F1 Race #3: Hungarian GP

The world’s biggest sport on four wheels ROARED through Budapest last Sunday for race #3: The Hungarian Grand Prix! It was great to see 20 of the world’s best drivers compete on a different circuit, since they’d spent the last two weeks in Austria, jockeying for position at the famed Red Bull Ring.

The Hungaroring brought its own unique challenge for teams though, as rain played a factor in the early going. Haas Team Principal Gunther Steiner was the first team leader to notice how big of a factor rain was going to be on track conditions, tire grip, and car handling. So he opted to have his drivers, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, start the race directly from the pit lane rather than the starting grid. This put Haas at the back of the pack…until all of the other teams decided to pit on Lap 4 for slick tires. The early gamble paid off, as both Haas cars ran as high as 3rd and 4th place at one point! Haas is the only American-based team in F1, based out of Kannapolis, North Carolina and owned by Gene Haas. They’re a small team compared to the others. But seeing both Magnussen and Grosjean race hard, and hang with the front of the pack for a little while definitely made me smile! Not to mention I grinned when I saw the Stars and Stripes painted on the side of the car!

Haas F1 Team 2020 Car

Unfortunately, they were not able to hold onto those positions. But it wasn’t for lack of trying. It’s just hard to consistently hang with the big boys like Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull, when they have so much more money and resources at their disposal than Haas does. I see Haas in F1 like I see the Cleveland Indians in baseball: When we’re comparing the payroll of smaller teams to that of the larger teams, it’s not a level playing field. Not even close. In order to be competitive, and consistently battle with other teams, the smaller teams have to make it work with the resources and money they do have. And perhaps outsmart the bigger teams every once in a while 😉

But Haas did finally manage to pick up their first points finish of the season, with Kevin Magnussen coming home in 10th, and securing one point. After back to back races where both Magnussen and Grosjean either didn’t finish due to mechanical failure, or they finished near the back of the pack and well out of the points, it was nice to see them finish a race, and be able to drive as aggressively as they did. Hopefully they build on it for the rest of the year, and pick up some more points!

Another interesting storyline for the Hungarian Grand Prix, was the absolutely PHENOMENAL job by Red Bull! All around, that team certainly earned finishes of 2nd by Max Verstappen and 5th by Alex Albon. And even though Verstappen and Albon are both young, world-class drivers, perhaps what made their finishes even more sweet, was how the entire team overcame adversity. About 20 minutes before the start of the race, Max Verstappen crashed into the wall, severely damaging his car. In any normal circumstance, that would spell absolute doom for a team and a driver. They normally wouldn’t be able to race after that. According to Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner, a repair job like that would normally take 90 minutes, guaranteeing that a driver would be out for the day.

Red Bull mechanics working on Max Verstappen’s car

But after Verstappen drove his damaged car to the pits, the entire team worked at a breakneck pace to repair it, as you can see above. There might have been some divine intervention going on, because Verstappen eventually rolled to the starting grid in a machine that looked like new, starting in 7th place with 20 seconds to spare! After that, the Dutchman drove that car like he stole it, finishing in 2nd place, and picking up 18 points! Even though my favorite team to pull for is Haas since I’m an American, it was certainly inspiring to see teamwork like what Red Bull showed on Sunday!

Smiles weren’t only coming from the Red Bull garage after the race though. Racing Point turned in another solid finish, with Lance Stroll finishing just one place off the podium in 4th, and seasoned veteran Sergio “Checo” Perez rolling home in 7th place. No one is likely going to seriously challenge Mercedes this year for both titles. But if Racing Point keeps improving at their current pace, who knows where this team will end up for the rest of this season and beyond? They’ve had incredibly fast cars every single race. With a stroke of good luck, teamwork, and great driving, I could see either Stroll or Perez atop the podium at least once in 2020. That would be really cool to see either one of these guys win a Grand Prix, since both have yet to win a race in their career. Hopefully they get it done!

Lewis Hamilton just continues to make history. With yet another win last Sunday at the Hungarian Grand Prix, this is win #86 of his storied career. He also ties Michael Schumacher’s record for most victories at the same Grand Prix with eight. Schumacher won eight races at the French Grand Prix during his career from 1991-2012. Lewis certainly continues to find himself approaching rare company with every win he puts under his belt. While as a fan I want to see someone challenge Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes very soon, I can’t help but marvel at how good Lewis Hamilton is, and how dominant Mercedes is as a team. He’s currently 35 years old. But say Lewis races until he’s at least 40. There’s a very real possibility that could mean five more World Championships. He and Mercedes are just that good. They’re in another galaxy compared to everyone else.

But let’s cool the engines on that rocket ship for now, float back to earth, and land in England. That’s where race #4 of the 2020 Formula One World Championship is going to be, as the famous Silverstone Circuit will host the 2020 British Grand Prix on August 2nd. The COVID-19 pandemic may have shortened the season. But there has been plenty of high-octane action and thrills so far this year! And that promises to continue. The Silverstone Circuit is a speed demon’s dream, with several wide open straightaways, plenty of passing opportunities for drivers, and long DRS zones. I absolutely cannot wait to hear those cars SCREAM by at over 200 miles an hour!

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix Results

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
  4. Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
  5. Alex Albon (Red Bull)
  6. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
  7. Sergio Perex (Racing Point)
  8. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
  9. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)
  10. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
  11. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
  12. Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri)
  13. Lando Norris (McLaren)
  14. Esteban Ocon (Renault)
  15. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
  16. Romain Grosjean (Haas)
  17. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
  18. George Russell (Williams)
  19. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
  20. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri, DNF)

2020 World Drivers Championship Standings

  1. Lewis Hamilton (63 Points)
  2. Valtteri Bottas (58 Points)
  3. Max Verstappen (33 Points)
  4. Lando Norris (26 Points)
  5. Alex Albon (22 Points)
  6. Sergio Perez (22 Points)
  7. Charles Leclerc (18 Points)
  8. Lance Stroll (18 Points)
  9. Carlos Sainz (15 Points)
  10. Sebastian Vettel (9 Points)
  11. Daniel Ricciardo (8 Points)
  12. Pierre Gasly (6 Points)
  13. Esteban Ocon (4 Points)
  14. Antonio Giovinazzi (2 Points)
  15. Daniil Kvyat (1 Point)
  16. Kevin Magnussen (1 Point)
  17. Kimi Raikkonen (0)
  18. Nicholas Latifi (0)
  19. Romain Grosjean (0)
  20. George Russell (0)

2020 World Constructors Championship Standings

  1. Mercedes (121 Points)
  2. Red Bull (55 Points)
  3. McLaren (41 Points)
  4. Racing Point (40 Points)
  5. Ferrari (27 Points)
  6. Renault (12 Points)
  7. AlphaTauri (7 Points)
  8. Alfa Romeo (2 Points)
  9. Haas (1 Point)
  10. Williams (0)

Published by Luke Wickiser

Hi everybody! I'm passionate about many subjects, such as faith, history, politics, and sports. Stay tuned to Luke's Thoughts for updates on all these things!

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