What the teams said – Race day in Hungary
Hamilton had a dream start, led into the first corner and never looked back as he scored his eighth win in Hungary and third in a row – both records, as if he needed any more. That result has given him the championship lead too. Bottas had to work a lot harder after he nearly jumped the start. That brief pause let several cars through down to the first corner, meaning the Finn had his work cut out right from the off. He dispatched Stroll in the first round of pit stops but, despite changing onto fresh tyres late on, ran out of time to chase down Verstappen for second.
Lewis Hamilton, 1st
"What an incredible race. Honestly, that was one of my favourites that I've raced, even though I was on my own for the majority, it's a very different kind of challenge and I was pushing hard out there - particularly for the fastest lap at the end. I want to say a huge congratulations to everyone back home at the factory in Brackley and at HPP in Brixworth, they've done such a fantastic job developing and improving for this year and this team just continues to amaze me. I love working with them and I'm grateful to be able to perform for them on weekends like this. We had great pace today, brilliant pit stops, a fantastic strategy and then, as I was managing those Mediums for a long, long time, at the end it was the perfect time to get on fresh tyres and take that extra point for fastest lap. Everything has just been on point throughout the weekend, so we need to try and keep it up. I can't wait for Silverstone now, although I'll miss the energy the fans bring, so I hope I can perform for them there as I know they'll be watching from home."
Valtteri Bottas, 3rd
"That was a tough race. Obviously starting second on the grid, you aim to win the race, but I had a bad start and lost a few positions. I reacted to a light on my dash that went off, instead of the start lights, which then meant the car went into anti-stall and I had to do the start again. I lost some ground there and that made the race very difficult for me, as I was fighting right to the very end. It was pretty close with Max and I think the gamble to pit late on was definitely worth taking, as it gave me the difference in tyre life. But it didn't quite pay off today. Still, I scored a good haul of points and there's plenty to learn from this weekend, heading to Silverstone."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"A 1-3 result is really satisfying, especially on a track that hasn't always been our favourite in the past. A great result for the team! Lewis had a really good start in those tricky conditions and from there, he was in control of the race, managing his pace and dealing with the curveballs the weather threw at us. For Valtteri, obviously he had a difficult start and that dropped him into the midfield, but he fought back well to finish P3. We leave the Hungaroring with three wins out of three races and very happy. The car seems to be in a good place but to maintain it, we know we need to keep working hard and adding performance. Now we're looking ahead to Silverstone in two weeks and we're looking forward to be back there."
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
"It's great to finish this first triple-header with a third win and be able to further extend our lead in the Championships. Lewis put in another masterclass, he was able to control the race from start to finish and build enough of a gap to give us some margin to cover the uncertain weather and any risk of Safety Cars. Valtteri had a busy afternoon. He nearly went before the lights but pulled the clutch and managed to avoid a jump start. However, that cost him a load of time and he was down in seventh exiting Turn 1. Valtteri called first to switch to dry tyres which was a good call, but he was stuck behind the Charles and lost a bit of the benefit to the cars that went one lap longer. Lewis didn't need to take risks so went a lap further before stopping. Valtteri did a good job passing Charles and both Haas cars on track but by mid-race, the talk on the pitwall was all about the weather.
"We could see a shower moving towards us very slowly, but it looked like it would be short-lived and not heavy enough to take us to intermediates. With Valtteri, we used it as the opportunity to undercut Lance by putting him on fresh tyres just before the rain started to fall. That worked nicely and he quickly was able to start closing down Max. His extra stop was a bit of a gamble and a shame it didn't work out, but there was no downside to trying. With Lewis we had the margin to wait until the others had stopped and from there he was just looking after the car and tyres to the finish. The car has been really strong all weekend, good in the corners and on the straights and it's run here without any reliability concerns. It's great that the sport has been able to get the season underway and as much as we're looking forward to a few days at home, we're also excited about getting back on track at Silverstone in twelve days' time."
Verstappen had a day to remember. He crashed on his way out of the pits before the race had even started, and it was touch and go whether he’d take the lights. A heroic effort from his crew was immediately rewarded when the Dutchman launched himself up to second in the early stages from seventh on the grid. Verstappen even managed to split the Silver Arrows, extracting enough life from his tyres to keep the charging Bottas at bay. As for Albon, he too made steady progress up the field from a lowly starting slot, and made several bold overtaking moves to come home an impressive fifth.
Max Verstappen, 2nd
“This podium is definitely dedicated to my mechanics. I thought the race was over before it had even started. I braked, locked a wheel, came off the brakes and tried to brake again but went straight on into the wall on the out lap. I couldn’t believe it but I managed to reverse out of the wall and get to the grid. As a Team we never give up and the mechanics did an incredible job to fix the car so quickly, I don’t think anyone could actually believe they managed it but they all stayed very calm. The track was still pretty greasy but I had a good start. You cannot plan going into Turn 1 but I saw there was a traffic jam on the inside so I thought I would go around the outside where I knew there was grip in the wet and it worked. The race could have been very different if I was stuck in seventh place for a few laps that’s for sure. We then made all the right strategy calls and I just had to manage my tyres, be as consistent as possible and manage the backmarkers. To be second here between the two dominant Mercedes cars is an unbelievable result and we did not expect it yesterday after qualifying and such a difficult weekend. We want to try to close the gap to Mercedes, they are really dominant at the moment so it will be very hard to beat them but we won’t stop trying.”
Alex Albon, 5th
“It was a good race and I had a lot of fun with my elbows out. If you had told me we’d be P5 after yesterday I would have jumped at it. Today was never going to be easy starting from P13 but we had a good start and we made our way through the field. It’s not easy to overtake at this circuit so we had to do some big moves to get past people. Every move you do is always on the limit here but it worked out for us and I enjoy the battles as it’s nice to put on a show. When we fight we tend to come out on top and the car is good on the brakes so it’s nice to make these moves. We lost quite a lot of time in traffic today behind the Ferraris otherwise I think we would have been closer but the car was really good and when we were in clean air we were fast and very competitive. I’m happy with the result and it’s good points for the Team after such a tricky day yesterday so I think we have to be thankful. Today is a bit of a surprise as to why our race pace is so much better than our quali pace, so we need to understand that, but it’s positive and means some things on the car are working.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“The mechanics did an amazing job today and Max owes this result to them. To get his car repaired in 20 minutes on the grid is incredible and you could see the sweat dripping off them. The guys have been doing an amazing job, especially with the amount of specification changes we’ve had this weekend, as well as breaking curfew on Friday night. We were obviously on the ropes in qualifying yesterday so to bounce back and split the Mercedes with a P2 here is great. Max drove the wheels off the car and Alex drove a great race too. Considering where he started from on the grid, he put the lap times in and all credit to him as the passing moves he did today made for a great recovery drive. The car is in better shape in race trim and strategically we are sharp but we have updates that aren’t behaving as expected, compared with pre-season testing, so we need to go through all the data we’ve collected and understand it before Silverstone.”
Stroll had a great start and was running second early on, before losing out in the pits to both Bottas and Verstappen. That aside, the Canadian had a solid race and came home well ahead of the rest of the field albeit some way behind the top three. As for Perez, he lost places from the off and had a slow pit stop to boot. That meant the Mexican was in traffic for most of the race but he at least picked off a few midfield runners to get a good haul of points.
Sergio Perez, 7th
“It was a shame about my start. I just picked up a lot of wheelspin in the first phase and that cost us a lot of positions. It’s always tricky to recover at the Hungaroring, but we tried our best and I had some good battles. I had a few adventures out there too and I ran wide – in the dry – and was lucky not to touch the wall. When I did get some clean air, I could show the pace of the car, but the time I lost on lap one was costly. The main thing is that we’ve scored more points for the team and are now just behind third place in the Constructors’ Championship.”
Lance Stroll, 4th
"I’m really happy with P4: it’s a good result and I have to thank the team for such a great job today and all weekend. It was fun to fight Max [Verstappen] at the start of the race and run in P2 in the changeable conditions. We actually ended up in quite a lonely race to P4, but the main thing is that we were able to score a good haul of points for the team, and so did Checo. It was such a complex race and I’m looking forward to reviewing it and learning what we can for the races to come. We’ve had three races now and looked strong in all of them. I think the podium was close today because we were in a big battle with Bottas and maybe we could have done things differently, but you can always say that after the race. That’s racing and we’ve got to be happy with fourth.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal & CEO
“The rain showers ahead of the start certainly changed the complexion of the race and made things more challenging for everyone. Lance had a strong start moving up to second, but Sergio suffered from wheelspin and dropped down to seventh. The track was ready for dry tyres almost immediately and I think we pitted at the opportune time – certainly in sync with the cars we were racing. As the race settled down, Lance was in contention for a podium, but it proved difficult to hold off the recovering Mercedes of Bottas. The eventual fourth place for Lance is an excellent result following a mature drive to complete a very strong weekend. Checo’s seventh-place finish was a legacy of the poor start and he spent most of the afternoon in the wheel tracks of Vettel and Albon. It proved difficult to follow cars closely, let alone overtake – even with a pace advantage. The 18 points scored consolidate our fourth place in the championship and we’re actually tied on 40 points with the third-placed team. This result is an important reward for the entire team’s efforts – both here in Budapest and back home in the UK.”
Vettel was racy off the start and right in the mix with Leclerc not far behind. Ferrari opted to pit their drivers earlier than the rest and it paid off for the German but Leclerc was put on the soft compound tyre which didn’t work out and he dropped back through the field. That left Vettel to fight it out for points and he held Albon at bay for lap after lap despite his aging tyres but couldn’t keep the quicker Red Bull behind and lost out right at the end of the race.
Sebastian Vettel, 6th
"This was a better performance compared to my first race in Austria. However, in the early stages we might have done a bit better if I’d taken more of a gamble and come in for dry tyres on Lap 3 instead of 4. As it was, I lost a lot of time, having to let other cars come down pit lane before I could be released. But in the end, fifth or sixth was the most we could have done.
"Towards the end, I was struggling with the tyres and even if I would have loved to have put up more of a fight, there wasn’t much I could do to keep Alex (Albon) behind me. We are not where we want to be just now, but at least we did everything we could today."
Charles Leclerc, 11th
"It was a very complicated race. I’m not sure what happened, because we didn’t make changes to the car, but it was extremely hard to drive, as the balance was so much worse than Friday and Saturday, when it was actually better than expected. It just didn’t feel like the same car.
"We need to look further into that to try and understand, as I was struggling a lot. We stopped for softs a bit earlier than others and maybe it was a bit too optimistic. But it was a good call and I managed a few quick laps, but there was only one dry line so I could not overtake and, with hindsight the Soft was not the best choice. After that we were just slow. There’s lot of work ahead of us."
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal
"An extremely disappointing Sunday and the result is very hard to swallow. In qualifying, we had got the most out of the car as it is at the moment, but in the race that was not the case. To be lapped is very painful for us and our fans. Now we return home after this very long trip and we have to try everything we can to improve as much as possible in every area. Everyone will have to analyse their work and have the courage to change course if necessary, because the current dynamic is unacceptable. There is no other solution to fix this situation."
Ricciardo made the most of a slightly different strategy to the rest, running a longer first and second stint. That left him with fresher tyres at the end and he made short work of Leclerc and Magnussen to finish a very decent eighth having started outside the top 10. As for Ocon, starting further back, he was unable to get as involved and trailed home well outside the points.
Esteban Ocon, 14th
“It has been a tough weekend from the beginning. We’re not happy with it, of course, and it’s not a great result. We are all disappointed and we can only come back stronger from here. We have to learn from it, move on and come back as a team. There was a lot happening in the race, but we didn’t make any progress in any of the conditions. We have to review it and work hard together to avoid this type of result. The first two races were decent, but there was not enough improvements for this one.”
Daniel Ricciardo, 8th
“It was quite a busy race and, overall, I’m happy with how it went. I gave everything I could and I felt we got the most from it today. Our start was good and everyone around us went for slicks quite early on. We showed good pace on the medium and almost caught the top six at the end. Eighth was all we could achieve in the end, though. We’ve had eighth in every race so far. It’s not bad, but I do feel we have the speed for more from the first three races. We’re not far from top six finishes, it’s coming, and we know bigger points are around the corner.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal
“It’s the third race in a row where we have finished in eighth place. Given the competitiveness of the field, it is where our car probably is right now. It was good to get the two cars at the end as a lot has been done to overcome the reliability issues from the first two races. This weekend has revolved around tyre choices and looking at the weather radar. Our strong competitiveness on Friday encouraged us to try and qualify on the medium, but in hindsight doing so we probably made the qualifying session too difficult and not only it did not pay in terms of starting position but it also turned out to be unnecessary as we all started on intermediates for the race.
"We didn’t have great first laps, but we managed to recover after the first stop, which was probably rightly timed on a drying track. From that point onwards it was about managing a dry race with two sets of Mediums for Daniel and Medium to Hard for Esteban. Both cars showed once again very decent pace in free air, but the pace delta was not enough to progress further in the order towards the end of the race. Esteban is clearly disappointed with his weekend and we will use the time we have before the next triple headers to look into what we can do to rebound.”
A disappointing qualifying led to a great race for the American team. They made the call to pit both drivers at the end of the formation lap for slick tyres which was brave at the time with spray being kicked up. But it worked a treat and their drivers wound up right at the front of the grid as a result. Magnussen had the slightly preferential strategy, with Grosjean used as a buffer to the rest but it worked for the team who picked up their first point of the season against the odds despite a late penalty for using driving aids during the formation lap.
Romain Grosjean, 16th
"It was a good move from the team. I had radioed and said it was too dry for the inters, so we took the gamble. The first few laps were a bit hairy but after that things worked really well. The pace was good. I started to have graining on the front left tyre, we hadn’t protected it enough. Anyway, it was going okay, then sadly – and I need to review it, Albon had quite a late move on me at Turn 1, he hit my front wing and damaged it. I had much less performance in the car after that. We tried but things went out of sync after that, we just couldn’t stay in the points.”
Kevin Magnussen, 10th
“I’m so happy. The team made an amazing call before the beginning of the race – on the formation lap, to call for the slicks. It was really strong for them to give me that trust, to put me out on dry tyres and in conditions that weren’t easy. It was pretty risky, but it worked out. The pace was there and having started from the pit lane, after a few laps I was in P3. I knew that wouldn’t be our final placing, but it was amazing to be up there in the race. I just tried to hang on to it as much as I could. I kept working with the team regarding where realistically we were going to be. In the end it was P9 – I held on to it and we had opened the gap to a Ferrari and then kept the McLaren away as well. It shows what a good car we had in the race. It’s proved that the team has done an amazing job even though we’ve been struggling a little bit in qualifying.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“It was a great result for the team today finishing ninth and bringing some points home. It’s fantastic, as at the moment we’re not in a position to do this under normal circumstances. The call at the beginning of the race was the decision which made this happen, the guys then just kept it up. Kevin (Magnussen) did a fantastic job in the race, Romain (Grosjean) just had a few issues with the tyres. Thanks to the whole team for putting in the hard work and keeping on pushing – they never gave up; we never give up.”
McLaren didn’t have a great race truth be told. Norris had a dreadful start and dropped like a stone through the field. He made up a few places but opted to pit with the majority of the pack and thus didn’t gain anything in those stops. He did have an entertaining wheel-to-wheel tussle with Leclerc but that was for P14 at the time, not where either of them would have expected to be. As for Sainz, he made up places at the start but a slow first pit stop dropped him out of the points. He opted to stay out for a longer stint as a result which paid off in the closing stages when he pipped Leclerc for P10, which became P9 after Magnussen's post-race penalty.
Carlos Sainz, 9th
“Overall a tough day today. I was very happy with the start which left us in a strong position before the first pit stop, however we lost several positions during the stop due to the traffic release, which I think cost us a lot in the overall result. I managed to fight back into the points, so I’m happy about that, but definitely not the best Sunday because I feel we deserved a bit more. I’m looking forward to improving the car balance and coming back stronger at Silverstone. Thank you to the whole team for the effort during this first triple-header. Let’s keep pushing!”
Lando Norris, 13th
"Tough result. I wouldn’t say tough race. The hardest part was my start – I had a good launch but then in the second phase I just had so much wheelspin and it all went wrong. That was a mistake I made. I haven’t done that many starts in the wet and I’ve never had a great one. I’ve been preparing for it, but I just couldn’t quite get it right again.
“The rest of the race was just trying to recover from that. It’s such a difficult track to overtake on, I couldn’t really do too much else. I think the pace was good, and the car was pretty good to drive. I just had a difficult start on probably one of the most important tracks to get away quickly, so on to the next one. It’s my first proper big mistake of the season. I need to work on it and come back stronger. A big thanks goes to everyone in the team, who’ve worked hard to put both Carlos and I in the best possible positions over these opening three races. I’m looking forward to putting this race behind me at my home track over the next two grands prix.”
Andrea Stella, Racing Director
“First of all, a big thank you to the entire race team for completing our first triple-header of 2020. We really pulled through as a team and we’re travelling back to the UK with 40 points in the Constructors’ World Championship. Unfortunately, after two very good weekends, our race here in Hungary was compromised from the start. Lando had an issue off the line that lost him a lot of positions, but he kept fighting and made his way back up to P13. With Carlos, we were unlucky. He lost several positions after his pit stop when the pit lane was blocked with other cars, not allowing him to leave the pit box. It took a great drive from him to make it back to P10 after that. Both drivers fought excellently, giving it their all right to the end and not giving up.
“We now go home and will take the next few days to reset and analyse in detail what happened over these first races. To complete three races in three weeks has required a huge effort from the team, and I’m pleased with how we’ve risen to this challenge. The team, both at the track and back at home at the MTC, has worked hard to maximise our performance, and it’s thanks to their efforts that we come away with such a strong points haul. We’ll take away a lot of positives from this opening stint, but also know there are areas in which we must improve. We’ll use the time we have before going to Silverstone to do just that.”
Gasly can write off this weekend – after constant mechanical issues, his team changed his PU overnight but to no avail. He pulled into the pits with smoke billowing from the back of his car and was the only retiree of the race. As for Kvyat, he wanted to swap to slick tyres on the formation lap, but didn’t take the gamble like Haas. He did roll the dice at the end of Lap 1 but swapped to the softs which were proven to be the weakest race tyre, and as a result lost the opportunity to compete for the points.
Pierre Gasly, DNF
“It was a very difficult weekend for us. For some reason we struggled the whole time, with a few issues here and there. Today we had a drivetrain issue and since the beginning of the race I had problems with gear shifts which we tried to fix on track but we couldn’t, so we just had to retire the car. It’s a big shame, but we were just unlucky this weekend. Now we have a few days to prepare for Silverstone and I hope to have a better weekend there.”
Daniil Kvyat, 12th
“I was happy with the race pace today, I overtook some cars already on Lap 1 and I made a very good call to go on slicks at the right time. After the pit stops I ended up behind cars I had already overtaken on the first laps. I need to review the race to understand it better, because I felt there was a chance of finishing in the points today and to end up only P12 is not really satisfying. I’m still working on understanding the car with my engineers and we learnt a lot during the last three races. Every lap is important and we’ll try different solutions to suit the car a little bit more to my driving style in Silverstone.”
Jody Egginton, Technical Director
“Not a great result today. We had to retire Pierre's car early on due to a gearbox issue and we were not able to move Dany forwards into the points, both of which are disappointing. The inter tyre was the obvious choice for the start of the race but the soft tyre we elected to fit at the first stop suffered more degradation than we expected, so we were forced to bring Dany's second stop forward, fitting the hard and trying to go longer. With the forecast rain not materialising we unfortunately had no opportunity to get back into the fight for points today, finishing 12th. Overall, although the car has shown some reasonable pace at various points this weekend, we have not got it all together here in Hungary and this is something we will be working hard to resolve ahead of the next race.”
Raikkonen’s race got off to a terrible start when he was penalised for lining up incorrectly after sliding over his pit box line. That rather set the tone for the team who fought hard but didn’t have the pace to factor in any battles other than with Williams at the back of the field. The Finn did at least win the intra-team battle and come home ahead of a quiet Giovinazzi.
Kimi Raikkonen, 15th
“It wasn’t a very busy race for me. Unfortunately, starting where we did meant we had a very difficult job ahead of us: we did what we could but it wasn’t enough for points. Our pace wasn’t too bad, I made up a few places at the start but the penalty put me back at the bottom. The grid was a bit slippery, I went a bit too long into the box and I didn’t have the time to reverse; we could have been a few more places up so it’s a bit of a shame. We have a lot of work to do to improve our qualifying, but we can be positive about our performance on Sundays.”
Antonio Giovinazzi, 17th
“It was always going to be difficult to make up ground after yesterday’s qualifying, but at least we can be satisfied with the pace we had towards the end of the race. My start was ok but at my first stop we switched to soft tyres that turned out to be far from the best compound today. That cost me a lot of time and by the time we switched to hards, which were a lot better, it was too late to recover many positions. The one-week break before Silverstone will be very important for us to understand a little more about what happened in the last few weeks. We must work really hard to improve our car and be in better shape for the next triple header.”
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
“The end result is disappointing, but looking at the data it is very clear the car was more competitive than our finishing positions would suggest. We had the pace to challenge our direct rivals and some quicker cars, but starting from the back we were always going to be at a disadvantage. Both cars had good pace and we could have brought home a point or two with a bit more luck, but Kimi’s penalty and Antonio suffering on the soft tyres meant we weren’t able to make up the deficit. With a better qualifying yesterday, we would have been in the thick of the fight for points.”
Latifi had a busy day. Alongside two spins in tricky conditions, he was given an unsafe release after the team sent him out in front of Sainz. That led to a puncture for the Canadian whose rear tyre was clipped by the front wing of the McLaren. By the time he’d limped round back to the pits and served a time penalty, his afternoon was over. Russell likewise had a day to forget. He opted to swap to the soft tyres which was the wrong call and left him fighting the Alfa Romeos at the back of the field.
George Russell, 18th
"Firstly, we made a bad start in the wet and it was very tricky. I think everyone on the inside struggled for whatever reason. From then on in, our race pace was really poor, we just need to understand what is going on. Last year it was the opposite, our race pace was better than the qualifying pace. Now we are pretty fast on the Saturday and struggle a lot on the Sunday. However, if we look at everything and see the steps we have made, especially on the Saturdays, we have got to be relatively pleased. There are plenty of positives, we just need to rectify the negatives and make our pace of the car a bit better across the ball."
Nicholas Latifi, 19th
"We had a good start and first lap, and then it all came undone with the pit stop, unfortunately that can happen in a busy pit lane. I got the puncture and then unfortunately sustained quite a lot of damage bringing the car back to the pits. We had a big chunk of the floor missing, so just keeping the car on the track the whole race was quite difficult. Today just wasn’t meant to be, it was a bit unfortunate, but still there are positives to take from yesterday. We just need to reset going into Silverstone."
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
"It’s been a difficult day for the whole team. George had a poor start and struggled to recover in the mixed conditions. Meanwhile, Nicholas got a very good start and made a lot of progress during the opening lap. Sadly, his race was effectively over when he suffered a puncture in a collision at the pit exit. Conditions were not easy in the damp conditions and the dry tyres were difficult to manage leading to a variety of strategies. It was a day when things can quickly go for you, or against you, and today was not our day. However, we need to look at the race pace of the car and review how we can better capitalise on strong qualifying performances.
"Following three successive races we now head home for a brief break before returning to Silverstone for the start of another European triple-header."
Mario Isola, Head of F1 and Car Racing
"The overnight rain that persisted into this morning washed away any rubber that had been laid down, so we had a green and slippery track for the start of the race, which was run in quite cool conditions. However, the surface dried quickly, which was pivotal to the strategy. Uncertainty over the weather remained though, which led some drivers to extend their stints, just in case they needed to switch to intermediates again. In the end, it stayed dry for the whole race and so we saw a certain degree of degradation on the front tyres in particular, which is to be expected in these unusual conditions. Most drivers stopped twice but some chose to stop three times, looking for extra performance to pass a rival or claim the championship point for fastest lap."