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Verstappen gift as Mercedes roar back - What we learned at the Hungarian GP
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Verstappen gift as Mercedes roar back - What we learned at the Hungarian GP

Verstappen gift as Mercedes roar back - What we learned at the Hungarian GP

F1 News

Verstappen gift as Mercedes roar back - What we learned at the Hungarian GP

Verstappen gift as Mercedes roar back - What we learned at the Hungarian GP

Max Verstappen clinched his first Hungarian Grand Prix victory courtesy of another strategic gaffe from Ferrari.

It means Charles Leclerc is now even further adrift in the championship race due to a lack of common sense from the Scuderia pit wall, leaving the final nine races pointed towards a second successive title triumph for Verstappen.

So on a dramatic weekend at the Hungaroring, what did we learn?

What more to say about Ferrari?

It is difficult to avoid sounding like a broken record week-on-week as Ferrari keeps shooting itself in the foot.

Another race where Leclerc was on course for a likely victory - second at the very worst - was thrown away by a miserable strategy call with 30 laps remaining.

Despite struggles for Alpine and Kevin Magnussen on the hard tyres, the Scuderia decided that would be the compound to see Leclerc through to the end of the race - a decision that can only be described as a disaster.

A further stop to switch to soft rubber did not help Leclerc's cause and he eventually finished down in sixth, sparking a debate on whether it is time for Ferrari to make internal changes.

Red Bull masterclass highlighted by rival failings

On the Red Bull pit wall, meanwhile, an aggressive strategy for Verstappen and the typical sublime driving from the Dutchman saw him rise from 10th to victory to extend his points lead to 80.

It feels as though the championship is essentially over now, given Verstappen can afford to retire three times in the remaining nine races and still be ahead of Leclerc.

The failures of Ferrari have only highlighted the superb job done by Red Bull on the pit wall all season long.

You must be in a good position if you can start 10th, lose a position off the start line, pit twice, spin and still beat those around you. Verstappen and Red Bull are a league apart right now.

Mercedes back in the mix as Russell shows colours

George Russell was magnificent in qualifying to take his first career pole position in F1 and Mercedes' first of the season.

That would have been a massive morale booster for the Silver Arrows given the hardships over the first part of the season.

The pole alone would have stoked fire in the belly of the sleeping F1 giant, but Lewis Hamilton's performance to join Russell for a second successive double podium will have jolted Ferrari, who now sit only 30 points ahead in the constructors' standings.

What can Mercedes do after the summer break? You feel wins are on the way.

McLaren-Alpine fight to rage on

McLaren and Alpine are locked in a battle over fourth in the standings and neither seems to be giving an inch.

Lando Norris was in fine form over the weekend, qualifying fourth and finishing seventh for what was the best result he and his team could have hoped for.

Alpine's ability to challenge was eroded when switching to hards early on in the race but Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon steadied the ship to finish immediately behind Norris for vital points.

Daniel Ricciardo endured another tough race despite an improved weekend and the Australian is the thorn in McLaren's side in this battle as every dropped point is costly given Alpine usually picks up the pieces.

Just four points separate the two teams, but with Alonso jumping ship, how will Alpine morale be affected?

FIA systems must be improved after latest mess

Another week and another bizarre system glitch for the FIA.

Incredibly, it was Sergio Perez who was again affected, this time being given back a lap time during qualifying.

The Red Bull driver had his initial effort in Q2 deleted but it was not until after the Mexican was sent back out for another run that his time was reinstated after replays clearly showed the RB18 was straddling the track boundary line.

It transpired that CCTV has been used to determine track limits at some events, with other methods of policing being used at other tracks.

This is simply not good enough in a sport where the margins between winning and losing are often miniscule.

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