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5 Winners and Losers From Hungary

Winners

1) Lewis Hamilton

With the disastrous weekend that was Hockenheim last week, you felt like Lewis Hamilton was out to prove a point at Hungary. However, things didn't go all his own way this weekend as he was by no means dominant during practice and was even out-qualified by his out of form team-mate. But the race was a different story as he was one of two drivers who were a class above the field, questions have been asked recently if his race-craft is really up to it as over recent time he hasn't been challenged in a wheel to wheel scenario as we would've liked to. In the race, however, he gave as good as he got to Verstappen and thanks to some masterful tactics along with some resolute driving gave Hamilton a quite superb victory. Hamilton appears to have one hand on the title this year as he takes an impressive lead into the summer break and you wouldn't bet against him to pick up where he left of in Spa in four weeks.

2) Max Verstappen

Surprisingly Verstappen went into this weekend as the favourite after his heroics a week prior in the rain struck Germany, his impressive form once again was obvious as he was constantly competitive in the practice sessions. Then come qualifying it was anyone's game with five different drivers having a realistic chance of taking the pole position. In the end it was Max Verstappen who was able to clinch his first-ever pole despite having seven previous Grand Prix victories, he took pole ahead of Bottas by the smallest margin but was a strong way ahead of Hamilton and both Ferrari's, In the race he managed to fend off a determined Hamilton for a good amount of time, in the end only losing out to him due to his tyres dying on him compared to Hamilton's 23 lap newer set. He may not be in the title battle as yet as I believe unless a serious collapse this year's championship is all but over, however, if anyone can revive it then Max Verstappen is the man who can do it.

3) George Russel

Despite not necessarily stealing the headlines George Russel had one of the most positive weekends of his entire Formula One career after Williams picking up their first points of the season via Robert Kubica, George must have felt frustrated as he had been outperforming his much more experienced team-mate almost every week before Germany. In practice the Williams cars where both right at the back of the field where they have been regularly throughout the season so far, however it was in qualifying where Russel managed to cause the biggest surprise as he managed to put his Williams into sixteenth only missing out on Q2 by 0.05 seconds which is a staggering result when you compare it to his team-mate who was a whole 1.3 seconds slower. In the race, he was unable to make up ground and challenge for points as he finished in sixteenth but still way above his team-mate who finished in nineteenth. With strong performances like these he is rapidly throwing his hat in the ring for an upgrade to Mercedes should Bottas be dropped.

4) Mclaren

Once again another strong weekend for Mclaren cements them as the team to beat in the midfield battle as they appear to be consistently quicker than the teams around them however don't quite have the pace to battle with the likes of Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes. For Carlos Sainz, it was yet another best of the rest performance coming home in an exceptional fifth place extending his seventh place in the championship and actually closing into within just five points of Pierre Gasly in the Red Bull which is an outstanding achievement by the Spaniard. Lando Norris also had a solid weekend as he was always the quickest outside the top six in practice and managed a superb seventh in qualifying ahead of Sainz in eighth, in the race he was performing well running inside the top seven until a poor pitstop where he had trouble getting one of the wheels secured on cost him a handful of positions. Despite this, he was able to battle his way up to finish the race in ninth which adds points to both his and Mclaren's championship tally. With upgrades to come after the summer break is it a realistic possibility to see a Mclaren on the podium before the season is over.

5) Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen has almost become somewhat forgotten since joining Alfa Romeo Racing despite this he is currently sitting in eighth in the championship on 31 points and given that Alfa Romeo as a team have only scored 32 points it puts into context just how impressive he has been. In Hungary he came home with another seventh-place finish which went somewhat under the radar but all of this understated feel around the Kimi and Alfa is playing right into his hands as he is now ridden of Ferrari and all the pressure that comes of being a part of the Scuderia he can now operate completely at his own will and is helping the team grow massively. Having been consistently in the top ten throughout practice and managing to once again make it into Q3 this weekend has to go down as one of the best of the season for the team and Kimi alike. Only time will tell if Kimi is able to maintain this kind of pace and whether Alfa will climb up the table should team-mate Giovinazzi also start scoring as regularly as the Iceman.

Losers

1) Ferrari

Coming into Hungary there was an undeniable sense of optimism as there was a new upgrade for their car giving them a supposedly similar performance to Mercedes, however, despite a very positive couple of practice sessions this was far from the truth as they were a mile off in the race. Sebastian Vettel who finished third after a late pass on team-mate Charles Leclerc, finished the race over a minute behind race winner Hamilton which at the end of the day is just not acceptable for a team such as Ferrari who coming into the season were so confident about taking the fight to Mercedes, but as we are at the summer break they are still yet to take a victory and for Vettel when we arrive in Spa it will be exactly a year since his last victory in Formula One. Hopefully, we will see a much better performance by the Prancing Horse after the summer break as they and Leclerc, in particular, deserve to catch a break.

2) Valtteri Bottas

Having been given Germany and Hungary to prove that he deserves a seat at Mercedes for 2020 and beyond, Bottas needed a big performance at the Hungaroring especially after his nightmare weekend in Germany last week. The weekend started off as normal with some solid practice sessions but nothing to write home about, however, qualifying was a massive step up as he managed to out-qualify Hamilton fairly comprehensively and only missing out on pole by 0.05 second from Verstappen. The race, on the other hand, was a whole different story as he immediately lost a position to Lewis and then when being passed by Leclerc had his front wing broken which ruined his race eventually being lapped by none other than Hamilton and Verstappen, only managing to fight back to a poor eighth place. It is as yet unknown how much longer he has at Mercedes as Toto Wolf has been very vocal about wanting to see improvement from the Finnish driver before the summer break and who knows when an announcement will be made and who knows what it will be.

3) Renault

Once again another weekend to forget for Renault as there was yet another double non-points finish a week after their double DNF last week out. Both cars were nowhere all weekend with Daniel Ricciardo even unable to get out of Q1, eventually starting at the back of the grid thanks to a new Power Unit. He was unable to fight through the field as I imagine he would have liked only managing to get up to a disappointing fourteenth place. Nico Hulkenberg fared slightly better, however, was unable to fight in Q3 missing out by 0.05 seconds starting eleventh. He had a fairly uneventful race unable to fight for points and dropping a place eventually finishing an underwhelming twelfth. For Renault fourth in the constructors looks a long way off given that they are currently sixth behind Toro Rosso and being closed by Alfa Romeo. And with a heap of uncertainty around their drivers future, hopefully, there will be vast improvements over the summer allowing them to compete higher up the grid once again.

4) Robert Kubica

After scoring his first points in nine years at Hockenheim things were looking up for Kubica and the huge number of Polish fans who travelled to see him compete were as expectant as ever. Unfortunately, both he and the car were horrendously off the pace all weekend, he was at the back of the field consistently and was humiliated by the blistering pace shown by his team-mate Russell who blew him away all weekend. In the race, he did nothing notable which sadly is becoming an all to a familiar sight. It is undeniable that the pace simply isn't there for Williams but as Russell has proven there is potential to build and there is more pace in the car than is being displayed by Kubica. Hopefully, with a few weeks off he will be able to come back with a stronger performing car and start challenging other drivers in races as it would be such a nice thing to see him competitive once again.

5) Haas

Haas hasn't had a very good time of it lately with their drivers constantly running into each other and then when they're far enough apart to do any damage they're too far of the pace to score any points. This was the case for the majority of the weekend in Hungary, Romain Grosjean has been fighting for his life in Formula One with no stop speculation about him being axed from the team to solve the in-team fighting. So he needed a strong performance, in qualifying he was strong managing to reach Q3 and starting the race from a respectable ninth, unfortunately, he did not have the same performance in the race being the one and only driver not to finish. Kevin Magnussen has had less reason to worry about being dropped from the team but is still in dire need of a strong performance, he only managed to scrape out of Q1 and started the race in fourteenth which was poor compared to his team-mate, in the race he only managed to pick up one place finishing in thirteenth. Haas is likely to have some serious talks about the teams future over the summer break and it is unknown when we will hear about who is staying and who is going.

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Henry Turner

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