Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend Round 3, Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary, 2020.
Mean Reader Score: 5.05. Rated 3/3 races so far this year.
This score is nowhere near as good as last year’s race (8.25), even worse than the 5.97 of 2018, and marginally better than the 4.07 and 4.36 from 2017 and 2016.
We know overtaking here is difficult and can be a bit of a procession from a spectator’s point of view, but the drivers ‘love’ it apparently.
The low score implies the race was not great (ok, it was poor) but it did have its moments (some of them even before the race started). Notably, the dog fights between Bottas and Leclerc, Perez, and Leclerc and (bless his cotton socks) Norris and Leclerc.
With all this action going on between Leclerc and various drivers, one might be forgiven for thinking Leclerc had a great race. He didn’t. Qualifying woefully out of position, and being on the wrong tyres at the wrong time, he had a poor race and for the second race in a row, scored null points.
He was even overtaken by his future team mate Sainz and knocked out of the points. Bottas got off to a terrible start (almost but not quite fast enough to be a false start). Starting, stopping and then starting again meant he lost four places at the beginning of the race and spent the rest of the race playing catch up. An honorable mention for Stroll, who qualified and started in P3, but lost one place in the race to finish in P4.
Driver of the Weekend: Max Verstappen 44.78% of reader vote
This weekend did not seem to have Max Verstappen’s name on it at all: All three practice sessions he was uncomfortable in his car being knocked into a cocked hat by those ‘Pink Mercedes’ pretty much all weekend (let’s not forget he came second here last year).
To make things worse, about half an hour before the race started, he drove his Red Bull into a stationary wall, lost his front wing and ‘maybe’ his front suspension as well. Oh Dear.
Miraculously his mechanics squashed a 90 minute repair job into less than the 30 minutes available and with 25 seconds to spare got the four wheels back on Max’s wagon and he was ok to join start the race (albeit from P7).
But not for long- He made up four places at the start, and then challenged for the ‘win’ (was never gonna happen) all race long.
He valiantly kept a chasing Bottas at bay and secured P2 and 18 points for himself and his team (coming in a ‘mere’ 70ish seconds ahead of his teammate). He won our ‘Driver of The Weekend’ though! Well done Max!
Bottas is not so good on the defenisve side, And he’s not one hell of a tyre manager too.
He as the absolute number 1 wagon under his ass and so does Lewis, but he’s not in Lewis land… by far! Even a dodgy RB16 with a committed driver can keep him at bay.
For the sake of the championship: Put Verstappen in that Mercedes to spice things up a bit!
I’d love to swap Bottas and Albon for a few races.