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2020 Hungarian Grand Prix - Lewis Hamilton takes victory ... the best Ferrari was lapped and finished 6th


 

Budapest, 19th July, 2020


Weather: overcast, 21.6-20.9°C air, 28-29.2°C track

Wet track
The race started on a wet track, although the storm that hit the Hungaroring at 13.20 had gone by then. From fifth and sixth on the grid, Seb and Charles got away well with the German fourth behind Lewis Hamilton, Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen, with the Monegasque right behind him. As the track rapidly dried, Leclerc was one of the first to pit for slicks, with the team sending him out on Softs. Vettel came in next time round to take on Mediums to mix up the strategy. However, he was delayed for 7 seconds in rejoining the track, waiting for a gap in the pit lane traffic to emerge safely. That delay dropped him to eighth.

Charles struggles
On lap 5, Charles was fifth ahead of Valtteri Bottas, while Seb was still eighth ahead of Alex Albon in the Red Bull. However, his Softs almost immediately started to suffer with graining, which meant he had a slower pace than those drivers with whom he was fighting. Bottas soon got past, while Seb made a mistake at turn 12, letting Albon by. Shortly after that, the Thai driver passed Charles too, who was then passed by his team-mate one lap later, so that on lap 21, he pitted for another set of tyres. He rejoined on the Hards, intending to go the chequered flag.

Pitstop Seb
By around lap 28, it was clear that the rain that was due to return had veered off course. So, on lap 31, the team brought Sebastian in and sent him off on Hard tyres, again with the aim of going to the finish. After all the mid-field runners had stopped the German was fifth ahead of Albon and Charles was tenth ahead of Sainz who had just pitted for new Hards.

Closing stages
Sebastian did his best to hang onto fifth to the flag, but had to give best to Albon who made the most of tyres that were five laps fresher. By now Charles tyres had done 50 laps and he too was unable to fight off the advances of Sainz, who at the third attempt managed to get his McLaren ahead of the Ferrari for the final point on offer. Sixth and eleventh in the Hungarian Grand Prix is a clear indication of how much work needs to be done to be competitive again. After this opening triple-header, the Championship now has a weekend off, before coming back with two races, the first on Sunday 2nd August at Silverstone, which hosted the first ever round of the F1 world championship on 13 May 1950.

·         Lewis scored the 86th win of his Formula One career - his second of the 2020 season and eighth at the Hungaroring, matching Michael Schumacher’s record for the most wins scored at the same race and the same track.

·         Valtteri recovered from a poor start to fight his way back to P3, scoring his second podium finish at the Hungaroring.

·         Lewis scored the additional point for fastest lap, with his 1:16.627 setting a new lap record at the Hungaroring.

·         Today’s race marks Lewis’s 150th race led in F1.

·         Lewis (63 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by five points from Valtteri (58 points).

·         The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (121 points) leads Red Bull Racing (55 points) by 66 points in the Constructors’ Championship

·         Peter Bonnington, Senior Race Engineer, accepted the Constructors’ trophy on behalf of the team

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Lewis Hamilton
F1 W11 EQ Performance /01

What an incredible race. Honestly, that was one of my favourites that I’ve raced, even though I was on my own for the majority, it’s a very different kind of challenge and I was pushing hard out there – particularly for the fastest lap at the end. I want to say a huge congratulations to everyone back home at the factory in Brackley and at HPP in Brixworth, they’ve done such a fantastic job developing and improving for this year and this team just continues to amaze me. I love working with them and I’m grateful to be able to perform for them on weekends like this. We had great pace today, brilliant pit stops, a fantastic strategy and then, as I was managing those Mediums for a long, long time, at the end it was the perfect time to get on fresh tyres and take that extra point for fastest lap. Everything has just been on point throughout the weekend, so we need to try and keep it up. I can’t wait for Silverstone now, although I’ll miss the energy the fans bring, so I hope I can perform for them there as I know they’ll be watching from home.

Valtteri Bottas
F1 W11 EQ Performance /03

That was a tough race. Obviously starting second on the grid, you aim to win the race, but I had a bad start and lost a few positions. I reacted to a light on my dash that went off, instead of the start lights, which then meant the car went into anti-stall and I had to do the start again. I lost some ground there and that made the race very difficult for me, as I was fighting right to the very end. It was pretty close with Max and I think the gamble to pit late on was definitely worth taking, as it gave me the difference in tyre life. But it didn’t quite pay off today. Still, I scored a good haul of points and there’s plenty to learn from this weekend, heading to Silverstone.

Toto Wolff

A 1-3 result is really satisfying, especially on a track that hasn’t always been our favourite in the past. A great result for the team! Lewis had a really good start in those tricky conditions and from there, he was in control of the race, managing his pace and dealing with the curveballs the weather threw at us. For Valtteri, obviously he had a difficult start and that dropped him into the midfield, but he fought back well to finish P3. We leave the Hungaroring with three wins out of three races and very happy. The car seems to be in a good place but to maintain it, we know we need to keep working hard and adding performance. Now we’re looking ahead to Silverstone in two weeks and we’re looking forward to be back there. 

Andrew Shovlin

It’s great to finish this first triple-header with a third win and be able to further extend our lead in the Championships. Lewis put in another masterclass, he was able to control the race from start to finish and build enough of a gap to give us some margin to cover the uncertain weather and any risk of Safety Cars. Valtteri had a busy afternoon. He nearly went before the lights but pulled the clutch and managed to avoid a jump start. However, that cost him a load of time and he was down in seventh exiting Turn 1. Valtteri called first to switch to dry tyres which was a good call, but he was stuck behind the Charles and lost a bit of the benefit to the cars that went one lap longer. Lewis didn’t need to take risks so went a lap further before stopping. Valtteri did a good job passing Charles and both Haas cars on track but by mid-race, the talk on the pitwall was all about the weather. We could see a shower moving towards us very slowly, but it looked like it would be short-lived and not heavy enough to take us to Intermediates. With Valtteri, we used it as the opportunity to undercut Lance by putting him on fresh tyres just before the rain started to fall. That worked nicely and he quickly was able to start closing down Max. His extra stop was a bit of a gamble and a shame it didn’t work out, but there was no downside to trying. With Lewis we had the margin to wait until the others had stopped and from there he was just looking after the car and tyres to the finish. The car has been really strong all weekend, good in the corners and on the straights and it’s run here without any reliability concerns. It’s great that the sport has been able to get the season underway and as much as we’re looking forward to a few days at home, we’re also excited about getting back on track at Silverstone in twelve days’ time.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG

“The end result is disappointing, but looking at the data it is very clear the car was more competitive than our finishing positions would suggest. We had the pace to challenge our direct rivals and some quicker cars, but starting from the back we were always going to be at a disadvantage. Both cars had good pace and we could have brought home a point or two with a bit more luck, but Kimi’s penalty and Antonio suffering on the soft tyres meant we weren’t able to make up the deficit. With a better qualifying yesterday, we would have been in the thick of the fight for points.”
 
Kimi Räikkönen #7

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)

“It wasn’t a very busy race for me. Unfortunately, starting where we did meant we had a very difficult job ahead of us: we did what we could but it wasn’t enough for points. Our pace wasn’t too bad, I made up a few places at the start but the penalty put me back at the bottom. The grid was a bit slippery, I went a bit too long into the box and I didn’t have the time to reverse; we could have been a few more places up so it’s a bit of a shame. We have a lot of work to do to improve our qualifying, but we can be positive about our performance on Sundays.”
 
Antonio Giovinazzi #99

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 (Chassis 04/Ferrari)

“It was always going to be difficult to make up ground after yesterday’s qualifying, but at least we can be satisfied with the pace we had towards the end of the race. My start was ok but at my first stop we switched to soft tyres that turned out to be far from the best compound today. That cost me a lot of time and by the  time we switched to hards, which were a lot better, it was too late to recover many positions. The one-week break before Silverstone will be very important for us to understand a little more about what happened in the last few weeks. We must work really hard to improve our car and be in better shape for the next triple header.”

 

 

Sebastian Vettel #5

“This was a better performance compared to my first race in Austria. However, in the early stages we might have done a bit better if I’d taken more of a gamble and come in for dry tyres on lap 3 instead of 4. As it was, I lost a lot of time, having to let other cars come down pit lane before I could be released. But in the end, fifth or sixth was the most we could have done.
Towards the end, I was struggling with the tyres and even if I would have loved to have put up more of a fight, there wasn’t much I could do to keep Alex (Albon) behind me. We are not where we want to be just now, but at least we did everything we could today.”

Charles Leclerc #16

“It was a very complicated race. I’m not sure what happened, because we didn’t make changes to the car, but it was extremely hard to drive, as the balance was so much worse than Friday and Saturday, when it was actually better than expected. It just didn’t feel like the same car.
We need to look further into that to try and understand, as I was struggling a lot. We stopped for Softs a bit earlier than others and maybe it was a bit too optimistic. But it was a good call and I managed a few quick laps, but there was only one dry line so I could not overtake and, with hindsight the Soft was not the best choice. After that we were just slow. There’s lot of work ahead of us.”

Mattia Binotto Team Principal

“An extremely disappointing Sunday and the result is very hard to swallow. In qualifying, we had got the most out of the car as it is at the moment, but in the race that was not the case. To be lapped is very painful for us and our fans.
Now we return home after this very long trip and we have to try everything we can to improve as much as possible in every area. Everyone will have to analyse their work and have the courage to change course if necessary, because the current dynamic is unacceptable. There is no other solution to fix this situation.”


Daniel Ricciardo

It was quite a busy race and, overall, I’m happy with how it went. I gave everything I could and I felt we got the most from it today. Our start was good and everyone around us went for slicks quite early on. We showed good pace on the Medium and almost caught the top six at the end. Eighth was all we could achieve in the end, though. We’ve had eighth in every race so far. It’s not bad, but I do feel we have the speed for more from the first three races. We’re not far from top six finishes, it’s coming, and we know bigger points are around the corner.

Esteban Ocon

It has been a tough weekend from the beginning. We’re not happy with it, of course, and it’s not a great result. We are all disappointed and we can only come back stronger from here. We have to learn from it, move on and come back as a team. There was a lot happening in the race, but we didn’t make any progress in any of the conditions. We have to review it and work hard together to avoid this type of result. The first two races were decent, but there was not enough improvements for this one.

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal

It’s the third race in a row where we have finished in eighth place. Given the competitiveness of the field, it is where our car probably is right now. It was good to get the two cars at the end as a lot has been done to overcome the reliability issues from the first two races. This weekend has revolved around tyre choices and looking at the weather radar. Our strong competitiveness on Friday encouraged us to try and qualify on the Medium, but in hindsight doing so we probably made the qualifying session too difficult and not only it did not pay in terms of starting position but it also turned out to be unnecessary as we all started on Intermediates for the race. We didn’t have great first laps, but we managed to recover after the first stop, which was probably rightly timed on a drying track. From that point onwards it was about managing a dry race with two sets of Mediums for Daniel and Medium to Hard for Esteban. Both cars showed once again very decent pace in free air, but the pace delta was not enough to progress further in the order towards the end of the race. Esteban is clearly disappointed with his weekend and we will use the time we have before the next triple headers to look into what we can do to rebound.

 

1

44

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG

2

33

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

+ 8.702

3

77

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes-AMG

+ 9.452

4

18

Lance Stroll

Racing Point

+ 57.579

5

23

Alexander Albon

Red Bull

+ 1:18.316

6

5

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

+ 1 Lap

7

11

Sergio Pérez

Racing Point

+ 1 Lap

8

3

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault

+ 1 Lap

9

55

Carlos Sainz jr.

McLaren

+ 1 Lap

10

20

Kevin Magnussen *

Haas F1 Team

+ 1 Lap

11

16

Charles Leclerc

Ferrari

+ 1 Lap

12

26

Daniil Kvyat

AlphaTauri

+ 1 Lap

13

4

Lando Norris

McLaren

+ 1 Lap

14

31

Esteban Ocon

Renault

+ 1 Lap

15

7

Kimi Räikkönen

Alfa Romeo

+ 1 Lap

16

8

Romain Grosjean *

Haas F1 Team

+ 1 Lap

17

99

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo

+ 1 Lap

18

63

George Russell

Williams

+ 1 Lap

19

6

Nicholas Latifi

Williams

+ 5 Laps