After the terrible finish of the Mercedes team at the German GP, things become quite interesting once again. Of course, the battle for first in the constructor’s cup is not in question as Mercedes still leads by way too far for anyone to catch up.
The attention turns more towards the battle for second as Ferrari and Red Bull are on a constant struggle to see who scores the most points in a race. It rather interesting as neither team manages to finish in top positions for both drives. Instead, we see good finished for both drivers of the Ferrari team and great finishes for Verstappen in some races, giving him the boost to stay in the game. At the Hungarian GP, we once again saw some exciting moves and finishes. We once again see a Mercedes in the first place, but the teammate seems to nowhere near the top as per usual.
Hungarian GP Highlights
Right off the line, we saw an exciting start as Verstappen grabbed the lead by the first corner. Both the Mercedes drivers were right behind him, followed by the Ferrari drivers. After just a few turns, we once again had the Mercedes drivers battle each other. Hamilton came out on top as Bottas locked up the brakes and gave enough gap for Charles Leclerc to squeeze past as well. As Leclerc passed, he and Bottas made contact, possibly damaging the front wing on Bottas’ car.
The second lap confirmed some damage for Bottas as Vettel also managed to get past him. Now, Hamilton was in second, Leclerc following and Vettel holding onto fourth place. By Lap 18, we saw Bottas way back in 16th place as he had to go to the pits and have the problem taken care of. The gap between the Ferrari drivers and the leading two was overgrowing with more than 15 seconds separating Hamilton and Leclerc.
After pitting, the gap between Verstappen and Hamilton grew even more significant. However, but lap 38, Verstappen got stuck behind a backmarker, giving Hamilton enough time to catch up. The final straight had them split by less than half a second. By the first turn of lap 39, we saw both the Red Bull and Mercedes get past and take on a race for first. Hamilton was giving it his all and applying severe pressure to the Red Bull driver. However, Hamilton pushed a bit too hard and went off the track. On lap 49, the Mercedes team took a bit of a gamble by having Hamilton head into the pits and change to medium tires.
Lap 67 put the chase back on the two front runners, and there was no doubt that Verstappen was in trouble. He had the same tires for more than 40 laps at that point, giving Hamilton a significant edge with fresh medium tires. It didn’t take much for Mercedes to grab the lead at the first corner as the Mercedes only out braked the Red Bull.