April 19, 2024


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Hungarian Grand Prix 2020 live: Lewis Hamilton with healthy lead in Budapest

New fastest lap for Hamilton – 1:16.627.

The gap between Verstappen and Bottas down to 0.3 seconds. Eek!

Three laps to go – gap between Verstappen and Bottas down to 1.8 seconds.

New fastest lap for… you guessed it… Hamilton.

Further down the list, Albon passes Vettel for fifth.

Hamilton in for new tyres – here are the fastest laps. Will he finish on top of this too? You’d think so….

The gap between Verstappen and Bottas coming down quickly… down to 5.5 seconds. Late drama?

Alexander Albon in the other Red Bull is closing in again on Sebastian Vettel, who is in fifth. The gap down to 0.8 seconds. 

Hamilton looked to be coming in… but the pit crew venture back in. What’s going on there? Not even the race engineer knows on the radio with Hamilton.

No drama, though, with a 26-second gap.

Hamilton is preparing for his final pit stop and a chance of pushing for the fastest lap with new tyres and little fuel.

The gap between Verstappen and Bottas is hovering at 9.8 seconds and not coming down anywhere near quick enough for Mercedes with nine laps to go.

The gap between Verstappen (second) and Bottas (third) is now 10 seconds. Can the Red Bull hold out for the final 10 laps and keep Bottas at bay? Bottas is quickest on the track at the moment, so a nervy final few laps for Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton has lapped everyone up to Lance Stroll in fourth after passing Vettel. Very dominant performance again from Mercedes, expertly guided from Hamilton. The gap to Verstappen is 24 seconds.

Hamilton saying on team radio that his tyres are not feeling so good. Expect him to pit soon.

He’s still 23 seconds ahead of Verstappen, so plenty of time in which to do so.

Further down, Albon is closing in on Vettel – the gap down to a second. That’s the battle for fifth.

Yep, Bottas’ new tyres are working as a treat – Mercedes telling him he needs to do 1:18.5 a lap to beat Verstappen.

Instead he posts a 1:17.9 – so all looking fine.

Lance Stroll comes in for new tyres and is looking good for fourth place. He comes out in front of fifth place Sebastian Vettel and with fresher boots. 

Bottas pits again, interestingly, for another paid of hard tyres. Mercedes obviously think Verstappen will pit again. Fresh tyres and plenty of space ahead of him to remove that gap, so the undercut is on.

Into the final 20 laps of this race…

Verstappen and Bottas hit traffic, which denies us – temporarily – the battle for second as the pair weave in and out of the back markers.

Hamilton 23 seconds out in front.

Lance Stroll in fourth is 22 seconds behind Bottas, with Vettel a further 24 seconds back in fifth.

The battle now is for second – Bottas is just a second behind Max Verstappen now.

The race stewards were satisfied Bottas was stationary when the lights went out earlier so did not punish him.

This battle fine for Hamilton, of course, who continues to press on further up the road.

Pierre Gasly – Getty Images


02:15 PM

Lap 45 of 70

Nicholas Latifi in the Williams has a spin at turn five, having caught the white line on the left. He’s in last position and two laps down.

News of possible problems for Red Bull, who are alleged to have dried the ground ahead of Alex Albon’s grid slot – which contravenes the rules. One to keep an eye on post-race.

Sebastian Vettel is up to fifth as Daniel Ricciardo pits for a new pair of mediums.

  1. HAM
  2. VER
  3. BOT
  4. STR
  5. VET
  6. ALB
  7. PER
  8. MAG
  9. RIC
  10. LEC
  11. SAI
  12. KVY
  13. GRO
  14. OCO
  15. NOR
  16. RUS
  17. RAI
  18. GIO
  19. LAT

02:11 PM

Lap 42 of 70

Bottas continuing to close in on Verstappen, taking another 0.8 seconds off the last lap. Are Mercedes heading for another 1-2?

02:08 PM

Lap 39 of 70

Bottas again with a fastest lap – 1.5 seconds quicker than Verstappen, and into the 1:18s.

The gap between the two is down to 5.7 seconds and that may not last too much longer.

  1. HAM
  2. VER
  3. BOT
  4. STR
  5. RIC
  6. SAI
  7. VET
  8. ALB
  9. PER
  10. MAG

02:06 PM

Lap 38 of 70

Verstappen in for new tyres, with Bottas taking chunks out of him on his own new tyres. That should put an end to that.

Hamilton also stops again for more medium tyres. He’s in a very strong position for his 86th F1 win.


02:03 PM

Lap 36 of 70

Still no sign of that rain, so Bottas puts on a new pair of medium tyres and finds some clean air. He is still fourth.

Hamilton is breezing around nicely, his lead now 18.965 seconds. But a few spots do appear on Hamilton’s car camera as he closes in on some back markers.

Stroll, Magnussen and Perez all bit. Bottas immediately puts in a fastest lap of the race.

02:00 PM

Lap 33 of 70

Sebastian Vettel with the new fastest lap of the race – 1:20.734 – that’s a good 0.8 seconds quicker than Hamilton on the last lap. Plenty of ground for Vettel to make if he wants a strong points finish. He sits in 11th at the moment.

01:58 PM

Lap 32 of 70

Max Verstappen falling further back, the gap to 15.5 seconds. He – like most of the drivers, it must be said – is complaining about the state of his front left tyre.

Here’s where we’re at as we near halfway:

  1. HAM
  2. VER
  3. STR
  4. BOT
  5. MAG
  6. ALB
  7. PER
  8. GRO
  9. RIC
  10. SAI
  11. VET
  12. RAI
  13. LEC
  14. NOR
  15. KVY
  16. OCO
  17. RUS
  18. GIO
  19. LAT

01:56 PM

Lap 31 of 70

New fastest lap for Hamilton, who is extending his lead to Verstappen – now 13.8 seconds.

Albon passes Grosjean for sixth, and the two meet gently as they pass. 

And Sebastian Vettel pits for hard tyres. Rain aside, that should be his last stop.

No crowds at the Hungaroring, but a few outside – REUTERS


01:52 PM

Lap 28 of 70

Sergio Perez on the team radio: ‘Ah, this is —- – I am struggling.’

He, of course, started on the second row but finds himself in ninth. Team-mate Lance Stroll is third.

Forty-two laps to go in Budapest.

Charles Leclerc is in 15th, but is on the hard tyres and could go through to the end.

01:50 PM

Lap 26 of 70

More rain chatter – Red Bull reckon ‘medium rain’ in eight minutes’ time.

That could spice things up. In the meantime, as you were, with Hamilton leading from Verstappen. Bottas is closing in on Lance Stroll, who sits third. Gap down to around a second.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W11 during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 19, 2020 in Budapest, Hungary – Getty Images


01:47 PM

Lap 24 of 70

Kevin Magnussen is having strong race, sitting in fifth place. But he’s 13 seconds off Bottas in fourth.

Hamilton’s not too cheery on the radio, a bit agitated despite holding a strong lead. Perhaps a little worried about his engine. Looks to be fine at the moment…

  1. HAM
  2. VER
  3. STR 
  4. BOT 
  5. MAG
  6. GRO
  7. ALB
  8. VET
  9. PER
  10. RIC

01:44 PM

Lap 22 of 70

Hamilton’s lead is pretty steady, but healthy: 11.3 seconds from Verstappen. Incredible given the 20 minutes before the race, where the Red Bull didn’t look like it would make it.

Charles Leclerc pleads with Ferrari to come in for a fresh pair of boots – and they finally give in.

Weather update: it looks like it will pass to the south of the track, so perhaps it will stay dry.

01:41 PM

Lap 19 of 70

Albon finally gets down the inside of Leclerc for seventh place and Vettel passes Leclerc, who is on the softer (wrong) tyres. Albon is already a couple of seconds down the road, though….

01:39 PM

Lap 18 of 70

Here’s where we’re at:

  1. HAM
  2. VER
  3. STR
  4. VOT
  5. MAG
  6. GRO
  7. ALB
  8. LEC
  9. VET
  10. PER
  11. RIC
  12. SAI
  13. KVY
  14. RAI
  15. OCO
  16. NOR
  17. RUS
  18. GIO
  19. LAT

GAS is out.

01:38 PM

Lap 17 of 70

Two out in front, if we’re being generous, but really it’s Hamilton out alone. He’s 11.2 seconds ahead of Verstappen, with Lance Stroll 15 seconds further back.

Good battle for 7th, 8th and 9th – Charles Leclerc is almost passed by Alex Albon, but he can’t get past at the first corner, but he has Vettel on his back. So plenty going on there.

Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly is out of the race – his car is smoking in the pit lane.

01:32 PM

Lap 13 of 70

Vettel locks, goes wide and allows Alex Albon to move into eighth.

Hamilton has pulled 9.7 seconds ahead. Bottas is closing up to Lance Stroll in fourth, the gap now 3.5 seconds.

Light rain is 10 minutes away.

Here’s the top 10:

  1. HAM
  2. VER
  3. MAG
  4. STR
  5. BOT
  6. GRO
  7. LEC
  8. ALB
  9. VET
  10. PER

01:29 PM

Lap 10 of 70

So, Hamilton out in front – 8.3 seconds ahead of Max Verstappen. Hamilton keeps speaking to his team about his engine. He doesn’t seem wholly convinced it’s in the best way.

Bottas, again, passes Leclerc into the first corner and this time makes it stick. He is sixth.

The dark clouds are gathering – we could be due more rain in next 20 minutes.

Here’s the start – Bottas fell backwards after his funny start.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, Racing Point driver Lance Stroll of Canada and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany, from right, start at the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix race at the Hungaroring racetrack in Mogyorod, Hungary, Sunday, July 19, 2020. – AP


01:27 PM

Lap 9 of 70

Lance Stroll takes Romain Grosjean to move up into fourth.

Verstappen is still second, but trails Hamilton by 7.5 seconds.

Meanwhile, Bottas – still under investigation on that possible jump start – breezes past Leclerc with DRS to take sixth, before dropping back again shortly afterwards.

Another fastest lap for Hamilton, who is going at 1:22.130.

01:23 PM

Lap 6 of 70

Only Leclerc on soft tyres in the top 10. All the rest on mediums.

Here’s how we stand:

  1. HAM
  2. VER
  3. MAG
  4. GRO
  5. STR
  6. LEC
  7. BOT
  8. VET
  9. ALB
  10. PER
  11. RIC
  12. SAI
  13. KVY
  14. GAS
  15. RAI
  16. OCO
  17. RUS
  18. NOR
  19. GIO
  20. LAT

01:21 PM

Lap 4 of 70

Drivers are finding their way on slicks with the track still damp.

An absolute nightmare of a stop for Sebastian Vettel who had to wait in the pit box while drivers passed – he’s lost seven seconds for that.

Meanwhile, Max Verstappen pits and comes out in second behind Hamilton, who retakes the lead.

Busy start!

01:19 PM

Lap 3 of 70

Hamilton already seven seconds ahead of second place Lance Stroll

Plenty of cars have already come into the pits, including Bottas and Carles Leclerc.

Hamilton and Stroll both in too for medium tyres.

Incredibly, after his pre-race drama, Max Verstappen leads!

01:16 PM

Lap 2 of 70

Hamilton really pulling away quickly, creating a three-second gap to the Racing Point behind him.

Bottas, his team-mate, is sixth and there is talk he jumped the start. So his misery may not be over yet.

Here’s a quick top 10:

  1. HAM
  2. STR
  3. VER
  4. VET
  5. PER
  6. SAI
  7. RIC
  8. LAT
  9. ALB
  10. GAS

01:15 PM

Lights out!

It’s go in Hungary!

Hamilton pulls away in front, but Bottas has a nightmare and drops down the field.

Stroll moves to second, Verstappen also has a brilliant start into third, Vettel fourth.

01:12 PM

Formation lap underway

Here we go, then.

And the sun is out, which should make for an interesting early race as teams ponder when to change to slicks.

All drivers bar one on intermediates – Kevin Magnussen on full wets. He and Haas hoping for heavy rain, clearly.

01:08 PM

Two minutes until the formation lap

A reminder that this is a 70-lap race around the Hungaroring.

Verstappen looks to be good to go, thanks to the speedy brilliance of the Red Bull mechanics. 


01:04 PM

Prediction time

Here’s what I’m going with – Vettel with plenty of experience around this track and may be helped by rain to get on the podium. But as always, anything can happen – particularly with such a tricky first corner. And that’s why you can’t keep your eyes off of it.

1. Hamilton; 2. Bottas; 3. Vettel

12:59 PM

Verstappen update

Red Bull are working on the front left suspension on Verstappen’s car. A new front wing can be attached, but replacing a track rod with 10 minutes to go feels like a bit of a push.


12:57 PM

Lewis Hamilton and other drivers take a knee ahead of the anthem

Hamilton wears a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, with the others wearing t-shirts with ‘End Racism’ on the front.

Here’s what the world champion tweeted a short time ago:


12:53 PM

Plenty of work going on around the Red Bull

Verstappen went off at turn 12 – he appeared to lock a little turning into the corner, and speared off into the barrier.

Like a walk of shame, his car is being pushed through the grid to his starting slot – no front wing.

The camera cuts to Christian Horner who does not look particularly impressed, as you’d expect.


12:49 PM

Oh dear! Max Verstappen crashes on his way to the grid

He’s put it in the barrier, with pretty extensive damage to the front left. The front wing has gone, too.

He’s limping back to the pit, but can the suspension be fixed before the race begins?

Clearly tricky conditions out there, even at slower speed.

12:43 PM

Drivers are heading out on track

It looks pretty damp, but no suggestions yet it will start under a safety car.


12:38 PM

George Russell defends Alex Albon, Max Verstappen gets involved

Good bit of bickering yesterday here, as reported by Reuters.

Williams’ George Russell defended Red Bull’s Alex Albon after out-qualifying his old friend and rival at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday, drawing a rebuff from the Thai’s team mate Max Verstappen.

Briton Russell, who has yet to score a point with struggling Williams after a barren debut season in 2019, qualified an impressive 12th and one place ahead of Albon.

“I don’t know what the hell is going on and I feel really bad for him (Albon) because he’s being made to look like an idiot and he’s absolutely not,” Russell said of the British-born Thai, his rival through karting and junior series.

“He’s won in everything he’s done. I don’t know what’s going on but they need to sort it out for him,” he told Sky Sports.

Albon was heard on the radio earlier complaining to his team about sending him out into traffic for his final run in the second phase of qualifying.

“We need to figure it out a bit better,” said Albon. “There’s not much to say.”

Verstappen suggested Russell, the 2018 Formula Two champion who has a long-term deal with Mercedes, should mind his own business.

“I think first of all George doesn’t know anything about the team so it’s better if he just focuses on his car and his performance instead of speaking for someone else,” said the 22-year-old.

Verstappen was on pole in Hungary last year and had been seen as a contender for victory on Sunday but Red Bull have struggled.

“I hope this is going to be our worst weekend,” he said after qualifying seventh with a lap 1.4 seconds slower than Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes on pole.

Verstappen said the Red Bull’s handling became “tricky” when pushed to the limit.

“As soon as you get it to that point where you are close to having a moment, it just goes,” he said, when asked about the number of spins suffered by the Red Bull drivers. “It’s just not easy to catch.”

12:32 PM

F1 standings after two races

Forty minutes to go until the third race of this 2020 season begins. In the meantime, here is how things stand after the first two:


12:21 PM

What happened here last year?

Well, you may not be surprised to find it was another Lewis Hamilton masterclass. You probably remember it well.

Here was Oliver Brown’s report from the race, where Hamilton – against the odds – chased down pole sitter Max Verstappen to claim victory on his way to a sixth World Championship crown.

Alternatively, you can watch the highlights here:


12:14 PM

It’s wet

McLaren doing their best to keep the pit box dry…

12:09 PM

How they line up today

Here’s how it finished yesterday and how it begins today. Another good day for Racing Point, who feature on the second row. 

Ferrari have struggled for pace but may enjoy the prospect of rain. Not a good day for Red Bull, with Alexander Albon starting 13th. He was complaining to his team about being sent out into traffic.

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 13.447secs
  2. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:13.554
  3. Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:14.377
  4. Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:14.545
  5. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:14.774
  6. Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:14.817
  7. Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:14.849
  8. Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:14.966
  9. Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:15.027
  10. Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:15.508
  11. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:15.661, 12
  12. George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:15.698
  13. Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:15.715
  14. Esteban Ocon (Fra) Renault 1:15.742
  15. Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1:16.544
  16. Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:16.152
  17. Daniil Kyvat (Rus) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:16.204
  18. Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:16.407
  19. Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:16.506
  20. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:16.614

12:04 PM

Toto Wolff insists race not won…

…but he must be pretty chirpy with what he saw of both Mercedes cars on Saturday. 

“It was a good day for us yesterday,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“But you’ve got to be careful – it’s a race to us for lose. When you think you have the margin, things could go terribly wrong. We could have a messy start. Reliability remains an issue. Rain can be up there. 

“The race is a different ball game.”

Mercedes have led every lap of the first two races. And with another front row lockout, you would get good odds on that not happening again today.

Mercedes GP Executive Director Toto Wolff looks on at parc ferme during the Formula One Grand Prix of Styria at Red Bull Ring on July 12, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria – Getty Images


11:56 AM

Welcome from me

Hello all and welcome to our live coverage of the 2020 Hungarian Grand Prix. I’ll take you through the build-up and race and keep you up to date on the action, latest positions and who finishes where.

We’re got around an hour and 15 minutes until lights out. 

One early note is the weather… the track is damp and folded brollies are tucked under arms. I’ll update you closer to the start of the race with more detailed prospects around a wet race. 

11:48 AM

Qualifying recap – Hamilton sets track record with 90th pole 

 Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton celebrated a record-extending and “surreal” 90th career pole position on Saturday after a dominant Mercedes one-two in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying.

Championship-leading team mate Valtteri Bottas will start alongside the Briton on Sunday, with the Mercedes-powered Racing Point cars of Canadian Lance Stroll and Mexican Sergio Perez third and fourth.

Hamilton is favourite to triumph for the eighth time at the Hungaroring and equal a record for most wins at the same grand prix held by retired Ferrari great Michael Schumacher, who won eight times in France.

The pole was his seventh in Hungary, equalling Schumacher’s record for that race, and his Mercedes again looked to be in a class of its own after the team won the opening two rounds in Austria.

“Hungary’s always been a good hunting ground for me but also I’m aware that qualifying isn’t everything here,” said Hamilton, who lapped with a track record time of one minute 13.447 seconds, 0.107 faster than Bottas.

The six-times world champion said he had not realised immediately the significance of a pole that leaves him 22 ahead of Schumacher, the next best qualifier in the history of the sport.

“It feels very, very surreal…it doesn’t seem real to have 90 poles,” declared the 35-year-old, who also has 25 more than his Brazilian boyhood idol Ayrton Senna managed in his F1 career.

Bottas hailed Hamilton for another great job but hoped to reverse the positions on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a bit of a drag race into Turn One between us tomorrow, so I look forward to that; the first lap will definitely be interesting,” he said.

Perez was quicker than Stroll in final practice but the Canadian got the lap that mattered and looked forward to a strong race in the ‘pink Mercedes’, a controversial car very similar to last year’s title-winning Mercedes and under protest by Renault.

The Ferraris followed the two-by-two team trend, with Sebastian Vettel lining up fifth and Charles Leclerc qualifying sixth — a positive after a tough afternoon in Austria last weekend where they collided in the Styrian Grand Prix.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, on pole last year, could only qualify seventh and ahead of the McLaren pair of Lando Norris — third in the championship — and Carlos Sainz.

“I hope this is going to be our worst weekend,” said Verstappen, who felt something was “clearly not working” with his car.

Former champions Williams, who finished last overall in 2019, had something to cheer with both their cars through to the second phase of qualifying for the first time since September 2018. George Russell ended up 12th, and ahead of Red Bull’s Alex Albon, with rookie team mate Nicholas Latifi 15th.

The session was held without spectators, as at the first two races in Austria, due to the COVID-19 pandemic but some fans still gathered at vantage points on surrounding slopes.