Verstappen and Red Bull’s tactical masterclass humiliates Ferrari in Hungary

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix review

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Television scriptwriters understand the importance of raising the tension just before an advertising break to entice viewers to stay tuned and find out what could possibly happen next.

Would Formula 1 serve up the same in the Hungarian Grand Prix, the last race before the summer break? Ferrari and Charles Leclerc had an ideal opportunity to regain lost ground on Red Bull and Max Verstappen, reinvigorate the championship battles and leave millions of fans on tenterhooks during the four-week suspension.

Instead, what Ferrari and their passionate supporters witnessed during the Hungarian Grand Prix was less high drama and more comedy – with Red Bull the ones heading into August laughing the hardest.

But Verstappen’s rise up the ranks could easily have been self-sabotaged before it had even begun. Leclerc’s race turned on Ferrari’s hotly-debated decision to fit a set of hard tyres at his second pit stop, notwithstanding the problems other teams experienced getting the compound to work on a relatively cool track.

After Sunday’s race, Verstappen revealed he almost opted for the same compound as he prepared to line up 10th on the grid. It would have proved a grave error.

Verstappen made a vital pre-race call
“We were planning to start on the hard tyre,” Verstappen later revealed. “But then I went to the grid on the soft tyres and I was already struggling for grip. So I said ‘no way we’re going to start on the hard…'”

Verstappen’s insistence and Red Bull’s willingness to listen to their driver would stand in stark contrast to the approach of Ferrari during the race. What unfolded was arguably yet another example of the team with arguably the best car on the grid giving away points in the most baffling fashion.

With George Russell having delivered Mercedes pole position on Saturday – the first of his Formula 1 career – the least his team could do is give him the best chance of keeping it. For that reason and others, they chose to start the pole winner on soft compound tyres in a bid to help him come out of the first corner with the lead.

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The plan worked – just. Carlos Sainz Jnr, on medium rubber, chased Russell to turn one and beat the Mercedes under braking for the tight right hander, nosing in front. But Russell had the racing line, pulled ahead of the Ferrari and kept the lead.

Race start, Hungaroring, 2022
First-time pole-winner Russell kept Sainz behind
Behind them, Leclerc was unopposed in third, while Lando Norris was being challenged for fourth by Lewis Hamilton. The other Mercedes driver, who had started seventh after aborting his final qualifying attempt due to a DRS problem, had already passed the Alpine pair, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso seemingly more interested in fighting each other than him.

In the pack, Kevin Magnussen lightly clipped Daniel Ricciardo at the exit of turn one, skewing the left endplate of his front wing in the process. As if not to be outdone, Alexander Albon locked up at the next corner and clattered into the back of Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin – somehow with enough force to break his front wing, but not enough to cause Stroll any notable damage.

With enough carbon fibre littering the first sector to make a Womble envious, the Virtual Safety Car was deployed. Albon escaped investigation for his clash with Stroll, but was rewarded with a black-and-orange flag instead, forcing him to pit and dropping him to the back, 20 seconds behind everyone else. Magnussen later received a similar summons to address his wonky wing endplate, giving the Williams driver the luxury of having someone to watch in his mirrors.

Just as he had in Paul Ricard a week ago, Russell got a jump on his closest rival once the VSC was lifted and the race resumed, holding over a two-and-a-half second advantage over Sainz once the track was green. Russell was immediately handed tyre-saving duties by Mercedes, preventing him from running away from the Ferraris behind as he no doubt would have preferred to.

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Seven seconds behind, Verstappen was doing anything but preserving his softs. Having passed Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas at the start, Verstappen was now staring down the Alpines ahead. He dispatched Alonso on lap five, then Ocon on lap seven. Suddenly, Verstappen was already up to sixth and only 10 seconds behind the race leader – already matching Red Bull’s projections for his race result after just 30 kilometres. His call to start on the softs was seemingly vindicated.

Lando Norris, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2022
Norris contained Hamilton until Verstappen caught the pair
Out front, Russell was doing a grand job of staying ahead of the Ferraris. But if the plan was for him to build a gap to the red cars behind, he was having less success achieving that objective, with Sainz remaining around three seconds behind the leader.

In fourth position, Norris was enjoying himself as the only car not of the top three teams in the top six places. On lap 12, Hamilton decided the McLaren had outstayed its welcome and slipped past him under braking for turn one. Hamilton’s pass paved the way for Verstappen to follow him through, easily out-dragging Norris on the run to turn two with the help of DRS.

By now, the softs were becoming more of a hinderance than a help, with Russell struggling with rear traction as his rubber wore away. “I’m closing,” Sainz told his Ferrari team what they could already work out from the timing screen. As soon as he got within a second of the leader on lap 16, Ferrari called Sainz into the pits in a bid to jump ahead of Russell – only for Mercedes to beat them to it. Sainz stayed out as Russell dived into the pits.

The former leader emerged between the squabbling Alpines on a set of mediums. Any option for Sainz, now leading, to extend his stint was lost as he reported he “cannot do many more laps” on his starting set. He peeled into the pits the lap ahead of Russell, but a sluggish, 3.7-second stop put paid to any chance of jumping the Mercedes.

Leclerc had a clear track out front. “How many laps at this pace can you do?,” race engineer Xavier Marcos Padros enquired. “At the moment the tyres are holding up,” Leclerc replied. “It’s a good question though. Around seven or eight?”

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Rather than take those seven laps, Ferrari opted for just one more. With a second set of mediums and no delay in his pit box, Leclerc was sent on his way, rejoining ahead of his team mate but still behind Russell. With the top three all on the same compound and Russell’s tyres five laps older than Leclerc’s, Ferrari could begin to show their some of that impressive race pace they had demonstrated in far warmer conditions on Friday.

George Russell, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2022
Leclerc looked set for victory after passing Russell
By lap 26, Leclerc was in DRS range. Russell held his nerve over multiple laps of sustained pressure until the start of lap 31, when Leclerc was close enough to deploy DRS along the pit straight and breeze by the leader with so much superiority under braking that he was able to move to cover the inside line before they reached the corner.

Having lost the lead, Russell could only watch as Leclerc did what he had been unable to do and gradually pulled away out front. Russell was now more concerned with Sainz chasing him behind than he was with reclaiming the lead, worries that only grew when Sainz got around behind him.

But Sainz was not alone. Verstappen had used a well-timed first stop to undercut Hamilton and move into fourth and now he was beginning to breathe down the neck of the third-placed Ferrari who was trying to focus on catching Russell.

On the Red Bull pit wall, principal strategy engineer Hannah Schmitz and her colleagues saw an opportunity. They made the call and brought in Verstappen at the end of lap 38 for a second set of mediums. The team’s ever reliable pit crew – who ensured their two drivers received the four quickest pit stops of the day – sent their man back out after a wait of just 2.4 seconds.

“An almighty out-lap could see you pass Russell,” Giampiero Lambiese urged Verstappen. “Let’s go.” The world champion obliged.

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Red Bull’s move triggered retaliation. Mercedes had to cover Verstappen, bringing Russell in for another set of mediums to try and last him the 31 laps until the end of the race. Unfortunately, that immediate reaction was not enough to prevent Verstappen from beating them out of the pit lane, the Red Bull driver having successfully accomplished his “almighty out lap” mission.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2022
The pit stop which cost Leclerc victory?
Meanwhile, Ferrari had also summoned Leclerc in after a shorter, 18-lap stint on his second set of mediums. Their numbers told them that the hard compound would gain them time in the long run if they were willing to take an initial hit bringing the tyres up to temperature. But it did not take long for Leclerc to realise that hit would be far harder than his team expected.

“Fuck…” Leclerc sighed as Verstappen filled his mirrors down the pit straight. “The tyres are shit.”

Even leaving the minimum amount of space on the inside could not allow Leclerc to keep the Red Bull behind. With under two-thirds of the race run, Verstappen had already completed his recovery from tenth on the grid to the net lead of the race.

Ferrari were not panicking. Leclerc would surely come into his own later in the race around the point when Verstappen should begin to fade. Then they were handed a gift: As Verstappen rounded the long left-hander of turn 13 at the end of the lap, a minor clutch problem he had been quietly nursing through the first 40 laps bit him under throttle and Verstappen was suddenly looped through a full 360 degrees at the entrance of the pit lane.

Leclerc had to take drastic avoiding action and almost lost it himself in sympathy, but kept his car pointing the right way and took back virtual second place. Verstappen then had to contend with Russell behind looking to punish him further, but that pressure quickly dissipated once the Red Bull got back up to speed.

“I was struggling a bit with the shifts and the clutch,” Verstappen explained after the race. “We had to change a few things around that to not basically burn the clutch and that cost a bit of performance. I think that caught me out, out of that corner. But luckily, I could do a 360, so I [only] lost one spot.” It didn’t take him long to reclaim it.

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Gifted back his lead, Leclerc was still waiting for his hard tyres to eventually switch on. They continued to defy him, leaving him virtually defenceless for when Verstappen caught back up to him and used his superior traction to power out of the first corner and pass the Ferrari for a second time, heaping yet more misery on the Ferrari pit wall.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2022
Verstappen jumped ahead of Hamilton in the pits
While all this was unfolding, Sainz and Hamilton had continued on-track, extending their middle stints in order to switch to softs for the final run to the flag. Ferrari called in the leader on lap 48, seeing him back behind Russell in fifth, which moved Hamilton into the lead. That lasted until lap 51 when he copied Sainz’s switch to softs and headed back out 10 seconds behind the Ferrari in fourth place.

Leclerc’s hard tyres still hadn’t come good 13 laps into his stint, and he was setting the slowest lap times of the top seven drivers. Russell was now all over him and inevitably overtook the Ferrari for second on lap 54.

“Consider Plan D,” Leclerc pleaded with his pit wall. “These tyres are a disaster.”

There was no choice but to accept the inevitable. Leclerc got the call to pit for a third time, Ferrari admitting defeat by giving him a used set of softs to try and stem the bleeding. He was now down in sixth place – the driver Ferrari should have hoped would score maximum points this weekend now the last of the top three teams running.

Leclerc’s tyre woes were in stark contrast to Hamilton, who was enjoying copious grip from him softs having waited until the final quarter of the race to finally make use of them. Sainz’s Ferrari ahead was easy prey for the Mercedes on five-lap younger tyres – a measure of the gains the world champions have made since the season began. Hamilton then set about eating into the 1.6-second gap to his team mate ahead over the final eight laps. But Hamilton had his eyes on a bigger prize.

“How far ahead is Max?,” he asked, hopefully. The answer was too far ahead, at least on this particular Sunday afternoon.

Mercedes did not need to utter a word to their two drivers as Hamilton chased down Russell. After his best weekend in silver so far, Russell would be forgiven for not wanting to lose out to his team mate in the final six laps. With no team orders, Russell defended the inside line when Hamilton tucked into his slipstream on the pit straight, but Hamilton was wise to it and simply cut to the inside on exit to drive through into second place, the battle already settled.

After over 60 laps of racing, the final finishing positions had been settled. Leclerc edged towards Sergio Perez, who hadn’t matched his team mate’s progress having started one position behind him on the same strategy, but couldn’t make a move on the Red Bull.

Taxing the drivers further, light rain began to fall over the circuit. It was strong enough to warrant words of caution from race engineers but not enough to cause too many problems for drivers. Even a late Virtual Safety Car when Bottas suffered a fuel system failure was nothing more than a brief rest for the drivers ahead of the final lap.

Red Bull’s turnaround from being half a second slower than Ferrari’s race pace on Friday to winning by 10 seconds from tenth on the grid had been impressive – even if it had only served to sap the intrigue from a championship battle that increasingly feels like a forgone conclusion.

After executing his team’s plans almost perfectly, Verstappen recognised how the team’s strategists had backed him up perfectly after his pre-race call not to start on the hards.

“It’s incredibly important if you want to fight for a championship,” Verstappen said of Red Bull’s strategy team and pit crew. “You can’t afford many mistakes.

“It’s very hard, to always be on the good side like that. But I think we have a lot of good guys in the team and girls as well. Today I think Hannah, our strategist, was insanely calm and she’s very good.”

Hamilton was delighted with back-to-back double podiums for his team in second place, Mercedes now looking far more of a threat to Ferrari in the constructors’ championship than Ferrari are to Red Bull. Russell’s first pole had not granted him his first race victory, but he was still satisfied heading into the summer break.

“Obviously, you’re always disappointed if you start from pole – to finish anything lower than first position, you’ll be disappointed with,” he admitted. “But when you look at everything objectively, I think that was probably a fair result.”

Sainz had to settle for fourth, but it was Leclerc in sixth who had the most reason to feel aggrieved. “Oh my god, the hards were so bad,” he grumbled on the cool-down lap. “That’s why I said I wanted to stay on the mediums as long as possible.”

Norris endured a lonely second half of the race ahead of the two Alpines of Alonso and Ocon. After missing out on the final point to his team mate in Paul Ricard, the retirement-bound Vettel exacted some revenge on Lance Stroll by passing him for 10th in the closing laps.

Verstappen’s pre-race tyre call was vindicated
With four weeks to stew in their frustration at yet another opportunity to win resulted in a Verstappen victory an Ferrari losing points, Leclerc insists that championship standings are not on his mind going into the break.

“Before thinking about the championship, as a team, we need to understand what we need to do to get our car better,” Leclerc said. “Otherwise it’s going to be very difficult.”

Despite taking yet another 25-point haul, Verstappen is convinced that Ferrari still have the pace in their package to give him headaches over the final nine race weekends – if only their strategies would stop obstructing him almost every Sunday.

“We know that our car is, in general, is quick, Verstappen said. “But I think throughout the race, Ferrari was also very fast. They just they made the wrong call with the hard tyre.”

Author information

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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38 comments on “Verstappen and Red Bull’s tactical masterclass humiliates Ferrari in Hungary”

  1. Bit disappointed with this review. The race was more than just the drivers in the top three teams

    1. You make a very good point, even though I initially missed it as I thoroughly liked the extended race write-ups (they are really good this year).

      There were many good drives and quite a bit of action outside the top six as well which deserved a review and mentioning. But let’s take the glass half full approach; the racing is so good this year that even a 2000-2500 word article is not long enough.

    2. The Title was clear enough but i hope a other article with the others would be nice.

  2. Jonathan Parkin
    1st August 2022, 9:27

    If my maths is correct, Verstappen just needs podiums now right, Leclerc needs all wins plus top in the sprint session

    1. All wins by Leclerc plus FLAPs will give him 242 points (plus more wins).
      Thus Verstappen needs at least 163 points, which is all 2nd places plus a point from the Sprint.

      The certainly Verstappen has though is to go and leave his birth country race as WDC leader, he will also arrive and depart from Zandvoort as WDC leader, and he will therefore finish the European races as WDC leader.
      I think he can enjoy his ‘caravaning’ this summer ;)

      1. So Ricciardo can still clinch the WDC if he wins all the points 19 + 242 = 259 and Max don’t get any point :)

        1. On a serious note, it will be extremely difficult for Leclerc to win all the races especially considering the fact that he will have to take a grid penalty at some point in the season. To win that race is possible but extremely difficult and not very likely.

    2. The title has been gone since 2 races ago, we don’t need to update every race just how farcical the position of Leclerc is and his title “challenge”. At the current rate of travel you may find the Mercedes drivers overtake him before the end of the year.

      1. Yes, that’s more likely, already in hungary mercedes was up there with ferrari imo.

    3. If you look at Leclerc’s results so far, there is absolutely nothing to suggest he’s going to get results anywhere near good enough to put pressure on Max. Red Bull and Max don’t need to take any risks anymore – they just use the car’s pace to finish high up in the points and Ferrari & Leclerc will do the rest for him. The fact that Mercedes have improved and can now take points off of Ferrari makes it even easier for them.

      With the mid-season rule change coming into effect at Spa and Mercedes already improving prior to it, I can’t see how Leclerc is going to get enough wins to catch Max without some major reliability problems.

      1. The fact that Mercedes have improved and can now take points off of Ferrari makes it even easier for them.

        Initially I thought that Mercedes improving could help the Championships: Leclerc/Ferrari seemed strong enough for many wins, and Mercedes could force Verstappen to settle for a place off the podium.

        How wrong was I seeing that Mercedes is clearly costing Ferrari more points that they are hurting Verstappen.

  3. I think if anyone was appointed Team Principle of Ferrari tomorrow – we all know what is the first thing they’d look at on Monday morning. Matteo must know it also. You don’t even need someone who knows anything about F1, the world is full of mathematicians and data analysts who would happily take up the role and practice some critical thinking. It’s just numbers, and yes there will always be some risk involved. But to get it wrong week after week – seeing the Ferrari’s chase Russell up the hill on lap one I thought ‘George doesn’t stand a chance

    And then Charles finishes 6th?

    1. seeing the Ferrari’s chase Russell up the hill on lap one I thought ‘George doesn’t stand a chance‘

      But what made you think that?? I mean, I presume…. we all know by now Ferrari seems to be a little worse in race trim than Quali (doesn’t matter the reason, but that’s the way it is). Then, they didn’t take the PP, losing to a Mercedes, possibly to both if HAM had a trouble free Q3… a car that actually seems to be a little bit better in race trim. Also, they started on a harder tyre compared to those around…. so, didn’t really believe they would pass RUS easily at all. Actually, given that SAI was 2nd, I just hoped they won’t stay dozens of laps behind RUS and lose precious time. Well, my worries just came true.

  4. Imagine Ferrari fighting against Mercedes in 2021. They would have arrived 150 points behind :D :D

  5. Wood not mincing words here with the title. But it’s totally fair.

    The first stint was perhaps less notable, but also rather bad from Ferrari. For whatever reason they adopted Russell’s strategy for Sainz, despite having the harder tyre and Sainz never being particularly close to Russell (so not a whole lot of extra wear). Not only did Sainz mess up the VSC restart, thereby putting him way behind, he also never really made an effort to put pressure on Russell which might have made Ferrari think there wasn’t more pace in the tyre. But they should have looked at Leclerc, who was comfortably much closer behind Sainz pretty much the whole time. Why Leclerc didn’t make a move on Sainz is anyone’s guess, but by running the Medium tyre much shorter than they could, they invited further tyre management issues further into the race.

    It seems from the outside that Sainz is much more assertive within the team, and Binotto doesn’t have the wherewithal to keep his drivers straight. Leclerc, while usually quite a bit faster, doesn’t have the influence to make the team work for him. Again: he shouldn’t have to, but given the circumstances at the team, he has to.

    Would Hamilton or Verstappen sit back and watch Russell trundle along at a weak pace during the entire first stint? Of course not. Sainz should have been told to pass Russell, or give up the place to Leclerc so he can have a go. By effectively wasting the entire first stint of the race, Ferrari’s pointless Sainz-focussed strategy allowed Verstappen and Hamilton to close the gap their poor qualifying result had given them.

    1. It seems from the outside that Sainz is much more assertive within the team, and Binotto doesn’t have the wherewithal to keep his drivers straight. Leclerc, while usually quite a bit faster, doesn’t have the influence to make the team work for him. Again: he shouldn’t have to, but given the circumstances at the team, he has to.

      I think that is a very accurate assessment of the situation at Ferrari.

    2. +1. That’s what I was thinking and was afraid of before the race, and it happened. Their race was kinda compromised before it started: 1. because SAI was ahead of LEC and he’s not fast and agressive enough to get ahead; 2. because they started with the wrong tyre and let RUS set the rhythm. Their agenda should have been dispatching RUS as quickly as possible. And that’s the problem with SAI, he’s never a problem for those with more or less equal machinery.

    3. “humiliates” in this case is harsh, funny and extremely apporpriate.

    4. To answer some of your questions, they brought Sainz in after Russel because Russel had a slow stop – they saw the opportunity to jump Russel him on track, and take the virtual lead of the race. Unfortunately Sainz also has a slow stop so that plan failed. Unitl then the Ferrari drivers were probably in tyre conservation mode, expecting to go a lot further than Russel – and jump him after the first stop with a tyre differation – exactly what Charles did.

      Charles second stop was forced on him by Max, if he stayed out any longer Max would have taken the virtual lead of the race. Ferrari had two options – fit the hard and keep the lead and hope the tyre would work for them (which they must have expected would be the case). OR give up the virtual lead and then have to pass Max later in the GP with Fresher soft tyres. They had a minute or two to make this decision.

      The big deciding factor would have been what they thought they could do on the hards. The decision was probably right, the model not so much. Could Max have held off Charles on the soft – we will never know. Ferrari probably believed he could have.

  6. I get the review focusing on the top 3 teams. It was quite a complicated race to disentangle. Starting with Russell in the lead from Sainz and Leclerc, finishing VER, HAM, RUS and only really a lot of pit stop/tyre strategy decisions to explain how that happened. Ultimately Verstappen and Hamilton had the best pace because, well, they are the two best drivers out there. Ferrari’s mind-blowing decision to pit Leclerc early and put him on hard tyres (it’s like they have a bumper book on ‘How to Screw up a Race’) was the real turnaround moment.
    Hamilton, strangely, said he could have won had he started on soft tyres. Really? Maybe he could have won if he’d not aborted his final run in qualifying and gained a couple more places on the grid and then again at the start, who knows. But Russell on the soft tyres at the race start was clearly compromised by the fuel load compared to Lewis on low fuel at the end when he was flying. I guess he’s thinking he could have passed Norris sooner and caught up with the Ferraris at least.
    It feels like Ferrari owe everyone a decent championship fight. Red Bull are the (almost) complete title fighting package. Almost because I’m still unconvinced by Perez in car 2.

    1. @david-br

      Maybe he could have won if he’d not aborted his final run in qualifying

      It was to this that Hamilton was referring. Had his DRS not failed, and thus had a chance at a higher grid slot, he may have been able to win.

      1. I was referring to this comment @psynrg

  7. I’d like to congratulate Max Verstappen on his 2022 WDC and Mercedes on their 2022 WCC wins respectfully.

    1. Can you clarify how you see Mercedes win the 2022 WCC?

      They are 127 points behind RB with 9 races to go, that is 14 points per race. Ignoring the double RB DNF in Bahrain the max point gain Mercedes made was 9 points in Australia where Max had an engine failure.
      Mercedes had their best weekends in France and Hungary and Perez was crap both weekend yet Red Bull still outscored Mercedes in both races.

      1. Indeed, it’s not realistic for mercedes, they can perhaps get some wins.

      2. @jelle-van-der-meer @esploratore1 OK the difference is 97, not 127. After the summer break, Ferrari and Redbull will be running a ‘stiff floor’ possibly losing at least some of the advantages they currently hold over Mercedes. Redbull priorities the WDC over WCC, and the recent changes made to the car have made it more difficult for Perez.
        Mercedes is getting on top of their issues and will go after the WCC knowing that both drivers are likely to finish ahead of Perez, he is not of the calibre, and Verstappen can’t win the WCC alone.

        1. @jelle-van-der-meer Sorry your figures are correct but I stand by my argument.

  8. The truth is that bearing in mind the car they have and the position they started in, there is no way that Ferrari should have finished this race with a worse result than 3rd and 4th I think. Probably with Leclerc being at least 3rd. They must have ignored the data, logic and what was happening with cars from other teams.

    All of this just makes no sense and it is very frustrating for all of us hoping for there to be a battle at the top this year. We can all see the Ferrari is a very good car. The engineers and designers must be pulling there hair out. Instead now Ferrari must concentrate on just beating Merc rather than trying to win either championship.

    I do feel for Charles but he needs to be more assertive and confront the situation with the team. Even Carlos does to some extent. This is just mismanagement and a waste of resources.

    1. Leclerc should’ve been 2nd imo, he had passed russell early on and was pulling away, if they hadn’t anticipated the 2nd stop it seems reasonable he’d only lose to verstappen, sainz and perez were nowhere and he should’ve been able to hold hamilton off too.

  9. It’s not a masterclass if a fat old guy sitting in his couch eating a bowl of cereal knows that you shouldn’t go to hards.

  10. It wasn’t a tactical masterclass, just that Leclerc’s strategy was complete nonsense. Too bad not be sabotage

  11. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    1st August 2022, 12:29

    Well there is a spare seat at Alpine next year!

    1. Not on subject I know, but I bet Daniel’s agent has been on the phone to them. Especially if he really feels McLaren are going to dump him. He’e never got on very well at McLaren and he has experience at Alpine. It’s very, very unlikely of course but stranger things have happened.

      1. Sorry, dumb comment, there still is a seat open at Alpine

  12. Tactical master class?

    The guy has the fastest car by a country mile. Hell, he got to do a 360 and still be able to overtake other cars on a track where overtaking is very difficult.

    I’m just glad Verstappen will be able to win this year’s championship on merit so he can put the whole 1* thing to bed.

    1. True, even though imo: 1) this championship isn’t worth much for verstappen, it’s a bit like hamilton in 2018, a good performance against a nobody, back then vettel making mistake after mistake, and this season a combination of bad strategies and driver mistakes that make ferrari unthreatening, and 2) there’s no asterisk on 2021, and for the challenge provided by hamilton and mercedes, 2021 is still the most significant title for verstappen.

  13. Some extra observations over the weekend:

    perez looks more useless and behind the pace than usual, maybe RB are using a different non flexi floor on his car in preparation for after the break?

    Massive decline in Alfa going backwards since zhou torpedoed the barrier in Silverstone. Maybe they have increased the weight of the car reinforcing the roll hoop so it wont fail in future?

    Alpha Tauri pace gone off a cliff in 2022, looks like they have given up on 2022 with almost zero upgrades on the car mid season similar to Honda in 2008. Is this a sign they are preparing for a sale? considering that Red bull announced a partnership with Porsche and further wanting to distance themselves from their B team and Honda maybe Honda is looking to buy AT outright soon?

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