6 Winners and 5 Losers from the Hungarian Grand Prix – Who finished the first half of the season on a high?
Max Verstappen made it eight wins in 2022 with a brilliant fight back at the Hungaroring to head into the summer break buzzing. The same can’t be said for some of his rivals, though. We’ve picked out six winners and five losers from the Hungarian Grand Prix…
Winner: Max Verstappen
It says a lot about the absorbing nature of the battle between Ferrari and George Russell at the front on Sunday that Max Verstappen’s superb dance through the field from 10th to the win was almost overlooked.
The way in which Verstappen has ruthlessly dominated the first half of the season with eight wins in 13 races has enhanced perceptions he can become one of F1’s most successful drivers ever.
That prowess was on show in Hungary, the Dutchman winning a race from outside the top four for the first time in his career. He now leads the drivers’ championship by 80 points, meaning he could not turn up to the next three races and still sit pretty at the top.
Loser: Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc was disappointed to miss out on pole position, as Ferrari struggled to get the tyres working, but still felt the F1-75 had enough of a downforce advantage to secure victory on Sunday.
But an odd decision to put him on the hard tyres – in cooler than expected conditions – dropped him out of contention and left him trailing home in sixth, extending his run of never having reached the podium at the Hungaroring in either F1 or F2.
He heads into the summer break on a run of just one win in 10 attempts and in desperate need of a reversal of fortunes if he is to keep his championship aspirations alive.
Winner: Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton’s wait for a first win in 2022 continues, but his and his Mercedes team’s performance in Hungary will have given him hope that that barren run will end after the summer break.
The seven-time world champion felt a front row start was possible had a DRS issue not struck on Saturday. But he made the best of the situation on Sunday, fighting through the field to finish second.
It was his fifth successive podium – which is the longest active streak in F1 currently – and 11th rostrum in Hungary. He’s now just 12 points behind his team mate George Russell.
Considering how dominant Ferrari were on Friday, when the conditions were dry and hot, it’s remarkable that they ended the weekend with neither car on the podium.
Two slow stops robbed Carlos Sainz of the chance to fight for the lead, while their decision to run medium-medium-hard (a strategy that was not in any of Pirelli’s pre-race suggested strategies) with Leclerc ended his hopes, too.
They are now a staggering 97 points behind Red Bull in the constructors’ championship and only 30 clear of Mercedes. A huge reset is needed over the summer.
That Mercedes led more laps on Sunday than they did in all other races combined this season just shows how much of a competitive improvement the Silver Arrows made in Hungary.
The tight and twisty circuit layout was expected to suit them – but no one anticipated George Russell would secure his maiden F1 pole position and Mercedes’ first of the season.
They still have some way to go to be on the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari, but this was the closest they have been all year, and raises hopes they could finally make this a three-way fight.
Haas brought their first upgrade package of the season to Hungary, and while they only had one set of updates, which Kevin Magnussen received because of production delays, the pace of the baseline car gave them hope they could be in the fight for points.
But they struggled all weekend, and while Magnussen said the performance of the package was promising, it never really looked like a top 10 was possible.
It meant a second successive non-scoring race, and leaves them 17 points adrift of Alfa Romeo in the fight for sixth in the constructors’ championship.
Winner: Lando Norris
Lando Norris has been a model of consistency of late, the Briton securing his third successive seventh-place finish in Hungary. It was his 10th points finish in 13 races this season, too.
While he would love to be fighting for podiums, his McLaren isn’t capable currently, so he’s making the best of it. Seventh was best of the rest in Hungary, and ensures his team stay in the hunt with Alpine for P4.
Loser: Daniel Ricciardo
This was the kind of frustrating weekend that has come to characterise Daniel Ricciardo's time at McLaren, the Australian feeling like he had his best Friday of the year in Hungary, only to fail to carry that form into the weekend when it really mattered.
While a double-move on the Alpines was impressive, it was the only high in a race where he struggled for grip and clattered into Lance Stroll. He ended up 15th, his ninth race weekend this year without points.
Winner: Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel had quite the weekend. First he joined social media by creating an Instagram account, then he used it to announce his retirement from F1 at the end of the season.
On track, he put together a strong race that yielded a point for 10th, his fifth points score of the year, leaving him with a tally so far that is four times that of team mate Lance Stroll.
This was another difficult race weekend for AlphaTauri. While Pierre Gasly recovered well from a pit lane start after a host of engine component changes to suggest the team's upgrade is a step forward, 12th offered no reward of points.
His team mate Yuki Tsunoda had no grip in cold conditions, suffering a spin when on the softs in the race and trailing home a miserable 19th. The Italian team have now gone five races without points, leaving them eighth in the constructors' championship.
Alpine are on a roll right now, the Anglo-French team locking out the third row of the grid in qualifying – and while an ambitious one-stop strategy made life tricky, they still got both cars home in the points.
Fernando Alonso, who announced this morning that he's leaving the team for Aston Martin next year, was eighth – his eighth successive top-10 result and 11th straight points finish in Hungary – while Esteban Ocon's ninth place gave Alpine their fifth double-points score in six races.