This Saturday in Hungary a new condition of timed racing entered the scene and was initially slated to be launched at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix which was to be Cancellation due to bad weather. This is an experience that will also be applied in Monza (September) and limits the operating margin of the structures. With this tyre, the drivers had to use the hardest specification tires in heat one (Q1), to move into the middle in second (Q2) and finish on the softest of the compounds, in third (Q3). Such a move opened the door to uncertainty and surprises. Especially among the big teams who avoided rolling on the hard tires on Friday. Between that, the rain that fell in the first test and Max Verstappen’s 11th-place finish, there were those who hinted at a small crisis in the Red Buffalo group. The trembling is somewhat justified given that Red Bull lost for the first time This first season first place, which will be occupied by Lewis Hamilton in Budapest (3:00 p.m., Dozen). This is the Briton’s 104th service sheet, which continues to extend his record, and the ninth he has added at the Hungaroring, another record he holds for his signature.
A year and a half later, the seven-time Mercedes champion will start again without traffic thanks to his self-discipline, which was the element that drove him to win the best lap despite not being the fastest in any of the three sectors of the track. At his side will be Verstappen, Who was only three thousandths behind the runner Stevenage (Great Britain), while Lando Norris will lead the second row, one-tenth slower than his compatriot. Fernando Alonso will start eighth and Carlos Sainz eleventh for the first date of 2023 in which he does not qualify for the third quarter.
This subtle rework goes beyond the timed formula, since each driver has a total of 11 sets of tires at his disposal, two sets less than usual. However, this had an immediate effect on the Saturday, when there were those who preferred to book a few groups and ride less, so as not to strategically restrict themselves with the goal of racing. Above all, with regard to the hardest variant (only three games, four medium games and one soft), which for many is the best performer in this scenario. And this is where Verstappen missed sixth column In a row, even if the boy from Hasselt would present himself as the main favorite to win, especially if we take into account the speed he showed over the long run of laps. It will be Sunday, but the rush to Hamilton is no longer far from anyone. “I guess I wasn’t breathing the whole lap. It’s been a crazy year and a half. The team has worked so hard. I even lost my voice in the car. I wasn’t expecting to fight for column“, agreed from Mercedes, which continues without renewing its contract with the star brand, which expires at the end of the year. The improvement of the W14 will facilitate understanding between the parties, especially if we consider that the most realistic alternative to the Silver Arrows is Ferrari, completely out of focus. “I hope that the modernization of the car means that we are heading in the right direction,” Hamilton added.
“All weekend I had trouble finding my balance. We didn’t have the car we were used to, ”summarizes Verstappen. “Anyway, bad day with second place, it’s not bad either,” concluded the Red Bull man.