Max Verstappen (Red Bull) has claimed another commanding victory at the Hungarian F1 GP 2022 this Sunday at the Hungaroring. Thanks to his relentless pace and extraordinary team strategy, the Dutchman was able to perform a sensational comeback from place 10 to victory.
Mercedes took its second consecutive double podium, this time led by Lewis Hamilton – fifth podium of the season – followed by his teammate and pole holder George Russell.
Carlos Sainz finished down in fourth from his starting second place due to a bad team strategy and two slow pit stops. Similarly, his teammate Charles Leclerc was fifth after three pit stops… a victim of the same team mistakes.
Once again, La Scuderia has been unable to read the race as it happened. After copying Verstappen’s second stop with Leclerc, they went into a panic.
The Italians’ poor strategy, which, unlike that of the Austrians, involved starting on medium tires rather than soft ones, robbed them of any chance of winning.
The crown defender can now go on holiday with an 80-point lead over Leclerc and way ahead on the title race, with his eight victory of the season after winning in Saudi Arabia, Emilia-Romagna, Miami, Spain, Azerbaijan, Canada & France.
Russell held on to his starting pole position at the start of the Hungarian GP, despite being on soft tires. Both Ferraris, in second and third, and on medium tires, were unable to pass him.
Behind the Ferraris came Lando Norris and soon after came Hamilton after devouring both the Alpines of Ocon and Alonso for fifth. Fifteen laps into the race and Carlos Sainz was able to close in on Russell to 1.1s, whose tires were letting him down. Just 0.6s behind the Spaniard was Leclerc.
Meanwhile, Leclerc, still on the track, was leading the race but slowly, and thanks to a hellish pace, Max had climbed to fifth after re-joining the track on seventh. The Monegasque driver didn’t pit until lap 21, and after a 2.9s stop, he returned to action ahead of Sainz.
Nearing the halfway point of the Hungarian GP 2022, on lap 31, Leclerc passed Russell with a fantastic maneuver at the end of the straight, to take the lead of the race. He immediately escaped five seconds ahead of Russell who was slowing Sainz down, 0.7s behind.
Ferrari takes Red Bull’s bait
On lap 39, Red Bull made the great strategic decision of sending Verstappen for a second pit stop to mount mediums at the Hungarian F1 GP 2022. Incomprehensibly, Leclerc, whose strategy was completely different from that of the Dutchman, followed suit and mounted some very unnecessary and unsuitable hard compounds, burying any chance of victory. His still fresh tires would have done a better job.
After pitting, Max took Russell’s position, and shortly after that, on lap 41, he passed Leclerc. To make things more exciting, two laps later Verstappen sent his car spinning without any major consequence. That mistake allowed a very slow Leclerc to momentarily pass him but an impassable Verstappen recovered his position again.
Max sets sail to his eighth victory of the season
The flying Dutchman had dealt another blow to the race and to Ferrari. To complete the absurdity of the Italian strategy, Sainz had to endure another horrid pit stop of 4.6 seconds to mount soft tires and bid goodbye to any chance of success.
Back at the lead and Verstappen was running almost ten seconds ahead of Russell. An unstoppable Hamilton overtook first Sainz on lap 63 and then his Mercedes teammate on lap 65 to finish second ahead of him. The Spaniard had fallen victim to the two black arrows and to the failures of his own team.
Images of Hungarian F1 GP 2022: Red Bull Racing.