Hungarian GP

Hungarian GP Post-Race Analysis

The Hungarian GP stood for an acid test of F1 2022 car’s capabilities. Per the track characteristics, historically it hasn’t been the easiest track to overtake. But with the new cars being able to follow along for much longer than before, Hungaroring made the racing not exactly a snoozefest, from an overtaking standpoint to say the least.

As we all know, on track pace isn’t everything in F1. Strategy plays a humongous role in making cars that are quick around one lap win the race. Hungary showed the difference between a team like Ferrari, who are not a 100% ready to deal with the pressure of a championship-contending car and a Red Bull, with their heath of experience making sure their driver wins the race no matter how behind he starts. In case you are unaware of Ferrari’s antics this weekend, here’s your explainer.

If not apparent already, let’s talk about the biggest winners and losers of the Hungarian GP.

Hungarian GP

Winner: Red Bull

A no brainer, Red Bull showcased what it takes to win a championship. A classic case of “right place at the right time”, Red bull recovered their disastrous Saturday in almost flawless fashion (bar Verstappen’s spin mid race). Red Bull strategists executed the undercuts perfectly. Starting 10th and 11th while not having the quickest car on track, Ferrari perhaps had the best of their chances all season to capitalise on a Red Bull fallacy at the Hungarian GP. Even a relatively weak showing from Perez could not stop them from defeating Ferrari overall. Max’s consistent and unblemished drive made sure they seal the win, and who knows, maybe even the championship.

Hungarian GP

Loser: Ferrari

Weekends on end, the Scarlet Scuderia are making sure they get as distant from the trophy as possible. A P2 and P3 on Saturday could only become a P4 and P6 on Sunday. Coming up to the summer break, Ferrari have already been plagued with mechanical issues, accidents, and even bad strategy calls. At a stage where Red Bull are cruising with both the championships, making trivial and blatant mistakes on a ‘relatively’ less complicated end of Formula 1 is the last thing the team needed.

Charles is in fact 80 points behind leader Max Verstappen, while Red Bull is 97 points ahead. Want to be shocked more? Mercedes: the team that started the season with a car capable only of breaking its drivers’ backs, is currently at a mere 30 points-deficit.

Winner: Mercedes-AMG

Once again, the team that started the season with a car capable only of breaking its drivers’ backs, Mercedes have pulled off a double podium of out the bag! The team had a rather slower outing during the practice sessions at a wet Budapest, but George Russell managed to (somehow) bag a pole for his W13 on Saturday. Come race day, although he would go on to lose a couple of places, Lewis Hamilton gathered a brilliant P7 to P2 recovery!

Yes, granted the track characteristics of Paul Ricard and the Hungaroring are not particularly different, and the upcoming Belgian GP would in fact turn the tables hard against them, it remains to be seen if they still continue on an ascending trajectory.

Special mentions (for teams both winning and losing):

  • McLaren: One of their drivers outperforming his car while the other not finding balance, McLaren are a bit of a mixed bag this season. Lando Norris came home a respectable P7, ahead of both Alpines, their main rivals for this season. After a poor start to the season with a sub-par aero package, the MCL36 currently suffers from a bout of porpoising, which is in fact also a sign of their improved aerodynamics working. Ricciardo on the other hand, yet again a low 10’s finish, can’t seem to catch a break off of his form. What’s worse, he managed to get a penalty for causing a collision with Lance Stroll. Oh poor Daniel….

  • Aston Martin: On a weekend where they came up with yet another controversial wing upgrade and one of their drivers announcing retirement, Aston in fact did garner a fair bit of improvement. Starting P18, outgoing world champion Sebastian Vettel would go on to finish P10 ahead of his teammate Lance Stroll in P11 at the Hungarian GP. The team fighting to survive at the back ended up securing a point is surely a positive they would like to have at this juncture.
    • On Monday, the team also announced their 2023 signing of Fernando Alonso. Whether that’s a W or an L is for another day.

Ferrari need to get their act together before it is too late for them to recover any hopes of championship victory. What’s even worse is that even after being armed with what most call the ‘fastest car on the grid’, they are tantalisingly close to even the losing P2 to Mercedes in the constructors standings. Ferrari’s tactics will surely be up for plenty of debates until F1 returns after almost a month at Spa!

Be sure to check out our run-downs after every race in our Motorsports section, and visit here for our other reviews!

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