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Hungarian Grand Prix: Five key talking points

Hungarian Grand Prix: Five key talking points

F1 News

Hungarian Grand Prix: Five key talking points

Hungarian Grand Prix: Five key talking points

The first triple-header of the 2020 Formula 1 season came to a close in Hungary on Sunday, with Lewis Hamilton claiming a dominant victory to take the championship lead away from his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

The Mercedes W11 was in a league of its own across the weekend and, after Bottas made a poor start, Hamilton was left to stroke his car to the flag without challenge.

This makes for a perfect place to start...

Mercedes - Dominant, again

What more can you say about the performance of Hamilton that hasn't already been said? The six-time champion equalled Michael Schumacher's record for the most wins at a single grand prix and, despite pitting late on to go for the fastest lap, still took the flag by almost nine seconds.

Had it not been for the extra stop, the gap would have been more in the region of 40-seconds, with Hamilton lapping everyone up to fourth.

In the other Mercedes, Bottas overcame a difficult start to finish third, half a second behind Max Verstappen.

The Finn described it as a "bad day", but really, his recovery drive was every bit as impressive as Hamilton's display at the front.

Max Verstappen - Zero to hero

When drivers left the pits to head to the grid, the track was wet and very greasy. It would make sense then, not to push the cars hard.

But Verstappen disagreed and, after several sideways moments, locked his front-left Pirelli, and ploughed straight into a barrier, damaging the front wing, a pull rod and a track rod.

A job that would ordinarily take 90 minutes to complete was done in just 20, and with seconds to spare by Verstappen's screaming Red Bull mechanics.

Verstappen then repaid the team with one of the races of his life. After starting from seventh, the Dutchman quickly climbed to second, and did not surrender the position.

Although unable to match the pace of Hamilton out front, he was comfortably the fastest non-Mercedes driver, with the quality of his performance reflected in the fact he won the 'driver of the day' vote.

Renault versus Racing Point - Round two

After the Styrian Grand Prix, Renault lodged a protest against the Racing Point brake ducts. As these are listed parts, each team must design and manufacture these parts in house, but Renault believes its rival has not followed the regulations.

Many in the paddock openly refer to Racing Point and the RP20 as 'Tracing Point' or 'The Pink Mercedes' and, in qualifying at least, the pace is there to back this claim.

Renault protested the same part again after the race in Hungary, although this was frivolous as they were effectively told there was no need to do so given it was again the brake ducts they were questioning

The case is set to be heard later this month before the British Grand Prix. Whatever the outcome, it is likely there will be an appeal, with the case then forwarded to the Court of Appeal.

In the short-term, however, the war of words between the two teams looks set to continue.

Haas - The gamble that paid off

Damp, drying conditions often present an opportunity for teams towards the back to make a brave strategy call. On Sunday, Haas made the inspired decision to pit both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean for slick tyres at the end of the formation lap.

The call paid off handsomely, with both Haas cars running inside the top four early on as other cars pitted for slicks under racing conditions.

Both cars did slide down the order, but Magnussen managed to cling on to bring home the first points of the season for the team, only for the stewards to haul them in after discovering they were instructed to pit while on that formation lap.

As drivers are meant to drive their car "alone and unaided", as per the regulations, this meant they were both hit with post-race 10-second penalties.

Mercifully for Magnussen and Haas, the Dane only dropped one place, from ninth to 10th. It may have been illegal, but the gamble certainly paid off.

Williams - Getting closer

Williams is one of those teams that it is difficult not to like, and the lack of pace in recent years has been hard to see, but things are beginning to turn around.

After qualifying 12th in the Styrian rain, George Russell backed up his performance in the dry Hungarian session, again qualifying 12th with team-mate Nicholas Latifi also escaping Q1, a feat not achieved since by two Williams drivers since the 2018 Italian Grand Prix.

It was not all smiles for the team though, as they still came home as the final two finishers of the 19 that crossed the line in the race, but progress is being made, and it is what everyone wants to see.

Williams locked in both Russell and Latifi for 2021 over the weekend, and both will hope to see the team continue to improve, closing slowly in on the midfield.

Before you go...

Brawn on Racing Point case: Copying has been rife in F1 for years

"No appetite to gamble" at McLaren - Seidl

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