Lewis Hamilton posted another victory in the Formula 1 championship, after finishing first at the Hungarian Grand Prix today. The Brit was patient enough to hunt and take down Max Verstappen, who was leading until three laps to go.
Mercedes had a fantastic strategy, and although the reigning champ wasn’t very pleased with orders from the pit lane, in the end, it turned out to be a jackpot.
The engineers stated that it is best for Hamilton to have an additional pit stop and change the type of tires, switching to faster ones. He would later close down the 20-second gap between him and Max, in less than 19 laps. Eventually, the Dutch driver had problems with damaged tires and decided to go into the pit himself and to try to reach the fastest lap.
After everything that happened, Verstappen could only congratulate the Brit, and admit that his effort wasn’t enough to beat the unstoppable Hamilton.
“I tried everything I could on that hard tires to stay alive. Still, second, fastest lap, a good weekend overall.” Max said. “Congrats to Lewis, he was pushing me really hard. I like that.”
Verstappen was dominant during the whole weekend, but in the last third of the race, it was Hamilton who cast a shadow on that. The leader in the standings wanted everybody to know that the team behind him needs to take the credits for today’s result.
“I’m tired which is how it should be. I feel really grateful for the day and for the team for continuing to believe in me and push to the limits.”
Mercedes’ chief strategist James Vowles was the one who wanted to take the risk with that additional pit stop, and in the end, Hamilton apologized to him for questioning that decision.
“And James,” said Hamilton on the radio while driving a victory lap, “sorry for doubting the calls on your strategy. Wooohoo oh man that feels good, I hope you’re feeling it too.”
It took 67 laps
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 4, 2019
Sebastian Vettel came third, before his teammate Charles Leclerc. The Ferraris were driving their own race, stuck at places three and four. It was the younger of the two who was third throughout the majority of the time, but Vettel reached the podium. Whether was this a result of his pressure on Leclerc, or maybe a message from the team, it doesn’t matter anymore. Vettel’s chances of reaching the title exist only in theory, and he is experiencing another disastrous season.
But Seb wasn’t that disappointed.
“I had one opportunity, which I took – happy to get some champagne now and a cool down!” he told the fans from the podium.
Carlos Sainz from McLaren was fifth, Pierre Gasly from Red Bull sixth, while Kimi Raikkonen and his Alpha Romeo finished seventh. The improvements of the Italian manufacturer brought a solid result today.
Valterri Bottas ended as ninth, because of his problems during the start of the race. The Fin was behind Verstappen in the first row, but he had collisions with Hamilton and Leclerc, which is why he entered the pit-stop and changed the front wing. That caused him to fall at the bottom once he came back. Still, his excellent driving paid off, and Bottas finished the race at place No.8.
Here's how it all ended –
Hamilton, Verstappen and Vettel tasted the last of the pre-holidays champagne
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 4, 2019
When looking at the standings, there is nothing new. Lewis Hamiton tops the list with 250 points with nine races to go. Valtteri Bottas is second with 188, and Max Verstappen came close to the Fin, with just 7 points behind. Sebastian Vettel has 156, and Charles Leclerc has 132.
In the constructor standings, Mercedes is convincingly first, with 438 points, 250 more than the second-placed Ferrari. Red Bull Racing Honda is third with 244, while McLaren Renault has 82.
The next event is on September 1, at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.