The Hungarian Grand Prix weekend was full of drama. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was hailed by fans over the weekend, while his championship rival Max Werstapen took his Red Bull “out” in the opening lap for the second consecutive race. Meanwhile, in the midst of all the drama, alpine driver Esteban O’Connor claimed his first victory, while Austin Martin’s Sebastian Vettel lost second place.
Hamilton received a direct audience dislike in Budapest’s Hungarorang on Saturday, when he slowed significantly in his last outlap during qualifying. It prevented Sergio Perez’s Red Bull from getting in line for the final flying leap.
It resonated until Sunday, when Hamilton finished third at the end of a terrible race. When he started on the pole, the Mercedes driver ended up at the back of the grid when he was the only driver standing on the track to restart after a massive short lap. After the formation leap, and Hamilton had to make a standing start himself. After that he had to go to the pits again when everyone else started running.
Speaking of the first lap shunt, Hamilton’s teammate Walter Bottas torpedo and hit Lendo Norris’ McLaren in the back, causing him to fall on the side of Max Versatapen’s Red Bull. Sergio Perez’s second Red Bull also got into a commotion, which resulted in his retirement along with Norris and Botas.
Versatapen suffered extensive damage to his car, but when he was able to return to racing, he lost much of his speed after losing large parts of his body. The race was red-flagged, and resumed when Hamilton was left on its own grid.
The resulting pit stop chaos allowed O’Connor to find himself in front, but Hamilton quickly withdrew the order. However, Okun’s alpine teammate Fernando Alonso put up some excellent defenses to keep Hamilton from getting close enough to fight for victory in the final.
Hamilton only managed to overtake Sebastian Vettel, who has now been disqualified for failing to get enough fuel out of his car in charge of the race.
It was a dream come true for O’Connor, but all eyes are on the battle between Hamilton and Verstappen. The Mercedes driver has now taken the championship lead over Verstapen, and the Dutchman will be 8 points ahead of the summer break.