The British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), current champion and leader of the Formula 1 World Cup, struck a strategic blow by winning the Hungarian Grand Prix, the 12th race of the season, the last one before the summer break.
Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull), who started from pole position, was second ahead of Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), who completed the podium.
The triumph of the English driver was due to a strategic success: Hamilton stopped twice to change tires, for Verstappen only once, who was left with some very damaged tires at the end of the race and saw the Mercedes driver overtake him in the round 67 of 70.
“I’m sorry to have doubted your strategy,” Hamilton reacted on radio as soon as he passed the checkered flag and achieved the eighth victory of the season. «It was a great decision. I thank you for taking it.
In the Drivers’ World Championship, Hamilton established himself in the lead, going from a 41-point lead to 62 over the second-placed, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
With this victory, Hamilton also takes the thorn out of what happened a week ago at the German Grand Prix, where he raced ill and made several mistakes that relegated him to ninth in the ‘home’ race for Mercedes.
The joy was not complete for the German brand, as its second driver, the Finn Bottas, damaged his front wing at the start, forcing him to go through the pits and start from last place.
He went back to eighth, insufficient for Mercedes’ ambition, especially since it also adds to the disappointment in Germany a week ago, where he had to leave after an accident.
The Finn now only has a seven-point lead in the World Cup standings over Verstappen, third in the championship and who also added the additional point in Hungary after setting the best lap in the race.
At the foot of the podium were the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and the Spanish Carlos Sainz Jr, who completed a great race with his McLaren, being ahead of the French Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) and the Finnish Kimi Räikkönen (Alfa Romeo Racing).
Bottas, Britain’s Lando Norris (McLaren) and Thai Alexander Albon (Toro Rosso) completed the Top 10. AFP