Lewis Hamilton clinched a dominant win at the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in Hungary. Hamilton sealed his record eighth win at this race and the eighty-sixth win of his career.
Max Verstappen took second position after pre-race drama on the intermediate tyres. In the damp and difficult conditions, Verstappen slid into the barriers on the way to the grid and limped back with severe front-wing and suspension damage.
The Red Bull Racing mechanics performed a miracle as they repaired the damage at Verstappen’s grid spot and managed to complete the task with twenty-five seconds left.
Valtteri Bottas settled for third position after a late push to overtake Verstappen failed. The Finn had early drama of his own at the start of the race when he seemed to jump start and then stopped just before the lights went out.
The botched start cost Bottas and he fell to sixth position and had to essay a recovery drive to get the last podium position. The timely action however helped Bottas escape any penalties.
Lance Stroll finished in fourth position ahead of Alexander Albon. Sebastian Vettel, Sergio Pérez, Daniel Ricciardom, Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz completed the top 10 point scoring positions.
The race started under overcast skies on a damp track with the air temperature at 20 degrees C and track temperatures at 27 degrees C at the Hungaroring circuit.
Hamilton started from pole position for the second race in a row. Bottas joined him on the first row. Stroll and Pérez were on the second row.
Vettel and Leclerc lined up on the third row. Verstappen, Lando Norris, Sainz, and Pierre Gasly lined up at the front of the grid.
Kimi Räikkönen started in twentieth position after he qualified last for the first time in his nineteen-year career. The drivers started on the intermediate tyres on the damp circuit, except for Magnussen who was on the wet tyres.
Hamilton made a good start to lead Stroll and Verstappen into Turn 2. Bottas with his false start dropped back to sixth position even as Verstappen jumped from seventh to third position.
After the hectic start the order was Hamilton, Stroll, Verstappen, Vettel, Leclerc, Bottas, Pérez, Sainz, Ricciardo, Nicholas Latifi in the top positions.
The two Haas drivers dived into the pits for an early change for the slick tyres. Soon all the drivers were in the pits and went on the medium compound tyres, except for Leclerc on the soft compound tyres. A wrong choice of tyres from Ferrari as it turned out.
At the end of lap 10, Hamilton had a commanding nine seconds lead over Verstappen. The order was Hamilton, Verstappen, Magnussen, Stroll, Grosjean, Bottas, Leclerc, Vettel, Albon, Pérez and Ricciardo.
The two Haas drivers benefited from the early pit stop, but started falling back as the faster cars overtook them. As Hamilton built a commanding lead over Verstappen, Stroll was in a comfortable third position.
On lap 17, Gasly retired with a power unit issue, the only retirement in the race. Leclerc on the wrong set of tyres was overtaken by Albon and Vettel. On lap 21, Leclerc had to pit for a set of hard compound tyres, out of sync with the other drivers.
On lap 33, Bottas finally managed to get past Stroll and into the podium places. Ricciardo had a very long stint and pitted on lap 45 to rejoin in ninth position.
By lap 51, Bottas made a third pit stop for the hard tyres in a bid to catch Verstappen. Red Bull elected to leave the Dutchman out even as Bottas was reeling him in on the new tyres.
Albon passed Vettel to take fifth position, Sainz passed future team-mate Leclerc to take tenth position and the last point scoring position.
On Lap 67 with a comfortable lead, Hamilton had a free pit stop and put on the soft compound tyres and took the extra point for the fastest lap.
Bottas had closed within DRS-range of Verstappen but could not pass him on the final lap and had to settle for third place.
Hamilton with his second win of the season took a five point lead in the championship from Bottas. Verstappen after the pre-race drama and problems with the balance of the car all-weekend made a fine recovery to take second position.
Stroll made the good weekend of the Racing Point F1 team count with a solid fourth position. Albon also recovered well to take fifth position ahead of Vettel, the lone Ferrari in the points.
Pérez recovered to seventh position after a poor start. Ricciardo finished in eighth position for the Renault F1 team.
Magnussen with ninth position scored the first points for the Haas F1 team with a combative drive. Sainz scored the final point on offer for the McLaren F1 team.
The Formula 1 circus heads to Silverstone next for the British Grand Prix (July 31 to August 2, 2020) in two weeks time.
2020 Hungarian Grand Prix Results:
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||70||+8.702s||18|
|4||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||70||+57.579s||12|
|5||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||70||+78.316s||10|
|6||5||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||69||+1 lap||8|
|7||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||69||+1 lap||6|
|8||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||69||+1 lap||4|
|9||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||69||+1 lap||2|
|10||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||69||+1 lap||1|
|11||16||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||69||+1 lap||0|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri Honda||69||+1 lap||0|
|13||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||69||+1 lap||0|
|14||31||Esteban Ocon||Renault||69||+1 lap||0|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||69||+1 lap||0|
|16||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||69||+1 lap||0|
|17||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||69||+1 lap||0|
|18||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||69||+1 lap||0|
|19||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||65||+5 laps||0|
|NC||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||15||DNF||0|