When Bernie Ecclestone wanted a Formula 1 race in the USSR back in the 1980s, never could he have imagined the thrills that we would experience in the F1 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix. Join us at the Hungaroring in Mogyorod just outside Budapest for this year’s race which turned out to be more about strategy than overtaking.
With Red Bull performing extremely well in the free practices and again throughout the qualifying, we were treated with Max Verstappen earning his first-ever pole position and becoming the 100th F1 driver in history to take the honour. Max had the Mercedes team followed by the Ferrari team behind him, with teammate Pierre Gasly taking 6th place on the grid.
When the lights went out at the F1 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix, it was imperative for Max Verstappen to get through the first few corners as quickly as possible. Lewis Hamilton had plans of his own, and soon overtook teammate Bottas to begin his hunt for first place and his seventh Hungarian GP win.
This move left Bottas vulnerable to the Ferraris which were quick to attack. When Bottas and Leclerc made contact, Bottas’ car was damaged forcing him to pit very early in the race. By the time he rejoined the race, every other car had gone past and he was already 40 seconds off the lead. The confident Bottas, backed by the powerhouse Mercedes team suggested that he would be able to climb as high as 6th place by the end of the race, and so the gauntlet was on.
With the Ferraris dropping back, the F1 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix soon became a two-horse race between Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and 2019 championship leader Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes.
With a few changes through the middle order and Bottas climbing back into the top 10, all eyes were focused on the front two cars for most of the race. Lap 49 was when Mercedes made a key strategic move that Hamilton wasn’t too sure about, swapping out hard tires for medium. This put the championship leader about 20 seconds behind Max Verstappen, though the gamble soon began to pay off.
Every lap, Hamilton slowly clawed his way towards Verstappen. The Red Bull’s tires were completely shot after more than 40 laps, and Max had no grip. In lap 67 with just three laps to go, Hamilton comfortably overtook Verstappen and the race was done. Verstappen pitted to swap out for new tires and ended up getting the extra championship point for the fastest lap of the race, but there was nothing he could do to catch Hamilton.
Should Verstappen have pitted and swapped to medium tires at the same time as Hamilton and then battled it out over 20 laps? See Hamilton overtake Verstappen on lap 67:
As the race wrapped up, the Ferraris put on a bit of a show fighting for a podium finish. Vettel managed to scrape past Leclerc in the dying moments of the F1 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix to take 3rd place in what was once again another classic race on the Hungaroring.
Check out the full F1 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix race results below:
With Mercedes and Hamilton continuing to dominate the F1 2019 championship, what lies in store when the circus heads to Belgium at the end of the month? Stay tuned to Zero Throttle and follow our social media channels for all the latest news on Formula 1.