It’s a tale of two completely different teams at the moment – Mercedes versus Ferrari.
The Hungarian Grand Prix could have seen Ferrari at least put up a fight. In qualifying there were signs of hope with LeClercand Vettel taking the third row of the grid in fifth and sixth.
It’s a sign of a fundamental problem when that is looked upon as good news.
The actual race turned into a nightmare for Ferrari and particularly for LeClerc who didn’t deserve to be let down both by the team’s tire strategy and the car. A slow car that can only now make third row of the grid but in the race itself had LeClercout of the points, coming in eleventh.
The Monegasque spent much of the Grand Prix worrying about a lack of balance on his car. The balance appeared so much worse than in qualifying when it had run better than expected. And it didn’t help that the team put Charles Leclerc on to the wrong slick tyres early in the race.
Sebastian Vettel did manage to come in sixth but to add insult to injury was lapped by Hamilton with 12 laps to go.
Record Win for Hamilton
The race was a dream come true for Hamilton. He is now the race’s most successful driver. The numbers are scary: three seconds clear by the end of lap one, he went on to lead by a margin of up to 26 seconds.
This being his eighth victory in Hungary he has also matched Michael Schumacher’s record, scored at Magny Cours (French Grand Prix) of the most victories at the same circuit. This 86th career win puts him only five short of the German’s record. At this rate, it must be expected that he will surpass Schumacher’s feats this year. At the end Hamilton had enough in hand to take a stop for soft tyres to add the point for the fastest lap.
Dominant in Austria with its fast corners, Mercedes also proved adept on the slower turns of the Hungaroring. Their ability to lead on both types of circuit and the margin of advantage they have over Ferrari are ominous factors.
Red Bull and Verstappen
The Dutchman gave his team a fright when he locked up on the damp track on his lap driving to the grid, hitting the barriers and damaging his suspension. The team worked like beavers to repair the damage and he was able to start the race. They did a superb job. And then Verstappen came up trumps with an impressive drive to take second from seventh on the grid.
First Hamilton – Mercedes
Second Verstappen – Red Bull
Third Bottas, Mercedes
Sixth – Vettel
Eleventh – LeClerc
Next week on Sunday is the British Grand Prix.