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Hungarian GP: Max Verstappen runaway from 10th to win ahead of Mercedes, Charles Leclerc just 6th

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Max Verstappen passes Charles Leclerc again

Max Verstappen passes Charles Leclerc again

Max Verstappen made a spectacular comeback drive from 10th on the grid to win the Hungarian Grand Prix and extend his title lead over Charles Leclerc.

In an enthralling race with three teams battling for victory, Verstappen fought back from unreliable qualifying with incredible pace and excellent Red Bull strategy, seven seconds clear of Lewis Hamilton and pole-sitter George Russell. A win and Mercedes celebrated another win – a double podium in Ferrari’s avoided absence.

Leclerc was the victim of a questionable pit stop call from Ferrari that ended up finishing just sixth, meaning Verstappen has an 80-point title lead heading into F1’s summer break .

Max Verstappen crosses the line to take a brilliant victory from 10th on the grid, with Lewis Hamilton in 2nd!

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Max Verstappen crosses the line to take a brilliant victory from 10th on the grid, with Lewis Hamilton in 2nd!

Max Verstappen crosses the line to take a brilliant victory from 10th on the grid, with Lewis Hamilton in 2nd!

It was another win that slipped through Leclerc’s fingers.

Monaco started third and overcut teammate Carlos Sainz before ending Russell’s credible resistance to the lead on lap 31.

However, in an attempt to keep up with Verstappen’s pace, Ferrari pitted Leclerc on hard tyres, leaving the ducks sitting on Red Bull and indeed other rivals. passed Leclerc twice before and after a nervous spin in slippery conditions to seal the .

Anthony Davidson is at SkyPad to analyze Charles Leclerc's strategy issues that led to a 6th place finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

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Anthony Davidson is at SkyPad to analyze Charles Leclerc’s strategy issues that led to a 6th place finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Anthony Davidson is at SkyPad to analyze Charles Leclerc’s strategy issues that led to a 6th place finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Leclerc called the strategy a “disaster” and stopped again to finish behind Sergio Pérez, the only Red Bull, Mercedes or Ferrari driver not to hold the lead at one stage.

Sainz, like Russell, was passed by Hamilton in the closing stages and was fourth as the seven-time world champion flew on soft tyres.

George Russell won't be able to pull away from Lewis Hamilton, who is currently second in the Hungarian Grand Prix, for long.

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George Russell won’t be able to pull away from Lewis Hamilton, who is currently second in the Hungarian Grand Prix, for long.

George Russell won’t be able to pull away from Lewis Hamilton, who is currently second in the Hungarian Grand Prix, for long.

Lando Norris was unable to maintain his 4th starting position, but was able to hold Alpine to 7th.

Hungarian GP Race Results: Top 10
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3) George Russell, Mercedes
4) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
6) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
7) Lando Norris, McLaren
8) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
9) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
10) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

How Verstappen broke through the field to win in Hungary

Leclerc lost three places, Verstappen moved up nine places…and an 80-point title lead. The Hungarian Grand Prix could prove to be another big change in the momentum of the championship and decisive.

Despite light rain just before lights out, Verstappen made a strong start from 10th to 7th on the first lap, and as the air cleared he caught up with the pace of the top cars Russell, Sainz and Leclerc.

He easily dispatched Alpine and undercut Hamilton.

Max Verstappen spins, Charles Leclerc bounces back in front of Dutchman

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Max Verstappen spins, Charles Leclerc bounces back in front of Dutchman

Max Verstappen spins, Charles Leclerc bounces back in front of Dutchman

However, Leclerc also displayed blistering pace when he got ahead of Sainz, creating an overtaking of the day to overtake the outside of Russell’s Mercedes at Turn 1 just before the mid-stage. He then extended his lead to five seconds.

But Verstappen’s second stop frightened the Ferraris and seemed to respond with Sainz’s second car, stopping Leclerc.

Having only used medium tires so far, with just over 20 laps to go the hard tires (which were the slowest on Sunday) were put on and Verstappen was quickly in range on the medium tyres.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both passed Lando Norris on lap 12.

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Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both passed Lando Norris on lap 12.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen both passed Lando Norris on lap 12.

After passing Leclerc on the DRS on lap 41, the world champion nearly opened the door for a return to Russell when he spun at Turn 13 on the following lap.

However, Verstappen regained his composure and was back in front of Leclerc on lap 45.

This gave him the net lead and after Hamilton made his final pit stop all Verstappen had to do was manage the pace and even a light shower in the closing stages of his parade. It never rained.

George Russell passed Charles Leclerc and moved up to second as things got worse for Ferrari.

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George Russell passed Charles Leclerc and moved up to second as things got worse for Ferrari.

George Russell passed Charles Leclerc and moved up to second as things got worse for Ferrari.

As for Ferrari and Leclerc, the teams said they were surprised by Hurd’s lack of pace, but Leclerc called the strategy a “disaster”. Either way, he pitted again for the softs and dropped to sixth.

“We will discuss it within the team,” Leclerc said.

Just as Red Bull benefited from Ferrari’s struggles, so did Mercedes, who once again impressed on race day.

Charles Leclerc said the team's decision to put him on hard tires was a disaster.

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Charles Leclerc said the team’s decision to put him on hard tires was a disaster.

Charles Leclerc said the team’s decision to put him on hard tires was a disaster.

Russell started soft and fought well from pole, Mercedes always reacted to the strategy of Ferrari and Verstappen, Hamilton played a long game and finished the stint with a soft and ferocious stint.

As such, he deftly passed both Sainz and his teammate in the second half.

Lewis Hamilton is very excited heading into the second half of the season after finishing second and having the pace to compete with Ferrari.

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Lewis Hamilton is very excited heading into the second half of the season after finishing second and having the pace to compete with Ferrari.

Lewis Hamilton is very excited heading into the second half of the season after finishing second and having the pace to compete with Ferrari.

What’s next for F1 2022?

The sport is now embarking on a four-week summer break ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix on August 28th. The race at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps kickstarts with his header to the European triples with Zandvoort and Monza.

All races are streamed live and exclusively on Sky Sports F1.

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