Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2019

Hamilton hunts down Verstappen for Hungarian GP win

2019 Hungarian Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton took his eighth victory of 2019 by passing Max Verstappen to win the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The fight raged between the Mercedes and the Red Bull driver throughout the race. Verstappen stayed ahead of Hamilton when the pair pitted, then withstood a fierce attack from his rival as they picked their way through traffic.

The race turned when Mercedes brought Hamilton in for another pit stop. On another set of medium tyres, he chased down Verstappen, whose rubber wilted with half-a-dozen laps to go. Three laps from home, Hamilton easily cruised by the Red Bull on the start/finish straight. Verstappen collected second place after pitting for a set of new tyres and setting the fastest lap of the race.

The Ferrari drivers never figured in the fight at the front. Sebastian Vettel, who ran a long first stint and then switched to softs, dived down the inside of Charles Leclerc on the penultimate lap to claim the final podium place.

Valtteri Bottas took himself out of contention on the first lap of the race after Hamilton muscled past him at turn three. Leclerc then drew alongside and the pair collided, leaving Bottas with damage. He had to pit early, and after a second pit stop ended the race eighth.

Pierre Gasly lost three places at the start and wasn’t able to recover the position he lost to Carlos Sainz Jnr. The McLaren driver therefore beat him to fifth, while Red Bull reclaimed some of Gasly’s lost places when he pitted.

A slow pit stop for Lando Norris dropped him down the order. He finished behind Kimi Raikkonen and Bottas. Alexander Albon, despite falling victim to a superb pass by Daniil Kvyat early on, claimed the final point.

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2019 Hungarian Grand Prix reaction

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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156 comments on “Hamilton hunts down Verstappen for Hungarian GP win”

  1. Marvelous!
    Lewis was good, (maybe not at the best, but really good), Max drove maybe better, but was let down a bit by stupid tyres.

    Bottas… well, I guess his Championship is over.

    The shock – Ferrari in a whole minute behind leaders!

    And who can say now that Hungaroring is boring?!

    1. The Hungaroring is roaring :)

    2. I do agree that was another really great race, with quite a diferent tone to the last two, but great racing and an exciting fight for the lead.

      I’d say both Hamilton and Verstappen drove marverlously. But I disagree about Max being let down by the tyres @dallein.

      Just as Max himself told his team right after Hamilton had stopped, the Mercedes team made the right call at the right moment to give Lewis the chance to nail that win. The tyres just wouldn’t last at the speed needed. And the Mercedes was slightly faster too.

      Also, I’d say this race showed that these cars really can run closer, we saw so many cars running less than a second behind other cars and trying to pass all through the field. Seems that the Hungaroring still is not easy to pass on, but we got proof that it can still offer great racing when things go right.

      1. F1 is great, dont change a thing.

        1. @maxv
          They could throw out all the paydrivers however since this race proves more than anything good drivers is what makes F1 great.

          1. Michael Schmucher was a pay driver.

          2. @rethla, of course, that then gets into the rather thorny question of what exactly a pay driver is, because too often it feels more like the term is thrown at a driver because people want to dislike them, but don’t want to say outright that they don’t like them.

            There have been many drivers who were dismissed as pay drivers earlier in their careers, but in later years they have been accepted as being drivers who deserve to be on the grid on merit. Perez, for example, was the target of quite a lot of vitriol and insults in his formative years as he was dismissed as a pay driver, but now I think that many would say that he is deserving of a seat given his performances over the years.

            It does also feel as if driver popularity does sometimes play a part in whether the activities of a backer are labelled means they’re tagged with the label of “pay driver” or not. Sainz Jr is an example of that, because Cepsa, the Spanish oil company, were very influential in securing his seat at Toro Rosso. Indeed, I think that the head of Cepsa at the time indicated that their agreement to sponsor Toro Rosso was a major factor in Red Bull giving Sainz a seat – they didn’t quite say they bought him a seat, but it wasn’t far off saying that.

            Now, on performance this year I suspect many would still say that Sainz would be deserving of a seat, but I recall that, when Kvyat was signed to Toro Rosso ahead of Sainz, quite a few fans threw around accusations that Kvyat was a pay driver funded by dodgy Russian money – it felt as if Kvyat’s nationality was, for some, enough to assume that he must have dodgy sponsors – and yet, when you look at the sponsorship deals that both drivers had, Kvyat actually brought significantly fewer sponsors than Sainz Jr did. Even so, it was Kvyat who sometimes got the “pay driver” tag, not Sainz Jr.

            Similarly, I do feel sometimes the “pay driver” tag is thrown about at drivers if they are signed in favour of a more popular candidate – it feels as if some, wanting to rationalise the choice, want to smear the driver who won out as being a “pay driver” to rationalise the choice to themselves, rather than questioning whether it was in fact the right decision to make.

            I think that you could make an argument that Sirotkin fell into that category last year, as many tagged him as a “pay driver” when Williams announced they were signing him last year. I wonder, though, whether Sirotkin would have been treated so harshly now if we had seen Kubica drive for Williams last year and struggled then as much as he is now, with Sirotkin being signed to replace him.

            It did feel as if quite a few were using the jibe of “pay driver” really just to attack him because they saw him as denying Kubica the sort of return that they wanted to see, and perhaps might be less harsh on Sirotkin now that they have had their dreams of heroic performances from Kubica being dashed.

      2. Well said @bascb, and yeah @maxv, shouldn’t change too much (maybe the guys in the 2nd cars though); very glad next year will be the same rules so we can (hopefully) see more of this sort of stuff.

        … hope for Ferrari they find that minute during the winter, at least they’ll be likely better in Spa and Monza.

      3. I agree on tyres: why dont they just pit again.
        Certain it was a gamble – which was payng well unitl 10-12 laps to the end.
        Not tyres’ fault. HAM had the same ones, but use them (tyres-strat.) better.

      4. Mercedes has a free pitstop so no any losses anyway. Max his tryes just were gone the race lasted just 4 laps to long.

  2. Mercedes engine wins again, grats..

  3. Well done Mercedes… What a team. Brilliant decision, fastest car.

    You know, I thought at some point, during the traffic, when Verstappen had about 12 seconds on 10 laps to go… Bring him in, let the softs do their work? Red Bull conservative, and, well, you can’t blame them. But you do feel that Lewis and Merc *gained* a win here, and Verstappen lost a win here. Shame for the championship, but it was exciting to watch.

    1. @hahostolze What a sad, sad remark. No credit given to Hamilton at all. Tribalism at its worst.

      1. @david-br nope, because I don’t think he deserves it ;-) and crediting the driver wasn’t in my comment to you on the other thread ;-)

        1. @hahostolze Like I said, it was just throwing back the comments after qualifying. I thought both Max and Lewis drove superbly, the racing was excellent. Lewis/Mercedes seemed to have a bit more pace in the race, Verstappen defended brilliantly, Mercedes played a strategy blinder and Lewis converted the chance, not as easy a feat as it perhaps looked. Another day, it could have been the other way round.

        2. Of course Hamilton deserves a fair share of the credit! Yes it is an awesome car. Yes it was a great strategy. It was also a seriously impressive drive. He applied pressure from the outset, delivered extraordinary pace and consistency, and made no mistakes.

          1. William Jones
            4th August 2019, 16:36

            The shills are best ignored.

            I don’t know, or care whether hatstandze is paid by someone’s PR firm or is doing this because he has no life, but anyone with an agenda trying to control your opinion is a pos and should be ignored as such.

        3. I agree Hamilton didn’t win the race as much as team strategy. Max defended him brilliantly when he had the tires.

    2. What a sad comment. The standard “best car” sour grapes as always. Hamilton drove better, used his tyres better and caught Max asleep when he probably thought the race was won. Closing a 6 second gap over a few laps was mighty impressive from Hamilton but I know you’d never bring yourself to agree with any positive Hamilton comment.

      1. Caught him asleep?
        Talk about a sad comment…

        1. He ABSOLUTELY caught Max and Redbull asleep after that first round of pit stops. Go ahead and explain any other way Hamilton was able to close a 6+ second gap in the space of a couple of laps. There is so much disrespect for this driver, Hamilton, it’s pretty sad. They caught Red Bull off guard a second time with that amazing call to pit for another set of Mediums. None of it would have been possible without Hamilton’s masterclass of balancing pressure while nursing brakes and tires. Credit deserved indeed.

          1. @kjhayes007
            Verstappen and RB was anything but asleep this race my friend, if you cant see an awesome drive because you are blinded by Hamiltons success i cant help you.

          2. Get out of here. Anything but asleep? There was a nice and comfy few laps after that first pit stop that you time traveled through WITH Red Bull and Max.

          3. And then they went to sleep with HALF of the race left and a comfy P1. Mercedes pit and Red Bull looked like the alarm clock just went off. Time to get back to racing, right? Mercedes just pitted. Surprise! Yup. CAUGHT ASLEEP.

          4. @kjhayes007
            They where one lap in front of P3, The tyres where falling of at the finish line and both drivers where exhausted and super happy. I would call this the most full on race i have seen in a long time from F1.
            But ofc. Hamilton won and thats all you care about, i think i will talk to my wall instead.

          5. No Gabriel. Not so simple. People keep trying to take away from the accomplishments of this driver, to include you. I came back on here after three years just to point out the obvious to you and others, it was a great race. Wonderful fight, that’s what we all want. But you and others are biased in the extreme and disingenuous when you say Red Bull wasn’t caught off guard in the exact manner that I have described. That was possible because Hamilton put his car and the team in position to do so. I care about that guy getting the respect he deserves. Let me tell you a secret. I am a Max Verstappen fan too. He is my second favorite driver, right after Lewis. Leclerc and Riccardio round out the top. My view of F1 isn’t biased. It’s objective. And Red Bull got embarrassed with 3 to go because Mercedes and Hamilton caught them napping, Twice.

          6. Indeed. Lewis was mighty and Mercedes strategy guys were smart and bold. Max did a good job but Red Bull over-valued track position when Lewis pitted for the third set of tyres.

          7. I hardly believe RBR was caught asleep. Especially within the top 3 teams, there is a lot of people processing data and constantly calculating the best options. Ofcourse there are some unknown variables which make the most calculated decission, nothing more than a wild guess. Today, Mercedes’ decission turned out to be the best guess. I don’t know if its you, flying that f15, but i can see a lot of similarities between military aviation and F1 in the huge amount of people involved for you to drop that gbu on target.

        2. Hamilton offset a six second gap after putting on fresh tyreS in just 2 and half laps..even the sky commentators at the time said Vesterpen was caught asleep or made a mistake somewhere ..just watch the replay and you will get the message..furthermore offsetting a 21 second gap after hamilton’s second pit stop was astonishing in that there was no way of knowing at first it was going to be possible but the team trusted Hamilton and encouraged him to drive as best as he could.

      2. sure: Intermediates vs Hard tyres… 19 laps old tyres vs 42 laps old tyres…. Mercedes power vs Honda power…. DRS vs no DRS….

        but keep dreaming Tom. Mercedes strategy called it absolutely right, Hamilton did what he should have done and there was no way RBR and Max could have done something different without ending up behind Hamilton. Both teams called it right and we have a deserving winner, but stop being delusional by claiming that Hamilton drove better, used his tyres better and caught Max sleeping.

        1. Who had the intermediates on @mcbosch ? Was that when your tears flooded the track ?

          1. haha I meant medium tyres, but you’re probably smart enough to realise that aren’t you?

          2. @McBosch…..no he isn’t..Tom is a little deluded

          3. Oh I fully understood, just couldn’t resist making you look silly haha.

            I think you’ve misunderstood my comment in terms of catching max asleep. I meant right after the first stop. Max had a 6 second lead and I can’t help but think he thought he’d won the race at that point. The gap closed in only a few laps and they were on the same tyres. Ok, Hamilton’s were new but Verstappens were only 5 laps old. I can’t see any logical reason Max was so slow at that stage other than RedBull thinking they’d got it covered.

          4. 6 seconds lead and 45 laps to go. I assumed that he would have to manage his tyres from early on if he wanted to make 1 stop, instead of using all of his rubber to maintain/grow the gap to Hamilton. In a straight fight with both drivers on the hard I don’t think Hamilton would have gone past (apparently Verstappen thought the same).

    3. You know @hahostolze, you do have a point that it might have been worth trying that from RBR when (if?) there was a gap on track to drop Max into. Then again, on the Hungaroring track position is king.

      Like @david-br, I do disagree with you about Hamilton. Sure, the critical part at that moment was the pit call. And they did a great job egging Hamilon on to go for it and believe in it. But Hamilton did drive lovely to keep right on Verstappen’s tail for the first phase of the race, he almost made it past Max too. And then he drove an excellent set of 20 laps while keeping the brakes working too to bring that race win home in the end.

      To me both of them drove to the maximum of their abilities today.

      1. Again, well said @bascb, today the Mercedes team and top driver did the best job and won, but Red Bull, and especially Verstappen, gave it all.

        Tom, don’t go to far in the other direction, just as Hamilton had to dig deep, Verstappen seemingly did everything he could to keep it going, but, in the end, his tyres, at that pace, couldn’t do it. No sleeping, just getting everything out of it, but the other guy too, and his team. Isn’t that what we, as racefans, want?

    4. Now you all wait a bloody minute…

      The Earth is round? :Oo

      1. Oblate spheroid, actually, but close enough. :)

    5. Tell that to Gasly

    6. @rethla, the problem with that attitude is that, by that metric and your line of reasoning, you could then conclude that Denny Hulme must have been the greatest driver of all time – not only did he win six races before his first pole position, he one-upped Max by winning the World Drivers Championship before his first pole position.

      This is not to get bogged down in the stupid “my driver is better than your driver” playground behaviour, but it is to point out that this sort of childish arguing just inevitably leads to a case of “reductio ad absurdum” that we really could do with a lot less of.

    7. jay jay_md@hotmail.con
      4th August 2019, 17:33

      By that standard Max and Red Bull *gained* a win in the last few races too.

    8. NeverElectric
      4th August 2019, 21:26

      Brilliance is unbearable when you are on the wrong end of it.

  4. I was shocked F1 race was more exciting than MotoGp race today. Good battles in the field.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      5th August 2019, 4:48

      Ha-ha – very true:)

  5. Hamilton and Verstappen almost lapped the rest of the field, who said drivers dont make a difference?

    1. Agreed – A truely Epic drive. Like the Shumacher race where he pitted and came from behind to win,
      this race will be remembered.

      20 laps with 20 seconds to make, now make it happen. A super strategy call by Mercedes.
      Lewis was just over a second behind and closing on Max when Mercedes made that call.

      Redbull had that same call to make and clearly lacked the bottle to make that call.
      Redbull could have pitted for the faster softs, caught Lewis, and then hung on to the end.
      In the end they ended up pitting Max anyway.

      1. I don’t agree that Redbull lacked the bottle with strategy, I think circumstances dictated what each team would do. You would never willingly give up track position at the Hungaroring after successfully defending the whole race, but if you’re stuck in 2nd with a gap behind then it made sense to ‘gamble’ on new tyres. Toto admitted in his Sky interview after that if Hamilton had made the pass stick earlier in the race they would have left him out, ironically possibly costing him the race.

        1. Call it it a gamble is the only way you can pretend RB didn’t miss a trick. It wasn’t a gamble at all, it was obviously going to work. If they’d pitted Max first, they’d have almost certainly won the race. They got mugged, basically.

        2. @keithedin Hamilton probably would have made the 1-stop strategy work too though. His setup was much easier on the tyres for the race. You saw how much earlier Verstappen started struggling for grip at the first stint.

          This left Hamilton on fresher tyres while Verstappen was eating his tyres more. Hamilton would most likely have had a big tyre advantage at the end of the race and that would have netted him the win also.

          Even if Verstappen would have swapped to a 2-stop, Hamilton’s tyres would have made it till the end (Verstappen was just 4 laps short and Hamilton stopped 6 laps latter).

          1. I actually think his first laps right after his first pit stop were more impressive. He erased 6 seconds in 3 laps.

          2. Agreed on that. Wondering if Red Bull set up its car to grab the pole and then counting on track position to win the race. I sincerely never thought that was going to work because Bottas only needed a good start to have the preference on the right hander first corner.
            Having survived the first corner RBR knew if Hamilton got the lead his car wake would have destroyed Mac’s tyres.

          3. Let’s not forget it worked because Ferrari weren’t close giving Hamilton a free pitstop. Would Ferrari been 10-15 seconds behind Hamilton, he would have fallen behind them and Mercedes wouldn’t have pitted Hamilton.

        3. Once Hamilton pitted for mediums, Red Bull’s *only* option to win the race was to pit Max for newer mediums or softs. There was no way those hard tires were going to make it to the end after the battle between Hamilton and Verstappen. If Verstappen had been allowed to control the pace from up front, it would have been one thing– But Hamilton was able to pick and choose when to attack, and when to conserve, and Verstappen’s only choice was to respond.

          Given all of that, and that Verstappen was almost certain to finish second once Hamilton finished, give Verstappen the tires to fight back while there were still enough laps for it to matter. He may still finish second, but he’ll absolutely finish second if you don’t pit him in response quickly.

    2. @rethla
      Both of them are trully in a class of their own.
      Mouthwatering :)

    3. that is shocking it’s like they in different race …the disparity of redbulls cars is crazy..its like gassly is driving a go cart on three wheels

  6. That was an epic drive – this is from someone who does not like Lewis. This race, I was rooting for Lewis, dont like Max.
    Well done to strategist but an epic drive

    1. Dont like Max, dont like Hamilton. Maybe cricket is your thing..

      1. 🤣🤣🤣

    2. Whooops meant to reply here.

      yeah, what on earth happened to the Ferraris ? From a strong start at the start of the season to being out- paced by Redbull [specifically Verstappen].

      And then there’s Bottas, was predicted to get 6th position but wasn’t in the race. If Verstappen finishes
      the championship in 2nd place, then i can’t see Bottas keeping his position at Mercedes.

  7. Keith.. Mercedes were thinking the same as me. Bottas.. I don’t know about him, he was hit by Leclerc, but I am 50/50 on his seat for next year. Ferrari has been one minute down. I only see Verstappen or Bottas taking the title away from Hamilton.

    1. Considering that I think that part of what caused Mercedes to throw the dice was Hamilton’s brakes (surely not many people predicted the hards going off a cliff in such a way), I think Bottas’ brakes really badly suffered in all of the slower traffic, and this is Hungary. I certainly don’t think Bottas did himself any favours today, but yesterday he beat Hamilton in qualifying which also didn’t harm him. I think coming out of the weekend, he’s in a similar place he was at the start of the weekend in terms of merit. Maybe slightly lower, if he’d have got pole then perhaps he’d have broken even somewhat. He had 2 bits of contact on lap 1, but they were both onto the front wing, so once the wing was replaced, in theory the car should’ve been fine. It’s a tough one for sure.

      1. About that 2nd pit stop. Did bottas pit first, or Lewis?

        I’m inclined to think Bottas pit stop may have inspired the decision to pit Lewis – but i’ll wait for the reports on this.

        1. Bottas pit first.

          1. Just as i thought.

            I can see that “Eureka light” as the thought occurs, what if we also pit Hamilton?

        2. Bottas first, but I think it was only a lap earlier, so not much to have learned about the tyres from that. I think Merc had probably already decided to pit Hamilton by then.

      2. Good call @hugh11, I too think that putting Hamilton on fresh tyres with cleaner air definitely was the right choice, which they didn’t have with Bottas, even though they gave hm fresh tyres, he did likely suffer from cooling issues.

      3. @hugh11 Mercedes predicted Verstappen’s tyres would go off the cliff. They told Hamilton right away after they switched him to the medium tyres.

    2. Grmi (@nemanjagm007)
      4th August 2019, 16:28

      I mean Bottas is good…when car is quickest. If he has to battle it in another to win, he just does nothing and sits P5 comfortably.
      If Mercedes doesn’t produce car that is clearly ahead from the rest of the grid next season, the will have trouble winning the constructors championship for record breaking 7th time. And they will definitely want that.
      Basically Bottas racecraft is decent, midfield level, but not among top dogs.

  8. The decision to make an extra pit stop proved to be the right choice, after all.
    – I guess Bottas’ already slim-ish title hopes are effectively over now since he threw it away on the opening lap.
    – Gasly’s pace again, though. Never managed to get past Sainz and got lapped by his teammate once again.

    1. As other’s have shown – Bottas with a far superior car to the rest of the field, should have come good at the end.

      He could have pitted sooner, all the same the field was still compacted, which makes his drive unremarkable. This points he failed to get today, will be all the diference between him and Max come the end of the season.

      Max also got the point for fastest lap, where Bottas simply didn’t figure.

  9. The two best racers in F1 at the moment by along way. Delighted as Ham need that swing to feel comfortable. Very rarely do you see this strategy work the driver always gets to the back but does not have the tyres to pass. Bet @Kingshark is gutted

  10. Glad to see the podium. Both Hamilton and Verstappen very happy, i doubt it would be the same with Hamilton in P2.

    1. Hamilton won so you’ll never know.

      1. @slowmo
        Im feeling pretty confident we will know soon enough ;)

        1. I think Singapore is a slam dunk but RBR need to get another driver to help Verstappen to help tactically on tight weekends.

          1. @slowmo Well Bottas sure did his best to help Verstappen.

          2. @f1osaurus it was nice to see Bottas have a backbone but unfortunately he did manage to throw away his race by not knowing when to quit and focus on consolidating his place. Had Bottas been in third ironically they probably wouldn’t have switched strategy for Hamilton as he’d have been closer (I hope).

          3. @slowmo Well backbone is nice, but indeed he should have known when the position is lost.

            Either way, Bottas came closer to helping Verstappen than Gasly did :)

  11. Bad luck for Max. If Bottas and the 2 Ferrari’s and of course Gasly would be within 20 sec of Hamilton he would have won.

    1. Thats not bad luck, Gasly is a known quantity.

    2. Wasn’t bad luck, Red Bull got the strategy wrong. Mercedes had superior strategy today.

      Mind you, Max was really good and obviously so was Hamilton but Red Bull got blindsided by a better strategy from Mercedes. They had zero answer for it.

      1. It wasn’t just strategy. It’s also setup. Verstappen went for a (relatively) low downforce setup so he could get pole (Verstappen was faster on the straights than the Merc drivers).

        Of course that is a gamble which could have worked seeing how difficult it is to overtake, but that setup does cause a lot more tyre wear though. So Hamilton could already go much longer for the first stint and he would have ended up with much better tyres at the end of the race than Verstappen no matter what the strategy would have been.

        Verstappen would still have been at the end of his tyre live at the end of the race while Hamilton’s tyres would have been fine.

    3. Max found out today that it’s not always sunshine and unicorns leading out front. A challenger behind can always go for the undercut in a time-limited race.

      Lewis’ win percentage when starting off the front row is double that of anyone else on the grid.

      We know Max was F1’s 100th polesitter. I wonder how many of those 1st time polesitters – remove any that DNF’d because of mechanical issues, for Mr. Amon – converted their first pole into a win? Obviously Hamilton and Vettel did.

      The full list:

      M. Schumacher
      Senna
      N. Rosberg
      J.M. Fangio
      N. Piquet
      S. Moss
      Massa
      Ascari
      J. Brabham
      Webber
      P. Hill
      Farina
      Trulli
      J.F. Gonzalez
      Scheckter
      G. Villeneuve
      Alboreto
      Lastly, Maldonado, Boutsen, Bonnier, Flaherty & Vukovich all converted their solitary pole.

      So only 24 of the 100 converted their first pole into victory.

      1. *tire-limited*

  12. Well done to Mercedes. We don’t see bravery like that from the pit wall anymore.
    With three weeks to think about it, I wonder if heads will roll at Ferrari because this race was an embarrassment.

    1. @velocityboy I don’t think so, Ferrari’s car is based on a low-drag design philosophy, Hungary is a down-force biased track. Wait till Spa and Monza, Ferrari’s car should be the the class of the field, they have the best PU coupled with a low-drag design. Hoping that Leclerc and Vettel both get wins!

  13. What a great race.. great battle between the leaders mid-race and then monstrous pace from Lewis in the end. Really stamping his authority on F1 today. Ferrari needs to do something about their lack of pace. A full minute behind today. Redbull really needs to find a replacement for Gasly.

  14. It was a pleasure to see such a long-fought battle for the win, in a race that was uninterrupted from lights to flag by yellow flags/SCs/weather. A little gutted for Max not winning, but it was a very good race and a hard-fought win.

    A very sharp strategy call, that was made effective by Hamilton’s driving. Red Bull might be looking back at their strategy for the race and wondering if a different call might have played out differently.

    1. The only thing redbull could do was pit earlier than Lewis but Lewis was so much quicker that it might not have worked.

    2. Also, Ferrari looked poor in this race, not good enough to challenge ahead, but still ahead of the midfield.

      And talking of the midfield – Sainz ahead of Gasly? That is not a good finishing position at a race that might determine his future shortly. Ditto for Bottas – it used to be that one of the top 6 could drop to the rear of the field and still power ahead. It was probably a combination of the circuit and competitiveness of some of the midfield that held Bottas where he was.

      Renault’s 1000 bhp engine didn’t really help matters with their car (seems to have worked a treat for their customer, though!), and Hulk/Ricciardo’s finishing positions were unimpressive. It was fun to see KMag defending against Ricciardo.

      It also looks like Claire can smile a little through the summer break, Russell did well, although the teammate gap is something to ponder.

      1. @phylyp, at the current rate of progress, Gasly isn’t secure from Sainz in the WDC either – the gap between them in the WDC is now down to 5 points.

    3. Red Bull maximized it. Second place plus fastest lap is the most points possible for them today, job well done.
      @phylyp

  15. It was just a better call from Merc in the end that decided the race, that’s what you call a good team effort. I wouldn’t want to be in Gaslys shoes at the moment, and did Bottas do enough to keep his seat? Both McLarens great race the Ferraris not so much.

    1. BOT is pressing. Last week and this week. He could have finished on the podium both weekends with doing a lot less. He needs to finish on the podium every race in the 2nd half to have a chance at staying at Merc. The Ferraris have become a non factor and Gasly is horrendous.

  16. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    4th August 2019, 16:24

    Verstappen needs a teammate that can keep within 20 seconds of him. At the moment he doesn’t have a teammate. Gasly to me doesn’t belong in Formula One past this season. Putting him
    back to Toro Rosso doesn’t make sense because it’s his slow pace and under aggressive race pace that is the problem. At least Kvyat was fast and could help his team score decent points.

  17. So Max wanted a one on one with Lewis in an equal car. He got it. What a great race and great drives by the top 2.

    1. An equal car? What race were you watching? When the wick was turned up on the Mercedes it was taking about 2.5 seconds a lap out of the next fastest car. Hamilton and that Mercedes had a lot left in reserve.

      1. Yh on much better tyres Alex that was a duel between two of the best on the grid. Ves probably one of the only drivers of last few years who has lost a race like this. Look at the lap Ves did when he changed tyres to see Rbull were extremely quick. People like there cake and eat it yesterday Hamilton got loads of stick and Ves was the best by a mile. Clearly both are on another level

      2. Possibly, just possibly, one driver managed their tyres better than the other? Also possibly, just possibly, one driver set their car up for the race rather than one-lap pace?

        1. Possibly Brian, possibly

      3. It’s funny that yesterday the car wasn’t an issue.
        When he wins, he is that good. When he loses, it’s because of the car.

        Is Verstappen the new Alonso?

        1. Is Verstappen the new Alonso?

          Alonso thought he was the greatest.. you obviously did listened to any of the interviews.
          VER still is that good but MERC strategy was better and HAM made it stick.

          1. +1

            Max was gracious in defeat. He fully acknowledged that Ham/Merc got the better of him today. Let’s all love the fact that we had a thrilling race to watch. Both delivered and proved to be worth their weigth in gold. Bring on the second half of the season.

          2. Not sure he was gracious in defeat. He claimed that Merc still have a margin on Red Bull and that that’s what decided it today. If he gets into the fastest car, will all the wins that follow be hollow then? Or will he change his tune then? If you think I’m looking for the answer, I’m not. I know what will happen then.

            Hamilton has taken two wins at Hungary against clearly better cars (2009 & 2013). The best car on the day doesn’t always win.

      4. Redbull setting pole position, Leading 90% of the race and setting fastest lap but still Mercedes is faster right?
        How easy would it be to accept that both cars were pretty even and it was the driver (and tyre strategy) who made the difference. Lewis beat Max fair and square today in almost equal cars.

        1. in almost equal cars.

          part of the car are the tires. It seems you missed something there ;)

          1. Max too advantage of fresher tyres vs Leclerc in Austria, very few people talked about that.

    2. The cars were not equal this race. The Mercedes with Hamilton had better pace. It was obvious.

      1. @gufdamm Verstappen set his car up for Q3 and Hamilton for the race. That was obvious yes.

  18. A lot was decided by Bottas’s poor start (maybe wrong side of the grid). Hamilton seem to have an edge on him already into the first corner, Bottas locked up and then was really scruffy round the next corners, and pretty feisty with Hamilton, almost putting him off track, before picking up Leclerc damage and going to the back of the pack. With Ferrari totally out of contention, that left Hamilton and Verstappen alone up front. Had Bottas still been around, both teams’ strategy calls would probably have been very different.

    1. @david-br Exactly, Bottas should have cut his losses against Hamilton and closed up behind him. It was dumb to keep his nose in like that. Then he had to brake out of being hit by Hamilton when the “wedge” disappeared. Which then cascaded in his being mugged by Leclerc and again (!) keeping his nose in to have it chopped off that time.

      Instead of just closing up behind Hamilton and hoping for the best. He kept pushing a lost cause and lost his whole race. It’s like he’s using Vettel’s playbook of “I have to keep this position right now, or else …” ending up in tears.

      1. @f1osaurus Just looked at it again, the start was a bit strange, Bottas was slow off, Hamilton goes towards him and looks even like he’ll get into P2 before the first corner, but Bottas speeds up and it looks to me as though LH decides to let him go first, veering away from him, but Bottas locks up, Hamilton has to take evasive action into the first corner without losing speed (and position to Leclerc) and somehow does so with another momentum to pass Bottas. The latter almost clips Hamilton’s rear tyre going too shallow into the next corner (I thought he’d picked up his damage there at first) and twitches to avoid contact with Hamilton’s rear left, allowing Leclerc the momentum to get past. But really LEC was too aggressive and cut across Bottas, entirely his fault for the latter’s damage. Maybe a racing incident and he could just have easily picked up a puncture. But still Bottas should have been in P4 at worst.

        1. @david-br I agree, but the reason Leclerc was able to get past Bottas was because Bottas didn’t yield on time after losing P2 to Hamilton. He then needs to brake hard to prevent hitting Hamilton on the racing line. When instead he should have left space for Hamilton already and then stayed right behind Hamilton.

          This hard braking is what cost him the position. When you start moving back, anything can happen and it’s rarely anything good.

          1. @f1osaurus I agree, Bottas tried too hard, maybe a sign of the contract pressure?

          2. @david-br Could be yes. Maybe it’s his new “beard induced” persona which is supposedly tougher on track. Even when it doesn’t make sense to act tough.

            On the other hand, he’s done this before at Hungaroring. Last year he had a similar incident with Vettel and the year before that (or earlier?) he had something similar with Ricciardo in turn 1 where he just would not concede the position even though he clearly lost it.

  19. The Williams headquarters Facilities Manager received a text while he tucked into his Sunday lunch, with instructions to dust off Bottas’ old parking spot.

    1. i think botas will stay at mercedes ..for next year Toto will not risk a new driver who will come in and rock the boat with Hamilton

  20. 90% of Vestapen win comes from pitting on tires strategy and gambling…but when Lewis does the same the aggrieved tribalist act like worthless……now its all Mercedes power and of course when Max is having his meltdown on the radio the Fia never broadcast but every negative radio of Lewis is broadcast……..Sky pundits having a meltdown

    1. I can only assume people are sick of watching Hamilton win so many races, because the excuses are getting more and more pathetic with each race.

      1. I can understand it when Lewis gets pole, then just drives away from the rest. But when it’s a high-tension race like today, fans should give it up to both drivers. It could have gone either way … if Hamilton sticks the pass on Verstappen into turn 4, then Max likely pits that lap, and goes on to win.

        Lewis doesn’t just win from the front. His win percentage when starting off the front row is over double that of any other driver on the grid. He’s pretty handy.

    2. @spactus

      Exactly. Redbull and Mercedes were pretty even all weekend. Max did a better job and got pole and Lewis was the better driver in the race. It was a fair and square fight between equal cars and Hamilton came out on top. Admit it.
      Also Hamilton had to really work for it. Passed his team mate around the outside for second, kept his tyres in better shape, pushed all race and then passed Max.

      1. a fair and square fight between equal cars

        another one who missed the tires it seems, as being part of the car.

      2. You mean that the Mercedes cars and Verstappen were equal :)

      3. erikje , What was there to miss? They were on the same tyres. Hamilton just managed them much better.

        Or rather, Hamilton set up his car better for tyre management while Verstappen bet everything on pole.

  21. I expected more from Bottas, infact locking up twice was where things got real bad for him.

    If only Riccardo had stayed at Redbull…

    Champions drive from Hamilton, never let Verstappen relax for 70 laps and he did catch Verstappen cold after pitting for hard tyres. 6 seconds reduced in a matter of a few laps.

    Verstappen lost out on strategy in the end but did everything he needed to , to keep Ham behind and defended brilliantly. I reckon if Red bull pitted when Ham did even if he was behind I think he could’ve hunted Hamilton down but I reckon the strategists at Red bull weren’t comfortable enough with Max hunting down. Mercedes car with Hamilton at the helm.

    Great race!

  22. I still can’t believe Leclerc didn’t got a penalty for what he did to Bottas. That was some clumsy driving there, wrecked Bottas’s race with a completely avoidable contact and?? Nothing. Again.

  23. Seems to be a definite pattern of Hamilton setting up for the race rather than qualifying, he had the pace to push Verstappen, causing him to pit before him, then turn those extra laps into a chance for even more pressure in the second stint, almost worked (brilliant defending by MV) and then convert the 20 second gap for the third set of tyres into a win. Turning into a weird season of Bottas outqualifying Hamilton and then losing massively in terms of race results.

    Have Ferrari officially given up?

    1. This is exactly what always baffles me. Bottas is able to match or even beat Lewis in qualifying. But his race pace is nowhere close when he is behind. it’s almost enough for an argument that he keeps Hamilton back when he is infront. I’m sure its an important factor when Merc decides the lineup. We can’t have drivers keeping their teammates back at the sharp end with Max coming to take the reigns.

      1. Yeah agree. Now Bottas is well and truly out of the title race he needs to stay out of Lewis’ way

    2. @david-br Yes indeed. I wonder why Mercedes allow Bottas to do this. Toto was all out with his “we cannot seem to be helping one driver with strategies”. In fact Bottas is abusing that philosophy by gambling it all on Q3 and then he’s hopelessly slow during the race, but he knows Hamilton won’t be allowed to strategize to overtake. It’s costing the team as a whole really.

      Luckily Hamilton got past Bottas right after the start, because otherwise the Mercedes boys would both have been watching Verstappen disappear off into the sunset and the race would have been utterly boring.

      1. @f1osaurus If so, it’s not actually a strategy that makes much sense unless Bottas just wants some pole positions to his name. His best chance to beat Hamilton over a season is to have a race setup and hope for race incidents or technical problems to maximize his results against Lewis. Being slower in the race makes him uncompetitive against everyone else too, even if he is relying on intra-team ‘soft’ racing orders to keep Hamilton behind him.

        1. @david-br Oh but it does make sense. We’ve seen before that Hamilton was not allowed to overtake Bottas.

          For instance Austria. Bottas was massively holding up Hamilton. Instead of allowing Hamilton to fight for the win with Verstappen, they give him the option to take maximum risk to try an overcut (which was clearly never going to work anyway). Silverstone the exact same thing really, but the safety car changes it somewhat plus they allow Hamilton to take a different strategy.

          In Silverstone Hamilton would have probably won without the safety car too, because they allowed Hamilton to take the other strategy. After that race, Toto said they would not allow that anymore.

          ie That statement from Wollf made sure that Bottas’ “all in on Q3” strategy would pretty much always work. As long as he manages to end lap 1 ahead of Hamilton, the team won’t allow Hamilton to get past.

          So it makes complete sense that Bottas bets it all on Q3. How else can he hope to end lap 1 ahead of Hamilton?

          It’s pretty much his only chance really. If he doesn’t get track position on Hamilton in Q3, the chance of ending up ahead of Hamilton at he end of lap 1 are minute.

          Why would Bottas care to stay ahead of others? Hamilton is his only competitor for the WDC. Besides if he stays ahead of Hamilton, he will usually end up ahead of the rest anyway.

          Rosberg did the same for a while (2014 mostly). Not sure why he stopped, because after that he got hammered by Hamilton even more. Although Rosberg had a lot of race where he simply ended up ahead because of Hamilton’s abundant technical issues. Bottas never had that fortune.

          1. This is an excellent discussion, guys! I’ve been pondering the same and came to the same conclusion three races ago. Now it’s “proven” that Bottas is doing a Rosberg in Q3, hoping to stay ahead in the race. It’s hurting Merc but with LH way ahead in the WDC it won’t be enough for them to hit the panic button. I bet after this race we won’t see this strategy feature anymore since it’s clearly not worked. LH has massive race pace this year, remember him setting the fastest lap on aged tires against Bottas’ new boots?

  24. It was a different experience for Max to try and control the race from pole. He fell short but it was a solid effort. Once he gets in a dominant care, surely he is going to send records tumbling down.

    Mercedes pulled off a fantastic strategy and credit to Lewis for crucially hammering in multiple consecutive fastest laps to catch Max. Brilliant

    Carlos Sainz has been fantastic to manage a P5 to cap off a very good first half of the season for McLaren. Lando did well too but the pit delay didn’t help him

    Ferrari needs to get their act together soon. I expected them to be weak but not finish 60s behind the winner. I’ll save it, Gasly was Ghastly again. Valteri needs to up his game and get a big stroke of luck to be back in contention but for now it seems like Lewis is going to be the champion

    1. Lets hope he dont get a dominant car then, Mercedes has almost killed F1 since 2014 and its just starting to shape up again.

      1. @rethla What? The rest of the top teams have ‘killed F1’by not being up to to the excellence of Mercedes. I don’t understand this ‘new fan’ attitude….nobody said Barcelona and Messi were ‘killing football’, it’s like people have never looked back through F1 history. Let’s salute and appreciate excellence when we see it, and put our prejudice to one side.

        1. @ju88sy

          Agreed !!!

          The Merc team has been THE most consistent even through all the rule changes. It is brilliant in all areas. Currently Merc do not have the fastest engine, and not like they have found some major loophole in aerodynamics either. But the ability for driver and team to maximise everything is something to be appreciated.

  25. some of you will never give lewis any credit.
    theres always an excuse not to.
    if lewis hadn’t of won today,youd be criticizing him right now.
    he wins the race,and gets no credit.
    lewis could have had a terrible race like bottas
    but he drove brilliantly,and delivered the maximum result.
    lewis always bounces back after a disappointing weekend.
    and that redbull wasn’t slower,max pace on those new softs was epic.

    1. +1. Well said. I get people are tired of Lewis winning, but what do you get from the best driver on the grid. His winning rubs more salt in their jealous wounds!

    2. We know some of them will never give Lewis credit. But we rest easy, cause he puts in performances like these, when these people are looking for something to pick at about him. Lewis gets the least slack, where drivers are concerned, in F1. Max is taking over Alonso’s role as the driver with the most slack. It becomes more evident every race; as the driver that beats him never gets credit from these very same people.

  26. For me, HAM earned that race win fair and square.

    Harassed Max for the majority of the race, don’t think I have ever heard Verstappen that flustered on the radio. Then HAM had to make the team’s strategy work- 20 seconds in 20 laps. 20 qualy laps. Tick

    Then he obviously had to pick up the pieces. Tick.

    What some people need to understand is that motor racing isn’t linear. Never has been. Tyres, reliability, strategy, weather among many other factors (as we saw at the German GP) all play a role and the team/driver combination who cope best with said challenges emerge victorious.

    Well done Lewis. Well done Max and also well done Seb after the tough time he’s had.

    So you see Clarkson, F1 isn’t boring after all.

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed that race, two incredible drivers absolutely going for it. Relentless for the entire race, Verstappen and Hamilton were in a class of Two.

      Cool to see Mercedes pull a Red Bull’esque bold move and for James Vowles to receive the constructors trophy, (great call and great belief in their driver!)

      A compelling race (or duel?) whatever the result and the fourth race in the row F1 has delivered an intense and riveting spectacle.

      I imagine in 12 seasons time, Max doing the exact same thing to whoever the next ‘bright young thing’ is and I can’t wait! I love this sport!

      The Red Bull Renaissance is to be appreciated, combined with Honda’s (Ilmor inspired) improvement bodes well for the future and 2H19.

      Bring on Spa! Let’s do this!!!

  27. There’s an awful lot of what-if-ing going on regarding Mercs strategy call. Who’s to say they didn’t make the race harder for Lewis by making a second stop. Lewis had closed to within DRS range when he made his second stop. He very well may have passed Max anyway in the next couple laps or simply hounded him until later in the race knowing his tryres were six laps newer. Ultimately this race reinforces that it’s often easier to be the hunter rather than the hunted. We saw the same thing last race in Germany.

  28. Apart from the great race between Hamilton and Verstappen. Insane to how Ferrari got embarrassed. They were almost lapped!

    Ferrari really need a proper #1 driver to pull that cart out of the mud. Their car must have plenty potential (especially having the best engine), but their current drivers are just not getting it to perform (consistently).

  29. Just want to add that HAM probably wins even if Merc doesn’t pit him the 2nd time. After his wild attempt at a pass he started to conserve his tires and brakes for the finish. He closed the 2 second gap in the first part of the race and then the 6 second gap in the second part of the race. He was able to close the 20 second gap at the end but he would have closed whatever the gap was as he would have had more tire than VER at the end regardless. Great race by HAM and VER in that order. The changing of the guard has been delayed at least for a few more weeks.

    1. Closing the gap and passing is two completely different feats. These drives are pace setters. Max would’ve responded every time lewis made a passing attempt. We never really know if the chasing car could pass until it does. Because Max is in front he has every incentive to drive just fast enough, especially because lewis had more pace today, and the red bull was harsher on its tires. Whether its 2 seconds or 6 seconds, Max didn’t need to keep that distance, he needed to keep lewis behind, look after his tires, and maintain a pace that would make both these things possible for the entire race.

  30. I have to give it to Hamilton today. This strategy reminded me of Hungary 1998 when Michael Schumacher did basically the same to Hamilton – only that back then it was 2 stops vs 3. Great job! Very exciting fight, Red Bull should have pitted Max for the softs 10 laps before the end, he would have still had a shot at the win I think. Another sad day for a Ferrari fan, but well..

  31. Max falling under pressure for sure the vettel 2.0. Also max isn’t that special once you take away red bulls pit strategy away

  32. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    5th August 2019, 4:59

    When they brought Lewis in, I didn’t think it was possible to catch Max when he was 21 seconds ahead with 20 laps to go. I’m still surprised that Max didn’t make a mistake and Lewis caught him with a few laps to spare. Especially when there were several laps after pitting where Lewis wasn’t catching up.

    I still can’t believe it. This race has changed my perception of what’s possible after changing tyres in dry weather.

  33. Hamilton schooled Verstappen and Merc schooled RBR.

    It was Hammer Time and RBR ran but couldn’t hide.

  34. The return of the hammer time phrase.

    Couldn’t have come at a better time as the trolls emerged from their fetid caves after Hockenheim to prance around and wax lyrical about the first mistakes Lewis has made in years.

    Only to be booted back down the well from whence they came (300 style) merely 7 days later by a devastating response, their torment set to continue indefinitely.

    Fantastic race.

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