You bet no one could have imagined a race in Hungary would end like this! As they say, Max Verstappen made a genuine breakthrough, or managed to spin and win. Despite the fierce competition, Max Verstappen won the Hungarian GP 2022. He had also been facing problems. Let’s remember one of the good races from the Formula 1 2022 season!
Who claimed victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix 2022 or what were the odds?
People had high hopes for Max Verstappen. Second was Charles Leclerc. Carlos Sainz completed the top three. Lewis Hamilton was again out of position. We predicted that Lewis Hamilton would win the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2022. In fact, he already has eight victories at Hungaroring! However, this time, there was no easy way to win. In such conditions, all the drivers in the top six could advance to the front.
Who and how withdrew?
Despite the challenges of describing Nicholas Latifi as one of the heroes of Hungarian GP 2022, it is impossible not to acknowledge the achievements of the Williams driver. Friday’s practice, Nicholas Latifi took the fastest time. Moreover, he was 0,6 seconds ahead of the fastest Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. Is the Williams goal archived? Partly, yes. The team’s two drivers finished in last place, but Latifi continued to try because his contract with the team ends in 2022.
Fernando Alonso just made us get used to waiting for one-two miracles from him during the race. Even if the Hungaroring was almost dry, the Alpine driver was still among the top five.
Fernando Alonso faced an enormous problem when the lights turned green! Already, two Red Bulls were behind the Spaniard.
As Red Bull team adviser joked, Sergio Perez just overdosed on Mexican tequila in Hungarian qualifying. Regardless, Perez did not qualify for the third round and started the race from position 11. However, Max Verstappen, his teammate and the major contender for the 2022 F1 championship title, had technical issues with his RB18’ engine and could not show good times. With this issue, Max Verstappen was already competing against two Ferrari cars!
‘Hold on!’ Fernando Alonso’s fans roared, crossing their fingers as Max Verstappen, who was eight at the time, already cut to Spaniard’ heels on lap 4/70. Few moments later Max Verstappen overtook a Fernando Alonso.
Mamma Mia, Scuderia!
What was wrong with Scuderia Ferrari? The fundamental question was why even two of their drivers were slower on the medium compound tires than their competitors. Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc placed second and third in qualifying. But at that time something happened wrong… again.
On Lap 6/70 one of Lewis Hamilton’s engineers shared with us that there would be dry next 30 minutes. Then, if Ferrari kept their medium, perhaps the bet will work?
Furthermore, on Lap 13, Max Verstappen was rushing to change the engine mode. “Fail 4” – ordered Verstappen’s engineer. Didn’t work! Lewis Hamilton, who was fourth, started to cut the gap to 0,7 seconds.
On Lap 27, luck turned back to Scuderia Ferrari and Charles Leclerc found the pace to overtake race leader George Russell. He tried again and again on lap 29, 30 and finally on lap 31 Charles Leclerc overtook Russell for the first place. A few drops are dripping onto Hungarian GP 2022 as the rain decided to make an appearance on lap 38. On lap 39 Verstappen pitted. Leclerc followed the example. Max was so fast, he passed the Ferrari near the pit straight to jump into the net lead. However, with his soft tires, it was difficult to manage on the grid.
As a result, at the end of the lap, Verstappen lost control of his car under throttle on the exit of turn 13, spinning through 360 degrees. However, he managed to continue despite being in the shadow of Leclerc. On lap 45 Verstappen finally overtook Leclerc for third place. Since Leclerc’s tires offered nothing, the only option left was to let RB18 race ahead. On lap 48, Carlos Sainz got the order to pit and Verstappen took the lead. When George Russell passed Leclerc for second place, there were already 54 laps completed. The only thing Carlos Sainz could do was wait and see how Lewis Hamilton passed him for third place.
People just stopped breathing in the grandstands as they waited to see what Ferrari would do, since both drivers had lost all their positions! But they did nothing. Lewis Hamilton had already stepped on second base. On lap 69, however, just a lap before the finish, Ferrari instructed Leclerc to change the tires to hard compound. It destroyed all of Charles’ achievements in the past 48 hours.
Charles Leclerc finished the race in fourth position, Carlos Sainz was sixth. Game over. Max Verstappen won Hungarian GP 2022 and the Ferrari team helped to red Bull driver to make the task easier. Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen with George Russell could not hide their laughter after the race.
Is Mercedes back?
Is Mercedes back? That was the last question posed by the journalist to George Russell. It sounded like the answer was “yes”. Despite Lewis Hamilton’s eight victories at Hungaroring, George Russell made a miracle. Such a result no one expected. Toto Wolff, the Mercedes team principal, said that in this moment you want to cry with joy for pole. Lewis Hamilton faced DRS issues. During the race, George was still the fastest. If not for the tires, he might have taken second place. Hamilton maintained the tires better, however. It was George Russell’s first podium as an official Mercedes driver.
Sums up on Hungarian GP 2022:
Max Verstappen won the Hungarian GP 2022, but it wasn’t an easy win. Charles Leclerc could finish second, while Carlos Sainz could finish third or fourth. The Prancing Horse’s team strategy wiped out all the advantages of drivers and cost them points for the entire team.
Mercedes followed the right direction as it crossed through the white spots of Ferrari. Step by step, both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton became closer and closer to the top. Due to the summer break, the teams and drivers have no time to rest. A very serious discussion behind closed doors is currently awaiting Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, since both have publicly disagreed with the team’s strategy.
But at the same time, there will be no silence from Red Bull either. Sergio Perez signed a contract for the next year, but his last races in France cast a shadow over the contract. Red Bull did not have a rule concerning long conversations with the drivers. Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon already know the rules.
Sebastian Vettel’s sudden decision to leave Aston Martin after 2022 also made headlines. Just a week ago, he assured us that he would keep racing. As a result, the driver’s market was turned upside down. Soon after, Fernando Alonso announced that he had signed a multi-year contract with Lourence Strolls’ team. Alpine’s team was a bit surprised, but still happy for the Spaniard. Although, the next question is who will replace Fernando Alonso in Alpine for 2023.
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