Max Verstappen stormed to victory over Lando Norris and Sergio Perez with another commanding performance in the 2023 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix, giving the reigning double world champion his seventh straight triumph and Red Bull their 12th in a row – beating McLaren’s long-standing record.
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Verstappen passed pole-sitting Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton at the start before settling into the lead and pulling clear of the chasing pack with aplomb, chalking up a lights-to-flag win that puts further distance between himself and teammate Perez in the drivers’ standings.
It means Red Bull continues their 100% winning run for the 2023 season while setting a new outright milestone in terms of successive race wins, with their staggering tally now one clear of the 11 McLaren achieved with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost during the 1988 campaign.
Verstappen took the chequered flag comfortably clear of Norris, who dropped behind fellow McLaren driver Oscar Piastri early on but regained the place at the first round of pit stops, while Perez – one of only two drivers, along with George Russell, to go long in the first stint on hard tyres – rose from ninth to third with another strong recovery drive.
Hamilton’s hopes of turning his 104th pole into a 104th win were dashed at the start when he lost out to Verstappen, Piastri and Norris in quick succession before that was compounded when he fell victim to Perez’s alternate strategy, but the seven-time champion at least salvaged fourth via a late move on the Australian rookie Piastri.
Charles Leclerc crossed the line in sixth position but dropped behind the other Mercedes of Russell after the chequered flag when a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane was applied, with Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz coming home eighth.
Aston Martin ended an anonymous race weekend with a minor double points finish, Fernando Alonso the last driver to stay on the same lap as winner Verstappen in ninth and teammate Stroll finishing one tour down in 10th to round out the points.
Fresh from their recent points-scoring exploits, Alex Albon and Williams had to settle for 11th this time out, followed by the lead Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas in 12th after the Hinwil team’s high-flying qualifying display turned sour on race day through incidents and a general lack of pace.
Indeed, Zhou Guanyu’s fifth-place starting position became a lowly 16th on race day after he tried to make up for a slow getaway and ran into F1 returnee Daniel Ricciardo at the start, triggering a four-car collision that led to both Alpine drivers retiring from proceedings once again.
Ricciardo recovered to take 13th in his first race back since the 2022 season finale in Abu Dhabi, ahead of Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg, AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda, the aforementioned Zhou and final finisher Kevin Magnussen.
Williams rookie Logan Sargeant pulled into the pits after a late spin, with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly doing the same in the early stages due to the significant damage their cars picked up in the chaos sparked by Zhou.
Mario Isola, Motorsport Director, Pirelli:
It was a very interesting weekend which saw a trial of a new tyre allocation format and evaluation, bringing a trio of compounds one step softer than in the past. As for the ATA, first and foremost, it should be pointed out that it will be trialled again at Monza this coming September on a track with completely different characteristics to this one. The data will be analysed very carefully. Apart from that, I’d say the two salient points from this weekend were that yesterday’s qualifying was more unpredictable than usual because it presented the drivers with new challenges: the need to adapt quickly to the change of compound and the fact that having two sets of each compound for the race introduced greater flexibility in terms of strategy.
The fact that all the drivers made two stops in very hot conditions with a track temperature that was 53 degrees at the start, with no high degradation problems, confirms that the three compounds we chose to bring here were the right ones, given that four drivers even used the Soft for their first stint, showing that it was not out of the question to race with it.
Now we come to the final round before the summer break, at Spa-Francorchamps, one of the most fascinating tracks on the calendar, with totally different characteristics to those of the Hungaroring, both in terms of its layout and when it comes to the sort of weather we can expect. Belgium will be the third round of the season to feature the Sprint format, which should ensure an even more exciting show.
How the race was won from the tyre point of view:
Max Verstappen took his ninth win of the season, taking his total number of Formula 1 victories to 44. It was their twelfth consecutive win for Red Bull, a new outright record. Although he missed out on pole position yesterday afternoon by just three thousandths, the reigning world champion still managed to lead across the line for all 70 laps of the race. He made the most of the fact that polesitter Lewis Hamilton did not get the best of starts and also came off best in a thrilling duel with Oscar Piastri in the McLaren. From then on, Verstappen was in dominant form, winning by over 30 seconds from Lando Norris, who secured his second consecutive podium finish. Rounding off the podium trio was Sergio Perez, who staged a great climb up the order from ninth on the grid.
As widely predicted, all the drivers opted for two stops, although there were several permutations. For example, the top two finishers opted to go Medium/Hard/Medium, while Perez started on Hard before twice fitting Mediums. Four drivers started on Softs: Sainz, Gasly, Stroll and Tsunoda. Making the best use of the extra grip afforded by the C5 was Ferrari’s Spanish driver, who crossed the line sixth at the end of the opening lap, having started eleventh. AlphaTauri’s Japanese driver used all three available compounds, while in the Williams, Alex Albon did the most consecutive laps (38) on Hard tyres. Sainz drove the longest stint on Softs (15 laps), while Ricciardo did no fewer than 40 laps on one set of Mediums. The most used compound was the C3 (770 laps, 61.5%), followed by the C4 (448, 35.78%) and the C5 (34, 2.72%).
The Belgian Grand Prix takes place next week at Spa-Francorchamps, one of the historic Formula 1 venues, where tyres are subjected to significant lateral and vertical forces. Pirelli will bring the C2 compound as P Zero White hard, C3 as P Zero Yellow medium and C4 as P Zero Red soft. The Ardennes circuit hosts another F1 Sprint weekend, following on from those in Azerbaijan and Austria. Saturday is given over to the Sprint Shootout and race while qualifying for Sunday’s race takes place on Friday afternoon.
2023 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix Race Results
|1.||1||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||1:38:08.634||26||281|
|2.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+33.731s||18||42|
|3.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing||+37.603s||15||171|
|4.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+39.134s||12||133|
|5.||81||Oscar Piastri||Australia||McLaren Racing||+62.572s||10||27|
|6.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+65.825s||8||90|
|7.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+70.317s||6||80|
|8.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+71.073s||4||87|
|9.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Aston Martin F1 Team||+75.709s||2||139|
|10.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+1 lap||1||45|
|11.||45||Alexander Albon||Thailand||Williams Racing||+1 lap||0||11|
|12.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+1 lap||0||5|
|13.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Australia||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+1 lap||0|
|14.||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||9|
|15.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+1 lap||0||2|
|16.||24||Zhou Guanyu||China||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+1 lap||0||4|
|17.||20||Kevin Magnussen||Denmark||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||2|
|18.||2||Logan Sargeant||USA||Williams Racing||DNF||0||0|
|19.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Alpine F1 Team||DNF||0||16|
|20.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||DNF||0||31|
|21.||21||Nyck De Vries||Netherlands||Scuderia AlphaTauri||DNS||0||0|
2023 Constructor Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing||623|
|2.||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team||305|
|4.||Aston Martin F1 Team||221|
|6.||Alpine F1 Team||84|
|7.||Haas F1 Team||12|
|8.||Alfa Romeo Racing||10|