2019 Hungary Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Formula 1 continues to produce exciting, entertaining races. Quite a "comeback" from the debacle of France.
EVENT: The orange brigade showed up in droves again -- along with a Polish contingent -- making this yet again another European hit, where F1 belongs.
TRACK: Who says Hungaroring doesn't produce passing?
QUALIFYING: Verstappen finally gets his long overdue pole position, Bottas isn't giving up, Leclerc again outdoes Vettel, Russell nearly gets out of Q1, while Stroll is back in his usual Q1 quagmire.
RACE: Tension and excitement from start to finish throughout the field.
START: No trouble for Red Bull this time, at least for Verstappen, not so much for Gasly, Hamilton pulls off a daring outside move, the start, season, and championship hopes all goes wrong for Bottas, and Russell gains a position.
HAMILTON: Lewis may have doubted the strategy, but it was his job to make it work. And he did. Which is why he wins so much.
BOTTAS: Clipped by Hamilton. Clipped by Leclerc. And his Mercedes ride may have been clipped as well.
MERCEDES: A brilliant strategic move, catching Red Bull off guard. That's just one of the reasons they have been so dominating -- their ability to out strategize their competition.
VERSTAPPEN: Did everything right. Everything right. But sometimes in sports, that's not enough to win.
RED BULL: This is what happens when you don't have a second driver capable of providing a buffer to your leader.
GASLY: Even if Red Bull doesn't make a driver change during the summer break -- probably a smart move -- we just don't see how Pierre keeps this seat for next year.
FERRARI: They are no longer second fiddle. They are third fiddle.
VETTEL: Sebastian took advantage of a strategy call to beat ... his teammate.
LECLERC: Charles needs to stop making mistakes, especially in qualifying.
SAINZ: Another fifth place for Carlos. A nice habit he's making.
NORRIS: An aggressive race throughout.
MCLAREN: Continues to make strides. But we still can't help but chuckle at the success Honda is having without McLaren.
RAIKKONEN: Back to smashing his teammate. And not caring about it.
TORO ROSSO: What an entertaining, tough, don't give an inch -- but clean -- intra team battle they put on. Take note of that Haas drivers.
PEREZ: Hey, Sergio, Albon was right next to you when you turned in. You have no beef. And apparently no glasses.
RENAULT: You know, this is a factory team. A factory team. Their performance is embarrassing for a factory team. A factory team.
F2: Everyone is abuzz over Mick Schumacher winning his first F2 race. However, he did it by finishing eighth in the feature race, thus inheriting pole for the sprint race thanks to the reverse grid rule. On a track which is hard to pass. Yet, he did perform under intense pressure from behind without making a mistake.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Strategy.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 20 -- The time gap in seconds which allowed Hamilton to make the second pit stop without providing Verstappen that same opportunity.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: For so long, everyone thought Verstappen was a shoo-in to become the youngest pole position winner. As it turns out, despite how young he is, Max is now only the fourth youngest pole winner in F1 history. The order is Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Fernando Alonso, Verstappen, and Rubens Barrichello. The first four were all 21-years-old, with only the number of days separating their ages.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Sebastian Vettel explaining the design strategy Ferrari should probably consider, "The nature of race tracks is that they have corners in them; so we'd like to build a car faster in the corners."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Let's go, of all places, to NASCAR for this one. They were at Watkins Glen where Martin Truex, Jr. ran on the tail of Chase Elliot nearly all race without ever finding a way past. At one point, his crew chief gave him lap times. Whereupon, Truex channeled his inner Kimi Raikkonen, responding, "I don't need times. I can see him!"
SCHEDULE: Time for a rest for all, and then back to two of the best tracks in racing history.
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