F1 | 5 talking points from the Hungarian Grand Prix
Red Bull’s rollercoaster weekend, Stroll shines and more thoughts from Hungary.
The Red Bull is a diva
Hungary turned out to be another tricky weekend for Red Bull Racing, even if the final result was pretty good.
Throughout Friday and Saturday, both Max Verstappen and Alex Albon were unhappy with the balance of the RB16. Verstappen spun during FP3 as they looked off the pace heading into qualifying.
Qualifying was a nightmare for the team as Verstappen could only manage P7, with Albon knocked out in Q2.
Sunday was a far better day for the team, eventually.
Verstappen went off on his way to the grid and looked set to miss the race as he damaged his left front suspension. Incredibly, his mechanics managed to fix it in record time and just made the start.
From pre-race crash to ready for lights out 💥 ➡️ 🚦— Formula 1 (@F1) July 20, 2020
The @redbullracing team work miracles on @Max33Verstappen's car before the start in Hungary #HungarianGP 🇭🇺 #F1 pic.twitter.com/sFt8GvuuuD
From there, a strong opening lap from Verstappen moved him up to P3 in the damp conditions and a good strategy allowed him to hold off Bottas to take P2.
Alex Albon headed from P13 to P5 as Red Bull proved they have the second quickest car when they can get it into the right window.
Started: P13 🚦— Formula 1 (@F1) July 20, 2020
Finished: P5 🏁
This move: 🤩@alex_albon was a man on a mission at the Hungaroring #HungarianGP 🇭🇺 #F1 pic.twitter.com/Mu0Q024OeM
At the moment, getting it into that window is proving extremely difficult. Two consecutive races at Silverstone will be an opportunity to learn more about this tricky package.
Stroll steps up
The 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix has to go down as once of Lance Stroll's best weekends in Formula One to this point. The Canadian drove superbly all weekend and silenced a lot of people who give him the lazy 'pay driver' tag.
He qualified an excellent P3, ahead of teammate Sergio Perez.
He jumped Bottas at the start and was P2 in the opening laps. Verstappen and Bottas overtook him via the overcut and undercut and dropped to P4.
Nonetheless, he made no big mistakes throughout the course of the weekend and firmly but Perez in the shade, which isn't an easy thing to do. His race was strong and a podium will come if this continues.
All about the 'big points' for @lance_stroll and @RacingPointF1 🙌— Formula 1 (@F1) July 20, 2020
His P4 finish at the Hungaroring moved the team to within one point of P3 in the constructor standings 🏆#HungarianGP 🇭🇺 #F1 pic.twitter.com/9qlmmAiYH9
Yes guys!!! P4!!! 🤜🤛 pic.twitter.com/Vf7finPAXs— Lance Stroll (@lance_stroll) July 19, 2020
Haas' call pays off
Despite Magnussen and Grosjean receiving 10-second post-race penalties due to team communications that broke the rules as the drivers didn't drive the cars unaided on the formation lap, the decision to pit for dries at the end of it turned out to be the right one.
The other teams and drivers pitted very early in this race as the track quickly dried; it left Magnussen and Grosjean running in P3 and P4.
Whilst they unsurprisingly fell backwards (Grosjean's race compromised even more thanks to damage after an Albon divebomb left him with damage), Kevin Magnussen drove a really strong and sensible race to finish 9th on the road, which turned into P10 following the penalty.
Haas' 2020 challenger is one that's not going to score many points, so the call from the drivers and team yesterday was brave and correct.
Emotions!! KEVIN ❤️ GARY ❤️— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) July 19, 2020
We go home with our first point of the season 🇭🇺 #HaasF1 #HungarianGP pic.twitter.com/Xjb9tMlIZZ
Alfa Romeo are in deep trouble
Following a strong start last year with Kimi Räikkönen, things have really fallen away for the Swiss-based team since Hungary in 2019. The car went backwards in the second half of that campaign and it's got even worse this time around. Giovinazzi and Räikkönen qualified on the back row of the grid; Saturday was the first time in the Finn's career that he qualified last on pure pace.
The race was equally bad for the duo as Räikkönen finished P15 and Giovinazzi in P17.
Whilst having the Ferrari engine this year isn't ideal, the car is lacking in all areas and the regression they've had in the last 12 months is really bad.
The two points Giovinazzi scored at that wild opening round in Austria may well be their only points of the season.
There's a lot of work for them to do to be competitive again.
Can Mercedes go unbeaten in 2020?
3 races into a condensed 2020 season and Mercedes have won all of them thanks to Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton; the W11 is an incredible machine and has left the rest of the field a long way behind.
Hamilton's pole time on Saturday was almost a second quicker than Lance Stroll in P3. The Brit got a fine start in the wet and cruised to victory, once again.
Valtteri Bottas had a bad start and dropped to 7th, but he recovered to P3 and he could well have taken 2nd from Verstappen for a second straight weekend if the race had gone another lap. Nonetheless, how effortlessly he caught the Red Bull shows how utterly dominant Mercedes are.
Barring reliability problems or a crash which might involve both drivers, they should be able to win every race this season.
They consistently set the benchmark for excellence and they've taken it to another level this year. It may mean it's pretty mundane at the front, but they deserve full credit for the job they are doing.
Moments like these make it all worth it ❤️ #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/xg1fmIgZBq— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) July 20, 2020