After winning the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix, the numbers and records for Max Verstappen and Red Bull are ticking. But they weren’t the only driver and team in Budapest to deserve praise, accolades and high-fives. From the Hungaroring he elects 5 winners and his 5 losers.
Winner: Max Verstappen
However, Verstappen will start, but Verstappen felt frustrated that he missed the pole position by 0.003 seconds, but on the day of the race he cantered and won in 33.731 seconds. It was the biggest win since Lewis Hamilton won the 2021 Russian Grand Prix.
But it’s also Verstappen’s seventh straight win, a feat only four drivers in F1 history have achieved: Alberto Ascari, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.
2023 Hungarian Grand Prix: Verstappen crosses the line to Red Bull’s record-breaking 12th straight victory
Friday looked to be a strong day for Alpine as the team, recently restructured, saw Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon finish third and fifth in free practice two.
But their optimism metaphorically took a hit as both drivers were eliminated in Q2. But to make matters worse, Gasly and Ocon were literally hit with a bang at the first corner of the race, ultimately forcing them both to withdraw from the race. It was the second consecutive double DNF for the team.
Winner: Red Bull
Records are meant to be broken. Still, McLaren’s 11-season winning streak in 1988 has stood the test of time through a period of total dominance by Williams, Ferrari, Mercedes and even Red Bull himself.
On Sunday, however, the team underscored its current arrogance by waltzing McLaren’s 35-year record to a 12-game winning streak from the start of the year that marks a turning point for F1.
Perez put in a decent recovery effort and brought two bulls to the podium
Loser: Guanyu Zhou
It feels almost cruel to have to throw Guanyu Zhou into this section. It’s a shocking result for the struggling Alfa Romeo team in 2023, given that Guanyu Zhou is overjoyed to have secured a career-best 5th place on the grid.
However, a poor start saw him fall into the pack, and then the dirty air hit Daniel Ricciardo, who was returning at Turn 1, and Ocon himself made contact with Gasly. Although Zhou was able to continue the race, he finished in 16th place, far behind him, and the day promised another leap forward.
What a fantastic run McLaren has been since first Lando Norris and then Oscar Piastri received the car’s major upgrade packages in Austria and Silverstone. Norris’ frustration at failing to take pole position at the Hungaroring on Saturday (by just 0.085 seconds) shows just how high level Norris is performing at the moment, while his third place was well boosted by team-mate Piastri’s fourth in qualifying.
Norris gets back-to-back podiums for first time in his career
The Australian rookie got off to a good start on race day, but Norris undercut his team-mate and fell back to finish behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez’s Red Bull for his second straight P2 finish.
Piastri, on the other hand, took 5th place and achieved consecutive top 5 finishes. McLaren scored 28 points, two points short of Silverstone’s 30 points, and 40 points ahead of Alpine to solidify fifth place in the constructors’ standings.
Loser: Aston Martin
A time when Aston Martin should have been celebrated for a double points finish. However, Fernando Alonso’s podium success early in the season (he still has six podiums for the year, the same as Sergio Perez) has raised the bar significantly for the women’s and men’s greenwear teams led by Lawrence Stroll. So Alonso and Lance Stroll’s 9th and 10th places are relative disappointments.
Alonso hasn’t tasted a Ferrari Trent since Canada four races ago. The Spaniard and Stroll have urged Aston Martin to upgrade quickly to battle the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and a strongly resurgent McLaren.
2023 Hungarian Grand Prix: Perez and Piastri battle for 4th at Hungaroring
Winner: Lewis Hamilton
There is an argument that dropping from first place to fourth meant Lewis Hamilton had the worst day at work for a driver who has high expectations of himself, especially at the circuit he loves.
Yes, the record of 9 wins at a single venue was not achieved on Sunday. Because the escape route was bad, it dropped a few places. But Saturday’s astonishing lap, which Hamilton later admitted with an embarrassed smile, was “good”, extended that record with a landmark 104th pole position (and first since Jeddah in 2021), and set a new benchmark of nine pole positions at a single venue.
Nico Hulkenberg continues to extract excellent lap pace from the Haas VF-23. But as the team struggled for race pace, his appearance in Q3 and a new bleach-blonde hairstyle were two of the few bright spots for Haas this weekend.
Despite pole position, Hamilton had a positive result despite starting to change to fourth by the time the flag was raised.
On the other side of the garage, Kevin Magnussen admitted that he was never comfortable with his three days in Hungary after finishing last on race day. But it wasn’t all bad. Because at least one new fan was rooting for him. Kevin and his wife Louise welcome Agnes Magnussen into the world ahead of the race.
Winner: Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo has done well enough to return to the grid in place of AlphaTauri’s Nick de Vries, winning the Red Bull test at Silverstone since last Tuesday.
His team-mate Yuki Tsunoda’s comeback with a comfortable qualifying win was impressive, but on race day he was involved in a brawl between Zhou/Ocon/Gathly and after falling back, overcame him and eventually started 13th, with Tsunoda finishing 15th. Meanwhile, thanks to Ricciardo, AlphaTauri have stopped their third consecutive double Q1 elimination.
Ricardo’s trademark smile is back to normal
Loser: George Russell
George Russell couldn’t deny that he enjoyed an adventurous Sunday in Hungary. On race day, aided by some great attacking moves and benefiting from Charles Leclerc’s penalty, he drove around the field to finish sixth.
But he had to after the Mercedes driver found himself raking traffic in the final moments of Q1 and suffered a shock knockout at the beginning of the race starting from 18th.
But the biggest loser was team principal Toto Wolff’s patient desk in the Mercedes garage, where he received another frustrating blow from the Austrian’s fist – at least Wolff’s mood was softened by Hamilton’s pole position 40-plus minutes later.