Max Verstappen’s tour de force victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix established a record-breaking win streak for Red Bull Racing, outshining the formidable likes of McLaren and their erstwhile champions, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
Red Bull Surpasses McLaren’s Streak
Verstappen’s triumph in Hungary marked his seventh consecutive victory and ninth for the season, earning Red Bull their 12th consecutive win since the final race of 2022 in Abu Dhabi. This achievement eclipsed the previously held record of 11 straight wins set by McLaren in 1988, courtesy of racing legends Senna and Prost.
McLaren’s Norris Holds His Own
Lando Norris, the young prodigy from McLaren, put up a spirited fight, warding off the relentless challenge from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to secure second place. Seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, who began the race from pole position, threatened Perez in the final laps but failed to seize an overtaking opportunity, ultimately settling for fourth place.
Hamilton’s Challenge Falters
Hamilton’s streak of five consecutive pole positions was brought to an abrupt halt by Verstappen on Saturday, which saw Hamilton secure his first pole since 2021. Hamilton’s efforts to counter Verstappen’s formidable pace were thwarted at the very start, as a superior getaway by the Dutchman saw him alongside the Mercedes on the sprint to the first corner. Verstappen seized the lead and motored away into a commanding race of his own, building a considerable 110-point championship lead over Perez.
The Battle for Podium
Hamilton’s tactical attempt to retain the lead cost him two further positions, as Norris and Oscar Piastri overtook him, relegating the champion to fourth place. However, Norris’s bid to challenge Verstappen was in vain, the Red Bull driver was in a league of his own, as has been the case for most of the season.
Perez managed a formidable comeback from a disappointing ninth place on the grid using a divergent strategy. Despite his impressive recovery, Perez was unable to close the gap on Norris in the final laps, subsequently falling back towards Hamilton. The Mercedes was 1.5 seconds behind as they crossed the finish line.
Uncertain Futures for Hamilton and Ferrari
Hamilton, in the first part of the race, followed the McLarens and pulled back as he carefully managed his tyres in the initial laps. Hamilton’s hopes of turning his 104th pole position into a victory were over by the first corner, and he cut a largely exasperated figure after that.
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s team-mate, George Russell, drove a strong race from 18th on the grid, finishing sixth. In contrast, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc suffered a disappointing race, finishing seventh due to a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
The Hungarian Grand Prix offered a thrilling spectacle, as the rival teams battled to climb the championship ladder. As Red Bull continues its record-breaking streak, the upcoming races promise to be a real test of mettle for the other teams. They’ll need to regroup and strategize carefully to mount a credible challenge to Red Bull’s formidable lead.