas appeared to move before the five red lights went out and he and Sergio Perez were then slow away from second and fourth, while Hamilton and Stroll leapt clear, with the fast-starting Verstappen and Ferrari drivers charging up the order.

Hamilton pulled away from Stroll through the opening corners while Verstappen sealed third going into Turn 2 after Vettel slid on the exit of the first turn, losing momentum.

At the front, Hamilton raced to a 3.1 seconds lead at the end of the opening lap, with the frontrunners starting to shed their intermediates for slicks at the end of lap two of 71, led by Leclerc and Bottas, who took the softs and mediums respectively.

Hamilton and Stroll came in for their own mediums at the end of the following lap, with Hamilton rejoining in the net lead, while Verstappen stayed out for one more lap and used his time in the lead to jump past Stroll when he took his own mediums at the end of lap four.

While Hamilton quickly retook the lead ahead of Verstappen, Stroll found himself running behind both Haas cars after Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean pitted at the end of the formation lap to take mediums.

By lap six and the end of the early pitstop chaos, Hamilton led Verstappen by 7.8 seconds, which he set about extending with a series of fastest laps.

Stroll dispatched Grosjean with a bold move aided by DRS into Turn 1 and the set about catching and passing Magnussen, which he did after a brief pause to take third at the same spot at the start of lap 16.

As the drivers were regularly told of the threat of more rain, Hamilton continued to extend his lead over Verstappen – while Stroll did not immediately close up on the Red Bull, instead coming under increasing pressure from Bottas.

The second Mercedes driver had followed Stroll through the field after a brief off-track excursion at Turn 2 when he slide wide while fighting Leclerc, who quickly began to struggle for grip on his softs.

As the promised rain failed to appear, Bottas pitted first of the leaders for a second time on lap 33 and used the clear air to clear Stroll, who came in two laps later and rejoined well adrift of the Mercedes in fourth.

Verstappen and Hamilton came in on lap 36 and 37 respectively, going for the hard and medium tyres in turn, and while they stayed in the same order, Verstappen was immediately in danger from Bottas’s rapid pace on fresh mediums.

While Hamilton was busy extending his lead up above 20 seconds, Bottas homed in on Verstappen with his softer rubber with a series of fastest laps.

By lap 45 he was within striking distance, but after falling back in traffic Mercedes opted to bring Bottas in for a third time and switch him to the hards, with a 22-second gap to close to take second.

Although the Finn tore chunks from Verstappen’s lead in the early stages of his final stint, he did not close in as quickly as might have been expected despite his tyre advantage.

After they had dodged their way through traffic it all came down to the final lap, but although Bottas was finally within DRS range he was not close enough into Turn 1 and could not find away by, coming up 0.7 seconds short.

At the front, after some confusion with his engineer about a late stop and which tyre to take, Hamilton swapped his massive lead over Verstappen to come in a take fresh softs at the end, which he used to break the fastest lap twice – for the second time on the final tour.

He won by 8.7 seconds at the chequered flag to take his eighth win at the Hungaroring.

Behind the top three, Stroll finish 57.5 seconds behind Hamilton to score his best result for Racing Point.

Alex Albon went from P13 on the grid to take fifth ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who, shortly after team-mate Charles Leclerc made an early second stop despite the possibility of rain.

It looked like it had worked a treat for Vettel, but running deep into Turn 2 late on cost him against the Red Bull.

Perez recovered to seventh at the finish ahead of the long-middle-stint running Daniel Ricciardo.

Magnussen scored a magnificent ninth to take Haas’s first points of 2020 season after sliding down the order as the quicker cars eased by across the race.

But the Haas driver nevertheless held on to take ninth ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr, who survived contact in the pitlane with Williams’s Nicholas Latifi (who finished P19 and last after two spins, one with a puncture immediately after the clash with the McLaren, for which he was given a five-second time penalty).

Sainz prevailed in a tight late scrap with Leclerc to take the final point.

Latifi ended up as the final runner, with Pierre Gasly the only non-finisher as he retired after 25 laps with smoke pouring from his AlphaTauri in the pitlane.

So congratulations to Lewis Hamilton with this latest triumph. The defending champion has equalled the great Michael Schumacher with eight wins on the same circuit and is getting closer to matching the all-time record of the most wins in the sport. Getting the championship lead is also a bonus.

Hungarian Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:36:12.473
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda +8.702s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +9.452s
4 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes +57.579s
5 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda +78.316s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +1 lap
7 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes +1 lap
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault +1 lap
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari +1 lap
10 Carlos Sainz McLaren-Renault +1 lap
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +1 lap
12 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda +1 lap
13 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault +1 lap
14 Esteban Ocon Renault +1 lap
15 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari +1 lap
16 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari +1 lap
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari +1 lap
18 George Russell Williams-Mercedes +1 lap
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes +5 laps
– Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda DNF

4 thoughts to “Hamilton scores his eighth Hungarian Grand Prix victory”

  1. Hungarian Grand Prix race review as reported by Formula1.com.

    Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a peerless run to his eighth Hungarian Grand Prix victory, winning out over the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, as he tied with Michael Schumacher’s record for most number of wins at a single venue.

    Starting from pole, Hamilton quickly surged into a comfortable lead in the early laps, before managing his pace over his rivals in the encounter at the Hungaroring, eventually taking the flag 8.7s ahead of Verstappen to seal his third win in a row at this race.

    Verstappen himself overcame a poor qualifying that saw him start P7, and then an embarrassing crash into the Turn 12 wall on his lap to the grid that required some urgent repairs, to claim P2, the Dutchman holding off an attack by third place Valtteri Bottas in the final stages of the race.

    Racing Point’s Lance Stroll couldn’t convert his P3 grid position into the team’s first podium of the year as he came home a distant fourth. A late pass from Red Bull’s Alex Albon on the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel gave Albon – who started 13th – P5, although Red Bull were summoned to the stewards after the race for allegedly drying Albon’s grid spot ahead of the race start.

    Vettel held off the second Racing Point of Sergio Perez in the final laps of the race, as the Mexican finished seventh, having started fourth, while Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo made a monster 42-lap stint on mediums work to take eighth.

    With the track greasy ahead of the race start but the rain having stopped falling, an inspired strategy from Haas helped Kevin Magnussen take the team’s first points of the year, with Magnussen and Romain Grosjean pitting for slicks at the end of the formation lap as their rivals started on intermediates on the drying track, with the Dane eventually taking P9 after a fine race.

    McLaren’s Carlos Sainz rounded out the top 10, thanks to a late-race pass on the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, who ended up 11th.

    Rain had fallen over the Hungaroring in the hours leading up the race. And though that rain had abated in the minutes leading up to the race start, it left behind a treacherously slippery track. Max Verstappen found that out the hard way, as he slipped off the circuit and into the Turn 12 barriers – as he was making his way round to the grid.

    It certainly wasn’t the Dutchman’s finest hour, but some smart work by his mechanics meant Verstappen was able to take the start with no grid penalties. Eighteen of the 20 drivers then began the race on intermediate tyres, but the two Haas cars cleverly boxed at the end of the formation lap to take on medium compound slicks having spotted that the track was drying. A smart move as it would turn out…

    Off the line, polesitter Hamilton got away sweetly, but Bottas alongside him made an initial movement, stopped and then moved slowly off the line, dropping from P2 to P6 (but avoiding any penalty), while Perez was another faller, slipping from P4 to P7.

    Verstappen put his pre-race embarrassment behind him to surge up to P3 behind Hamilton and Lance Stroll, while the Ferraris were strong at the start too, Vettel and Leclerc jumping up a position each into P4 and P5. At the back of the grid, meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen was deemed to have been out of position on the grid, and handed a five-second penalty.

    The smartness of Haas’ switch to slicks was proven on Lap 4 when leader Hamilton – having opened up a near 8s lead – led a flurry of pit stops as the whole field changed onto slick rubber, with Vettel hurt by the influx of drivers into the pit lane as he was forced to stay in his pit box for 9.2s as the traffic filed past.

    Carlos Sainz, meanwhile, tagged Nicholas Latifi’s Williams as the Canadian was released from his pit into Sainz’s path, the McLaren puncturing Latifi’s tyre and leading him to spin at Turn 1.

    With Verstappen having passed Stroll in the pit stops, by the time the field had settled down on Lap 5 of 70, it was Hamilton from Verstappen, Magnussen and Grosjean, with Stroll, Leclerc and Bottas behind. Bottas passed Leclerc on Lap 10, two laps after a failed attempt hat saw him run wide at Turn 2, while Stroll and Bottas then cleared the Haases to sit third and fourth.

    By Lap 18, Leclerc was struggling for pace on his “rubbish” softs, and after being quickly passed by Albon and his team mate Vettel, decided to ignore the advice about expected rain from the Ferrari pit wall – which eventually failed to show, despite some menacing black clouds looming over the track – pitting again for hards on Lap 21 and emerging P15 behind the McLaren of Lando Norris, who’d fallen down the order both at the start and then after getting caught in traffic during his pit stop.

    Lap 38 of 70, and with the top four having made their second stops, Hamilton enjoyed a 21s lead over Verstappen, with Bottas behind in P3, having jumped fourth place Lance Stroll in the pit stops and closing in quickly on Verstappen.

    With the Finn around a second adrift of Verstappen, Mercedes rolled the dice, bringing Bottas in for hard tyres with 20 laps to go and setting up a potential repeat of the strategy that gave Hamilton the win over the Red Bull driver last year, with Bottas instructed to lap in the 1m 18s to nab second place.

    Ultimately, however, the Finn simply ran out of laps, and as Hamilton made a stop four laps from the end to switch onto softs before clocking the fastest lap of the race on his final, victory-clinching tour, Verstappen just held off the second Mercedes behind him.

    Considering he’d been buried into the Turn 12 wall half an hour before the race start, it was quite the turnaround for Verstappen, who described the second place as feeling “like a win”.

    Impressive as it was, though, it was Lewis Hamilton who once again demonstrated his dominance in the class-leading Mercedes W11, as he drew equal with Michael Schumacher for the most number of victories at a single venue – while his 86th win puts him within five of Schumacher’s record of 91 victories.

    The loss of the bonus point for fastest lap to Hamilton, meanwhile, added to team mate Bottas’ dejection after a “bad race” from the Finn, in his own words, as Hamilton took over the lead of the drivers’ championship for the first time this year.

    Behind the podium sitters, Stroll would have had mixed feelings about his P4, as he finished nearly a minute down on Hamilton, while never showing the pace to get on terms with Verstappen, who he’d comfortably outpaced in qualifying.

    A second great Red Bull recovery saw Alex Albon take fifth (having started 13th) thanks to some great pressuring of Vettel in the final laps, although that position was in danger post-race as the stewards called Red Bull in to explain an alleged drying of Albon’s pit box on the grid.

    Vettel’s strong race saw him do enough to take sixth – the German’s best finish of the year – over the second Racing Point of Sergio Perez, who capped off a slightly underwhelming day for his team by ending up seventh, ahead of the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo in eighth.

    Meanwhile, that smooth work from Haas on the formation lap paid dividends for Kevin Magnussen as the Dane withheld pressure from the McLaren of Carlos Sainz to wind up P9, as Haas got off the mark in 2020 – with Sainz ending up P10, having passed future team mate Leclerc with 10 laps to go, the Monegasque ending up 11th having struggled with tyres all race long.

    Unfortunately for Williams, the points potential suggested by their double Q2 appearance on Saturday failed to materialise, as they wound up last in P18 and P19 – AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly having retired with an issue on the new power unit fitted ahead of the race – with Latifi behind George Russell, having spun on his own on Lap 43 for good measure.

  2. Toto Wolff says Mercedes can learn from the “confusion” in planning a late pitstop for Lewis Hamilton en route to victory in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Hamilton dominated proceedings at the Hungaroring to score his eighth win at the circuit, enjoying an advantage of more than 20 seconds over Max Verstappen entering the closing stages of the race.

    Mercedes told Hamilton with 10 laps to go it was planning a third and final pitstop thanks to his buffer to Verstappen that would allow him to retain the lead.

    An initial plan to stop for hard compound tyres was scrapped before a switch to softs was also called off, with Hamilton being told to “standby” for a decision by race engineer Pete Bonnington.

    Hamilton ultimately pitted at the end of Lap 66 to take a fresh set of soft tyres, allowing him to set the fastest lap of the race and score the additional bonus point.

    Asked by Motorsport.com about the indecision on the pit wall, Wolff explained the team had changed plan about taking a late stop since the morning.

    “Our communication was not great around that,” Wolff conceded. “In the morning we agreed that we wouldn’t pit for a quickest lap, that it was bearing too much risk.

    “The call to pit around Lap 60 to protect against the safety car certainly would have been the right call, but then the gap was never quite comfortable enough. It was a second or two, then 2.5, then we hit backmarker traffic.

    “Then obviously we communicated with Lewis, so at the end it was a bit of confusion, and four laps to the end he pitted to score the fastest lap.

    “I think there’s a lot to learn from the intercom conversation that we had in the garage, and the communication to the driver. [It was] certainly not 1A, but at the end the result counts.”

    Hamilton was grateful for the opportunity to try and claim the fastest lap bonus point, saying he had earned the chance to go for it by building such a gap.

    “We have to weigh up the risks. I didn’t push so much that I was going to make a mistake and go off, so it was a fully controlled lap,” Hamilton said.

    “I’ve lost a world championship in the past by one point, so I know how crucial it is to maximise on every moment.

    “We’re in a year where we don’t know what reliability is going to be like, we don’t know how long the season is going to be.

    “Valtteri [Bottas] had a great first race. At the time he had the fastest lap, I had the gap, and felt that it was necessary to get that point, particularly as I felt like I’d earned the gap that I had.

    “Things like the extra pit stop, coming in, all these things do add to the risk factors. But we’re a professional team.

    “I believe it was the right decision to make.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  3. After finishing second, Max Verstappen paid tribute to his Red Bull Racing team in repairing his car just before Hungarian Grand Prix. The driver said that “second like a victory” after pre-race crash. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Max Verstappen felt second place in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix was “like a victory” after fearing he would miss the Formula 1 race following a crash on his way to the grid.

    Verstappen crashed his car in damp conditions on the reconnaissance lap ahead of the race, causing damage to the front-end of the Red Bull RB16.

    The Red Bull mechanics were forced to hurriedly fix Verstappen’s car in the build-up to lights out, but managed to complete the repairs to the front wing, nose and suspension with seconds to spare before the five-minute warning cut-off.

    Verstappen led after four laps before pitting for dry tyres, and spent the remainder of the race running second behind Lewis Hamilton, fending off a late challenge from Valtteri Bottas.

    “It was not how I wanted it in the beginning of course, ending up in the barriers on the laps to the grid,” Verstappen said.

    “But the mechanics did amazing job to fix the car. I don’t know how they did it, but incredible. To pay them back with the second place, I was very pleased with that.

    “The first half was very crucial and from there on, I think we had the right calls, and we had good pace. We just kept doing our own thing and of course to be able to split the two Mercedes cars is good for us.”

    Verstappen had feared his suspension was damaged in the immediate aftermath of the crash, but said it felt “good” and “like new” once the fixes were completed.

    Verstappen added: “I thought I was not going to race, so to be second is like a victory today.”

    A late pit stop from Bottas with 20 laps to go saw him close up on Verstappen at a rate of almost two seconds per lap at points, only for the Finn to fall 0.750 seconds shy of P2 at the flag.

    “I was just trying to do my own pace, and of course I could see he was catching at like a second lap,” Verstappen said.

    “Following here is quite tricky, so as soon as he was within 1.5 seconds, it was a bit more difficult for him.

    “On the last lap we had also traffic in front, which didn’t make it easier for me on all those old tyres. But we managed to hang on and I am very happy with second.”

  4. Valtteri Bottas explains Hungarian Grand Prix start incident. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas says he reacted to a light on his car’s dashboard in his failed start in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Bottas edged forward slightly at the start before bogging down, leading rival Sebastian Vettel to tell his Ferrari team that the Finn had jumped the lights.

    However, he did not receive a penalty as he did not trigger the FIA detection system.

    After dropping to an initial sixth place he recovered to second place behind Lewis Hamilton.

    He was pushing Max Verstappen for second place when the team decided to pit him for fresh tyres with just over 20 laps to go in an attempt to find him extra pace.

    He just failed to oust the Dutchman, crossing the line immediately behind him.

    “It was a pretty bad race for me, to be honest,” said Bottas. “Starting second obviously, you aim to win the race. I lost it at the start.

    “I reacted to a light on my dash that went off, I don’t know what it was, but something changed on my dash, so I reacted to that instead of the start lights, so I got anti-stall, so then I had to do the start again.

    “I lost it there. No problem but obviously I lost many places, and made the race difficult for me. Fighting to the end, it was pretty close with Max, but still good points.

    Bottas said the extra stop was worth doing.

    “I think it was worth the gamble yes, I think it really gave me that difference in the tyre life. It didn’t quite pay off today.

    “I look forward to Silverstone, but plenty again to learn from this weekend.”

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