HUNGARIAN GP – Lewis Hamilton wins record-equalling dominating eighth win in Budapest

Testing & Race Reports

Lewis Hamilton has equalled Michael Schumacher’s record of eight wins at the same Grand Prix after dominating the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver took victory ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by eight seconds to secure his second win of the season.

Hamilton was in a league of his own up front all afternoon and could even afford a late stop for fresh tyres to try and take the bonus point for the fastest lap – which he duly secured on the final tour for the maximum 26 points. The Mercedes driver now closing in on  Schumacher’s ninety-one wins.

Mercedes head into the next doubleheader at Silverstone as favourites as well as the triple header in Barcelona where they have dominated in the turbo-hybrid era. Hamilton looking for eight wins also at the Northamptonshire circuit.

Verstappen’s afternoon looked to be in doubt early on after sliding off the track on his way to the grid and into the wall. He then made a lighting start from seventh to gain third on the long way down to the first corner. In the closing stages, he was able to close the gap and pass Valtteri Bottas to secure second.

Lance Stroll continued Racing Points strong start to the season taking fourth. The Canadian taking his best result since joining his fathers’ team at the beginning of 2019.

Hamilton: “Believe it or not we were still pushing out there, particularly for the fastest lap in the end but also management. Huge congratulations and thanks to the people back home in the factory. The guys have done such a fantastic job.”

“Whilst I was on my own in the race it was a different kind of challenge. We had great pace and it couldn’t have been done without the great guys at the team. I definitely feel round one was multiple different punches I perhaps was not ready for. I refocused and the last two have been fantastic. We’ve been on point this whole weekend. Need to try and keep this up.”

Bottas, who finished third: “It was a pretty bad race for me to be honest. Lost it at the start, I reacted to a light on my dash that went off. I don’t know what it was and I reacted to that instead of the start light. Lost many places and it made the race very difficult. Fighting to the end with Max but still, it was good points.

At the start, Bottas appeared to move before the 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.

There will be questions as to how Bottas was not penalised for moving before the lights – just as there were with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in a similar incident in Japan last year. Once the Finn got going, he drove patiently and by mid-race was up to fourth, taking third from Stroll when they pitted for fresh tyres.

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. By the end of lap one, Hamilton’s lead was three seconds ahead of Bottas.

Red Bull’s Alex Albon recovered from a disappointing qualifying to overtake Sebastian Vettel for fifth late in the race. Vettel was the only Ferrari to finish in the points, but a lap behind Hamilton, and ahead of the Racing Point of Sergio Perez.

Daniel Ricciardo ran a  superb long stint on his first dry tyre for eighth, while Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was ninth. The Danish driver also benefitted from a long opening run, starting from the pits after the team decided to change to mediums on the formation lap.

It was a excellent move although the US-owned team couldn’t convert third and fourth into serious points, as the rest of the field made the same switch on lap three and four. However, Haas is under investigation after for a possible formation lap rules infraction.

The team has been called to explain its actions involving both its cars in relation to Article 27.1 for the F1 sporting regulations, which states “The driver must drive the car alone and unaided”.

Racing Point once again remains at the centre of a protest from Renault,  the protest is the same as last weeks alleging that the brake duct design breaches the listed part regulations. The French manufacturer believes Racing Point has used brake ducts not of its own design, and says that any internal similarities between the Silverstone team’s design and those on the Mercedes suggest a transfer of information.

The Styrian protest will be heard before the British Grand Prix

Magnussen secured the teams first points of the season ahead of Carlos Sainz. A disappointing race for McLaren following their strong weekends in Austria, as teammate Lando Norris was thirteenth.

Sainz survived contact in the pitlane with Williams’s Nicholas Latifi, who finished nineteenth 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.

Charles Leclerc could only manage eleventh fastest, Ferrari decision to switch him to the soft tyres left him with graining, struggling with graining he was forced to make an early second stop, which left him on old, slow tyres in the closing laps, when he lost out to McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.

Esteban Ocon was fourteenth ahead of the second Haas of Romain Grosjean, Alfa Romeo’s and Williams’s.

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Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.