RACING

6 winners and 5 losers of the Hungarian Grand Prix – Who finished the first half of the season in style?

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Max Verstappen picked up eight wins in 2022 with a brilliant fight at the Hungaroring heading into the buzzing summer break. The same can’t be said for some of its rivals, however. We have selected six winners and five losers from the Hungarian Grand Prix…

Winner: Max Verstappen

It speaks volumes about the absorbing nature of the battle between Ferrari and George Russell up front on Sunday that Max Verstappen’s superb dance through the field from 10th to victory was almost overlooked.

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The way Verstappen ruthlessly dominated the first half of the season with eight wins from 13 races has reinforced the perception that he can become one of F1’s most successful drivers.

READ MORE: ‘We made all the right choices,’ says Verstappen as he pulls off a spin-and-win in Hungary to extend his lead to 80 points

That prowess was demonstrated in Hungary, with the Dutchman winning a race outside the top four for the first time in his career. He now leads the Drivers’ Championship by 80 points, meaning he couldn’t make it to the next three races and stay on top.


Verstappen’s celebrations were exuberant enough as he increased his Championship lead

Loser: Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc was disappointed to miss out on pole position, as Ferrari struggled to get the tires to work, but still felt the F1-75 had enough downforce advantage to secure victory on Sunday.

But a bizarre decision to put him on the hard tires – in cooler conditions than expected – knocked him out and left him behind in sixth, extending his run of never reaching the podium at the Hungaroring in F1 or F2.

READ MORE: ‘It was a disaster’ – Leclerc ‘very disappointed’ with 6th in Budapest as he singles out what cost him a chance of victory

He heads into the summer break with just one win from 10 attempts and is desperate for a reversal of fortune if he is to keep his Championship aspirations alive.


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From leading the race to sixth at the flag – Leclerc did not bounce back from France as he would have hoped

Winner: Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton’s wait for a first victory in 2022 continues, but his performance and that of his Mercedes team in Hungary will have given him hope that this barren race will end after the summer break.

The seven-time world champion believed a top-row start was possible if a DRS problem had not been encountered on Saturday. But he made the best of the situation on Sunday, battling through the field to finish second.

It was his fifth consecutive podium – which is the longest active streak in F1 currently – and his 11th grandstand in Hungary. He is only 12 points behind his teammate George Russell.

READ MORE: Hamilton says Mercedes has ‘potential to win’ after ‘pretty epic’ run for second in Hungary

Losers: Ferrari

Considering Ferrari’s dominance on Friday, when conditions were dry and hot, it’s remarkable that they finished the weekend without a car on the podium.

Two slow pit stops deprived Carlos Sainz of the chance to fight for the lead, while their decision to run medium-medium-hard (a strategy not featured in any of Pirelli’s suggested pre-race strategies) with Leclerc also put end to his hopes.


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Ferrari was mystified by its lack of racing pace in Hungary

They are now 97 points behind Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship and just 30 ahead of Mercedes. A huge reset is needed over the summer.

Winners: Mercedes

The fact that Mercedes led more laps on Sunday than in all other races combined this season shows how much the Silver Arrows have improved competitiveness in Hungary.

The tight, twisty circuit layout was bound to suit them, but no one expected George Russell to secure his first pole position in F1 and the first of the season for Mercedes.

READ MORE: Hungarian poleman Russell left with ‘mixed emotions’ after P3 ended as he reveals sympathy for Leclerc

They still have some way to go to keep pace with Red Bull and Ferrari, but this was the closest they’ve been all year, and gives hope they could finally make it a three-way fight .


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It was another double podium for Mercedes as they started to get back into the race

Losers: Haas

Haas brought their first upgrade package of the season to Hungary, and although they only had one set of updates, which Kevin Magnussen received due to production delays, the pace of the base car gave them hope that they might be in contention for the points.

But they struggled all weekend, and although Magnussen said the performance of the package was promising, it never really looked like a top 10 finish was possible.

It meant a second straight race without a goal and left them 17 points ahead of Alfa Romeo in the fight for sixth place in the constructors’ championship.

READ MORE: How shrewd reconnaissance laps, sublime strategy and racing spirit paved the way for Verstappen’s unlikely victory in Hungary

Winner: Lando Norris

Lando Norris has been a model of consistency lately, with the Briton securing his third consecutive seventh-place finish in Hungary. It was also his 10th point in 13 races this season.

While he would like to fight for the podiums, his McLaren is currently not capable of that, so he is making the most of it. Seventh was the best of the rest in Hungary and assures his team to stay in the race with Alpine for the P4.


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Norris avoided trouble en route to a ‘best of the rest’ P7

Loser: Daniel Ricciardo

It’s the kind of frustrating weekend that characterizes Daniel Ricciardo’s time at McLaren, with the Australian feeling like he had his best Friday of the year in Hungary, only to then fail to maintain that form over the weekend. -end where it really mattered.

While a double move on the Alpines was impressive, it was the only peak in a race where he struggled for grip and hit Lance Stroll. He finished 15th, his ninth race weekend this year without points.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from a thrilling Hungarian Grand Prix as Verstappen seals eighth win of the season

Winner: Sebastien Vettel

Sebastian Vettel had a hell of a weekend. He first took to social media by creating an Instagram account, then he used it to announce his retirement from F1 at the end of the season.

On the track, he put up a solid run that netted a point for 10th, his fifth points tally of the year, leaving him with a tally so far four times that of teammate Lance Stroll.


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Ricciardo’s good run crumbled when he threw Stroll into a spin

Losers: AlphaTauri

It was another tough race weekend for AlphaTauri. While Pierre Gasly recovered well from a pit lane start after a host of engine component changes suggesting the team upgrade is a step forward, the 12th offered no point reward.

His teammate Yuki Tsunoda had no grip in cold conditions, suffering a spin when he was on the softs of the race and dragging home a miserable 19th. The Italian team have now gone five races without scoring points, which places them eighth in the constructors’ championship.

Winners: Alpine

Alpine are on a roll at the moment, the Anglo-French team blocked the third row of the grid in qualifying – and although an ambitious one-stop strategy made life tricky, they still brought the two cars at home in points.

ANALYSIS: Why Alonso accepted Aston Martin’s advances and signed a shock deal – and why it could be a perfect match

Fernando Alonso, who announced this morning he is leaving the team for Aston Martin next year, finished eighth – his eighth consecutive top-10 result and 11th consecutive points in Hungary – while ninth-place Esteban Ocon gave Alpine its fifth double-point score in six races.

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