Hamilton late surge secures Hungary victory
Lewis Hamilton secured a dramatic late victory over Max Verstappen with five laps remaining at the Hungary GP.
Lewis Hamilton snatched a Hungarian Grand Prix victory away from Max Verstappen, taking first place just three laps from the end thanks to a surprise strategy.
Verstappen started on poll and looked set to lead from start to finish with 21 laps to go. However, Mercedes caught the Red Bull cold by diving into the pits and changing on to medium compound tyres that gave Hamilton the advantage.
This gave Hamilton the grip he needed to set a new pace and catch Verstappen, completing the dramatic overtake with just three laps to go as the Dutchman ran out of rubber. This was Hamilton’s seventh Hungarian Grand Prix win.
Elsewhere, it was a disappointing weekend for Ferrari despite P3 and P4 finishes for Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc. They just couldn’t keep up with the impressive pace of Mercedes and Red Bull out in front.
BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - AUGUST 04: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 leads Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of HungGetty Images
DRIVER OF THE DAY - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Hamilton recognised the brilliance of the Mercedes strategy on the team radio after the race, but the Brit was perhaps the only driver who could have pulled it off. He closed a massive 20 seconds on Verstappen in the space of just 20 laps, demonstrating his trademark aggressive style of driving to take the win.
WHERE THE RACE WAS WON
1/70 - LIGHTS OUT! It's a great start off the line with Verstappen, Bottas and Hamilton all going wheel-to-wheel down into the first turn. They all come out as they started on the grid, but Hamilton gets up into P2 at Turn Three.
7/70 - Into the pits! Bottas dives in to get a new front wing. That was a long stop for the Finn, 14.7 seconds, and that will cost him a lot of track position. This has become a tough afternoon for Bottas.
27/70 - In comes Verstappen! Okay, here we go. The Red Bull has come into the pits and has come back out ahead of Leclerc in third position. That was crucial. That has worked quite well.
33/70 - Hamilton is in! Finally, the Silver Arrow comes into the pits. Where is he going to come out? Hamilton enters the race again ahead of the two Ferraris, but six seconds behind Verstappen.
49/70 - HAMILTON INTO THE PITS! Well, this is a bit of a gamble from Mercedes. They have put Hamilton on the medium tyres and that has surely caught Red Bull by surprise! How will this work for the Brit?
67/70 - HAMILTON IS THROUGH! With three laps remaining the Mercedes is through and passed Verstappen, going the long way round Turn One and into Turn Two! The strategy has worked! Hamilton will win this!
70/70 - HAMILTON WINS! Mercedes played this perfectly. The second pit stop caught Red Bull by surprise and that was what ultimately won Hamilton the Hungarian Grand Prix, his seventh victory here.
PIT EXCHANGE OF THE DAY
“The tyres are dead.” It was at this moment that it became clear that Mercedes’ two-stop strategy had worked and that the race would be Hamilton’s. Verstappen raised his concern as soon as Hamilton dived into the pits for the second time, he knew this was coming, but this was the confirmation of his fate.
Daniel Ricciardo had a difficult afternoon, starting from the back of the grid after a change of power unit after qualifying and the Australian didn’t make up many places, finishing in P14. However, he did pull off an impressive overtake to get past Giovinazzi, going the long way around the Alfa Romeo.