Les tops, les flops et les interrogations après le Grand Prix de Hongrie

Les tops, les flops et les interrogations après le Grand Prix de Hongrie

After each Grand Prix, Nextgen-Auto.com invites you to find the tops and flops identified by the editorial staff. Who deserves to be applauded? Who, on the contrary, should be criticized? Finally, what are the question marks or ambiguities that should be followed with interest during the next Grands Prix? Check it out below!

the covers

Top #1: Verstappen overcomes two problems and a spin

After a difficult Friday, Max Verstappen seemed to have found enough pace to fight for pole position, or at least a front row start at the Hungarian Grand Prix. But a mechanical problem stopped the machine that is the RB18 at the time of Q3, preventing the Dutchman from setting a time. With a tenth place at the start, at the winding Hungaroring, the case seemed solved and Verstappen was about to save the furniture.

But that was underestimating the reigning world champion, who immediately began his comeback. Eighth on the first lap, he disposed of the Alpines before lap seven, then capitalized on Lando Norris’ struggles to clinch a place. A clutch problem troubled him early in the race, during which he had to drive in conservation mode in his Red Bull.

He moved up to fourth thanks to pit stops. A perfect strategy from Red Bull, led by Hannah Schmitz, allowed Verstappen to take the lead on lap 50 and never let go. It’s the first time he’s won from the top 4, and the second time Red Bull has won from 10th.

Top #2: Mercedes F1 and George Russell on pole

With Verstappen’s problem in qualifying, it seemed that pole position had to be played between the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. But when the two drivers had finished with their final qualifying lap, George Russell came to steal the show, thus securing his first career pole position, and the first for Mercedes this season. Without a DRS problem in his car, Lewis Hamilton could have allowed his team to monopolize the front row.

The next day, Russell and Hamilton suffered from Max Verstappen’s law, but the seven-time world champion pleased the crowd at the Hungaroring with an impressive final stint. Irresistible against his teammate, Hamilton went for second place, which allowed Mercedes to sign a double podium for the second consecutive race. Enough to ensure before the summer break that the Brackley team is back in the game.

Top No. 3: Lando Norris ‘best of the rest’ undisputed

Fourth in qualifying, seventh in the race: Lando Norris flew over the pack this weekend in Hungary. Of course, the leading teams were in a different league from his, as evidenced by the 62 seconds that separated him from sixth place at the end of the race. And unfortunately, that’s what the Brit focused on after the race.

But in fact, his weekend was very positive. Despite a poor start to the race, after qualifying on the second row alongside Leclerc, Norris was one of the few drivers to use hard tires late in the race. His strategy paid off despite the use of all three compounds (soft/medium/hard), and Norris proved once again that he is the key element that allows McLaren to target fourth place.

the failures

Flop #1: Ferrari tripped on the carpet

On Saturday night, Ferrari had the cards in hand to make a very good run in the championship. It is true that George Russell was the grain of sand in a well-oiled machine, who had notably dominated the two Friday sessions, but the race promised to be idyllic for the Scuderia. Indeed, the Red Bulls of Verstappen and Sergio Pérez started 10th and 11th, far from the second and third places of the Maranello starters.

Sainz stayed ahead of Leclerc in the first half, despite the Monegasque’s clearly better pace. Seeing that the medium tires of the two drivers were working well, Ferrari decided to redo a stint with the yellowwall tyres, before seeing what would happen at the end of the race. This was a first big mistake.

Once Leclerc passed Sainz thanks to overcutting, the Monegasque had the opportunity to lead some fifteen laps in total. Fearing that Verstappen would not be faster than his driver on medium tyres, the Scuderia did not dare to leave him on these tires to put on soft ones at the end of the race, and they installed the hard ones. A catastrophic decision that imposed a third stop on Leclerc.

Second and third at the start against out-of-this-world Red Bulls, the Scuderia finished fourth with Sainz and sixth with Leclerc. A particularly strategic zero point, although the F1-75 disappointed in race pace. Mattia Binotto focused his communication on the performance of the car after the race, but no one will have missed the colossal tactical error on the pit wall.

Flop #2: AlphaTauri, nothing is going right

The evolution that the AT03 brought to France, the first since the beginning of the season, was going to change everything. The balance after two races becomes a fiasco. In qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda were eliminated in Q1. The Frenchman saw one of his times erased, but that should not hide the poor level of the Italian car, as Tsunoda was 16th.

In the race, it was a disaster for Tsunoda, who finished last by two laps, while Gasly worked his way out of the points to complete the race in an unnamed 12th place. The package that the Frenchman was desperately waiting for has arrived and the results have not taken off for the small Scuderia, who have not scored points since Baku. The alert sent by Pierre Gasly in France seems more current than ever.

Failure #3: Daniel Ricciardo, we almost believe it…

Until Q2, Daniel Ricciardo was at the same level as Lando Norris. The Australian seemed to be on the same pace as his team-mate, driving an advanced McLaren MCL36 which he managed to tame in the rain. But while the Brit improved by three tenths between Q2 and Q3, the Australian went the other way, losing more than half a second to his team-mate.

The next day, between a medium pace and a catastrophic strategy, with hard tires that did not work for him either, Ricciardo had a hard time and finished the race in 15th place. The highlight of the show, he was unable to turn when Lance Stroll passed him in the second corner after his pit stop and harpooned the Canadian, receiving a five-second penalty.

We want to see…

Nicholas Latifi, one step away from the feat?

Saturday could have been a banner day for Nicholas Latifi. Already in the morning he managed to climb to the top of the Free Practice 3 time table, to the point of provoking the disbelief of some of his rivals, who saw Williams among the top 3 in the rain. In Q1 he was breaking the outright circuit record when he made a mistake in the last corner.

Eliminated and even good last on the grid, he had an anonymous race the next day. If the final result of the weekend is disappointing, especially when compared to the points scored last year, we can wonder about one of those flashes that the Canadian is capable of when it rains, and at this circuit in particular.

Haas F1, what potential does the advanced VF-22 have?

Kevin Magnussen rode this weekend for the first time with the new version of the Haas VF-22. This one sported new sidepods as well as other new parts, and Haas hoped to get some performance out of it. Unfortunately, the Dane was eliminated in Q2, as was his team-mate Mick Schumacher, who was in the old specification.

In the race, Magnussen was unable to lap in an interesting strategy due to a stop at the beginning of the race, after a contact. Also, it’s hard to see what benefit these new features bring, even if the team is optimistic about the performance potential to be gained from them. A potential that we hope to see more of in Spa.


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