The biggest challenge for me this season is trying to sum up the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix in 100 words. Where do I begin?
At the start I guess and a sprinkling of the wet stuff always spells trouble for Valtteri Bottas and today proved no different. A lock-up took him and four other contenders out of contention sparking yet another red flag in F1.
Max Verstappen will be sick of the sight of Mercedes as his hopes were once again dashed on lap one. He did manage to continue but was left knowing that minor points were the most likely outcome.
As is often the case in Hungary, sunshine usually follows the rain, and by the time the restart commenced the track was bone dry. In what was the most bizarre thing I’ve seen in my 15 years watching the sport, only Lewis Hamilton took the restart as the remaining cars pitted for slicks.
The biggest beneficiaries were Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel who became the most unlikely leading duo in recent memory. With Max and Lewis way down the field, a different winner looked very much on the cards.
The battle between Seb and Esteban lasted all race but the Hungaroring’s twisty nature meant a proper fight wasn’t possible. Although Seb finished P2 on the road, he was eventually disqualified as a fuel sample couldn’t be drawn from his AM21. I could sit here and rant at post-race stewards decisions but I’ll save that for another article.
Overtakes are seldom seen here but don’t tell that to Hamilton. He was last after the red flag but ended up P2 with a raft of impressive overtakes. It took his old nemesis, Fernando Alonso, to halt his progress and deny Hamilton a chance for the most unlikely of wins.
Perhaps the battle we’ve been craving for so long was the highlight of the race for me. Both didn’t give an inch and it was compelling. Esteban better be sharing his champagne his Fernando!
I can’t conclude this without congratulating Williams. Both George Russell and Nicolas Latifi picked up their first points for the Grove squad.
As the season heads to the summer break, I hope you readers catch some much-needed rest. Hamilton too looked exhausted as he picked up his trophy and I’m sure he’ll be grateful for the month off.
A handful of points separates the top two but Lewis typically finds a second wind post Spa so I feel the pendulum has swung towards the Brit again. All that is certain is you can’t miss the remainder of the season.