5-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has won his seventh Hungarian Grand Prix in astonishing style - passing Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen three laps from home, after a late-race second pit stop that forced him to demolish a 19-second gap.
Mercedes rolled the dice on Lap 49, bringing Hamilton in for a second time and a set of fresh mediums, after he was unable to get close enough to the Dutchman while the pair were on the hards. And it worked, with Verstappen running out of rubber - and Hamilton on a charge to eventually sweep past the Red Bull around the outside of Turn 1 on lap 67 for the lead and his 81st win. His eighth of the year.
“For a race, to be able to push like that - I’m telling you, it was on the limit all the way,” Hamilton said.
“I honestly didn’t know if I could catch that 19-second gap, because it was big and my tyres would have dropped off. There’s all these things going through your mind. But like the team said - just keep your head down, so I just did, just kept pushing and pushing. And the gap closed and closed, and the laps were like qualifying laps every lap. I think if Niki [Lauda] was here, he’d take his hat off.”
Verstappen, who finished second for his fifth podium of the year, lamented not pitting for a second time - even though he would have dropped behind Hamilton on exit. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished third for his sixth podium in 2019 - but 61 seconds behind the winner.
The sport now has its traditional summer break, with the grid recovering at Spa-Francorchamps on August 30-September 1 for the Belgian Grand Prix.
|2||33||Red Bull Racing Honda||70||+17.796s||19|
|5||55||McLaren Renault||69||+1 lap||10|
|6||10||Red Bull Racing Honda||69||+1 lap||8|
Here’s how the 2019 FORMULA 1 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX played-out lap-by-lap:
Lots to look forward to ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, the last before the sport’s summer break, with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen on pole position for the first time in his F1 career - after 95 races, seven front row starts and seven wins, including last time out at the chaotic German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. He becomes the first Dutch driver to secure pole, and is F1’s 100th different driver to do so.
Verstappen pipped Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in qualifying by just 18 one thousands of a second, and the Finn needs a strong result in Budapest to cement his drive for 2020. The threat of Esteban Ocon, the squad’s reserve driver, ever-present. Five-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton is third, unable to wring the neck from the car in the dying stages of Q3 - ahead of the two Ferraris, Charles Leclerc ahead of Sebastian Vettel despite a crash at the exit of the final corner in qualifying that required a new rear wing. The Monegasque returned to the pits, and so was able to continue his session.
Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly starts sixth, almost nine tenths of a second off his teammate’s time. It’s been a difficult season to-date for the Frenchman - and he’ll want to jump the Ferraris quick-smart to keep Red Bull on an even keel. The squad has said it won’t replace him this year, but 2020 is not far away and the deals are being done right now. Behind Gasly are the two McLarens, Lando Norris again outqualifying his more experienced teammate Carlos Sainz - the pair seventh and eighth respectively.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean slotted into ninth, the embattled racer needing a strong result and he’s qualified well in the Melbourne-spec car - as the American team seeks a way out of its tyre struggles in race conditions by running its cars on different aero packages. Kevin Magnussen, who starts 14th, has the latest updates. Alfa Romeo Racing’s Kimi Raikkonen closes out the top-10.
Impressively, Williams’ George Russell starts the race from a season-best 15th - elevated one spot after Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was given a three-place grid penalty for impending Racing Point’s Lance Stroll. Further down the grid, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was set to start from 18th - his lowest this year - after finding a traffic jam at the last corner on his final Q3 lap. But the Australian will now start from the back of the grid, after taking a whole new power unit.
As far as strategy is concerned, it’s going to be a likely dry, one-stop. The top-six are all starting on mediums, with a switch to hards the best option for undercuts - either attacking or defending. Those on the mediums going to hards would stop between laps 21-30, but a switch to softs instead would happen much later between laps 35-44. Those starting on the red softs would likely come in between laps 16-24 for the mediums all the way to the end. So lots to look forward to over the 70 laps.
It’s very warm on the grid, with 26 degree ambient and 44 degree Celsius track temperature so drivers are going to be managing tyres - and opting for more durable rubber when they can. Though we may see some late runs on the softs for a shot at the fastest lap, for those running within the top-10.
Just four drivers start on the soft tyres - from P7-10, Norris (P7), Sainz (P8), Grosjean (P9) and Raikkonen (P10). All the rest are on the mediums, with the exception of Ricciardo (P20) who starts on the hard tyres… so going long in his opening stint for a fightback.
Polesitter Verstappen gets a great start, he covers off the two Mercedes - but Bottas alongside - and they squeeze but can’t make it work. Bottas locks up into Turn 2, and Hamilton is past into turn 3. Bottas then overtaken by Leclerc, drops to P4. Then it’s Vettel, Sainz, Norris, Raikkonen, Gasly and Grosjean. Replays show Bottas bumping wheels with Hamilton.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 1.6 seconds. Vettel passes Bottas into Turn 1 for fourth. Bottas told damage on right hand side. Mercedes is in the pit lane.
Verstappen sets the fastest lap, a 1:21.854 - Mercedes stands in the pit lane with new front wing, but Bottas hasn’t pitted. DRS enabled. Raikkonen in P8 is chasing both McLarens. Ricciardo is only in P19.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 2.3 seconds. Leclerc is in P3, 3-seconds behind. Vettel is all over the back of his teammate - less than a second adrift. Bottas in P5 is 5-seconds behind Vettel. Gasly down to P9, bad start for the Frenchman. Replays show Bottas was hit by Leclerc, damaging front wing.
Hamilton sets fastest lap, a 1:21.646 - as Bottas in P5 stays out. Verstappen leads Hamilton by 2.1 seconds. Sainz in P6 is holding a train of cars behind him…
Bottas pits from P5, gets a new front wing - and onto the hards. 14.7 seconds. He exits in 20th and last. Verstappen sets the fastest lap, a 1:21.542 - he’s 2.3 seconds ahead of Hamilton.
Leclerc told to push as much as he can. Verstappen and Hamilton are doing 1:21.6s, seven tenths faster than the Ferraris behind.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 2.2 seconds, then it’s Leclerc, Vettel, Sainz, Norris, Raikkonen, Gasly, Grosjean, and Hulkenberg closes out the top-10. Sainz in P5 is 13-seconds behind Vettel.
Hamilton sets the fastest lap, a 1:21.293 - very similar time to Verstappen ahead - the gap between the pair 2.3 seconds. Replays show Ricciardo passing Giovinazzi at Turn 1 for P17. Stewards say no further action on Leclerc/Bottas contact on Lap 1.
Verstappen calm up front, 2.1 seconds the gap to Hamilton. Bottas told P6 is realistic, he’s currently in P20. Ricciardo fighting Stroll for P16, he goes around the outside of Turn 2 and goes through - on the inside line for Turn 3. Magnussen is the Australian’s next target, 1-second ahead.
Hamilton a tenth faster on that last lap, 2-seconds the gap to the Red Bull of Verstappen - who leads the race. Vettel likely to move to a two-stop, given they can’t hold a candle to the frontrunner’s pace.
Leclerc in P3 is 10 seconds behind the leader now - showing how much the leading pair is scampering away. Hamilton tells his engineer he’s ready to close up on Verstappen when needed.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 2.1 seconds. Ricciardo is chasing down Russell for P15.
Ferrari languishing pace-wise, both doing 1:22.7s, with the top-two on 1:21.6s. 1.1 seconds off the pace.
Hulkenberg says he has no power on the straight and that it’s getting worse. Replay show Bottas scything through the field, passing Giovinazzi, Stroll and Russell in quick succession. He’s now in P16.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 2.2 seconds. Gasly is back to P8, with Raikkonen ahead.
Top-10 now covered by 53-seconds. Verstappen asks is the wind picking up, but is told it’s not - and in same direction.
Hamilton is reeling in Verstappen slightly, 1.8 seconds the gap. Kvyat passes Albon with a thrilling move into turn 1, the pair go wheel to wheel into Turn 2 - and into turn 3 - and turn 4 until Albon goes wide on exit. Kvyat takes 12th place. Neither driver hitting the other.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by just 1.3 seconds. The Mercedes driver is much faster, doing 1:21.6s - while Verstappen is in the 1:22s.
Verstappen starting to lose grip up front, he’s 1.4 seconds behind the Mercedes. Bottas in P14 is chasing Ricciardo.
Hamilton and Verstappen on fairly identical lap times, but the Dutchman has less life in his tyres. Ricciardo all over the back of Magnussen.
Verstappen 1.2 seconds up on Hamilton, who is set to pit.
Hamilton stays out as Mercedes goes back into the garage. Verstappen going through traffic, finding it frustrating - Hamilton closing.
Hamilton four tenths faster on that last lap. Verstappen re-iterates that he’s losing grip, but team says it understands. The Dutchman and Hamilton both lap Perez.
Hamilton feeling comfortable on his tyres. He’s 1.3 seconds behind Verstappen.
Verstappen pits, he’s onto the hards - 2.6 seconds - rejoins in second, as Hamilton told it’s hammer time. Verstappen finds traffic on exit, though - so could race be opening up?
Mercedes in the pit lane, then goes back in the garage. Hamilton storming, but Verstappen has the pace. He’s set the fastest first sector. It’s a crucial move for the lead.
Verstappen sets the fastest lap, a 1:20.928. Ferrari pits Leclerc, he goes onto the hards - 2.3 second stop, emerges in fourth. Hamilton, Verstappen and Vettel ahead.
Verstappen in P2 is faster on that last lap, as Hamilton suffers from brake issues. Norris, Gasly and Albon pit.
Hamilton leads, 17.2 seconds the gap to Verstappen. Ricciardo is up to P10 after those ahead stopped. Sainz and Raikkonen pit.
Hamilton leads Verstappen by 16.4 seconds, with 20 seconds needed for a pit stop.
Hamilton pits, he’s onto the hards - 4-seecond stop. He exits in P2, in clear air between Verstappen and Vettel. Gasly passes Hulkenberg for sixth at Turn 1.
Norris in P10 chasing down Magnussen hard. Replays show Bottas passing Ricciardo into turn 1. Hamilton in P2 is on a charge. Norris passes Magnussen for P9 at exit of Turn 1.
Hamilton sets the fastest lap, a 1:19.653. He’s 1.7 seconds behind Verstappen. Bottas in P11 is chasing down Magnussen of the final point. Verstappen told Hamilton is behind and will attack.
Another fastest lap for Hamilton, a 1:19.331. Just half a second between the pair, as the Silver Arrow moves in!
Hamilton all over the back of Verstappen, closing as they went past backmarkers - losing time.
So at half distance we have a fantastic fight. Hamilton staying close to Verstappen - less than a second between them now. Perez slowing down Verstappen as they lap him.
Hamilton passes Perez into Turn 1, but is now closer to Verstappen. Vettel told three more laps for Plan C, the 4-time F1 World Champion yet to stop. More back markers getting in the way, affecting Verstappen.
Hamilton goes wheel to wheel with Verstappen in Turn 1, but Hamilton has the line for Turn 2 - but can’t make it stick. He goes past but off track at Turn 4. He stays behind. Blue flags causing issues for the leading pair.
Hamilton has fallen back, 1.4 seconds the gap - Hamilton told to lift and coast to keep the car cool. Vettel pits, issue with the right front 5.8 second stop - he’s back in fourth.
Verstappen does a personal best lap, 1.8 seconds ahead of Hamilton - who asks what more he can do. Both drivers flustered as they push for glory.
It’s Verstappen leading 1.9 seconds on Hamilton, then Leclerc in P3 - 34-seconds adrift. The top-two in a league of their own. Verstappen asks if Hamilton has damage, told no, but would have used the best of his tyres.
Hamilton now 1.5 seconds behind Verstappen.
Hamilton worrying about brake temps, told wear more important than temperature. Only top-nine on the lead lap. Bottas told Hamilton is on Verstappen’s gearbox - as they’re to be lapped.
Hamilton has closed to 1-second of Verstappen, who asks for full power - you’ve got it, he’s told.
Hamilton has pulled into DRS range of Verstappen, but can’t hold onto it. He’s just outside of it as they approach the detection point. Only the top-seven are on the lead lap.
More back markers as Hamilton eats into Verstappen’s lead, with the Dutchman wanting to know about DRS range - which he has on this lap.
Hamilton told to close up to Verstappen. Bottas pits. He’s back onto the medium tyre, and exits in P12. Top six are on the lead lap.
Hamilton has pitted from P2, gambling on the mediums - 2.4 second stop. Has that caught Red Bull out? He’s got 21-seconds to make up. It was essentially a free stop. Verstappen’a last lap, a 1:20.337. This is going to be fascinating.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 19.2 seconds. Both drivers questioning the move. Leclerc does a personal best lap.
Hamilton into the 1:19.4s with Verstappen in the 1:20s - one second slower on that last lap. Bottas passes Kvyat for P10. Verstappen complaining he should have pitted,
Verstappen is 17.6 seconds ahead of Hamilton, who just set the fastest lap - a 1:19.199. Seven tenths faster than the Dutchman. Grosjean retires from the race. Only the top-four are on the lead-lap, wow. Bottas passes Perez for P9.
Verstappen is 16-seconds ahead of Hamilton, who was 1.5 seconds faster on that last lap. He’s hoeing into that lead.
Verstappen responds to Hamilton’s pace with a personal best - both in the 1:19.5s. Hamilton told the Dutchman will have a tyre limit. Who knows, maybe I will, too - he retorts. 15.6 seconds the gap. Verstappen has a clear track ahead.
Verstappen slipping, Hamilton two tenths up on that last lap. 15.5 seconds the gap. Ricciardo fighting Magnussen for P14.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 15.6 seconds.
The gap between the leading pair 15.1 seconds. As Magnussen blocks Ricciardo hard into turn 1.
Verstappen all ok in front he says. Hamilton sets the fastest lap, a 1:19.174 - 14.4 seconds the gap.
Another fastest lap and lap record for Hamilton, a 1:18.668 - 12.9 seconds the gap to Verstappen. As Ricciardo complains about Magnussen’s behaviour in the braking zone. He weaves again, but can’t make it around the outside into Turn 2.
Another fastest lap for Hamilton, a 1:18.566 - 1.3 seconds faster, as Verstappen runs out of tyres. Ricciardo v Magnussen battle heating up as well.
Verstappen leads Hamilton by 10.8 seconds with another fastest lap, a 1:18.528. Ricciardo can’t make his move on Magnussen stick. Too far away on that last attempt.
Hamilton 9-seconds behind Verstappen. Amazing run by Hamilton. This is an incredible charge by the 5-time F1 World Champion.
Hamilton is thrashing his car to close the gap to Verstappen, just 7.5 seconds now. The Brit is given the all clear to give it everything.
Hamilton 1.3 seconds faster in last middle sector. 5.4 seconds the gap now to Verstappen - who says his tyres are dead. He’s a sitting duck, rubber graining for the Dutchman.
Hamilton now within 3-seconds of Verstappen. This is looking inevitable now. Will we see Verstappen be able to hold onto the lead? Hamilton is 1.4 seconds behind the Dutchman. Red Bull tell the Dutchman he has engine modes to keep the Brit at bay.
Hamilton locks up into Turn 1, but is now within a second. Now half a second, it’s just where it is going to happen.
Hamilton passes Verstappen around the outside of Turn 1 for the lead. He’s done it! Just so much more speed into turn 1. Makes it stick on the exit of the corner.
Verstappen pits, he’s going onto the softs. 2.2 second stop. For a chance at the fastest lap. Vettel passes Leclerc for P3 on the inside on the run to Turn 1, very aggressive move. He’s set for the final podium place.
Hamilton leads Verstappen by 23-seconds. As the Dutchman begins to light up the timing sheets.
Lap 70 - FINAL LAP:
Verstappen sets the fastest lap, a 1:17.103. A new lap record for the Dutchman. Hamilton wins his seventh Hungarian Grand Prix.
|2||33||Red Bull Racing Honda||70||+17.796s||19|
|5||55||McLaren Renault||69||+1 lap||10|
|6||10||Red Bull Racing Honda||69||+1 lap||8|
|7||7||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||69||+1 lap||6|
|9||4||McLaren Renault||69||+1 lap||2|
|10||23||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||69||+1 lap||1|
|11||11||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||69||+1 lap||0|
|13||20||Haas Ferrari||69||+1 lap||0|
|15||26||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||68||+2 laps||0|
|16||63||Williams Mercedes||68||+2 laps||0|
|17||18||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||68||+2 laps||0|
|18||99||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||68||+2 laps||0|
|19||88||Williams Mercedes||67||+3 laps||0|