6 Winners and 5 Losers from the Hungarian Grand Prix – Who finished the first half of the season on a high?

F1 Correspondent & Presenter

Lawrence Barretto
Winners Hungary

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.

READ MORE: ‘We made all the right calls’ says Verstappen, as he pulls off spin-and-win in Hungary to extend lead to 80 points

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.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 31: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull

Verstappen's celebrations were sufficiently exuberant as he extended his lead in the championship

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.

READ MORE: ‘It was a disaster’ – Leclerc ‘very disappointed’ with P6 finish in Budapest as he singles out what cost him victory chance

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.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 31: Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari prepares to drive on the grid

From leading the race to sixth at the flag – Leclerc didn't rebound from France as he would have hoped

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.

READ MORE: Hamilton says Mercedes have ‘potential to win’ after ‘pretty epic’ drive to second in Hungary

Losers: Ferrari

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.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 31: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari F1-75 leads Charles

Ferrari were left mystified by their lack of race pace in Hungary

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.

Winners: Mercedes

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.

READ MORE: Hungary pole-sitter Russell left with 'mixed emotions' after P3 finish, as he reveals sympathy for Leclerc

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.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 31: 2pm Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes and Third placed

It was another double podium for Mercedes as they start to claw their way back into contention

Losers: Haas

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.

READ MORE: How savvy reconnaissance laps, sublime strategy and racecraft paved the way for Verstappen’s unlikely Hungary win

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.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 31: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL36 Mercedes

Norris kept out of trouble on his way to a 'best of the rest' P7

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.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from a thrilling Hungarian Grand Prix as Verstappen seals eighth victory of the season

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.

Stroll Ricciardo

Ricciardo's good race unravelled when he tapped Stroll into a spin

Losers: AlphaTauri

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.

Winners: Alpine

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.

ANALYSIS: Why Alonso accepted Aston Martin’s advances and signed a shock deal – and why it could be a perfect match

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.


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