Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were involved in a high octane duel on the final laps with the Mercedes driver emerging on top to claim the on the Hungary GP.
Lewis Hamilton secured his seventh win of the year in the 2019 Hungary GP beating Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton won the 2019 Formula 1 Hungary Grand Prix beating pole-sitter Max Verstappen after a high octane battle. With four laps to go, the Mercedes driver passed Verstappen to claim his seventh win of the year. The Red Bull racer finished 17.796s behind the race leader while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished third over a minute behind Hamilton, taking the podium finish from teammate Charles Leclerc.
Verstappen bagged his first-ever pole of his career om Saturday, and a strong start in the race ensured the young Red Bull driver took the lead as soon as lights turned green. A dry track was a massive contrast over the last weekend’s German GP and most drivers stuck to medium and hard tyres for longer stints out there. Verstappen led the race right from the opening lap even as the second-placed Valtteri Bottas locked up on Turn 1 making light contact with teammate Hamilton. Bottas defended his position again into Turn 2 but ended up locking up allowing Hamilton to take P2 while Leclerc moved up to P3, pushing the second W10 car down the order. Leclerc though made contact with Bottas soon after and broke the latter’s front wing forcing the driver to take an early pitstop for a new front wing. The incident pushed Bottas to the back of the field.
At the front, Verstappen was turning out to be indispensable with a sizeable lead of 2s over Hamilton. The driver made his first pitstop on Lap 25, while the Mercedes driver stayed out for an additional six laps. He rejoined 5.8s behind Verstappen but the fresh set of tyres allowed him to quickly diminish that gap. It was turning out to be a close battle for P1 between Hamilton and Verstappen, who defended his position. The drivers indulged in an intense battle for first place on Lap 39 with the former briefly taking the lead only for the Red Bull racer to reclaim the top spot on the next turn.
Hamilton ran wide soon after that allowed Verstappen some respite. However, Lewis complained of brake wear, while Max asked for more engine power. Verstappen remained safe for the next nine laps before Hamilton decided to pit for the second time attacking the final 20 laps with fresh tyres. The strategy managed to pay off for the driver with Max’s tyres at the end of their life.
Verstappen held on to the lead until Lap 67, when Hamilton used DRS to attack on the outside to pass the Red Bull car that struggled to maintain pace at the end. Max decided to make a last minute dive into the pits for fresh tyres to save his second place finish, while also managing to set the fastest lap and secure additional points.
Ferrari was far from breaking into the battle for the top spot. However, we did see a duel between its drivers as Vettel passed Leclerc with just three laps to go to finish third, denying the rookie driver the podium. Coming in fifth was Carlos Sainz of McLaren after an impressive race, ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly, who did put up a tough fight for P5. Lando Norris of McLaren seemed to be in contention for P6 against Gasly but a problem with his left rear tyre dropped him to P9, behind Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Bottas who eventually rose up to P8.
Alex Albon of Torro Rosso took the final point of the day having passed teammate Daniil Kvyat, who couldn’t recreate his podium finish from Germany and classified 15th. Racing Point’s Sergio Perez finished 11th, followed by Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg. Kevin Magnussen of Haas finished 13th ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo after the two battled for a better place through the race. Finishing behind Kvyat were Williams’ George Russell, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll, Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi and Robert Kubica of Williams. Haas driver Romain Grosjean was the only retirement in the race after a water pressure problem forced him to retire with 20 laps to go.