Today’s Hungarian GP presented the toughest challenge yet to Lewis Hamilton’s current status as the undisputed Nr 1 F1 driver. Max Verstappen beat him to the pole (as did Bottas, Lewis only starting 3rd) and also took the lead in the race, and further fended off several attacks from Lewis at various points. With 20 laps to go, Mercedes then took the big gamble of calling in Lewis for a change to soft tires, at a point when he was on Verstappen’s heals. The tire change gave Max the benefit of a 20 second lead, but a combination of Lewis’s fantastic driving skills, the faster soft tires and Verstappen’s deteriorating medium tires meant Lewis caught up with him and took the lead almost unchallenged with two laps to go. A brilliant combination of team tactics and top driving!
The weekend was another disappointment for Valtteri Bottas who won second place on the grid only to fall back following an unfortunate accident with Leclerc early in the race, and finished in 8th place. My bet is that he won’t be driving for Mercedes next year, meaning Verstappen could perhaps take his seat, if Mercedes dares having two of the sport’s biggest egos in the same team?
Speaking of changing seats, Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Renault this season with the aim of winning races again will probably go down as one of the worst moves in F1 history. Renault is nowhere near the podium and in Hungary, not even near to claiming any points. I wouldn’t be surprised if Renault pulls the sponsoring for next year, leaving us with one team less and Ricciardo (and Huldenberg) without a seat.