Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has added his eighth win of the year at the Hungarian GP F1 2019 this Sunday, after an exciting battle with Max Verstappen (Red Bull), from which he stole the victory at three laps from the end. Meanwhile, a reborn Sebastian Vettel has saved Ferrari’s honour by closing the podium, not without having to fight it off with his teammate Charles Leclerc.
A sensational Carlos Sainz has finished in fifth place before Pierre Gasly, whose performance was well below the potential allowed by his RB15. The German squad has thus nipped the Red Bull‘s rebellion attempt in the bud. Let us not forget that the blue cars had won two of the last previous races in Austria and Germany.
The team of the star, however, has asserted its authority once again, eroding the morale of their new adversaries, thanks to a masterful strategy from behind the scenes, coupled with another great performance by the British star at the Hungarian GP F1 2019.
In the final stretch of the race, Hamilton has even managed to break the track’s speed record on several occasions. After this new victory, the driver from Stevenage has left Hungary having increased his distance in the standings. The Briton accrues 250 points, 62 more than his apathetic teammate Valtteri Bottas, who only managed a seventh position on Sunday and 69 more than the flying Dutchman.
Battle between the Mercedes at the start
With the memory of his bad start in Austria still very much on everyone’s mind, all eyes were on Verstappen at the beginning of the Hungarian GP F1 2019. The Dutchman did not disappoint this time and defended his first place with solvency.
Bottas, on the other hand, couldn’t hold on to his position as he came under attack by his partner when the lights went off. The civil war that ensued made it very obvious why Mercedes has not yet renewed Bottas’ contract. The always sensational and brave Hamilton won the position.
The worst was yet to come for the Finnish driver at the Hungarian GP F1 2019. Still running on the adrenaline of the initial turns, the Scandinavian damaged his front wing in another battle with Leclerc. He remained on track but had to slow down ruining and chances of success.
Max and Hamilton escape
At the top of the race, Verstappen and Hamilton started opening ground between themselves and their persecutors, the Ferraris of Leclerc and Vettel, and Bottas, fifth. The German had taken advantage of the problems suffered by the Finn to snatch fifth place at the Hungarian GP F1 2019. Carlos Sainz had already climbed behind the top five after another of his sensational starts.
In a short-sighted move, Mercedes kept Bottas on the track until the sixth lap. It was a dreadful decision as the Finn was losing time after the problem he had suffered in the nose of his W10. In fact, when he returned to the action after the incident he did so at the bottom of the squad. In the end, his premature stop took 20 seconds and all his chances of savouring the champagne definitely evaporated.
Meanwhile, things remained the same at the top. Max Verstappen was commanding the race but Hamilton was closing in at less than a second. The Ferraris of Leclerc and Vettel were also closing in at about eight seconds behind. The McLarens of Sainz and Norris were in the next group at a distance of over 20 seconds.
Verstappen goes to pits
Aware of the threat that the British champion posed to Max, the team decided to change the compounds of the Red Bull #33 at the Hungarian GP F1 2019. The Briton took good advantage of Verstappen’s pit stop to step up the pace. Hamilton needed to open a gap of over 20 seconds, the average time required at each pit stop on the Hungarian asphalt. The distance between the two cars, however, was just over 18 seconds.
The decisive move
With that advantage, Red Bull was set on the way to success. On lap 49, however, Mercedes made a decision that changed the course of the race. They sent Hamilton to pits to replace his worn middle compounds with new ones. It seemed an illogical decision at first … which then proved to be a genius one.
The German strategists had figured that Verstappen’s tires, a lot more worn out than Hamilton’s, would not be able to keep up the pace and would give way in the last stretch of the race…and so it happened.
The Briton smelled the blood and started to bite off chunks of time to his rival for the throne at the Hungarian GP F1 2019. The gap between the two cars was falling at a dizzying speed. Lewis was progressing at a rate of over a second per lap towards Max.
He had time to make it. At three turns from the chequered flag, Hamilton passed a desperate Verstappen with ease. The sensational strategy of the Mercedes’ engineers and the superb piloting of Lewis combined to work the miracle.
Vettel came third, after passing his Monegasque teammate in the last kilometres. Leclerc suffered from the same problems as the Dutch driver. Fifth place went for Spaniard Carlos Sainz after fighting an extraordinary battle with Gasly.
Images of ‘Hungarian GP F1 2019’: Mercedes F1.