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Hamilton misses out on Hungary victory to Verstappen

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 31: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 31, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Max Verstappen has won the Hungarian Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton in second and George Russell third.

The race got underway on a dark, cloudy day at the Hungaroring. George Russell had a great start but so did Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard overtook the Mercedes briefly through the outside of turn 1, but the British driver defended and kept his leading position. Behind them was Charles Leclerc.

Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, who had started P11 and P10 respectively, gained 2 places in the opening lap. The Virtual Safety Car was deployed on lap 2 to clear debris from turn 2.

The race resumed on lap 3. Verstappen was charging on the Alpine of Fernando Alonso, who was 7th and had his teammate Esteban Ocon ahead of him. The Dutch driver overtook the Alpine on lap 5 and behind him followed Sergio Perez with his attempt over Alonso.

Both Red Bull drivers got past both Alpine cars and placed P6 and P7 on lap 9. At the front, Russell continued to lead the race with both Ferraris behind him.

Verstappen caught Hamilton, who was on P5, by lap 11. The Red Bull began giving chase, trying to overtake the 7-time World Champion. Hamilton overtook Lando Norris a lap later and left him to fight Verstappen. The Red Bull easily overtook the McLaren within seconds and continued battling the Mercedes.

On lap 17, Carlos Sainz, who was P2 behind Russell, was called to the pits. However, the Ferrari did not go into the pits, while the Mercedes in P1 did. This allowed both Ferrari cars to take the 1-2 lead, and Russell dropped to P6 behind Esteban Ocon. Sainz went into the pits a lap later, coming out in 6th.

Hamilton went into the pits on lap 20, dropping from P2 to P7. Leclerc did the same two laps later and dropped from the lead to P2 behind the now-leader George Russell.

Lap 30 saw an intense battle between Russell and Leclerc for the lead of the race. The duo went side-by-side but it was the Mercedes who came out victorious. However, it wasn’t over – the Ferrari was close behind, and managed to overtake the British driver at turn 1 in a risky maneuver.

Yuki Tsunoda spun at turn 7 on lap 35 of the race, bringing out the yellow flags. The Japanese quickly recovered and continued his race.

Leclerc and Verstappen placed 3rd and 4th respectively on lap 41 after pitting. The Dutch driver overtook the Monegasque at the main straight. Hamilton was ahead of the Red Bull, and Sainz leading.

Drama struck Verstappen a lap later as he spun and did a 360, losing his place to Leclerc and charging on him again. However, he recovered it on lap 45 through turn 2 and started chasing Hamilton at the lead.

Verstappen reported light rain on lap 47 and we saw some drops on the cameras at the track. Sainz made his second pit stop on that same lap, which was another slow stop. He came out fifth, ahead of Perez.

Daniel Ricciardo was given a penalty for causing a collision with Lance Stroll. The Canadian recovered quickly.

Hamilton pitted on lap 52 and came out on P5. Verstappen was now leading the race with Leclerc in P2. Russell overtook the Monegasque on lap 54 though, claiming the second spot. The Ferrari was then called to the pits and dropped back.

Valtteri Bottas prompted the yellow flags through sectors 2 and 3, stalling outside of the track and causing a Virtual Safety Car on lap 68 of 70.

It started raining on the last lap as the VSC ended and racing resumed for one final time. Verstappen led and Hamilton was second, both drivers carefully going around the track as it rained – the DRS was disabled.

In the end, it was Max Verstappen who took the win of the Hungarian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton in second and George Russell third.

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