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Thursday, May 23, 2024

10 issues we realized from the 2023 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix

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For the primary time since 2016 and never counting the pandemic-disrupted 2020 season, Budapest just isn’t System 1’s final venue earlier than the summer time break, with the upcoming journey to Spa set to try this shortly this 12 months. 

However there have been acquainted emotions elsewhere, because the slender, lower-speed Hungarian monitor produced one other boring race, with Max Verstappen dominating for Crimson Bull up entrance. That combo did not less than present a small however very noteworthy subplot for the season, in addition to one other chapter within the Dutchman’s battle with Lewis Hamilton. Plus, there was Sergio Perez needing yet one more race restoration cost, but extra distress at Ferrari and Alpine, and additional pleasure for McLaren

Right here we current the decide of what we realized from F1’s 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix. 

1. Crimson Bull now occupies a singular place in F1 historical past, with one other developing quick 

Crimson Bull is the primary constructor to win 12 consecutive races, breaking McLaren’s file that had stood since 1988

Picture by: Crimson Bull Racing

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Verstappen’s Hungaroring victory may’ve lacked the grand slam clear sweeps he secured in Austria and Silverstone due to Hamilton’s Q3 magic and the Dutchman’s personal slight underperformance there, however it however propelled him to a swelled 110-point lead over Sergio Perez. 

PLUS: How Verstappen’s Hungary F1 qualifying pain was his race day gain

That alone is hardly stunning given how crushingly dominant the Dutchman has been this 12 months – with solely F1’s expanded fashionable calendar which means he couldn’t win the world title in a season’s eleventh race as Michael Schumacher did 21 years in the past. F1 is looking for extra narratives to maintain issues fascinating, however Crimson Bull is definitely serving to try this in its personal small method round its a lot greater place because the championship’s main squad. 

It is because it retains racking up milestones and in Hungary broke McLaren’s 35-year-old file of most consecutive wins – Crimson Bull is now on 12 straight when including Verstappen’s 2022 Abu Dhabi triumph to its 11 2023 wins. With out George Russell’s Brazil victory final 12 months, the staff could be on 22… It may well take the single-season consecutive wins file from McLaren with a twelfth straight 2023 victory at Spa this weekend. 

2. The Hungarian GP trophy prices $45,000 

Norris broke Verstappen's trophy when spraying champagne on the podium

Norris broke Verstappen’s trophy when spraying champagne on the rostrum

Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Crimson Bull goes to need to get the superglue out at its Milton Keynes manufacturing facility at present, with an sudden restore required. The surgical procedure must be finished on Verstappen’s first-place trophy, which had its high and base snap off after falling from the highest step of the rostrum. 

It fell after second-place finisher Norris smashed his champagne bottle onto the rostrum subsequent to the trophy as a part of the celebration signature he has employed since his junior racing days. The influence despatched his bubbles hovering but additionally knocked off Verstappen’s handmade Herendi Porcelanmanufaktura Zrt trophy, which prices $45,000 and takes six months to complete. 

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“Max simply positioned it too near the sting,” Norris cheekily mentioned afterwards. “It fell over, I suppose. Not my downside. It’s his!” 

Cue plenty of pleasant social media clips and little outrage from Crimson Bull, which additionally had Perez’s third-place trophy in Austria flippantly broken when it was knocked over because the staff gathered to take its post-race victory picture. Autosport spied new Crimson Bull marketer-in-chief Oliver Mintzlaff serving to to assemble the free piece of trophy from the paddock flooring. 

3. McLaren nonetheless isn’t getting carried away regardless of two wonderful races on totally different monitor sorts 

Norris has finished P2 in the last two races, but McLaren is not getting ahead of itself

Norris has completed P2 within the final two races, however McLaren just isn’t getting forward of itself

Picture by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

McLaren had shocked the groups sometimes scrapping behind Crimson Bull in 2023 – Ferrari, Aston Martin and Mercedes – with its large latest growth package deal turning into Silverstone silverware, however it was predicted to fall back in Hungary. This was due to this monitor’s decrease common pace, which isn’t Monaco sluggish, however nonetheless options a number of lengthy low-speed corners and little likelihood to speed up by the various twists of Budapest’s second sector. 

However the staff compounded expectations with third and fourth in qualifying after which ran second and third after Norris and team-mate Oscar Piastri swamped Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap. The Briton finally beat Piastri after a stunning first-stop out-lap meant he undercut ahead

PLUS: Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2023

F1 now heads to Spa, which options extra of the high-speed stuff the MCL60 prefers, however McLaren staff principal Andrea Stella isn’t getting away about its probabilities of taking a 3rd straight Positive outcome there, following its early 2023 struggles. 

“Even when Spa is generally talked about as one of many high-speed tracks, in actuality, the highest-speed nook, which is nook 10 [Pouhon] is [only] flat in qualifying,” Stella defined after the Hungary race. 

“There’s a variety of lap time in [La Source] which is [50mph], in [Les Combes] which is [60mph] and within the final chicane, which is [55mph]. So, I do not need to repeat myself, however I am going with some care as a result of in these three corners, in the mean time, we see that we lose time. So, I believe that is the place we’re.

“It will likely be additionally a dash occasion. So, along with the outright efficiency, it will likely be essential how quickly you adapt your automotive to the demand of the monitor.” 

4. Verstappen and Hamilton can hold it clear in spite of everything 

Verstappen and Hamilton were close into Turn 1 but there was no contact

Verstappen and Hamilton have been shut into Flip 1 however there was no contact

Picture by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

After Hamilton had taken a shock pole for Mercedes, expectations have been raised of one other bruising chapter in his ongoing late profession battle with Verstappen. They won’t have been preventing for a title this time, however their coming collectively in Brazil final 12 months confirmed the ferocity had dimmed little even with Verstappen having gained his second championship in Japan three races earlier. 

There the Dutchman pressured the problem and got here off worse, however in Hungary, there have been no fireworks. Hamilton was successfully snookered when second begin part wheelspin meant Verstappen bought shortly alongside and he braked later than the Briton at Flip 1 to get his wheels forward by the apex. 

Verstappen then didn’t pressure Hamilton large as he may’ve finished, with the Mercedes driver remembering his staff had informed him “I’d be not less than five-tenths slower [per lap] than the Crimson Bull, so the battle was not with Max” and so he didn’t squeeze again as strongly as he too may’ve finished.  

It was pleasing to see two F1 greats go cleanly wheel-to-wheel – there was no contact as some urged – and a reminder of the battle they could nonetheless have if Mercedes can someday shut the hole to Crimson Bull. That’s assuming Hamilton sticks round, as one other race got here and went with no point out of his anticipated new contract being signed… 

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5. Perez’s newest cost was thrilling, however nonetheless underwhelming general 

Perez may have featured on the podium but his performance was still underwhelming

Perez could have featured on the rostrum however his efficiency was nonetheless underwhelming

Picture by: Crimson Bull Racing

Perez snapped his ‘regular’ Q3 miss streak in Hungary, however nonetheless solely certified ninth after he’d struggled in progressing by the compounds underneath the Different Tyre Allocation experiment and tousled in sector one on his last flier. Within the race, he battled his method properly again to the rostrum and acquired the ‘driver of the day’ vote on F1’s official channels. 

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However his outcome nonetheless represented an underperformance – in that the RB19 shouldn’t be qualifying anyplace however the high positions and that Norris’s second place was there for the taking with higher race execution.  

In pure race time, it was pricey for Perez in transport eight seconds to Norris by taking six laps to cross Alonso after leaping Bottas and Hulkenberg in the beginning, then he was additional delayed failing to cross the slower Hamilton simply previous half distance. That led to his quick stint two, together with his tyres fading late on, and a last hole to Norris of three.9s. 

6. Ferrari’s technique shambles stay, made worse by radio points 

Leclerc and Sainz appeared to be calling the strategy from the cockpit at times in Hungary

Leclerc and Sainz gave the impression to be calling the technique from the cockpit at instances in Hungary

Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The 2022 Hungarian GP is remembered for greatest encapsulating Ferrari’s common technique shambles final 12 months. This time round, the purple staff once more employed some baffling calls – akin to having Carlos Sainz run behind Charles Leclerc early on when he may’ve been in a position to make use of his beginning softs to assault Hamilton forward. 

Later, after a wheelgun problem led to a near-10-second Leclerc cease and ruined his race, he was given undercut precedence to Sainz forward for the ultimate stops and would’ve completed in entrance of the Spaniard and Russell have been it not for his 5s time addition for dashing 0.4mph over the pit lane restrict. 

Simply earlier than this, Leclerc had had a clipped and highly-charged trade with engineer Xavier Marcos Padros broadcast. Explaining this afterwards, the Monegasque driver revealed Ferrari had also been suffering a radio problem in Hungary, which has apparently featured at a number of races thus far in 2023. 

“The issue is that we’ve got additionally plenty of issues with the radio,” Leclerc mentioned. “And one out of 4 phrases just isn’t understood by my engineer, as a result of there’s simply issues with our radios in three, 4 races. 

”We have to repair that. And clearly, my tone of voice is sort of excessive as a result of I must make myself heard. However I simply needed to be sure that they did not perceive me flawed, and that I would like you to go aggressive early, and never aggressive late. So it was nearly clarifying due to our radio points.” 

7. Ricciardo’s return is off to a robust begin 

Ricciardo outqualified and outraced Tsunoda on his F1 return debut

Ricciardo outqualified and outraced Tsunoda on his F1 return debut

Picture by: Crimson Bull Content material Pool

All of it appeared like Daniel Ricciardo’s much-anticipated F1 return instead of Nyck de Vries would finish in a low-key lap one retirement – the Australian innocently caught up within the Flip 1 crash triggered by Zhou Guanyu braking too late in his Alfa Romeo and sending Ricciardo into Esteban Ocon

However Ricciardo railed. Initially, his efforts from nicely adrift on the again with an apparently undamaged automotive meant he bought trapped in site visitors, however when AlphaTauri opted to shorten his center stint on the hards he was in a position to press on in free air and full a exceptional 41-laps on the mediums.

It wasn’t simply the time he spent on the softer rubber, it was his tempo too, as he drove away from Haas’s Nico Hulkenberg to the flag. It didn’t end in factors, however it was a Positive begin to life again in F1, which additionally meant beating new team-mate Yuki Tsunoda

“I believe if we stayed forward, and as an instance held place in the beginning, I imagine we may have actually fought for a factors end at present,” Ricciardo concluded. 

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8. Alpine is swimming towards a tide of misfortune 

Both Gasly and Ocon were out of the Hungarian GP after one corner after Zhou triggered a chain reaction collision

Each Gasly and Ocon have been out of the Hungarian GP after one nook after Zhou triggered a sequence response collision

Picture by: Alpine

For the third time in 2023, Alpine registered a double retirement with its newest misfortune coming on the first nook in Hungary. Sure, Pierre Gasly was formally categorised in Silverstone however he was out late on after his clash with Lance Stroll, as was the case with he and Ocon ending up within the Melbourne wall again in April. 

Lowly grid spots all the time depart drivers susceptible to mid-pack incidents, however this was all set off by Zhou having a stunning begin from forward of the Alpine pair. Zhou reported his initial problem within the automotive as a clutch problem that Alfa later claimed was actually a brake software program one. Then he outbraked himself at Flip 1 having fallen removed from his fifth-place beginning spot and his Ricciardo faucet despatched Ocon climbing over Gasly – attacking properly within the different Alpine on the surface. 

Ocon’s crash again right down to earth broke his seat into two pieces and, though he tried on for one more lap, he retired with rear suspension injury. Gasly’s automotive was already again in pits – in Ocon’s facet of the storage – because the Frenchman’s flooring injury was too extreme to maintain occurring lap one.  

“Proper now, it’s a bitter feeling for all of us,” mentioned Alpine staff boss Otmar Szafnauer, with Alpine now 40 factors adrift of McLaren within the constructors’ championship. “A tricky one to take, however we should hold our heads down and bounce again.” 

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9. F1’s qualifying tyre experiment paid off on Saturday, however questions stay elsewhere 

Qualifying provided thrills on Saturday with Hamilton taking pole

Qualifying offered thrills on Saturday with Hamilton taking pole

Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

F1’s Different Tyre Allocation experiment was an enormous dialogue level over the weekend because it lastly bought going after the primary Imola trial was canned together with the remainder of that occasion in its cancellation again within the spring.  

The principles requiring the drivers to run hards in Q1, mediums for Q2 and softs for Q3 did appear to have an influence in that it made it tougher for the racers to barter the differing really feel the varied compound steps present and ship their greatest laps when required – with Sainz lacking Q3 by 0.002s and Perez beginning ninth. Even Verstappen struggled, though this was extra right down to Crimson Bull opting to give him a set-up that worked better in race conditions

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The influence within the race was exhausting to identify for the frontrunners, however 4 drivers with new softs accessible opted to take them for the beginning. For Sainz and Tsunoda particularly this appeared to repay properly as they made features on the drag out of the primary nook.  

But the change earned the ire of many drivers, who felt they ran much less in observe on Friday – though this problem was conflated with the moist FP1 session lowering laps and the ATA which means they then spent much less time getting used to how the rubber carried out in comparison with standard elsewhere in observe. There was additionally a suggestion moist tyres are getting wasted when it doesn’t rain – highlighted given the ATA’s essential purpose is to cut back tyre freight wants. However Pirelli rebuffed this

There may be one other ATA experiment to return at Monza to evaluate if it will likely be used extra commonly and even turn out to be the norm in 2024, so anticipate an analogous debate to return up once more simply after the summer time break. 

10. F1 could be heading again to engine equalisation standing not seen for the reason that late 2000s 

Teams are set to discuss the possibility of equalising engine performance

Groups are set to debate the potential of equalising engine efficiency

Picture by: Erik Junius

The paddock is heading for an intriguing Belgian GP based mostly on the information found at Budapest relating to a subject that has been added to the agenda for the upcoming F1 Fee assembly at Spa.  

That is that the groups will talk about the possibility of equalising engine performance – a transfer stemming from Alpine’s concern that its Renault engine is regarded as 20-33hp down on its rivals and with no likelihood to catch up earlier than 2026. 

Engine growth is frozen till then, with solely adjustments allowed on reliability, security or cost-saving grounds – round different small adjustments that make little significant efficiency distinction. However the FIA is known to now really feel efficiency gaps have emerged between engine builders regardless of the freeze being in impact since 2022 contemplating these allowances. Due to this fact, a dialogue will happen relating to the potential of intervening to assist Renault shut up. 

F1 has been right here earlier than – additionally when Renault’s energy fell behind after the 2007 engine freeze as rivals discovered features in a retuning course of allowed by the foundations and the FIA later carried out a 2009 investigation that finally went nowhere. Simply after this, Renault made efficiency features within the exhaust-blowing software program it developed for Crimson Bull, which helped it shut its general energy deficit. 

However this might be an enormous 2023 and future competitors matter given an equalisation transfer may hand one other squad an enormous increase or handicap and slightly goes towards F1’s meritocracy ethos. 

Any move to equalise engines is fraught with difficulties

Any transfer to equalise engines is fraught with difficulties

Picture by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images



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