Following the two races in Austria, the next port of call was Budapest for the 35th Hungarian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton tore his way to first place for the 8th time in his career at the Hungaroring, swiftly breaking away from the pack at the beginning of today’s race, and remaining comfortably ahead for all 70 laps.
Following Qualifying this weekend, Lewis Hamilton took the 90th pole position of his career, lapping just 0.181 seconds faster than his Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes proving the class of the field once again.
The second row of the grid was taken up by the Racing Point duo, Lance Stroll in third finishing just 0.93 off the pace of the Mercedes, and Sergio Perez in fourth.
The Racing Point RP20 model is proving to be a top contender this season, with a new car design that has raised more than a few eyebrows for its similarities to the Mercedes 2019 model.
Max Verstappen was further down the grid than usual in P7 with teammate Alex Albon in a disappointing P13.
The Red Bull RB16 has been experiencing aerodynamic instability issues, leading to the team switching to an earlier nose/front wing design after debuting upgrades in Austria.
In what has been a challenging season for Ferrari so far, qualifying proved slightly better than last week’s Styrian Grand Prix with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc in P5 and P6 respectively.
Lando Norris is continuing to show his strength in the MCL35, with impressive lap times in qualifying. The British driver started in P8 today, one place ahead of his Spanish teammate Carlos Sainz.
Norris is currently third in the Championship to date, with two very impressive races under his belt.
Today’s race got underway in damp conditions with everyone except Kevin Magnussen starting on the intermediate tires.
After a chaotic opening, order quickly settled down, with Hamilton leading from Verstappen, while Magnussen and Grosjean were third and fourth having made a late call to start from pit lane on dry tyres.
The move by the American team would give Magnussen and Grosjean ample time to gain some ground while other teams followed suit in changing their tyres several laps later.
However, Stroll was the first to pick off the Haas drivers, clearing Grosjean first and then making up a further three seconds to Magnussen.
With the track quickly drying out and expected rain holding off, most had pitted for dry tyres by lap 5 including Hamilton.
Bottas was also making progress, the second Mercedes clearly faster than the Ferraris and he too edged closer and closer to an overtake on the Haas drivers.
In the meantime, Hamilton increased his lead over Verstappen to almost 11 seconds by lap 17 while Stroll and Bottas both passed Magnussen.
Just behind them, Alex Albon was scrapping between the two Ferraris, Leclerc who was struggling for grip on soft tires eventually had to give way to the Red Bull.
Teams were delaying their pit stops even as the medium tires were beginning to wear, as the next stop could very well be for intermediates or wets.
Vettel was first to pit, which saw him lose 7 seconds of race time to change his tyres, while others continued to struggle on their worn mediums.
Halfway through the race, Hamilton was 19 seconds clear of Verstappen, while Bottas moved up to third when Stroll made his mid-race pit stop.
As far as the podium places were concerned, the top spot was clearly going to be occupied by Hamilton, with no one coming close to the World champion’s pace.
It looked as though Bottas was simply biding his time before he’d take second from Verstappen, but despite the young Dutch driver’s low level of grip, he still made Bottas work extremely hard to try and close the gap.
With just 5 Laps to go, Verstappen had 5 seconds to spare over Bottas, and by the final lap the Finn had closed to within striking distance but Verstappen somehow found enough speed and grip to hang on to second place.
At the end of a frantic race, Hamilton was top of the podium, while Verstappen’s impeccable driving saw him land second position ahead of Bottas in third.
The current championship standings see Hamilton on top with 63 points, followed by Bottas with 58 points, while Verstappen on 33 points, is marginally ahead of Norris who has 26 points and Albon closing out the top 5 with 22 points.
Now we just need to wait a fortnight until Formula One returns for another tripleheader starting off at Silverstone on August 2, to see if anyone can give Mercedes some competition going further into the 2020 season.