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Max Verstappen Wins as McLaren Shines at the Hungarian Grand Prix


Lando Norris celebrates his second consecutive podium. (Photo: Francois Nel | Getty Images)

BUDAPEST - Despite demonstrating impressive one-lap pace during qualifying, Mercedes and McLaren could not compete with the dominant Max Verstappen's Red Bull in race trim as the team remained perfect in the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship season, scoring its 11th win of the year in the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring.


At lights out, Verstappen pulled ahead of polesitter Lewis Hamilton before the pair reached Turn 1. From there, it was over for Hamilton and the other competitors as Verstappen led every lap in Hungary. The two-time Formula 1 World Champion gifted Red Bull its 12th consecutive F1 victory, dating back to last year's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.


"I think it was a pretty perfect day," Verstappen said during the FIA's post-race press conference. "The car was honestly really enjoyable to drive today.


"For the team, 12 wins in a row is just incredible. What we’ve been going through the last three years is just unbelievable, and hopefully, we can keep this momentum going for a long time. It’s always good to look into… like yesterday, for example, to keep pushing, always wanting to do better – but then a day like today, is just perfect."


After running wide into Turn 1, Hamilton was quickly passed by McLaren teammates Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, who continued the team's newfound momentum from the British Grand Prix.


"If I didn't get past Lewis there, I don’t think I would have overtaken him today because their race pace was very strong," Norris said. "Their general pace was very strong. I just think they didn't execute a very good race and that overtake made me get a podium."


Piastri and Norris then settled into second and third positions respectively. The two drivers held the position until McLaren called Norris to the pits. The team subsequently pitted Piastri, who rejoined the race just ahead of Norris.


With his tires up to temperature, Norris made quick work of Piastri to claim second place where he remained for the duration of the race.


Piastri said his strategy was not ideal, but he did not believe it made much of a difference since he finished 30 seconds behind his McLaren teammate.


"Lando's out-lap was just super, super quick, which meant Oscar lost the position," Team Principal Andrea Stella said. "To be honest, our approach to these situations is to think about the team first. We think as a team, and then we deal with the internal situation."


After a difficult start to the year that saw McLaren last in the Constructors' Championship title fight at one point, Norris finished second and Piastri ended up in fifth place.


"I guess we’re very happy because it’s my first time I’ve had consecutive podiums," Norris said. "To be P2, I guess is a fantastic result in a car that probably shouldn’t be P2."

GRID Ranking

The 2023 GRID Ranking is the seventh year of the premier motorsport ranking in the world and it was initially released on Sunday, April 2.


Drivers in the seven racing series participating in the ranking (NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E, World Rally Championship, Repco Supercars, MotoGP) have earned GRID Ratings, which help determine their seeding each week in the 2023 GRID Ranking.


GRID Ranking Week 17 Formula 1 Drivers:

DRIVER

OLD RATING

PREVIOUS RANKING

MOST RECENT FINISH

NEW RATING

NEW RANKING

Max Verstappen

22.49

1st

1st

​22.25

1st

Sergio Perez

12.41

16th

3rd

12.29

15th

Lewis Hamilton

9.61

28th

4th

9.60

27th

Fernando Alonso

10.01

26th

9th

9.16

28th

Carlos Sainz

7.13

35th

8th

6.90

35th

The next FIA Formula 1 World Championship race will take place on Sunday, July 30 at Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix.


Full results from the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix can be found here:

(Photo: FIA)

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