Hungarian GP: Review

Published on 25 July 2023 at 13:00

Nathan Hartley


Round 12 of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship was ended through a dominant display by reigning world champion Max Verstappen, winning by over 33 seconds from Lando Norris.


2023 Hungarian Grand Prix race start (Image Credit: Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images).


Hamilton claims 104th pole position


Going into qualifying around the Hungaroring, there was a new rule being brought into play. For the duration of Q1, only hard compound tyres were able to be used. In Q2, it would be the mediums and in Q3, it would only be the soft compound tyres allowed.


This rule created some excitement, as Q1 was ended with Zhou Guanyu going quickest on the hard compound tyre. Meanwhile, a shock exit for George Russell in 18th had fans excited with how close the session was. By the end of Q1, all 20 drivers were within 1.1 seconds from each other.


Q2 would see the medium tyres be introduced. The second stage of qualifying would result in Lando Norris going quickest, showing that they had the pace to Red Bull in qualifying. On the other end, Carlos Sainz would find himself out of qualifying in 11th.


After Q2, the soft compound tyres were the only tyres left available, meaning the quickest times of the session would be produced. Max Verstappen would take provisional pole, ahead of Lewis Hamilton by over a tenth.


However, the reigning world champion could not improve his lap time on his final run. Nervously waiting, Verstappen would edge out Norris as the McLaren driver was just eight hundredths off the Dutchman's time.


However, out of nowhere, Hamilton would snatch pole off the Red Bull driver by three thousandths off a second, claiming his 104th Formula 1 career pole position. 


Verstappen claimed that the balance of his car was not right, experiencing lots of understeer and oversteer with the car. On the other hand, Hamilton believes that he pushed the limits of the car during his incredible pole lap.



Red Bull claim historic win


Red Bull were going into the Hungarian Grand Prix with a race winning resulting in the Austrian team beating McLaren's record of 11 race wins in a row.


Max Verstappen was starting the race from second. Whereas, Sergio Perez was starting down in ninth. When the light went out, Verstappen managed to crucially take the lead of the race from Hamilton.


The Dutchman was the able to drive away in the distance, eventually winning the race by over 33 seconds from Lando Norris, as Sergio Perez would round up the podium positions.


Verstappen's win meant that Red Bull has won 12 races in a row, starting from last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Austrian team has won every race so far of the 2023 season. The Dutchman has now won seven races n a row, chasing Sebastian Vettel's record of nine race wins in a row for Red Bull back in 2013.


McLaren genuinely second-quickest team?


Who would have thought that McLaren would be fighting for pole positions and podium finishes? Well, the Woking team has been performing expertly since the upgrades were applied to the MCL60 at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix.


With the upgraded car, Norris finished fifth in Austria. As for Silverstone, both Oscar Piastri was given the upgrades. This resulted in Norris finishing second and Piastri just missing out on the podium in 4th.


Norris came into Budapest downplaying the Woking team's chances of repeating a podium finish due to the nature of the track. However, the team were competitive, fighting for pole position, as Norris qualified third and Piastri in fourth.


By the end of the race, Norris managed to hold off Perez for second, claiming his first ever consecutive podium finish in Formula 1. Piastri was also up there until damage hampered his race after being forced off by Perez, resulting him finishing in fifth.


However, the race saw McLaren having much better pace than their rivals, especially in the first and second stints. Mercedes had a poor race car, whilst Ferrari were just average.


Furthermore, Aston Martin's pace has dropped off massively. The Silverstone team used to be the clear second-quickest car. However, they are now only fighting for points positions, as Fernando Alonso finished in ninth ahead of teammate Lance Stroll in 10th.



Race Rating - 4/10

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