Lewis Hamilton snatched late victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix after passing Max with less than three laps left.
Mercedes Strategy Helps Hamilton to Victory
Verstappen managed to lead from the start of the race, but Hamilton pressurised the Red Bull driver early on. Luckily for the Dutchman he was able to hold track position during the opening stint.
During the pit phase, Red Bull blinked first and pitted Verstappen on Lap 27, with Mercedes deciding to extend Hamilton’s stint.
After staying out for a further six laps, Hamilton subsequently undercut Verstappen, pulling out a six second gap shortly after.
Hamilton then rapidly closed up on Verstappen, but once again couldn’t pass him. As a result, Mercedes then pitted Hamilton for a second time for the medium tyre.
On fresh rubber, and Verstappen unable to change tyres without losing track position, Hamilton closed the gap.
In the closing laps, he cruised up to Verstappen’s gearbox and made the decisive move around the outside of Turn 1.
It took 67 laps
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 4, 2019
The move allowed Hamilton to secure a record seventh career Hungarian GP victory, the reigning champion is now within ten victories of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 91 wins.
Hamilton: “I feel really grateful for the day and for the team for continuing to believe in me and for continuing to push the limits and to take a risk, a chance on me – we’ve been together seven years and it always feels like a new win.”
However, Red Bull pitted Verstappen after losing the lead for a fresh set of soft tyres to claim the fastest lap of the race and one extra point.
Verstappen: “We were just not fast enough. I tried the hardest I could on the hard tyre, but it was just not enough. Today we didn’t win, but it was a good day and a good weekend for us. We were just lacking a bit of grip, I guess.”
Ferrari Far Behind
It was a mediocre race for a Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel managed to bring his SF90 home in third place, passing teammate Charles Leclerc in the closing stages.
However even though they secured third and fourth place respectively, the pair finished over a minute behind race winner Lewis Hamilton.
The Scuderia will hope to rectify their lack of pace over the summer break.
Vettel: “I had one opportunity, which I took – happy to get some champagne now and a cool down!”
“I think it’s good for everyone to get a break, the guys have been working very hard. There will be tracks where we’ll be better, we need to get stronger.”
Another Superb Drive from Sainz Jr.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. crossed the line for a second consecutive fifth-placed finish, after a strong drive from eight on the grid.
Pierre Gasly’s struggles continued, with the Frenchman taking sixth place, but ultimately finished one lap down on Hamilton and Red Bull teammate Verstappen.
After a strong points haul in Germany before disqualification, Kimi Raikkonen once again brought his Alfa Romeo home inside the top ten.
The Iceman claimed seventh place, just ahead of fellow Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes.
Unfortunately Bottas’ race was over before it started, after he made contact with Leclerc’s Ferrari during the opening laps. The contact resulted in front wing and forced Bottas to make an early stop.
A nightmare start to the #HungarianGP for Valtteri Bottas
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 4, 2019
Bottas fought hard but could only manage eight in the end, allowing Verstappen to reduce the gap in the Drivers’ Championship to just seven points.
Lando Norris was running in sixth place early on, but a slow pit stop saw him drop dramatically down the order. As a result, Norris eventually finished in ninth place.
Alexander Albon picked up the final point for Toro Rosso following a closely fought battle between himself team-mate Daniil Kvyat.