Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2022

Verstappen spins and wins from 10th on grid as Ferrari pair finish off the podium

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix summary

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Max Verstappen recovered from 10th on the grid to win the Hungarian Grand Prix despite a mid-race spin as Ferrari failed to finish on the podium.

Verstappen successfully undercut Carlos Sainz Jnr and George Russell on his final pit stop, before passing Charles Leclerc twice on-track to take the lead of the race. Lewis Hamilton passed Russell late in the race to take second, with Russell completing another double podium for Mercedes.

Sainz finished fourth, while Leclerc fell to sixth place after pitting for soft tyres inside the final 20 laps.

After earlier rain had left the circuit wet, the track was dry as the field prepared for the formation lap. However, it began to spit lightly with rain over the grid in the minutes before the green lights, only inflating the tension prior to the start.

Russell opted to start on the soft tyres, while the Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc chose the medium tyres for the first stint. When the lights went out, Russell kept ahead of Sainz but the Ferrari made a look for the lead around the outside of turn one. However, Russell held firm to retain the lead.

In the pack, Sebastian Vettel and Alex Albon made contact through turn two, causing damage to the Williams’ front wing and leaving debris on the circuit. The Virtual Safety Car was deployed to allow the debris to be cleared, while Albon was shown the black-and-orange mechanical flag, obliging him to pit for repairs and dropping him to the very back.

The green flag was shown shortly after, with Russell safely out of DRS range of the Ferraris behind. Further back, Kevin Magnussen was called into the pits having also received a black-and-orange flag for front wing endplate damage which was sustained through contact with Daniel Ricciardo at the start.

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Having started from 10th and 11th on the grid, the Red Bulls of Verstappen and Sergio Perez began to make progress through the field on their soft tyres, passing both Alpines of Estaban Ocon and Fernando Alonso to move into sixth and seventh.

On lap 12, Hamilton used DRS along the pit straight to take fourth place off Lando Norris into turn one, with Verstappen quickly following the Mercedes by the McLaren and into fifth. The next lap, Norris lost a third spot when he was passed by Perez on the approach to turn one.

With Norris losing pace, McLaren opted to pit him for medium tyres at the end of lap 14. Out front, Russell was beginning to struggle with rear tyre wear and slowly fell back into the clutches of the Ferraris. With Sainz within DRS range on lap 16, Mercedes called Russell into the pits for medium tyres. Russell rejoined in sixth, between the two Alpines.

Sainz pitted at the end of the next lap, but a slight delay in releasing him from the pit box enabled Russell to retain his advantage ahead. Verstappen also pitted and used his new tyres to undercut Hamilton when the Mercedes eventually pitted at the end of lap 19.

Leclerc had stayed out and taken the lead and when he eventually pitted for a second set of mediums at the end of lap 21, he rejoined behind Russell in second having successfully jumped team mate Sainz. Russell’s lead sat at around two seconds, but Leclerc gradually reduced the gap until getting within DRS range by lap 27.

A half-hearted look into turn one did not pay off for Leclerc, but Russell was visibly struggling to match the pace of the Ferrari. As they began lap 31, Leclerc had his best run on the Mercedes of the race, and dived around the outside of the leader entering turn one to move into the lead of the race.

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Russell fell back from Leclerc to within DRS range of Sainz behind. Verstappen in fourth was also catching the pair of them and got to within a second before Verstappen pitted for mediums at the end of lap 39. Leader Leclerc and Russell both pitted on the next lap, with Leclerc switching to hard tyres. However, Verstappen’s out-lap was so strong he beat Russell out of the pit lane to move into a next second place.

With softer tyres, Verstappen caught up to the back of Leclerc ahead and easily passed the Ferrari along the pit straight to jump into the net lead of the race for the first time. However, at the end of the lap, Verstappen lost control of his car under throttle on the exit of turn 13, spinning through 360 degrees and managing to continue, although having dropped behind Leclerc.

Verstappen regained the ground he lost to Leclerc and eventually repassed the Ferrari to re-take the net lead of the race out of the first corner. Sainz eventually pitted at the end of lap 48 for soft tyres, rejoining in fifth behind Russell and handing the lead to Hamilton who was the only leading driver yet to make a second stop.

Hamilton eventually pitted on lap 51, taking a set of soft tyres for the final 19 laps and emerging behind Sainz in fourth. That promoted Verstappen into the overall lead of the race for the first time, while Leclerc behind was coming under increased pressure from Russell on his medium tyres.

Russell passed Leclerc for second place on lap 54, with Ferrari opting to bring Leclerc in for a third pit stop at the end of the lap. He rejoined in sixth place on the soft tyres, over half a minute adrift of leader Verstappen.

Hamilton used his fresher soft tyres to catch up to the back of Sainz in third, eventually slipstreaming by the Ferrari along the pit straight to take the final podium place. Hamilton then caught up to the back of team mate Russell in second, passing his team mate into turn one to move into second.

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Light drizzle began to fall in the closing laps. With four laps remaining, Valtteri Bottas pulled off the track at turn 11 reporting a loss of power. That brought out a Virtual Safety Car to allow the Alfa Romeo to be cleared.

The rain began falling harder as the race resumed with just over a lap remaining, but Verstappen managed to tip-toe his way around the final tour and take the chequered flag to complete a remarkable recovery from tenth to win by over eight seconds from Hamilton in second, with Russell completing a double podium for Mercedes.

Sainz finished fourth, with Perez holding onto fifth place by four tenths from Leclerc in sixth. Lando Norris finished a minute behind the Ferrari in seventh, ahead of the two Alpines of Alonso and Ocon. Sebastian Vettel claimed the final point in tenth after a late race battle with team mate Lance Stroll.

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix reaction

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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119 comments on “Verstappen spins and wins from 10th on grid as Ferrari pair finish off the podium”

  1. After each race I wonder and ask myself: Surely now Ferrari has run out of ways to mess up their drivers’ races. But Ferrari proves me wrong each and every time. Unbelievable incompetence..

    1. New and interesting ways to trip over your own feet.

      Why Ferrari why?

      They started on mediums, so they always knew they had a akward choice to make, but hards?

      1. they didn’t. they just should’ve extend the first stint and then go M-S-M or M-M-S. they just panicked and follow RUS, nullifying their tyre advantage.

        1. Agreed.

          Russell had to pit from Softs, Ferrari didn’ have to pitt as early from Medium. That said, Hamilton also pitted about 3 laps later, when he could have driven longer. Once again he was pitting because verstappen had pitted. Fortunately Lewis had the good sense to drive longer on his mediums before pitting for softs. Were it not for sainz and Russell hamilton might have made a charge for Verstappen too.

    2. At this point, it’s no longer the strategists’ fault, it’s Binotto’s for keeping them in their place.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Leclerc starts to underperform to trigger a clause in the contract.

      1. I don’t think leclerc would do anything like that, but he needs a better team around him for sure.

      2. @ifiamnotwerymuchmistaken Where would he go if he left Ferrari?

        1. Literally any other team would make room if they had a chance to bring on Charles.

    3. I think the most telling was when the top three were watching race clips and when Max passed Charles, Hamilton asked incredulously, “they were on hards” and Max turned with a smile and said yes. That said everything about Ferrari’s decision.

      1. Ha ha. I missed this. I find it incredible that me at home without any timings or computer power can make a better strategy than Ferrari. Surely they have computer modelling and not just an abacus and lucky beads…!

        1. I agree. Seems like they miss the guy/girl entitled to make the final call and more calmly oversees all things and is just fed by the people looking at all the data, rather that latter taking the final decision.

        2. I reckon they play pin the tail on the donkey to choose their next tyre. They blindfold a mechanic, spin him round a few times and the first tyre he touches they put on the car. Just a theory obviously.

  2. If Binotto and the whole strategic leadership of Ferrari don’t step down after this season, they’ll beat the Scheckter – Schumacher titleless era. Such a gross incompetence was really hard to watch and ruined the race for me. Leclerc should legitimately sign a contract at McLaren, he’s still young, they’d pull the team really well alongside Norris, two or three seasons and they’d be fighting for titles. There’s no hope for him at Ferrari.

    1. Stragedy or Disastrategy at Ferrari
      And if Volks/Audi are real about coming to F1, they should tallk to LEC – he would sign anything presented to him – and get LEC driving something like the future Audi team before 2026.
      And it is really a fork on the road for LEC: either he takes charge of the team, even creating his own inside Ferrari, or he settles to wear red, get the muiltomillion pay with Ferrai and never have a chance of a title for the next 3-4 years.
      Unless Newey retires, RB/VER seem to be improving. Even if HAM retires, RUS seems able to lead Mercedes.

  3. Tim (@tungdil12)
    31st July 2022, 16:03

    Great Race ! I felt like watching a fairytale. Like you have to see it to believe it. Just awesome

    1. The only downer was that DRS fault on Hamilton’s qualifying yesterday…. if only.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        31st July 2022, 16:09

        If no-one has any technical issues in quali, the finishing positions would have likely been the same…

        1. Given how well Hamilton finished, his faulty DRS was a significant factor on deciding the outcome of the race.

          Starting 7th, waisting all that time to overtake those cars would not have been the case had he qualified in the top 3 positions. His car was certainly good enough to do that.

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            31st July 2022, 16:30

            Definitely but of course, Max started 10th and his early pit stop cause Leclerc to stop early as well. Either way, Lewis and Max were a class above this weekend. With the Mercedes improving, I’d be amazed if Lewis doesn’t pick up a win eventually this year.

          2. Lewis and Max were a class above this weekend.

            I’d like to include Russell in that list.

            PS there were some really good drives throughout the field (including Stroll) but not as consistent as that top three.

          3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            31st July 2022, 17:10

            Yeah, Russell is proving to be an amazing driver.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          31st July 2022, 17:06

          @petebaldwin Without the DRS, I suspect Max would have crashed into Lewis and it would have spiced up the championship a bit.

          1. Are you trying to spice up the commentsection?

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            31st July 2022, 21:49

            @puzano just pointing out the obvious :-)

  4. What a race, what a win, Max you are the best.

  5. What a drive from Ver and Ham. The race result was deserved for everyone. Who knows what Hamilton could have done had he not had the DRS failure yesterday. Ferrari, we are not satisfied as Mercedes fans, to finish 3rd in the constructors. What a race to forget. They could have gone long like Hamilton and Sainz rather than pitting Leclerc. Now, they have given Red Bull an easy championship. Even more embarrassing than 2018.

    1. Agreed Driver of the day must surely be one or other of those two drivers. The only thing missing was a last minute SC for both cars start on new tires against each other for 3 laps.

      1. The only thing missing was a last minute SC for both cars start on new tires against each other for 3 laps.

        Imagine if it were just one lap with Hamilton chasing on fresh soft tyres ;)

        1. And imagine Verstappen not leaving the door wide open, but defend like Alonso on those old tyres.
          I’d love to see that

    2. Bad strategy again from Fer, but they also lacked pace today.
      Masterclass from Max!

  6. Indeed today Ferrari crowned all their flops with this Hard tyre for LEC throwing away again another win and points. Binotto left the pit before the race finished, did he want to beat the rush our to go on holiday? Great example from the big boss. Someone has to bring about changes in the top management, its a pit and heart break for fans to watch LEC and SAI. Max deserved his win today and Lewis did another p2 which seems to show great improvements in MERC house.

    1. Exactly, seeing Binotto run off to somewhere that was supposedly more important than being on the pitwall in the middle of a Grand Prix was a great catch by the TV director.

      1. Well he came back quickly, just needed a sanitary stop? When you gotta go you gotta go.

    2. Even when the one Ferrari pitted to softs, it was done too early to maintain their pace to the end..

      Meanwhile you saw the same decisions made better by Mercedes. Hamilton went: Medium, Medium, soft.

      In my opinion Mercedes made two mistakes. Hamiltons first pit stop was too soon to exploite the advantage of starting on Mediums. Russell’s fruitless tussel with the Ferrari which may have looked good for the 3 or 4 laps he kept the Ferrari behind him, ultimately wore out his tires much sooner than if he’d choicen look after his tires. Russell must have known he was on a one stop.

    3. Broccoliface
      31st July 2022, 16:19

      He came back after two minutes, what are you on about?

      1. Yes we got a cringey series of live updates on his potty break from the sky crew.

    4. @f1sauber While the horror strategy certainly didn’t help, for whatever reason, neither Ferrari looked very strong in the race. Bother Mercedes finishing ahead of both Ferraris on race pace. Maybe he was so fed up he couldn’t be bothered, but even on softs at the end, Leclerc was over 0.2s off Hamilton’s fastest lap.

  7. And people wonder why Lewis shows no interest in joining Ferrari…

    1. Well, I think he did a couple of seasons ago before he signed his current contract with Mercedes.
      I guess he is relieved…

      1. He should be. 7 sounds a lot better than 2 or 3

  8. Anyone has a clip/explanation for Alonso overtaking Ocon?

    1. A better clip would be Ricardo’s over take of both Alonso and Ocon. Sweet.

      1. SHR Modding
        31st July 2022, 19:18

        That must have been painful for alpine. Ocon was defending so hard against alonso he forgot ricciardo was there

    2. SHR Modding
      31st July 2022, 19:17

      He was faster the whole race, was bound to get through at some point.

    3. Team orders. They wanted to make a gift to Alonso for his birthday. And, probably, they were not happy with Ocon on the first lap.

  9. I don’t know what Binotto was looking for in the garage at the end of the race. Is this the first time we’ve saw this. First, they didn’t ask Sainz to move for Leclerc and lost him a lot of time in the first stint. Despite this, Leclerc managed to overtake Russell and build a healthy lead of 5s when put of the blue they panicked seeing Verstappen coming back and put Leclerc on the hard tyre.

    Whoever did this, apparently doesn’t have any idea about racing let alone F1. Alonso and Ocon were all over the places sliding and struggling on the hard tyres as it was the wrong tyre for the race. The hard tyres this year were hard to get into the optimum working range in hotter conditions. Leclerc had a better pace and tyre management than Sainz in the entire race. He was doing good lap times, could have extended the second stint on the medium and then caught Verstappen on the softs in the final laps of the GP.

    Jacques Villeneuve on Canal+ said ironically when Ferrari decided to pit Leclerc a second time an put him on the hards, “The Ferrari pitwall must definitely be watching another race”. There are two main issues here :

    A bias from the team towards Sainz who proved again he is the useless driver that he has always been. Not a single move in the race, run into tyre troubles quickly and couldn’t catch George Russell on a slower car in 2 different stints. Served only to lose Leclerc a lot of time in the opening stint.

    The second issue is pretty clear to everyone bar Binotto. The racing operations are dysfunctional. The racing operations and the entire strategy department must go through major reshuffle ASAP because this way they are inventing new ways to damage the entire team on the short and long terms as well.

    1. And the thing is. You and I can see that before it unfolds. Anywhere we can apply for Ferrari strategists?

      1. Nah. They are busy saving costs. No chance to get a job. I bet they will go asking crazy requirements like 10 years working at a strategy role in an F1 team.

      2. Racefan998,
        Same question was asked today by the French commentator to Jacques Villeneuve at the end of the race because he predicted it with his ironic style. He said “I could easily do it without having to look at the computer, I need only to watch the race in the monitor”.

    2. At this point its better for Ferrari to launch ‘Fans Create our Strategy’ campaign rather than use their useless strategy team. We as fans could see immediately what was the best strategy, these paid strategists couldn’t understand that?

      1. No i think you’ll find their strategy is machine generated,
        specifically an a.i running on Windows XP.

      2. Sounds like a great idea. I am totally convinced the fans couldn’t do a worse job. There must be thousands just shouting at their TVs.

    3. All this is true but if leclerc had qualified ahead of sainz he probably wins this race by 20 seconds. Or if he had demanded from
      The team he be let by after the start. He has got to be a little more ruthless when things don’t go quite his way. If it was Sainz behind he would have been crying on the radio that he’s quicker and could pass Russell.

    4. @tifoso1989 I heard they didn’t have any new mediums left

      1. @qeki
        They did have 1 set of medium, 1 set of soft and 1 set of hard for the race.

        1. @tifoso1989 Of course they would have them and put hards on :facepalm:

  10. How can whole world see that the strategy is not going to work out and those people at Ferrari can not see that?

    1. Simple: incompetence.
      If a person is incompetent but keeps his job, he probably has friend higher up.
      One can see this a lot in a government.

      1. Or relative higher up.

  11. And once again Ferrari gave the right strategy to the slower driver, who did not do anything the whole race, who have no pace and chews the tyres.

    If their management takes themselves seriously, a major staff change should be provided for the remainder of the season. This was one of the most obvious samples of incompetence i ever saw in motor sports.

    I truly feel bad for the guys who designed such a beauty of a car to see it being misused so badly by this horror show of a team

    1. Can’t you see their reasoning. Ferrari have given up on Leclec as a possible title winner and instead have decided to support Sainz bid to remain in the top 4 of the championship. Ferrari knows the moment he slips down is the moment they loses that second place in the constructors to Mercedes.

      Of course the fact that Leclerc is also loosing points to Mercedes is not in their calculations.

  12. As bad as the Ferrari strategy was, it wasn’t as bad as leclerc crashing on his own losing a race win. If it’s not the team making mistakes it’s the drivers. Best thing Ferrari can do is move the team to the UK to they can recruit more red bull and Mercedes’ staff and learn how to manage a team properly.

    1. Schumacher has prove that you can with Ferrari in Italy. You just need strong people at the top who get trusted with taking bold decisions without the politics.

      1. That’s true, it might be that the culture for success has completely changed since then though since it’s all about data now.

        1. Jockey Ewing
          31st July 2022, 23:36

          Well, theoretically it is all about data. Or information extracted form that data. Or at least computing has a more important role nowadays, than it had before. We are in the days when an AI can recognize cancer on an xray or ct scan image quicker than a doctor, or at least can provide very good hints about it.

          But then:
          Why do/did we see multiple drivers not obeying to those nice computer generated strategies?

          Imo since the last season I remember seeing quite skeptical approach to their teams’ pit strategies from multiple drivers of multiple teams. For example Hamilton disobeyed at least 2 times, or at least tried to do so, and doing so was debated by many. I mean, Mercedes is practically a top car manufacturer even on world scale, considering the quality, and the quanity as well. Based on the quanity Daimler could buy up many of the car manufacturers in an eyeblink. As a world scale top operation, they have access to so many intellectual properties that even most of their competitors will effectively never have. Considering how much success they have made together, it not looked good to me. Or considering that he tries to get involved in supporting education of engineering students. How those scientist-like students will perceive it? Why to invest into that computing power then? Maybe he is somewhat “untouchable” in the team, and when competition arose this created some management-wise uneasy situations.

          But obviously there were many other exceptions, like:
          – Giovinazzi often blocked Kimi during races, disobeyed to let him by even when running a weaker race or running different strategies. Despite of Kimi having a better race pace except maybe for their last half season in the same team.
          – Ocon often played hard against Alonso, and similary disobeyed sometimes, despite not having the upper hand.
          It affected them adversely even today’s Hungarian GP. Ricciardo’s double pass on them created a meme-like situation.
          – Sainz had some problems of obeying vs Leclerc as well.

          Another Mercedes example:
          At the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, 2020, so the second race of the fouble header at Silverstone. Despite the foreknowledge, that Verstappen has a good advantage tyre allocation-wise, and a decent pace, Bottas and Hamilton