Formula 1: The lessons of the Hungarian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen can go on summer vacation completely relaxed.

Formula 1: The lessons of the Hungarian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen can go on summer vacation completely relaxed. The world champion takes an 80-point lead over Charles Leclerc before Formula 1 continues in the classic at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium at the end of August.

There are still nine races to go - and Ferrari has to improve enormously to somehow still have a chance of winning the longed-for title. And the Scuderia is now getting even more competition.

Verstappen is already half world champion

The Dutchman would not even have to win a Grand Prix to successfully defend his title. His cushion is so large that even second places in the remaining nine races of the season would be enough. But the 24-year-old is not interested at all. "As a team we want to win more races and that's exactly what we will try to do after the break," said Verstappen, who is not planning a beach vacation.

Things are getting tight for Binotto

Considering that Ferrari actually has the strongest car in the field, there is surprisingly little that can be counted. Charles Leclerc lost another 17 World Championship points to Dominator Verstappen. The car didn't want to work at all in the cold temperatures in Hungary, the tactics and choice of tires also didn't suit a title candidate. Team boss Mattia Binotto is only in the process of explaining the setbacks. Back in Italy, the pressure on the boss is growing. "We don't have to change anything. We have to look at different things and learn from them," said Binotto.

Strong Mercedes series

For the second time in a row, Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton (2nd) and George Russell (3rd) made it onto the podium together. They exploit Ferrari's weakness and keep improving after a disastrous start to the season. "It's incredibly satisfying to see the progress we're making," said record world champion Hamilton, who is aiming for his first win of the season after five consecutive podium finishes after the summer break: "It's fantastic for the team that we're both ahead of Ferrari."

Schumacher's mixed record

In just two of 13 races, Mick Schumacher scored points in his second year in Formula 1. He does not yet have a new contract for 2023, but talks with Haas should be intensified during the break. The 23-year-old would like to take a much better record into the talks with team boss Günther Steiner. "We should have had a lot more points than we have now," said Schumacher and came to a bitter verdict: "It looks like we haven't caught up as much as we thought."

Vettel's farewell tour

Sebastian Vettel still has nine grand prizes to go before he retires as a racing driver on November 20th in Abu Dhabi. At his last race in Hungary, the 35-year-old finished tenth and scored at least one point for the overall standings. "It's okay, there wasn't much more in it," the Hessian summed up afterwards. After more than a decade and a half, Vettel will hardly say goodbye to Formula 1 with a lot of fame or a podium finish. The four-time world champion assured him that he was not lacking in motivation and fitness.

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