Perhaps not as thrilling as Austria, UK, or Germany, but Hungary did delivered lots of great racing, and with this victory, Hamilton is 10 wins away from Michael Schumacher's record 91 victories.
The day started very dry and fairly cool at 26℃ and 39% humidity, but dark clouds in the horizon meant rain could come at any minutes, and it did come. Cars came out early and did their installation laps, and started setting lap times. With just 8 minutes in the session, the Mercedes team saw some misfiring issue with Bottas' car and asked him to come in asap, he went into the pits on the wrong side of the bollard, mechanics went to work in the W10 and he did not set a time. With just under 30 minutes into the session, the heavens opened and started raining hard, albeit not in the whole circuit and conditions remained half way between slicks and intermediates for just a few minutes. Session remained dry albeit a bit windy, and it was Lewis Hamilton setting the fastest lap, a 1:17.233, followed by Verstappen and Vettel just 0.165 and 0.166 of a second behind.
Everything looked set for a very wet practice 2 at Hungary. Just a few minutes into the session and Alex Albon crashed his DTR14 heavily at the final turn. He just clipped the grass a few inches and went off, bringing out a red flag. Session resumed and went smoothly for most drivers until the rain came in and the track was declared officially wet with over an hour still on the clock, but as it happened in FP1, track was too wet for slicks but too dry for inters. At the time, Pierre Gasly was fastest with a 1:17.854. We spent more than 40 minutes with just a few cars venturing out on track, and with 20 minutes left in the session, many drivers came out on intermediates (green), albeit 20 seconds slower than on slicks; that meant Pierre Gasly was fastest, just 0.055 ahead of Verstappen and 0.141 of Hamilton, although both Red Bulls on softs (red) and the Mercedes on hards (white).
Due to some oil spillage by a huge engine blowout during an F2 race, practice 3 was delayed for the first 10 minutes while marshals cover it up with cement. As for the weather, it rained heavily all night long, cleaning most of the rubber off the track. Once we got green light, several cars came out onto the track, but the cloud of dust created by the cement on track was just incredible. Final 8 minutes saw all 20 cars on track doing qualifying simulations, and it was Lewis Hamilton the fastest with a new track record of 1:16.084. Verstappen just 0.013 behind and Vettel just 0.082!
Lance Stroll was the first driver to get out onto the track, setting the first timed lap of the session, a rather conservative 1:18.688. Then came the big boys, with Max Verstappen setting a blistering fast 1:15.817, a new track record. A few seconds after, Charles Leclerc was in a faster yet lap, but lost the rear in the last corner and clipped the barrier, braking the rear wing of his SF90.
Out of qualifying were: George Russell, Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll, and Robert Kubica.
Second part of qualifying started with the top six on medium tires (yellow). Braking track record after track record. Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap, a 1:15.548. Out were: Nico Hulkenberg, Alex Albon, Daniil Kvyat, Antonio Giovinazzi, and Kevin Magnussen.
Things couldn't be closer up front, and as expected, everyone is on softs (red). And as always, everyone waits until the last second to come out. And after a thrilling Q3, it was Max Verstappen who got pole position, becoming the 100th different pole-sitter in Formula One history! He as followed by Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, and Sebastian Vettel.
Beautiful day on Sunday, perhaps a bit hot. And what a start of the Grand Prix it was, with Hamilton fighting Bottas for second, they touched and Bottas' W10 lost a bit of front wing. He was later passed by Leclerc and Vettel. On lap 6, Bottas came in to change wing and tires (whites), coming out in 20th. Things kind off settled in with Verstappen leading Hamilton, then Leclerc and Vettel. Verstappen came into the pits on lap 26, changing to hards (whites), and coming out in second. The Ferrari did not have the pace to fight Mercedes nor Red Bull. A couple of laps later, Leclerc came in for hards (whites), coming out behind Vettel, now in third. Hamilton changed tires (to whites) on lap 31, coming out behind Verstappen. On lap 38, Vettel is informed: "We need three more laps for Plan C". But lap 39, wow!, what drives from Hamilton trying to pass, and Verstappen defending, wonderful driving from the leaders. Vettel came in for softs (reds), coming out in fourth, behind Leclerc. On lap 44, Lewis reported "Brake temps, brake temps!", Bono replied "More about wear". On that same lap, both leaders lapped Bottas, now in 9th. Lap 45, Verstappen: "You need to give me more power" - "You have full power".
Lap 49 saw Hamilton pitting again for mediums (yellow) coming out in second and almost 20 seconds behind Verstappen. On the other side of the race, magnificent driving from Ricciardo and Magnussen fighting for 14th place. And on the closing laps of the Grand Prix, Hamilton was catching Verstappen at a blistering pace, lapping about 1.5 seconds faster lap after lap than Verstappen. By lap 64, Verstappen commented "Tires are dead", and on lap 67 Hamilton pulled on to the left hand side at turn 1 and passed Verstappen for the lead. A lap later, Vettel passed Leclerc for third, albeit 61 seconds behind Hamilton. In the meantime, Verstappen came into the pits for a 'free' pitstop, put on softs and got the point for fastest lap of the race, a 1:17.103.
And with a brilliant strategy from Mercedes and a magnificent drive, Lewis Hamilton wins the Hungarian Grand Prix for the 7th time! Verstappen and Vettel completed the podium.
230,000 weekend attendance.
Only four drivers finished on the lead lap.
Max Verstappen was voted Driver of the Day.