History was made at the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix as Red Bull Racing became the first team in the history of the sport to win 12 consecutive races. The RB19 also matched the record of 11 back to back wins in a season set by the legendary McLaren MP4/4 from 1988 which was designed by South African Gordon Murray and driven by team mates Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
In less than weeks time, the RB19 could become the greatest car Formula One has ever seen in its 73 year history as the sport moves to the Ardennes Forrest for the Belgium Grand Prix.
Verstappen unhappy with qualifying
Of this years Red Bull car has any weaknesses then the layout of the Hungaroring was expected to reveal them and of course with Red Bull’s biggest upgrade of the season brought to the race weekend.
This being a Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton circuit that has favoured their car design philosophy over the years saw the seven times world champion claim pole position against a very unhappy Max Verstappen.
The Dutch driver had complained throughout the practice sessions and qualifying that he couldn’t find a comfortable balance at the rear of the car which clearly knocked his confidence for qualifying.
Biggest winning margin
Yet looking forward to Sunday the team realising the track temperature was going to be at its hotted had dialled in some understeer which Verstappen hates in his race cars.
However, with a full fuel load of 100kg and the asphalt hitting over 50 degrees Celsius, the revised RB19 came alive in the hands of Verstappen destroyed the field finishing 33 seconds ahead of Norris in P2.
The last winning margin over 30 seconds was two years ago at the Russian Grand Prix when Hamilton’s dominant Mercedes took the field apart in much the same way as Verstappen did in Hungary.
Horner reflects on historic day
Christian Horner admitted the whole team were proud of their achievements when reflected on the historic day.
“To achieve the record of 12 consecutive Grand Prix victories, to break that record from 1988 – when I remember watching Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost and the great McLaren team led by Ron Dennis, to think that it has taken 35 years but we are the team to break that, particularly with the quality of opposition we’re racing is a phenomenal achievement.
“It is one that the whole team can be immensely proud of. But how long can we keep this winning going? Who knows?
“We’ve got another challenge next weekend with the sprint race, the variable conditions oof Spa and anything can happen.
“So really, we are just taking it pretty much one event at a time.”
Improved RB19 evident in Hungary
If Red Bull’s Helmut Marko is to be believed the winning streak will continue for foreseeable future given the big upgrade the team brought to the car this weekend was not optimised.
Whilst Lewis Hamilton was told to ‘lift and coast’ a times during the race to cool down the temperatures in his car, Sergio and Max were pushing all the way to the chequered flag.
This was down to the revised RB19 side pods and improved cooling behind the Red Bull upgrade, however the effect on the aerodynamics was so significant the team were unable to optimise the car setup hence Verstappen’s complaints.
Marko chilling warning
Helmut Marko confirmed this speaking to Sky Germany after the race:
“On Saturday, we did not find the right balance during qualifying,” he revealed.
“[In the race] we did, but we have not yet fully exploited the potential of our upgrade.”
With the new ground effect cars the teams have to balance improved downforce with any new bodywork with the dark art of the underfloor airflow which also delivers significant levels of down force.
Rain forecast for Belgium
Looking forward to this coming weekend Helmut Marko suggested, “the track should actually suit our car better due to the faster corners.”
“Unfortunately, rain is forecast. So you have to be tough and consistent in the race: if visibility is poor due to rain, you have to send out the Safety Car or stop the race.”
It could be we only see the true pace of the uprated RB19 in three races time when the teams return to the Cathedral of Speed in Monza where the rain rarely falls and the cars are flat out for almost two thirds of the lap.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 23, 2023