2021 Hungary Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: And just like that, the championship battle flips in two races. Essentially, we start all over again in the second half.
EVENT: The boo birds were out.
TRACK: Hungaroring may be the third longest continuous track on the F1 schedule (behind Silverstone and Mazda), but it still sucks for overtaking.
QUALIFYING: The mind games have begun, Mercedes nips Red Bull, but Red Bull will start on softs, setting up another potentially explosive first lap, Gasly, Norris, and Leclerc shine, Ricciardo is back to struggling, and Russell's miracles streak ends.
RACE: Talk about making everyone forget Silverstone just like that. Between that and this race, there is plenty to keep us occupied discussing over the summer break.
START 1: A game of dominoes. Bottas into Norris into Verstappen with Bottas bouncing off into Perez. Stroll into Leclerc into Ricciardo. All while the luckiest driver on the grid sails away.
START 2: The weirdest start in F1 history. Nightmares of Indianapolis 2005. This time with just one car on the grid. While everyone else takes a single row standing start from pit lane. That's one way to avoid a first lap melee...
OCON: Three factors gave Esteban the win. 1) He was in the right place at the right time at the start to avoid the chaos and gain positions. 2) His teammate drove superbly to take time away from Hamilton when he surely would have caught Ocon. 3) Most importantly, Esteban drove calmly and brilliantly under race long pressure from a four-time world champion.
ALONSO: For those who need lessons on how to brilliantly defend without being dirty, watch the highlights of Fernando holding off Hamilton. Then, watch it again. And again.
ALPINE: France had to wait 24 years for a French driver to win an F1 race. Now, they have two in less than a year. This time in a French car.
VETTEL: Massive high. Then massive low.
ASTON MARTIN: They may actually have a case in their appeal. It will still be difficult to prove, but not impossible.
HAMILTON: Once again salvaged a seemingly lost race to gain points on his main rival.
BOTTAS: Not the way you want to leave an impression on your team just before they start considering the driver lineup for next year.
SAINZ: Thought he had the podium. But still a great race for Carlos.
GASLY: Considering he started fifth, logically Pierre was the one who should have been in Ocon's position. But he lost out on the proper lane lottery in the chaos.
TSUNODA: Nice recovery drive from yet again a poor qualifying effort. But, Yuki still has a lot to learn.
WILLIAMS: Points! Points! But wait. Double points! Double points! And potentially a lot of money at the end of the season if they stay in eighth place.
LATIFI: After being thoroughly spanked by his teammate at Silverstone, Nicholas drove a nice steady race for his points.
RUSSELL: No ego for George, as he was willing to give his teammate the glory and was genuinely happy for a team he may be leaving.
VERSTAPPEN: Max needs to find the person who has his voodoo doll...
RED BULL: Trying to re-enact the "scene of the crime" using your own personnel which can only be directed in an extremely biased manner as "new discovery" in your appeal is absurdly ridiculous. And borderline mentally insane. It's yet another reason why it's so hard to root for Red Bull.
FIA: A technical infraction is a technical infraction. No different than having an incorrect ride height or wing length. If you are off, you are off, and you get disqualified. Period. Whether the amount for the fuel test is a proper rule is another discussion.
F3: Norwegian Dennis Hauger is putting his hands around the throat of the championship. His win in the feature race and two fifths on Saturday now gives the Red Bull driver a 63 point lead.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Chaotic.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 2014 -- The last time Fernando Alonso led a grand prix. Which was also at Hungary.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The last time a French driver in a French car with a French engine won an F1 race was Alain Prost in a Renault at the 1983 Austrian GP. He was followed by another Frenchman, Rene Arnoux, but in a Ferrari. Nelson Piquet (Brabham-BMW) took third. This was the final victory for the original Renault factory team.
TWEET OF THE WEEKEND: Charles Leclerc summing the start perfectly, "Nice bowling game. So frustrating."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Lewis Hamilton summed up what we were all thinking, "Crazy to think we were the only ones on the grid for the restart."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: George Russell displaying amazing sportsmanship and teamwork, telling his team, "If you need to compromise my race to keep Nicky in the points, do it."
SCHEDULE: When we come back from the summer break, how many of the events now on the calendar will be gone? How many new events will be in their place? Will any doubleheaders take place? Will the long anticipated Dutch GP make it? So many uncertainties in this world still.
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