Hungarian Grand Prix: Vettel Settles For P6 As Ferrari Struggles Persist

Hungarian Grand Prix: Vettel Settles For P6 As Ferrari Struggles Persist

After a seemingly (albeit timidly) encouraging qualifying session, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc keep on overdriving their underperforming SF1000 barely to the points.

Hungarian GP Ferrari

Moody weather

Pre-race strategies at the Hungarian GP are heavily influenced by uncertain weather conditions: most drivers are forced to start on intermediate tyres on a drying track, while a risky slick strategy for Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen seems to reward them early in the race.

At the front, a very clean start by poleman Lewis Hamilton allows him to build a significant advantage, which he will preserve for the whole race. A mistake from Valtteri Bottas allows both Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen to progress, the Dutchman having suffered a pre-race shunt during warm-up. An initially perplexing pit strategy, causing both Ferraris to be lapped, seems to pay off in the long term, bringing Vettel to P6. However, on a track such as the Hungaroring, the engine prowess of Mercedes causes the German to be lapped once again in the late stages of the race.

Strategy payoffs

With the vast majority of the grid pitting no less than twice, it is no surprise that strategy played the biggest part. As Haas's initially successful strategy crumbles, Alex Albon is able to recover from an abysmal Saturday to cross the finish line in P5, overcoming a number of issues on the way. Slowed down by Hamilton's late pit in the front, Sebastian Vettel loses the position to Albon in the very late stages of the race, risking it to Sergio Perez as well.

Meanwhile, a last lap chase on Max Verstappen spices up Bottas's race: despite reaching for the DRS zone, the Finn eventually concedes. A race to forget for Charles Leclerc, being barely kicked out of the points by Carlos Sainz and crossing the line in P11.

Written by Aurora Dell'Agli

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