Max Verstappen pulled off another majestic victory on Sunday, scoring a record 12th consecutive win for Red Bull as he dominated the Hungarian Grand Prix with textbook driving from lights to flag.
The two-time defending world champion wrested the lead from polesitter Lewis Hamilton at the start and held on for his seventh consecutive victory, the ninth in 11 races this year and the 44th of his career.
More significantly, it was Red Bull’s 12th consecutive victory, breaking a 35-year-old record they had shared with McLaren, which won 11 consecutive races in 1988 with Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna as the driving pairing.
Verstappen came home 33.7sec ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris with his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in third.
Magnificent seventh consecutive victory for @Max33Verstappen
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 23, 2023
“For the team, 12 wins in a row is incredible. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going for a long time,” Verstappen said.
Verstappen’s seventh straight victory stretched the two-time world champion’s lead over Perez to 110 points in the championship.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton, who started the race from a record 104 pole position, was overtaken at the start and finished fourth for Mercedes ahead of Oscar Piastri in the second McLaren and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.
Leclerc, however, was handed a five-second penalty and was ‘passed’ by George Russell in the second Mercedes with Carlos Sainz finishing eighth in the second Ferrari ahead of two-time Aston Martin champion Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.
“What an incredible race,” Verstappen said on his cool-down lap.
“It was good to drive, very nice. It was amazing and thank you all.”
He added: “I got off to a good start and had a good ‘bite’. I had the inside so I knew the corner was mine and it all worked out. Then it was my race and the car was fantastic.”
Lewis Hamilton flooded
Norris said: “It was a tough race and it wasn’t easy to keep Checo at bay at the end when he was catching up. But it is another podium for me and for the team. We are making great progress.”
The race started in hot conditions with an air temperature of 30 degrees Celsius and the track at 54, factors that will surely affect the performance of the tyres. Verstappen wore a vest filled with ice on the grill under an umbrella.
Hamilton got off to a good early start but was overwhelmed at turn one, Verstappen plowed through on the inside and both McLarens took advantage to push him into fourth.
With the lead, Verstappen took control while Hamilton, so delighted by his record 104 pole position, apologized. “It’s a long race,” Mercedes reminded him.
On a busy first lap, Russell, from 18th on the grid, moved up to 13th as the two Alpines collided and retired, Zhou Guanyu pushing the returning Daniel Ricciardo into Esteban Ocon who hit his teammate Pierre Gasly. The Chinese driver received a five second penalty.
Red Bull faced Verstappen on hard tires on lap 23 without losing his lead.
Perez, in the mood, passed Piastri hard in turn two on lap 48 when Leclerc was penalized for speeding in the pit lane before Hamilton made a second stop for media.
He rejoined fifth, close to a minute behind Verstappen, who led imperiously ahead of Norris, Perez and Piastri with 20 laps remaining, the Dutchman allowing a luxurious 2.6sec stop on lap 51 before setting the fastest lap when he came to the flag.
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