After some fantastic
wheel-to-wheel racing, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton passed Red Bull’s Max
Verstappen to win the Hungarian Grand Prix with four laps to go, following a
second pit stop late in the race to gain an advantage from fresher P Zero
Yellow medium tyres. Hamilton, who started third on the grid, caught up with
Verstappen again – who claimed a first pole yesterday – after his second
stop to reprise their duel and ensure a spectacular finish.
- Both Verstappen and Hamilton began the race on what appeared to be
identical one-stop medium-hard strategies, with Hamilton making his first
stop six laps later than Verstappen. Having failed to get past Verstappen,
Mercedes then opted to pit Hamilton for a second stop back onto mediums,
which proved to be the winning strategy.
- After being passed by Hamilton, Verstappen also made a final stop onto the
soft tyre in the closing stages, claiming the extra championship point for
The race was run at a frenetic pace: the leading duo were able to make their
first stops without losing position to the third and fourth placed cars. The
fastest race lap was also more than three seconds faster than the equivalent
time from last year.
- Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel finished third with another alternative
strategy: a long first stint on the medium, followed by a shorter final
stint on the soft.
- The top six on the grid all started on the medium tyre, with McLaren’s
Carlos Sainz the highest-placed driver to start on soft, from seventh on the
grid. The Spaniard finished fifth in the race after stopping once, from the
soft to the hard.
- A wide variety of tyre tactics were seen throughout the race, with five
very different strategies in the top five.
HOW EACH TYRE PERFORMED
HARD C2: Used extensively during the race and was the key ingredient to a
one-stopper for most drivers: Vettel was the only driver in the top six not
to use it.
MEDIUM C3: Another key element of the Hungarian Grand Prix; McLaren and
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo were the only people not making use of it today.
SOFT C4: Did some surprisingly long stints at the start of the race with
McLaren and was a key ingredient of Vettel’s strategy, who ended up taking a
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“This was a really exciting grand prix with a big divergence of strategies,
which kept us guessing all the way to the final laps! Mercedes took a bold
call to pit Hamilton again but it proved to be the right decision: even
though the race was very nearly a one-stopper for both Hamilton and Max
Verstappen. After mixed conditions in free practice and qualifying today was
dry and warm: this almost certainly contributed to the unpredictable race
outcome, as nobody really had any reliable long run data on the tyres in
these conditions. Despite these demanding circumstances, all three compounds
stood up extremely well to the challenge, with all of them contributing
strongly to the entertaining race action.”