Red Bull Racing Smashes Record & Lando Verstappen’s Trophy: It’s the Hungarian GP Rewind!

Contents

The 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix was…something indeed. What promised to be an exciting race didn’t exactly live up to expectation. Or at least it didn’t on the track, but perhaps did in the pits. This season almost feels like a Red Bull masterclass, while everyone else watches from the sidelines, and attempts to beat ‘em.

Lights Out

As fast as Hamilton was in qualifying, he was in losing his lead to Max Verstappen, and then a second spot to Piastri, and third to Norris too!  Once Hamilton was in P4; he settled there for most of the race.

Further back, disaster ensued as Zhou (who had qualified P5!) attempted to make up for his slow start. He tagged returnee Ricciardo, who then ran into Ocon, who bumped into teammate Gasly. The damage to the Alpines ensured the pair was out of the race, their second DNF in a row. In the chaos, Russell and Perez had started their recovery drives and quietly but quickly began gaining places they had missed out on in Qualifying. 

Track Tactics 

A lot of thrilling events & strategic decisions unfolded in the pitlane, as we got a variety of pit stops: ranging from the quickest by Red Bull (1.9 seconds ONLY!)  to a notably slow one from the Scarlet team (9.4 seconds, yup)

By Lap 30, Max was leading Lando, with Piastri running in third and pole starter Hamilton, a solid 20 seconds off the lead! After Perez’s stop, he was a man on a mission as he cleared Piastri’s McLaren with a tactical move in Turn1; and set the podium in his sights. 

The Ferraris were barely holding on to their sixth and seventh positions, as Alonso, Stroll and Bottas held onto their points. Until Alonso fell victim to a sluggish pitstop and Leclerc was charged with a 5-second penalty for speeding in the pitlane. 

Chequered Flag

The closing laps were all sorts of interesting as Max and Lewis made their stops, and Norris struggled with the backmarkers. But all of the drama had little to no bearing on the order, as it remained unchanged. Closing out the top 10 were Stroll and Alonso who finished 9th and 10th, respectively. 

Albon and Bottas had a great day on track, but unfortunately couldn’t convert it to points. Ricciardo finished in 13th, a great feat considering the squabble he had been a part of in Lap 1. And that he was racing for the first time this season. 

While it certainly looks like McLaren’s upgrades are here to stay, what’s next for the Brackley and Scarlet teams even their own team garages don’t seem to know. Will they finally make some progress, or will Red Bull Racing keep racing in a separate league of their own? Tune into the Belgian GP to find out!

The most-talked about incident however, will probably be that Lando broke Verstappen's P1 trophy as he celebrate with his iconic champagne smash. That trophy took 6 months and over 45,000 Euros to make! Let’s hope the FIA doesn’t introduce a rule against celebrating on the podium in style.