F1 2019: Hamilton beats Verstappen to a 7th Hungarian GP win

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton denies Red Bull’s Max Verstappen of victory after a race-long battle with an excellent strategy choice by Mercedes to have an upper-hand come the end of the race on fresher tyres. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel rounds out the podium in 3rd.

04/08/19

Starting Grid

1.Verstappen  2.Bottas  3.Hamilton  4.Leclerc  5.Vettel  6.Gasly  7.Norris  8.Sainz Jr  9.Grosjean  10.Raikkonen  1.Hulkenberg  12.Albon  13.Kvyat  14.Magnussen  15.Russell  16.Perez  17.Giovinazzi*  18.Stroll  19.Kubica  20.Ricciardo*

  • Giovinazzi* incurs a 3 place grid penalty after impeding Lance Stroll in Q1.
  • Ricciardo* takes new power unit elements.

Tyre Choice

Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz Jr, Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen will start on the Soft tyre with Daniel Ricciardo starting on the Hard tyre. Everyone else will start on the Medium tyre.

Race

The lights go out and it’s a good start by Max Verstappen who moves to the right to cover Valtteri Bottas. Verstappen stays to the inside to defend turn 1 as Bottas and Lewis Hamilton draw alongside Verstappen. Bottas locks-up and leaves him under pressure from Hamilton on the run down to turn 2. They go side-by-side with Hamilton muscling ahead with Bottas taking to the run-off and is under pressure from Charles Leclerc. Leclerc pulls alongside and moves over and there’s a little bit of contact to Bottas’s right hand-side of his front wing.

So Verstappen leads ahead of Hamilton, Leclerc, Bottas and Vettel. Carlos Sainz has overtaken team-mate Lando Norris. Onto lap 2, with front wing damage, Bottas is easy prey for Vettel as the German goes down the inside of turn 1 for 4th. It’s been a poor start by Pierre Gasly who is now 9th while Sergio Perez is up to 12th after starting in 16th.

Onto lap 3, Max Verstappen leads by 2 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton as Valterri Bottas is losing a huge amount of time and is expected to be pitting soon. At the end of lap 5, Bottas pits for a new front wing and new tyres. He goes onto the Hard tyre and rejoins in 20th. He can now effectively go to the end of the race on these set of tyres. Lap 7, Ferrari tell Charles Leclerc to push. There’s a 5 second gap to Hamilton in front with Sebastian Vettel only a couple of seconds behind Leclerc in 4th.

Now at the back of the field, Valterri Bottas is now 49 seconds behind race leader Max Verstappen but has already made his pit-stop. The Soft tyre runners will be coming in soon. Daniel Ricciardo is making his way up the field and is now in 17th after overtaking Antonio Giovinazzi into turn 1. Mercedes tell Bottas that a P6 finish is viable for the end of the race. Verstappen’s lead is still around 2 seconds with Charles Leclerc now 10 seconds behind Verstappen. Ricciardo makes a fantastic move round the outside of Lance Stroll into turn 2 for 16th place.

Onto lap 13, there is some deliberation on the team radio at Ferrari on which strategy each of their two drivers will run. Valterri Bottas is making is way up the field after overtaking Robert Kubica and Antonio Giovinazzi in the last few laps for 18th place. Bottas is now 16th come lap 16 after overtaking George Russell and the driver now ahead of Bottas is Ricciardo in 15th. Lance Stroll, Russell and Giovinazzi have now made their first pit-stops onto the Hard tyre. Onto lap 18, Daniil Kvyat and team-mate Alexander Albon scrap for 12th place with the pair going side-by-side through turns 2,3 and 4 with Kvyat muscling ahead.

Onto lap 19, Max Verstappen’s lead is down to 1.4 seconds as Sergio Perez pits. Perez rejoins in 16th as Verstappen is now starting to lose grip on his tyres. Romain Grosjean pits from 9th and rejoins in 16th, behind Perez. Lap 23, the gap at the front is down to just over a second between Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Lap 24, Verstappen is now getting agitated on the radio as he is now complaining about tyre wear. If Verstappen and Hamilton pit now, both would come out behind the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in 3rd.

Lap 26, Max Verstappen pits from the lead as Mercedes tell Lewis Hamilton to push. Verstappen rejoins ahead of Charles Leclerc in 2nd and on the Hard tyre. Mercedes tell Hamilton to try and extend this stint as Verstappen is going very well on his new tyres. Lap 28, Leclerc pits from 3rd. He goes onto the Hard tyre and rejoins in 4th. Meanwhile, Valterri Bottas is still stuck behind Daniel Ricciardo who is still stuck behind Kevin Magnussen. Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly and both rejoin in 11th and 8th with a slow pit-stop for Norris.

Lap 31, Lewis Hamilton pits, goes onto the Hard tyre and rejoins in 2nd behind Max Verstappen as Lando Norris overtakes Daniel Ricciardo for 10th into turn 1. Onto lap 32, Pierre Gasly overtake Nico Hulkenberg for 6th place. Gasly, in the pit-stops has overtaken Norris and Kimi Raikkonen who were all ahead of him before the pit-stops. Valterri Bottas now overtakes Ricciardo for 11th as Norris overtakes Kevin Magnussen round the outside for 9th out of turn 1. With fresh tyres, Hamilton has closed the gap from 6 seconds to now just 1.5 seconds to Verstappen. Onto lap 35, Bottas overtakes Magnussen for 10th as Hamilton hunts Verstappen.

Lap 36, Max Verstappen covers off an attack from Lewis Hamilton into turn 1 and then into turn 2. Verstappen is wary of Hamilton behind and he will be most vulnerable in the run down to turn 1 and then the run to turn 2. Onto lap 39, Verstappen and Hamilton are lapping back-markers and down into turn 1, Hamilton has a pop. Verstappen holds on through turns 1 and 2 but then Hamilton manages to get alongside Verstappen at turn 4 but runs wide and gives the place back. Lap 40, Sebastian Vettel pits. He goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 4th after a slowish pit-stop.

Max Verstappen leads ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz Jr, Pierre Gasly, Kimi Raikkonen, Lando Norris, Valterri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo, who hasn’t pitted yet. Lap 48, Bottas pits, rejoins on the Medium tyre and rejoins in 12th as Ricciardo pits and rejoins in 15th. Pit-stops for Bottas and Ricciardo has promoted Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat into the points as Hamilton pits! Hamilton goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 2nd. Will Red Bull pit Verstappen?

Max Verstappen, if he pits, will rejoin behind Lewis Hamilton as the pit-lane loss time is more than the gap Verstappen has to Hamilton. Lap 50, Valterri Bottas overtakes Alexander Albon for 11th into turn 1. Onto lap 51, Bottas now overtakes Daniil Kvyat for 10th. With 18 laps to go, the gap between Hamilton and Verstappen is 17.5 seconds as Haas retire Romain Grosjean. Bottas now overtakes Sergio Perez for 9th into turn 1.

Onto lap 57, Max Verstappen leads by 15.6 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Both drivers are now encountering back-markers. Onto lap 59, the gap is now down to 13 seconds between Verstappen and Hamilton. As Hamilton catches Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel is catching is Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc in 3rd and 4th. Lap 60, Kevin Magnussen is defending his 14th place hard against Daniel Ricciardo. Fastest lap after fastest lap, Hamilton is catching with only 9 laps to go.

Lap 62, the gap is now 8 seconds between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton as it is only 5 seconds between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc. Lap 64, on team radio, Verstappen reports that “tyres are dead”. Valterri Bottas overtakes Lando Norris for 8th as the gap at the front is down to 3.5 seconds. Lap 65, the gap now 1.6 seconds. Onto lap 66, Hamilton is just over a second behind.

Onto lap 67, the gap between Max Verstappen is under 1 second and with DRS, Lewis Hamilton goes round the outside of turn 1 to take the lead! A defenceless Verstappen loses out but it’s not over, he pits at the end of lap 67, for a new set of tyres and a shot at the fastest lap. Meanwhile, the gap between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc is under a second for the final podium spot with Vettel going down the inside of turn 1 for 3rd.

Alexander Albon has overtaken Sergio Perez for 10th as Valterri Bottas puts fellow countryman, Kimi Raikkonen under pressure for 7th. Onto the final lap, Lewis Hamilton is on course to win for the 7th time round the Hungaroring, rounds the final corner to win ahead of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel as Verstappen takes the bonus point for the fastest lap.

Race Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 70 Laps
  2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing Honda, +17.796s
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +61.433s
  4. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, +65.250s
  5. Carlos Sainz Jr, McLaren Renault, + 1 Lap
  6. Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing Honda, + 1 Lap
  7. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, + 1 Lap
  8. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  9. Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, + 1 Lap
  10. Alexander Albon, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, + 1 Lap
  11. Sergio Perez, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, + 1 Lap
  12. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, + 1 Lap
  13. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, + 1 Lap
  14. Daniel Ricciardo, Renault, + 1 Lap
  15. Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda, + 2 Laps
  16. George Russell, Williams Mercedes, + 2 Laps
  17. Lance Stroll, Racing Point BWT Mercedes, + 2 Laps
  18. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari, + 2 Laps
  19. Robert Kubica, Williams Mercedes, + 3 Laps
  • Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, DNF

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