Max Verstappen was angry after qualifying in second position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, he lost out to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by 0.003s.
Verstappen’s frustration was an example of how much pressure the Dutch driver placed on himself to start on the front row at the Hungaroring.
However by Sunday afternoon Hamilton’s 104th pole position was a distant memory as Verstappen claimed his ninth victory of the season ahead of Lando Norris and Sergio Perez. The 25-year-old Red Bull driver helped his team to their 12th consecutive race win, breaking a record that stood for 35 years by McLaren.
Verstappen emphasised the start of the race, “I wanted to get a good first stint and it meant I was able to look after my tyres well and extend it compared to the others. The car felt really good today and the balance was right with the increase in temperature.”
Hamilton’s race turned sour from the start as he was left going backward. The seven-time world champion slouched to fourth place at the opening corner after Verstappen, Norris, and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri passed the Mercedes driver.
Hamilton used the medium compound in his final stint to pass Piastri for P4 and close to within 1.531s of Perez for the final podium spot. Hamilton’s teammate George Russell was sixth. Hamilton admitted the car felt better to drive as the race progressed. “As the stints progressed, the car started to become more drivable, and the final stint was much better. The pace we had at the end was very strong and if we had had that throughout, we would have had a much better day”, he said.
The Briton benefitted from Charles Leclerc being penalised for speeding in the pitlane. To add insult to injury, Ferrari botched the Monegasque driver’s pitstop and he finished seventh. Carlos Sainz was eighth, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll occupying the final points positions.
Daniel Ricciardo made his 2023 Grand Prix debut for AlphaTauri and was unlucky to suffer damage at the start. He got caught up in the melee with Zhou Guanyu and the two Alpine drivers.
That compromised the Australian’s race, and he did well to finish in 13th place, two spots ahead of teammate Yuki Tsunoda.
The driver of the day vote went in favour of Sergio Perez who qualified ninth but made good overtaking maneuvers to finish third.
However, I think Norris’ performance to finish second in consecutive races far outweighs the Mexican driver’s performance.
The Briton showed mettle in a vastly improved McLaren package and is a strong favourite to score points for the rest of the season.
The sport heads to Belgium for the Grand Prix at the iconic Spa Francorchamps track. It’s the final race before the teams and drivers take a break over the summer.
2023 Hungarian Grand Prix F1 Results (Classification)
- Max Verstappen Red Bull 70 Laps
- Lando Norris McLaren +33.731
- Sergio Perez Red Bull +37.603
- Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +39.134
- Oscar Piastri McLaren +62.572
- George Russell Mercedes +65.825
- Charles Leclerc Ferrari +70.317
- Carlos Sainz Ferrari +71.073
- Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +75.709
- Lance Stroll Aston Martin +1 Lap
- Alex Albon Williams +1 Lap
- Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +1 Lap
- Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri +1 Lap
- Nico Hulkenberg Haas +1 Lap
- Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +1 Lap
- Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo +1 Lap
- Kevin Magnussen Haas +1 Lap
- Logan Sargeant Williams +1 Lap
- Esteban Ocon Alpine +1 Lap
- Pierre Gasly Alpine +1 Lap
2023 F1 Drivers’ Championship after Round 11 (Hungarian Grand Prix)
- Max Verstappen NED Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT 281
- Sergio Perez MEX Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT 171
- Fernando Alonso ESP Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 139
- Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes 133
- George Russell GBR Mercedes 90
- Carlos Sainz ESP Ferrari 87
- Charles Leclerc MON Ferrari 80
- Lando Norris GBR McLaren Mercedes 60
- Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 45
- Esteban Ocon FRA Alpine Renault 31
- Oscar Piastri AUS McLaren Mercedes 27
- Pierre Gasly FRA Alpine Renault 16
- Alexander Albon THA Williams Mercedes 11
- Nico Hulkenberg GER Haas Ferrari 9
- Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo Ferrari 5
- Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo Ferrari 4
- Yuki Tsunoda JPN AlphaTauri Honda RBPT 2
- Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas Ferrari 2
- Logan Sargeant USA Williams Mercedes 0
- Nyck De Vries NED AlphaTauri Honda RBPT 0
- Daniel Ricciardo AUS AlphaTauri Honda RBPT 0