Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2020

Wins plus “great result” in Hungary were Verstappen’s 2020 highlights

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen says his recovery from a pre-race crash at the Hungaroring was one of his highlights of the 2020 F1 season.

What they say

Verstappen won twice in 2020, but also salvaged second in Hungary despite crashing before the race began:

We nailed the last race, even though the race itself was very boring. I think also the race in Silverstone, of course, that win. A win is always great, it doesn’t matter if it’s boring or exciting.

But also for me, the one in Hungary with the drama before the start, when I hit the wall and then the mechanic had to repair the car on the grid and then still finish second. I think also for us that was a great result.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Was F1’s season finale in Abu Dhabi really the worst race of the last 13 years? @F1frog disagrees:

The only reason that Abu Dhabi scored that low a score is because the rest of this season has been brilliant, the best since 2012. There were actually quite a few overtakes and battles in the midfield, like the Vettel train. If this race had happened in 2015, for example, it would have got a higher score. Similarly, if the 2015 Canadian Grand Prix (or similar) had happened this year, it would have scored the lowest ever.

Also, the British GP was rated way too low. Admittedly, the majority of the race wasn’t great, but in ten years time, nobody will remember the main part of the race; it will always be remembered as the race that Hamilton did a Lightning McQueen and dragged a puncture around for nearly half a lap to win the race.

Mugello, on the other hand, was rated too highly. There was a lot of action, but it mostly came in the form of crashes, and red flags. The actual racing was nowhere near as good as Portugal, for example, which I also think was rated too low.

Overall, 2020 has been a brilliant season, and I can honestly say that I didn’t find a single race boring. Abu Dhabi and Spain weren’t great, but there was still action going on in the midfield. I think the reason this season has been so good is because the midfield battle has always been really exciting, particularly in 2018, but with the top three teams so far ahead, they were only fighting for seventh (or sixth if someone retired). This year, because of Ferrari’s horrible season and Albon always getting stuck in the midfield, that battle was now for fourth, and one slip up from Mercedes or Verstappen would put a midfielder on the podium. The gap from Mercedes and Red Bull to the midfield was also smaller than in previous seasons. Even with Mercedes’ mistakes, the historic wins for Perez and Gasly this season would never have happened in 2016-2019, as the top three were just too much faster. I am hoping for more of the same in 2021, just with Mercedes slightly slower to give us a battle in the constructors and drivers championships.

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  • 41 comments on “Wins plus “great result” in Hungary were Verstappen’s 2020 highlights”

    1. Agree with the CoTD. It was just such an anticlimatic way to end the season that it (probably) felt worse than it actually was… and the Sochi Effect didn’t help. If it had happened mid-season, it probably would have managed a solid 5 or thereabouts, and if an identical race had played out at Spa it might have managed a 6.

      (* Sochi Effect – the draining, fun-sapping sensation experienced when watching a grand prix take place on a circuit you really, really don’t like, and the accompanying negative impact on your enjoyment and recollection of said grand prix.)

      1. I think it was still notably uneventful, but I agree there was some midfield battling to enjoy before the field spread out. I kind of disagree with COTD though in that there have been some good races but the season overall has been a complete let down – so many samey races, no title battle at all and most of the overtaking was DRS assisted and therefore not exciting in any way. I can see equally thrilling overtaking manoeuvres on the M25.

        The plus points of this year were the fact they managed to get a full season in with apparently no serious covid problems (notwithstanding the breaches by the mercedes and racing point drivers), the extra variety provided by the substitute tracks and the more competitive midfield. This last point is perhaps just down to ferrari falling off the pace so dramatically but at least we saw more teams on the podium which is vast improvement on 2019.

      2. @neilosjames I do also wonder whether people would have celebrated the crash fest at Mugello so much if that had come after Grosjean’s crash in Bahrain, or whether it would have been held in a rather different light.

      3. Allow me to completely disagree with the COTD! Races shouldn’t be judged on singular events, it’s actually a credit to the racefans voters that the whole race is taken into account, such as at Silverstone. Just because Hamilton finished on 3 wheels, that doesn’t make it a fantastic race, no.

        Taking the SC mess out of the equation, Mugello was still a great race with plenty of intrigue throughout on a track where the speed of the cars was truly evident, unlike Abu Dhabi.

        1. I agree that the whole race should be taken into account, and the rating should not be judged entirely on a singular event. That is why Turkey was the best race of the season, because it was exciting from start to finish. However, I think a particularly exciting singular event, such as watching Hamilton with a puncture and not knowing whether Verstappen would catch him, should be able to boost a race rating significantly. Silverstone wasn’t a fantastic race, but I think the final lap intrigue should be considered enough to move it ahead of Imola, Nurburgring and Styria, for example. The 1989 Japanese GP is an example of a race that is considered fantastic for one singular event. I don’t know what the rest of the race was like before the Senna-Prost incident, but I would imagine that it was very ordinary for a 1989 race.
          For Mugello, you described it as ‘a great race with plenty of intrigue throughout.’ I did enjoy the Mugello GP, although I didn’t see it as one of the better races this season. This is just a difference of opinion, as different people value different aspects of a Grand Prix more highly than others.
          For Abu Dhabi, I agree that it was the worst race of the season, but what I object to was it being rated as the worst race for 13 years. I think there have been lots of races in previous seasons that were far more boring, such as Canada 2015 or Australia 2015, but Abu Dhabi was just the worst compared to the rest of the season.

        2. @john-h I would point out that there are quite a few races where the race is often held up as being “an all time classic”, but where that reputation hinges on either a single event or a small number of events that occurred during a limited period of time.

          For example, take the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix – that race has a rather mythical status as one of those great races, but most replays and reports of that race only really talk about the last handful of laps when it began raining and drivers began to spin or crash.

          The main reason for that is, if you actually watch the rest of the race, is that the 70 odd laps leading up to that point were in fact incredibly dull. Prost was fairly comfortably holding off Patrese, with Patrese and Prioni being the only two drivers within half a minute of Prost and every driver up to 6th place lapped – Prost probably would have lapped everyone up to 4th place if the race had finished in dry conditions – and it really had been a fairly uneventful race until then.

          Similarly, the 1979 French GP has attained a level of renown because of the battle between Villeneuve and Arnoux in the final few laps, but until then that race had been pretty boring to watch (again, you’ll note most interest in that race only focusses on the handful of laps near the end).

          As @f1frog rightly notes, the 1989 Japanese GP is only really famous for the Prost-Senna clash – the race had been a fairly turgid event until then, with Prost and Senna vanishing up the road from everyone else (they were over a minute ahead of Nannini, and the rest of the field was so strung out that there was no action occurring elsewhere).

          Equally, you say that “Taking the SC mess out of the equation, Mugello was still a great race with plenty of intrigue throughout”, but that’s not what people talk about when they talk about the race in Mugello. Most fans mostly just talk about the crashes – there’s pretty much nobody in the race thread talking about the “intrigue” of the race – and I am inclined to agree with F1 frog that, when you look at the actual racing, Mugello wasn’t particularly interesting (and there were some who admitted that they were giving it a higher rating simply because it was a European venue, and they felt there should be more European venues on the calendar).

    2. Extra drive!? Isn’t that against the rules? Race ban!

      1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
        28th December 2020, 11:31

        Sounds like positive discrimination to me!

    3. That Japanese God of Wind would out-orange Verstappen.

    4. The best overall driver in 2020 after
      the Mercedes drivers.

    5. Hasn’t the Williams tweet already been used in a round-up? I feel like I’ve seen it before unless I’m mixing up another site.

      1. I think I saw it on BBC yesterday.

      2. As an aside, who has the “Williams Racing” Twitter account? Is it Frank William’s family or is it the Williams GP racing team?

    6. Regarding the COTD

      the British GP was rated way too low. Admittedly, the majority of the race wasn’t great, but in ten years time, nobody will remember the main part of the race; it will always be remembered as the race that Hamilton did a Lightning McQueen and dragged a puncture around for nearly half a lap to win the race.

      Mugello, on the other hand, was rated too highly. There was a lot of action, but it mostly came in the form of crashes, and red flags. The actual racing was nowhere near as good

      You kinda contradict yourself there.
      Both the British GP and the Tuscan GP had not a lot of action (well actually Mugello had some nice battles all race(s) long) and in both of them there was a big moment that we’ll remember (Hamilton’s 3-wheel finish & Mugello’s start/finish straight carnage).
      But you say “nobody will remember Silverstone’s completely boring 50/52 laps because of that special moment in the race” … and at the same time “nobody will remember Mugello’s for that special moment in the race, just those 59 ‘boring’ (they weren’t at all boring) laps”.

      1. It was more that I thought the straight-line carnage was quite dangerous, and not a reason to rate a race so highly, whereas watching Hamilton around the final lap with three wheels while Verstappen closed in so rapidly was extremely exciting and so memorable that I think that in itself should make the race more highly rated. Not as much as Sakhir, Monza, Austria and Turkey, but still higher than Mugello, for example.

        1. @f1frog I get your point, but Silverstone without the last 3 laps would have been rated even lower – it was very very boring – so it would have probably rated somewhere in the 4.5-5.5 scale. The last 3 laps were indeed exciting and that’s why it was rated above the rest of the other boring races (Hungary, Bahrain).
          But looking at the races rated above it (Imola, Styria, 70th Anniversary, Eifel, Portugal, Mugello), all of them had much better racing in the midfield. In fact only in Styria we didn’t have a fight for the lead, whereas in the rest of them we had in all of them.
          Plus location matters even if we don’t admit it. If you have the excact same ‘exciting’ race in Sochi and in Mugello, everyone would prefer the Mugello one because it’s way more beautiful to look at and more challenging for the drivers.

          1. Good points. I didn’t really consider the location of Mugello or the challenge for the drivers in my ratings, but it does make a difference. I just gave Silverstone a particularly large boost for the final few laps, whereas others may not have done. I actually think the dullness of the rest of the race increased the excitement of the end because it made it more unexpected.

    7. Most surprising about Hungary was that Verstappen, Horner and Marko really expected to win that race. He never was able to get the car setup properly though. Although of course it being the second fastest car means it didn’t matter that much, but still.

      1. And the most unsurprising about Hungary was that Bottas, despite driving the most dominant car ever build and starting on the front row, failed to finish in front of Verstappen, highlighting the complete lack of opposition Lewis has faced since Mercedes send Rosberg into retirement and making it impossible to add any credibility to his titles since 2015.

        1. I didn’t know Mercedes sent Rosberg into retirement? Tell us more.

          1. @riptide he won’t because he knows it’s a lie, and to come back to it would be to risk exposing the falsehood – so, instead he’ll throw it out there as another conspiracy theory of his and then run off to make sure that nobody can catch out his fraudulent claims.

        2. Dave (@davewillisporter)
          28th December 2020, 15:03

          By that logic we can’t credit Max with any skill since Daniel left as Max has faced absolutely no opposition from team mates. No credibility. Until Max has Leclerc next to him we can’t know if he is any good right?

        3. Yeah Bottas indeed had a bad start and overtaking is impossible at that track.

          Unless the lead driver panics and destroys his tyres. Like Verstappen did in Hungary 2019 and Styria 2020.

          1. Both situations completely different and without driver error.
            But he… its F1fantasy ;)

            1. Well in Styria, Verstappen broke his front wing. That is a clear driver error.
              In both situations Verstappen destroyed his tyres in his panic to keep a gap to the car behind. Instead of simply managing the tyres to the end of the race. Not sure what else to call that besides driver error.

              Having a poorer getaway on the dirty side of the track is a common issue in F1. That would not really be a driver error.

              So yes they could be considered different, but the driver error is on Verstappen.

    8. @Oconomo

      highlighting the complete lack of opposition Lewis has faced since Mercedes send Rosberg into retirement

      Well I don’t hear you moaning about Max not having competition since Ricciardo left? Or was Ricciardo a little bit too much competition for your liking?

      making it impossible to add any credibility to his titles since 2015.

      By that logic we can’t even add any credibility to Max whatsoever because not only does he not have competitive team mates, but he has the second best car and all he has to do is finish behind the Mercs which he often fails to do sticking it into the barriers etc. When Max had Ricciardo as his team mate he didn’t look so spectacular now did he?

      Finally let’s get something clear- keyboard warriors don’t have an impact on any credibility that Hamilton has. It’s just your irrelevant opinion, nothing more nothing less. The record books will show Hamilton more than earned his status- F1 is a results driven business and Hamilton has plenty of results to brag about, starting all the way from karting.

      1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
        28th December 2020, 15:04

        @blazzz apologies, didn’t read your post before I posted above. Great point!

      2. @blazzz Actually Max did look spectacular when DR was his teammate. Of course even moreso once he stopped his youthful exuberance from costing him points and handing them to DR. Like him or not, it is undeniable that Max has shown himself to be formidable, and he didn’t earn that by beating PG and AA. He earned that by beating DR and by being one of the few who have been able to take it to the two Mercedes drivers, and sometimes Ferrari when they’ve been in it, in his lesser car.

        As to Mercedes ‘retiring’ Rosberg? Nothing could be further from the truth, as they had re-signed him during 2016 for two more years, putting him there through 2018. It was NR’s decision and his alone. People like to forget that when they claim Mercedes was so happy to have peace and harmony on the team post-Nico. No, they actually wanted 2 more years of what they got through 2016. I’d never go so far as to claim Mercedes ‘wanted’ things to be easier for LH, for Nico was under contract to be there, and VB, poached from Williams, was the best they could do in a crunch, but it is unquestionably a fact that LH’s life was made a ton easier with Nico’s retirement and VB’s lesser performance and his continuous re-signing year by year. And that is significant when one has the only WDC capable car as it is the WCC car. Even TW has said several times that for VB to compete with LH the gloves would have to come off and the team peace and harmony come to an end, but yet that has never happened and likely won’t by all we have seen of the pairing.

        But the bottom line for me is that neither LH nor MV need a lesser teammate in order to shine. They stand out all on their own whether their teammates are NR and VB, or DR, PG, and AA. Their credibility is intact no matter their teammate, as their performances stand out overall. It’s more a matter of how challenged they are, and both LH and MV have no problem taking on a challenge. Both have no doubt in their minds they’ll beat whoever their teammate is, for their intent is to beat the whole grid anyway.

        1. @robbie

          I guess your rant misses the simple fundamental point of my post. @Oconomo used skewed measures to discredit Hamilton’s achievements and that’s fine. I then used the same skewed logic to discredit Verstappen and it seems you didn’t like it very much- rightfully so because guess what? It’s skewed logic. So context is very important dearboy.

          1. @blazzz Guess you missed my point dear boy. I was agreeing with you for the most part, and not with Oconomo. I just disagree that Max ‘didn’t look so spectacular’ when DR was his teammate. I wasn’t offended by your Verstappen comparison as I don’t buy into it for either MV or LH. I stand by everything I’ve said in defending both MV and LH from the concept of having ‘no credibility,’ for they always have competition from the field, and from themselves, when they don’t have it from their own teammate. But it is also a fact that when one has the dominant WCC car, and no competition from the teammate of significant worry, in the only other car realistically able to compete, that obviously is different than when one doesn’t have a WDC capable car and the results of handling one’s teammate very well over the season don’t bear the same fruit.

      3. When Max had Ricciardo as his team mate he didn’t look so spectacular now did he?

        so finishing before Ricci and beat him in the quali is not impressive? I guess in your logic that shows Ricci is not so great after all. ;)

      4. In all honesty, Verstappen always fought better cars…
        In 2015 he did fight both Kimi and Vettel in much stronger Ferrari’s, he did… try and fight Lewis (Australia 2016)
        Unlike Ricciardo who never overtook his team mate, Vettel of Hamilton… Verstappen did…

        Since Rosberg left F1 Lewis has been beaten numerous times by Bottas, he was also beaten by Verstappen and Ferrari’s… Now we can take away Ferrari in 2019… they didn’t fight a fair game, but in most cases Lewis was beaten he was beaten in the very best car. Verstappen on the other hand was in the 3rd best car, this season arguably the 2nd best car….
        In the hands of Verstappen or for that matter Hamilton RacingPoint would have been the 2nd best car.

        Verstappen fought forward, Lewis always had the better car

        1. Verstappen has had the better car on so many occasions. Like most Monaco, Malaysia, Mexico and Hungary races. Yet he finished ahead of Hamilton only a few times there.

          Or this season Turkey and Hungary.

          1. Wrong, he was the better driver on so many occasions with a second tier car.

            1. Yes that is easy just rant some nonsense. Name the races where he actually was better with a second tier car.

              You have a lot to correct for because that Red Bull was faster in Monaco, Malaysia, Mexico and Hungary are well known. Ricciardo did manage to win those while Verstappen blundered them away over and over and over.

    9. 2019 was better than 2020. Absolutely zero competition at the front of the field. Russell showed how easy it is in a Merc.

      1. If not easy, at least he showed it’s very much doable. Even for a substitute.

      2. @deanfranklin Verstappen could have had an easy win at Sakhir, but he put his car in the wall.

        1. There was nowhere to go… he could have collected Perez or Leclerc or just tried to stay on a line free of cars but ending in the wall. You could see he braked to the max ( lights back of the car) and onboard.
          Every real expert would agree. But F1fantasy saw an opportunity for his grievances pointed at VER.

          1. There was plenty of ways to go. Yet he choose to floor it, but he forgot there was gravel and put it in the wall.

      3. 2020 Kudo’s once again to.. well mostly to Toto I guess. He seems to be the undisputed winner. With Lewis there is room for debate given the advantage he’s been given by his car and terrible team mate for years now… I do remember thinking ‘today they wouldn’t have won if Lewis was not in that car’ many times the past seasons though. Not this year: I guess it was quite the ‘on cruise control year’ for Lewis. Lets hope next year will see some more competitiveness.

        Personally I survived the season by splitting the field in two classes. One top class with the following teams in it: Mercedes. And then the second class with the rest. It turned out to be quite a good season with some RedBull dominance, but luckily their 2nd driver kept the season alive by his underperformance

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