Hello there, Max Verstappen crashes into the barrier on his parade lap and looks to have damaged a front wing, the suspension and a wheel. Oh dear. A new nose cone and a new front wing required. The Red Bull mechanics are shunting him into position but it may well be the end before even the beginning. Panic in the ranks.
The cars are making their way out of the garages and into what looks a damp track as they have a few practice laps round. It’s also the most difficult to overtake on save for Monaco. That also makes for exciting fare.
Ian Spencer makes a salient point: “Hamilton may be the best driver in the wet, but are Merc the best wet weather tacticians? And of course, sometimes rain is just a lottery, and tactics have little to do with it.”
Here’s the top ten in the drivers’ championship after last week’s Styrian GP.
1 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 43
2 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 37
3 Lando Norris (McLaren) 26
4 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 18
5 Sergio Perez (Racing Point) 16
6 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 15
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari) 13
8 Alexander Albon (Red Bull) 12
9 Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) 6
10 Lance Stroll (Racing Point) 6
Lewis Hamilton looked imperious in qualifying and appears typically confident.
The start time is 2.10pm UK time by the way. It’s not just the Hungaroring that is suffering gathering clouds. Ferrari are something of a mess.
This has been an F1 season like no other, barring one thing, the dominance of Mercedes. Valteri Bottas leads after two races but Lewis Hamilton is not far behind him and on pole at the Hungaroring, one of his favourite tracks. His seventh pole in Hungary matched the track record held by Michael Schumacher and he became the first driver to reach 90 poles. A ten-race season, for that is what the season is scheduled to be, looks likely to bring a seventh world title, and you can forget an asterisk against that. One of the further indicators of Mercedes’ dominance is that Racing Point are in the third and fourth positions behind Hamilton and Bottas, through Lance Stroll and Sergio Pérez in a car modelled on Mercedes in 2019.
The weather is also wet, which may be ideal for Hamilton, the best driver in those conditions, but that adds a variable which may add to the excitement.