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A hectic Hungarian Grand Prix saw Max Verstappen win from 10th on the grid after another disappointing outcome for Scuderia Ferrari. None of the drivers from the Prancing Horse were on the podium, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell again finishing the race in the remaining two steps of the podium. 

Max Verstappen – 10

A legendary win, with a performance that puts him a whopping 80 points in front of his nearest rival in the standings. 

Even when, due to a qualifying fault, he had to start from 10th and looked set to do some damage limitation, Verstappen exceeded expectations, winning for the eighth time this season with a superb comeback. 

By the time of his first stop, he was already in fourth, making up ground on the Ferraris as the race went by and win despite a dramatic spin just after taking the lead for the first time. 

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Lewis Hamilton – 9.5

Despite a qualifying fault that meant his fastest time was set on used tyres, Hamilton recovered to second after starting six places down on teammate and poleman George Russell. 

Hamilton played the long game, pitting late on to be on a charge in his final stint, overtaking Leclerc, Carlos Sainz and Russell in the process to claim his fifth consecutive podium. 

Had he not had the issue on qualifying, he could have fought for the win, often being the fastest man on track throughout the race. 

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George Russell – 8

A moment of Saturday brilliance meant he started from pole for the first time ever, capitalising from a resurging Mercedes car. 

Russell held first place for almost half of the race, but struggled compared to the Ferraris, conceding the place to Leclerc, but fending off Sainz. 

A final stint on medium tyres meant he recovered the place on Leclerc, but lost out to Hamilton, claiming third, which means he recovers fourth place in the standings. 

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Carlos Sainz – 7.5

Disappointment came when he lost pole position despite beating Charles Leclerc on Saturday, but from a first row start, it looked like Sainz was a likely contender for the win. 

After chasing down the race leader, Sainz was penalised by two slow pit stops and eventually couldn’t keep at bay either of the Mercedes cars, dropping to fourth. 

His strategy paid off better than Leclerc’s, even if he appeared slower on Sunday. It’s still the fourth consecutive time he beats the Monegasque in a race in which both finished. 

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Sergio Perez – 5.5

Sergio Perez virtually dropped out of the championship fight, with a very difficult performance in Hungary that saw him knocked out in Q2 and finish only in fifth. 

His teammate Verstappen started alongside and went on to win the race, with the Mexican struggling to match him, as it has been in the recent period. 

The most positive thing was holding off Leclerc, but for Perez a promising start of the year quickly faded away. 

Charles Leclerc – 6.5

After yet another Ferrari hara-kiri, doubts must arise as to whether Leclerc is too easily submissive to the Ferrari strategies, or whether he is less able at analysing complex races as other drivers. 

Once again, it was him who lost out to his teammate with a poor strategy, but what looked to be a certain Ferrari one-two, saw Leclerc finish sixth, despite coming out of his last planned stop in first place. 

Leclerc fitted the hard tyres, which were ineffective, as a very early second stop to react to other drivers meant it was too early to stop for softs. 

He lost pace and opted to stop once more, which arguably was another wrong decision, once more losing points to Verstappen despite proving very quick.

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Lando Norris – 8.5

The Brit was in a class of his own compared to the midfield, bringing a challenge to the top teams in both qualifying and the early part of the race to finish a comfortable seventh. 

He qualified a stunning fourth and tried to hold off Hamilton, Verstappen and Perez, before giving way and comfortably lead the midfield with a strong second stint. 

It’s his fourth consecutive top seven finish, with teammate Daniel Ricciardo scoring just four points in the same span of time. 

Fernando Alonso – 8

Fernando Alonso was disappointed to see Esteban Ocon push him towards the wall at the start, as he felt the Frenchman defended harder than he should have. 

The Spaniard showed strong pace in qualifying and was sixth, behind Ocon, with a Q3 lap slower than Q2. However, once he finally moved past Ocon in the second stint, he comfortably finished ahead. 

He was one of few drivers to make a one-stop strategy work, recovering to eighth despite looking like he was struggling a lot on hard tyres. 

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Esteban Ocon – 7

Ocon doesn’t have the same raw speed as Alonso, but his error-free performances mean he often finishes just behind, or even in front when he has the opportunity. 

The Frenchman was a great fifth in qualifying, but fell away with a poor start of the second stint on hard tyres. 

A few collisions behind and a last lap defence on Sebastian Vettel helped him to keep ninth place for his 10th points-finish of the year. 

Sebastian Vettel – 7

The German recovered to 10th place in the weekend in which he announced his retirement, after starting from a lowly 18th.

The Aston Martin looked quick on Sunday, as he was fighting the two Alpines, but had to comeback as he was pitting twice. 

Vettel just missed out on ninth-place at the end, but overtook his teammate Lance Stroll on the last few laps to take revenge from the previous race. 

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Lance Stroll – 7

Stroll missed out on points to his teammate Vettel, but this was largely down to Stroll being taken out by Ricciardo as the two were exiting the pits, and he lost precious time. 

Without this collision, Stroll may have challenged the two Alpines for a stronger result, as he recovered from a Q2 elimination, with Aston Martin looking faster in the race as per usual. 

Pierre Gasly – 6

A decent recovery drive saw him finish 12th after starting from the pit lane, but again Alpha Tauri were struggling to compete for the top 10 places. 

In fact, Pierre Gasly was only 19th on the grid, but pulled off some moves to finish much higher. 

Zhou Guanyu – 5

The Alfa Romeo looked quicker than recent outings, but the team opted for a one-stop, that meant Zhou Guanyu wasn’t fast enough and dropped behind, eventually switching too late to a two-stop strategy. 

He dropped to 16th after a 12th place start, which compromised things, before eventually only being 13th at the flag. 

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Mick Schumacher – 5.5

The upgrades scheduled by the Haas team weren’t introduced in Mick Schumacher’s car and the American team didn’t have the pace to fight for points. 

A stint on hard tyres meant Schumacher lost points, but he wasn’t a realistic top 10 contender, despite finishing in front of Kevin Magnussen.

Daniel Ricciardo – 4

After half of the race, Ricciardo looked set to finish in the top 10, despite not matching Norris throughout the weekend. 

However, the Australian clashed with Stroll while struggling to generate grip on hard tyres, and received a penalty. All things considered, his pace dropped a long way in the final stages.

He lost out and dropped from eighth to 15th, costing his team precious points, as the clashed meant McLaren’s main rivals, Alpine, could take more. The gap at the flag to Norris was also huge, conceding 50 seconds to his younger teammate. 

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Kevin Magnussen – 5

For the third time this season, his race was ruined by contact at the start, this time tangling with Daniel Ricciardo. 

He was obliged to repair the damages and his unscheduled pit stop killed his race, dropping to penultimate and only recovering to a disappointing 16th

Alex Albon – 5.5

Not his best weekend of the year, looking like not holding a particular pace advantage over Nicholas Latifi and picking up damage in the first lap. 

He could only recover from 17th, as Williams couldn’t capitalise on some sparks of pace shown during the weekend and had poor race pace. 

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Nicholas Latifi – 5

The Canadian’s highlight was claiming first place in a wet-to-dry third practice session. He looked like he could carry the pace into qualifying but made a mistake in his final run after setting the fastest first sector, which meant that again he qualified at the back. 

He also picked up some damage at the start, but didn’t have to stop. A three-stop strategy didn’t work, as he dropped to 18th behind Albon at the flag. 

Yuki Tsunoda – 4

After more than a year in Formula One, it is quite clear that the Japanese driver does have some sort of talent, but too often has lows which comport him finishing at the back. 

Yuki Tsunoda beat Gasly in qualifying, but dropped at the back soon and was stuck in last place, before Valtteri Bottas’ retirement meant he was 19th and last at the flag. 

Valtteri Bottas – 6

The Alfa Romeo is slowly conceding to McLaren and Alpine on a regular basis and Bottas is failing to score with the same regularity he had in the first months.

He was back in Q3 for the first time since Spain, but lost several places at the start and was trailing behind the Alpines for most of the race.

He just lost out on the top 10 with a few laps to go, before a mechanical issue put a premature end to his race for the third time this year.

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June 2024