F1: Lewis Hamilton wins Hungarian Grand Prix – as it happened
Max Verstappen led for 67 of 70 laps, but a hail Mary pit-stop from Mercedes and fine driving from Lewis Hamilton combined to steal victory; he now holds a 62-point advantage in the driver championship
Thanks for your company today – we’ll be back when the fun resumes four weeks today, after the summer holiday.
So there we go – another great race, and another great race which further cements Lewis Hamilton’s status as champion-elect. It’s going to be six driver championships for the stormer from Stevenage, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. But he’ll know already that next season might be different, because Max Verstappen is coming. F1’s next great rivalry is surely upon us, and doesn’t the sport need it!
Here’s Giles Richards’ race report…
And our driver standings…
Phew. That was another absolute jazzer of a race. Let’s have some full results…
“I feel really grateful for the day,” says Hamilton, and for the team for continuing to believe in me and for continuing to push the limits and to take a risk, a chance on me – we’ve been together seven years and it always feels like a new win.”
“Congrats to Lewis for the win, he was pushing us very hard,” says Verstappen. “We treid the one stop so of course they had the opportunity to try the two and it worked.”
“They rolled the dice,” Verstappen is told, and his team praise his drive today. I wonder if he’s wondering why they weren’t thinking about how Mercedes would play things.
“Only you can make that happen … brilliant drive,” Hamilton’s team tells him. “James, sorry I doubted your strategy,” he respoods. “That feels so good guys, I hope you’re feeling it too.
An absolutely brilliant drive from the champ, and a fine intervention by his team! Verstappen is second, Vettel third, Leclerc fourth, Sainz fifth and Gasly sixth.
Lap 69/70 Verstappen charges in pursuit of the fastest lap, while Hamilton is going to be champion again. Still, even before this season is done, we can be excited for next season because something is very definitely happening with the yungun.
Lap 68/70 He’s been closing for quite some time and now Vettel nails his Ferrari team-mate! He passes Leclerc and provided he stays on the track has snided him of a podium finish!
Lap 68/70 Verstappen says he can’t finish on these tyres and comes in. He must be so disappointed, but he’ll learn from it.
Lap 67/70 Verstappen led for 67 laps, but it’s not going to matter! His should’ve seen Mercedes’ strategy coming, pre-empted it, and now he’d be done! But they didn’t.
Lap 67/70 Hamilton is so close now, and Verstappen has nothing to help him beyond his own positioning on the track. And as they come down the straight, HAMILTON TAKES HIM OUT! VERSTAPPEN CANNOT RESPOND, AND THIS RACE IS DONE!
Lap 66/70 Hamilton is guzzling this gap now! 1.026s the gap, almost within DRS range, and Verstappen must be bricking it!
Lap 65/70 Verstappen needs to steal himself because it’s nearly time! Can he hold off Hamilton on the straights by taking up the best positions? 2.788s the gap, and this is brilliant stuff!
Lap 64/70 5.486s the gap; “Tyres are dead”, Verstappen tells his team, and Hamilton is going to do this isn’t he?!
Lap 63/70 Hamilton can’t quite see Verstappen, but he’s not far off. He’s getting nervous – you can tell by the way he’s asking his team about his bakes, who’re telling him to forget them.
Lap 62/70 Here comes Hamilton, the gap now below nine seconds, and striking distance is expected in six laps! That’ll give him two goes at taking Verstappen out, and given the speed difference between them, you’d think he’ll pull it off! What a great call that pit was!
Lap 61/70 Hamilton gets the gap below 11s for the first time and this is our full leaderboard:
Lap 60/70 Hamilton is tearing into Verstappen now, his team telling him that, by the end, the Red Bull will be down to zero rubber. 11.296s the gap, and this is getting extremely lively.
Lap 59/70 Vettel is charing after Leclerc, looking to nab third, while Hamilton cuts the lead to 12.560s.
Lap 58/70 Hamilton sets a new fastest lap and brings the gap down to 14.433s. My sense is that it’ll be just enough for Verstappen because a second a lap won’t do it, but perhaps the Red Bull tyres will knacker enough so bigger chunks can be cut off.
Lap 57/70 Verstappen leads by 15.506s and is on at his team to describe the gap. He’s so conscious of how important this is, but needs to maintain the equilibrium that’s got him this far.
Lap 56/70 Horner says Verstappen has managed the race well and now has clear road to “stretch his legs”.
Lap 55/70 Perhaps Verstappen has seen away the worst now; he’s driving better than he did through the middle part of the race and Christian Horner is looking forward to watching the denouement. He thinks Mercedes rolled the dice because they couldn’t catch his man, and wasn’t tempted to bring Verstappen in because he’d have come out behind.
Lap 54/70 Verstappen humps through a decent lap and has now cleared the track of the back markers who were giving him a fair bit of nause.
Lap 53/70 The gap’s down to 16.018s at Verstappen prepares to lap Vettel, in fourth; Ferrari have had better weekends.
Lap 52/70 Hamilton sets the fastest lap of the race so far as Grosjean is retired. That gap between 1 and 2 is reducing all the time, down to 17.057, and we’re going to see how Verstappen responds to pressure!
Lap 51/70 The lead is now 18.269 and Hamilton is lapping more than a second faster. This is going to be tight!
Lap 50/70 Hamilton isn’t sure he’s made the right move, challenging the call made by his team, while Verstappen is challenging his team too. I’d say Hamilton’s strategy looks good, because he wasn’t catching up and this new effort gives him a chance.
Lap 49/70 Hamilton pits! He comes out on fresh tyres, comes out ahead of Leclerc, and have Mercedes stolen a march on Red Bull there? He might just have the pace to close the gap, now at 20.269s, and Verstappen stays out a lap longer; if he goes in now, he’ll come out behind, so perhaps he’s just going to hang on!
Lap 48/70 Our leaderboard:
Lap 47/70 Hamilton has a pace advantage down the straight, but can’t get close enough to attack. His car is quicker, but not by enough.
Lap 46/70 Hamilton comes again, cutting the gap to 1.026, but doesn’t look to quite have the pace. What we’re watching here is what we might just be watching for the next five years, because these look a class above the rest. This could be a seriously special rivalry.
Lap 45/70 1.042s the lead as we hear about braking issues for Hamilton; maybe that’s why he’s narrowing the gap, on account of using them less.
Lap 44/70 Bottas is now up to ninth, behind Norris. He’ll need to make up 11s to get that sixth place he’s after.
Lap 43/70 This has been another really fun race, and there’s plenty of time left too. We should be good for at least a couple more fights between the front two.
Lap 42/70 Verstappen’s lead is up to 1.8s and he’s told by his team that “he’s seen the best of his tyres”.
Lap 41/70 Hamilton’s told to keep the pressure on and tells his team that he can’t. Verstappen is flustered, but will have taken so much confidence from that last duel.
Lap 40/70 Hamilton needs to take a breath here because his tyres will need cleaning – he made a phenomenal effort to inch ahead and Verstappen is absolutely hating the back markers, but showed great resilience hanging in there.
Lap 39/70 Hamilton passes Ricciardo and attacks, but Verstappen shuts the door! Hamilton goes again but Verstappen holds it down; Hamilton tries to take a short cut off the track, this is wild, but can’t bring it home, losing time as the lead moves back to 1.279s! Brilliant stuff!
Lap 38/70 Hamilton’s tyres are no longer fresh but Ricciardo’s presence mithers Verstappen and the lead is down to 0.31!
Lap 37/70 If the front two finish as they currently are the gap in the overall standings will be 53 points. That’s a lot of work for Verstappen to do, but what we’re seeing is just as relevant to next year: Verstappen is coming!
Lap 36/70 Hamilton attacks with Verstappen slightly blocked, but he can’t bring it home! He goes too wide and loses some time, the lead now 1.029s.
Lap 35/70 This is excellent from Hamilton, who’s on one. The gap is down to 0.698s, and he’s trying to get it done here and now!
Lap 34/70 Hamilton wants to push while his tyres are fresh and he cheppies that gap down to 1.170s.
Lap 33/70 Bottas does Ricciardo and is up to 11th as Norris diddleds Magnussen to take ninth from him.
Lap 32/70 Why didn’t Hamilton come in first, to give himself a lead to hang onto when Verstappen followed him?
Lap 31/70 In comes Hamilton! He comes out four seconds letter, which is pretty slow, and the gap is now 5.859s – that’s a lot of work to do, though his tyres are six laps younger.
Lap 30/70 Hamilton’s left front brake is now under control. Here’s out list:
Lap 29/70 Current projections suggest that Hamilton will come out three seconds behind Verstappen, a second more than previously. He also has smoke knocking about his car…
Lap 28/70 In comes Leclerc as Verstappen cuts a little bit off Hamilton’s lead, and he maintains fourth place. Verstappen just holds, waiting to see when Hamilton stops.
Lap 27/70 Hamilton stays out another lap and leads by 18.560s; will he still be in front when he comes out after his pit?
Lap 26/70 In goes Verstappen! And out in 2.6s! It’s quick but not that quick, and will he comes out ahead of Leclerc in third? Yes he will!
Lap 25/70 The Ferraris are strong on the straight and both overtaking opportunities come at the end of one, so perhaps the leaders are waiting for them to come in before going in themselves.
Lap 24/70 Hamilton takes four tenths out of Verstappen, the gap now 1.064. “I’ve gotta say, I’m losing grip,” Verstappen tells his team. “And we have understood, Max,” comes back the perfunctory reply. Both cars lap Perez, in 14th, but Hamilton does it quicker.
Lap 23/70 No, Hamilton does not pit! Perhaps they’re keeping him out another lap – well they are – but why isn’t quite clear. Well it is, because he’d have come out behind Vettel and in fifth, but what isn’t clear is why it was on the agenda to begin ith.
Lap 22/70 1.3s the gap, and it’s looking good for Hamilton … as he comes in!
Lap 21/70 If Verstappen needs to put to change tyres and Hamilton has grip and time, he might just work out a lead that will last him through his own pit. Verstapen won’t want to go in and come out outside both Ferraris, which sit third and fourth.
Lap 20/70 And still! This is working out extremely poorly for Bottas, who needs a path through the field, while Hamilton cuts the gap on Verstappen to 1.283s! Verstappen is starting to lose grip, both actually and metaphorically!
Lap 19/70 Ricciardo and Bottas fight for 14th and 15th spot…
Lap 18/70 Hamilton schleps half a second off Verstappen, the lead now 1.715s as Kviyat does a brilliant job attacking Albon in 12th; they duel for three corners before Kviyat storms through!
Lap 17/70 So our leaderboard reads:
Lap 16/70 Bottas takes out Russell to make 16th place, and will fancy himself to do something still. He’s got no chance of passing Vettel, who’s currently in fourth, but he might well haul himself up to fifth, 20-odd seconds the difference between those two places.
Lap 15/70 Christian Horner was relieved to see Verstappen get away in front, and now he hopes he’ll hang into the lead. More news as I get it.
Lap 14/70 Hamilton trails Verstappen by 2.306 now, and I reckon he needs to go in first so that when Verstappen pits, he’ll have a lead to defend.
Lap 13/70 Verstappen is driving his Red Bull really smartly here, maintaining his lead without hammering his car into the ground.
Lap 12/70 Verstappen and Hamilton streak away, but it’s pretty tight everywhere else, with 20 seconds separating Sainz in fifth from Giovinazzi in 18th.
Lap 11/70 In 16th place, Ricciardo is gliding pleasantly, passing Stroll. Next in his sight: Kevin Magnussen.
Lap 10/70 Bottas is lapping faster than anyone at the moment, and his team reckon he can get sixth place. Meanwhile, Hamilton closes the gap a little, to 2.128s.
Lap 9/70 I wonder what Hamilton’s strategy is here. Does he look to go in before Verstappen, or after? Turns out he’s asking his team how he can close the gap, and is told that he’s losing time at turns 5 and 13.
Lap 8/70 Already, this looks like a two-horse race. Verstappen and Hamilton are way faster than the rest, but there is, of course, plenty of scope for stuff to go wrong. Leclerc is really struggling here, losing pace all the time, but he’s still two seconds ahead of Vettel, after home come Sainz, Norris, Raikkonen and Gasly.
Lap 7/70 Meanwhile, Hamilton stretches clear of Leclerc, nearly 5.5s ahead of him now. Verstappen still leads, by 2.364.
Lap 6/70 Bottas pits and comes back on 49.202s off the lead; that was not great work from his team.
Lap 5/70 We see that Leclerc hit Bottas rather than the other way around but Bottas stays out for at least another lap. Most drivers will be planning a one-stop strategy, so it’s not the end of the world for him, but gives him enormous work to do to if he’s to hang onto second place in the overall standings; currently, he leads Verstappen by 22 points.
Lap 4/70 Verstappen leads Hamilton by 2.237s and Leclerc is 5.356s off the front.
Lap 3/70 Bottas will pit for a new front wing – that’ll take him all the way to the back of the field. So our leaderboard reads:
Lap 2/70 Gosh, that start went badly for Bottas, whose car is in all sorts of nick. He collided with Leclerc, locked twice, and now he’s fifth, because Vettel has passed him too!
Lap 1/70 And off we go, Verstappen bousting clear, and Hamilton goes too, alongside Bottas! They’re three abreast before Verstappen pulls away, then Hamilton and Bottas fight, allowing him further ahead, then Hamilton goes second as Bottas damages his front wing and Leclerc takes him out too!
A bit of cloud cover has taken 4 degrees off the track temperature as the cars line up.
The formation lap is go!
The tyres are being desleeping-bagged…
Right then, here we go!
The drivers are carred.
Bottas is semi-fighting to keep his seat for next term. He’ll probably find out before the next race at Spa, so could use a decent showing here before the summer break.
Lance Stroll reckons it’ll be a challenging race given his starting position and the difficulties in overtaking on this track. He’s hoping others have problems.
Carlos Sainz doesn’t think it’ll rain; thanks, Carlos! Here’s the grid…
Daniel Ricciardo drops to the back of the grid after Renault fitted him with a new power unit.
It’s not Hendrix at Woodstock.
Max Verstappen is relaxed, and says that everything is warm. It’s just about anthem time.
Anthony Mackie is in the house.
“Do you like racing?”
It was cooling down on the track, but the sun’s back out now and Martin Brundle is hot and bothered. I’m not certain a pink shirt was wise.
And if you fancy catching up from yesterday…
Max Verstappen is phenomenally chill. His cap is problematic, but he thinks he and his team can resolve their starting issues. If he’s ahead going into the first turn, he’ll be in phenomenal shape to stay there.
Pole is a much bigger advantage this week than last; overtaking is not easy in Hungary, though the track should quicken up as the race intensifies.
Hungaroring might just be the greatest track name. Like the Central African Republic, it does what it says on the tin.
Tell you what, today’s little jaunt will have to go some to get near last week’s effort at Hockenheim. But thanks to Hockenheim, our season is revitalised and suddenly anything looks possible.
Max Verstappen is an absolute freak of nature, in his fifth season as an F1 driver at the age of 21. And he might just be on the cusp of realising his phenomenal talent, following last week’s win at Hockenheim with pole for today’s race; it might be just too late for a run at this year’s drivers’ championship, but another win will put the rest on notice.
Behind Verstappen on the grid, Valtteri Bottas will still fancy his chances of catching Lewis Hamilton, who leads him the overall standings by 39 points. Hamilton has looked in decent shape this weekend, but was left chastising his car for its inability to get him round at requisite pace – though he’s hopeful it’ll be where it needs to be for the race.
Source: Formula 1