Bold Strategy Gives Hamilton 81st Win

As the last race before Formula 1’s 4-week-long ‘Summer Break’, one might think the Hungarian Grand Prix would be boring as exhausted drivers and teams tried to get through the race smoothly before starting their holiday. But that mindset proved to be wrong.  The Hungarian GP actually saw bold strategy calls, incredible moves on track throughout the field, and a last-lap pass for the win.

LAP 1: Max Verstappen got a great start from pole position and pulled away from the grid as the two Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton went wheel-to-wheel in Turns 1, 2, and 3 before Hamilton settled into P2. Verstappen’s pole position was the first in his career, despite nearing 100 F1 starts and winning 8 Grand Prixs at just 21 years old.

LAP 7: After making contact with Charles Leclerc and damaging the front wing, Valtteri Bottas came to pit lane for a wing change. Pitting from the 5th position, Bottas fell all the way to the back of the field and began a long day of fighting back through the grid.

LAP 16: The top four cars of Verstappen, Hamilton, and both Ferraris (Charles Leclerc and Sebastain Vettel) pulled away from the field with a 22-second difference between P4 and P5. However, the battle between P1 and P2 was within 2 seconds.

LAP 25: With both of the top 2 cars using a 1-stop strategy, the Red Bull Racing team of Verstappen were the first to blink. Verstappen pitted for medium compound tires and came out just behind Hamilton who had picked up the lead.

LAP 32: Hamilton’s Mercedes team decided it was time to pit, bringing him in for medium tires as well. A slow 4-second stop put him behind Verstappen once again but well within striking distance.

LAP 35: The medium tires seemed to work better on Hamilton’s car as he caught up to Verstappen and contested hard for the top spot. Hamilton eventually had to back off, experiencing brake issues from trying to outbrake the Dutchman into every corner.

LAP 50: Hamilton’s team pulled a bold strategy card and called Hamilton into the pits for soft tires for better lap times. Hamilton came out 18-seconds behind Verstappen with 30 laps to go.

LAP 60: Hamilton was on a mission and made up time on every lap. Verstappen’s lead shrunk to just 11 seconds with 20 laps remaining.

LAP 64: “Tires are dead” reported Max Verstappen as his lead diminished to just 5.3 seconds over Hamilton.

LAP 69: Hamilton inevitably overtook Verstappen who went to pit lane for red tires. Verstappen cycled back into P2 and got the fastest lap of the day.

LAP 70: Hamilton took the checkered flag for the 81st time in his career, his 7th time in Hungary.

RESULTS:

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Max Verstappen
  3. Sebastain Vettel
  4. Charles Leclerc
  5. Carlos Sainz
  6. Pierre Gasly
  7. Kimi Raikkonen
  8. Valterri Bottas
  9. Lando Norris
  10. Alexander Albon
  11. Sergio Perez
  12. Nico Hulkenburg
  13. Kevin Magnusen
  14. Daniel Ricciardo
  15. Danill Kvyat
  16. George Russell
  17. Lance Stroll
  18. Antonio Giovinazzi
  19. Robert Kubica
  20. Romain Grosjean

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