TJ13 regularly publishes it’s reader poll results after each race, unfortunately, this editor (me) hasn’t been particularly good at doing so, hence why the German GP results and the Hungarian race are so late to publish.
As we’re still partially in the summer break leading up to Spa this weekend, seemed like the right time to put these missing articles on the site finally.
The Judge 13
Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend Round 12, Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary, 2019.
Mean Reader Score: 8.20. Rated 4/12 races so far this year.
This score is much better than 2018 (5.97) but FAR better than the 4.70 from 2017 and 4.36 from 2016. Overtaking is said to be difficult here, with a difference of 1.5 s per lap required for success.
In the past, pit stop strategy has been more important in determining the race outcome and (although in not quite the usual manner) the pit stops were central to this race as well. This time last year, the two front runners had both been at the top of the driver rankings three times- not so this year and in fact Hamilton’s abysmal score of 2 points from the last race had approximately zero impact on the driver standings, due to his huge lead this season.
Could this have been the ‘best’ processional race of the season? How so? Well to cut a long story short, Verstappen took his first pole of his F1 career, and Hamilton started on the second row.
Bottas made a poor start and Hamilton quickly took P2. Verstappen defended well until after Hamilton’s first pit stop when Hamilton came within spitting distance of overtaking him – then, shock horror- after only a few laps on hard tyres, (which could have taken him to the end of the race) Hamilton was converted to a two stop strategy, picking up fresh medium tyres and dropping back 20 seconds behind race leader Verstappen.
Well, Red Bull had a decision to make, as they were touch and go getting into and out of the pit stop still in P1. They decided to opt for track position and hope for the best with the tyres. Sadly for them this was not the best decision they have made this season, as Hamilton hunted down Verstappen and with three or four laps to go, sailed past to take P1, another race win and set another record. All very dramatic for a track on which overtaking is known to be difficult.
It wasn’t all about Verstappen and Hamilton, though , as Lando Norris had a good race, going wheel to wheel with Ricciardo and Magnussen: Sainz came fifth (again) and the Toro Rosso teammates Kvyat and Albon also had a moment or two. Mostly, though , it was about our illustrious Driver of the Weekend…..
Driver of the weekend: Lewis Hamilton, 55.13% of reader vote.
Having topped the leader boards in two out of three practice sessions, Our Driver of the Weekend started the race on the second row (P3). But not for long.
By the end of turn 1 he was into P2 and his rise did not stop there. Having a two -stop strategy gave him fresher tyres at the end of the race which he used beautifully to sail past Verstappen to take yet another win, and increase his lead in the WDC even further. He certainly redeemed himself from last week’s race. Well done Lewis!!
That’s the way to do it – a race report with not a rock in sight!
Good summary of what turned out to be an enjoyable race.
It was another perfect demonstration of how far superior the Mercedes PU is when the engineers decide to turn it up.