Formula 1

Hamilton matches Schumacher’s record with Hungarian GP victory

Lewis Hamilton performed a masterclass en route to his 86th victory and has matched Michael Schumacher’s record of 8 victories at an individual track. The podium was rounded out by Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas, in front of a hugely mixed field.

Race Report

Drama started before the race even began as Max Verstappen lost control and slid in to the barriers on the way to the track. His front left track rod appeared to be completely broken and the mechanics had a mission to get the car ready in under 20 minutes. They managed the feat however and Verstappen was able to start the race.

The cars started on the intermediate tyre, but the track was drying rapidly. Both Haas’ pitted before the lights went out in an attempt to undercut the field. Lewis Hamilton stormed off from the start, but teammate Valtteri Bottas dropped back immediately after what appeared to be a jump start. Mixed strategies took place straight away as Bottas and Charles Leclerc pitted on lap 3, followed by the leaders Hamilton and Lance Stroll a lap later. The amount of cars pitting caused mayhem as Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz dropped a huge amount of time waiting for other cars to pass their pit boxes.

After the chaotic start, it was Lewis Hamilton leading from Max Verstappen, while Lance Stroll attempted to retake 3rd from Kevin Magnussen. Charles Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas were battling for 6th and the Finnish driver almost collected the Ferrari after driving through a puddle down towards turn 3. However, Bottas found his way past 2 laps later. Nicolas Latifi had a strong start reaching 10th before an unsafe release and a puncture demoted him to the back of the grid.

On lap 16, Charles Leclerc – who had pitted for softs – engaged in a tense battle with Alex Albon for 7th. The Red Bull driver was keen to pass the Ferrari, but Leclerc was able to defend expertly. Sebastian Vettel joined the battle a few laps later and the cars formed a huge train from 7th down to 12th. Alex Albon finally made it past a lap later, following radio messages requesting more power. Next lap, Vettel made his way past as well, Leclerc having a torrid time on the soft tyres. He eventually pitted, coming out 15th, over a minute and 20 seconds behind the leaders. Leclerc then launched into a hugely entertaining battle with Lando Norris, the pair almost coming together through turn 3. The Ferrari driver won the battle a lap later and set his sights on a point scoring finish.

The aforementioned rain was tantalisingly close to the track, with numerous reports of rain throughout the race. Unfortunately, the track remained dry for the rest of the session. All of the cars stayed on dry tyres through their second stops. Nicolas Latifi brought out the yellow flags with a spin in sector 2, dropping him further behind during a bad day at the office.

Valterri Bottas had a determined drive after his second stop, finally catching Max Verstappen – in 2nd – on lap 47. He wasn’t able to find his way past and reverted to a different strategy, pitting for hard compound tyres with 20 laps to go. Bottas then reeled in the Red Bull, setting multiple fastest laps in the process. The Mercedes driver made in in to Verstappen’s DRS territory with 2 laps left to go. But, Verstappen was just able to keep in front to take a hard earned 2nd place. Meanwhile, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz started to battle for the last championship point. The Spaniard squeezing past on lap 62. Lance Stroll came home in a very composed 4th place, while Kevin Magnussen recorded Haas’ first point scoring finish of 2020.

Lewis Hamilton took the win and fastest lap after stopping late in the race, topping off a supreme performance from the Briton. This has given Hamilton the lead of the championship and, with the next 2 races at Silverstone, he looks confident to extend his lead and take another step closer to an illustrious 7th world championship title.

Full Race Results:

  1. Hamilton
  2. Verstappen +8.702
  3. Bottas +9.452
  4. Stroll +57.579
  5. Albon +78.316
  6. Vettel +1 lap
  7. Perez + 1 lap
  8. Ricciardo +1 lap
  9. Magnussen +1 lap
  10. Sainz + 1 lap
  11. Leclerc + 1 lap
  12. Kvyat + 1 lap
  13. Norris + 1 lap
  14. Ocon + 1 lap
  15. Grosjean + 1 lap
  16. Raikkonen + 1 lap
  17. Giovinazzi + 1 lap
  18. Russell + 1 lap
  19. Latifi + 5 laps
  20. Kvyat DNF

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