F1 Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings: Lewis Hamilton soars as Max Verstappen boosts lead

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MAX VERSTAPPEN extended his lead at the F1 summit to 80 points, but Lewis Hamilton also dazzled in an entertaining Hungarian Grand Prix.

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Back-to-back titles appear to be on the cards for Red Bull and Max Verstappen after he capitalised on Ferrari’s woes to win Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix. The Dutchman now sits 80 points ahead of Charles Leclerc, who failed to capitalise on a strong start at the Hungaroring and finished sixth. Mercedes, meanwhile, continued to improve after Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both claimed podium places for the second straight weekend. Only two drivers failed to complete what proved to be a tough test in Mogyorod, and Express Sport breaks down post-race ratings for every driver in the field.

Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes: 9.5

Verstappen deservedly won plaudits for his audacious grid comeback, but Hamilton deserves similar praise for clawing back a runner-up finish from seventh. A pair of impressive overtakes on team-mate Russell and Carlos Sainz helped seal a fifth consecutive top-three finish.

George Russell – Mercedes: 8.5

He couldn’t quite live up to the hype of a shock start on pole, but Russell nonetheless deserved to celebrate “another double podium” for the Silver Arrows. The young Briton was daring in all the right places but couldn’t live with the sheer pace of Mercedes’ rivals at times.

Max Verstappen – Red Bull: 10

If there was any race that deserved to define Verstappen’s second straight world championship, a resurgence from 10th to first in Hungary might be as good as it gets. Engine failures in qualifying and a mid-race 360-degree spin weren’t enough to hold back the 24-year-old in wet conditions, cementing a flawless performance as he boosted his lead.

Sergio Perez – Red Bull: 8.5

Verstappen wasn’t the only Red Bull star subject to disaster in qualifying, which made Sergio Perez’s recovery to claim fifth that much more enthralling.’Checo’ has now failed to podium in three successive races, but there’s a mountain of misfortune to at least partially explain his recent misery.

Charles Leclerc – Ferrari: 7

The victim of misplaced direction from his superiors, Leclerc will rue Hungary as a missed opportunity for both him and Ferrari on the whole. It was a shame, too, considering the first half of Leclerc’s race was so impressive, but an inferior finish could spell the end of his title hopes.

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F1 Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings: Lewis Hamilton soars as Max Verstappen boosts lead

Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton in Hungary (Image: Getty)

Carlos Sainz – Ferrari: 7.5

Second on the grid but fourth come full-time on Sunday, Carlos Sainz is another member of the Ferrari family who will be bitterly disappointed not to have won more points. The Spaniard might have finished even lower, too, were it not for a late Virtual Safety Car.

Lando Norris – McLaren: 7.5

Almost certain to now miss out on the top six with 70 points between him and Hamilton, Lando Norris nonetheless gave a good account of himself on Sunday. Hungary was another demonstration of how McLaren simply can’t keep up with the ‘Big Three’, but the prospect did well to snatch seventh ahead of Alpine pressure.

Daniel Ricciardo – McLaren: 5.5

On the other side of the McLaren coin, Daniel Ricciardo failed to flatter once again and lost any momentum following a tussle with Lance Stroll, falling from ninth on the grid to 15th across the line.

Fernando Alonso – Alpine: 8.5

Alpine are in a good place after both drivers have now finished top 10 in the last three races, though Fernando Alonso edged Sunday’s showdown despite some direct competition from his partner.

Esteban Ocon – Alpine: 8

Esteban Ocon couldn’t finish ahead of Alonso despite his best attempts to do so, finishing one place behind his partner despite holding the slimmest of advantages at the race start.

Pierre Gasly – AlphaTauri: 7

Even a pit-lane start wasn’t enough to keep Pierre Gasly from being relevant at the Hungaroring, just about failing to snag any points for AlphaTauri.

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Charles Leclerc disappointed en route to sixth (Image: Getty)

Yuki Tsunoda – AlphaTauri: 6

Disaster struck for Japanese prospect Yuki Tsunoda when a spin at Turn 7 appeared to derail his race. That being said, the AlphaTauri man ended up two laps off the pace, suggesting even a seamless run may not have changed much.

Sebastian Vettel – Aston Martin: 8

It was fitting that four-time champion Sebastian Vettel bagged a top-10 finish in the week after announcing his retirement from F1, zipping up the field from 18th to claim the last of the points on offer.

Lance Stroll – Aston Martin: 7.5

Aston Martin have to count their blessings whenever their drivers improve on grid position, and Stroll might have placed even higher than 11th were it not for his contact with Ricciardo.

Alex Albon – Williams: 5

A poor weekend for Williams saw both drivers finish last among those who finished the race, with Alex Albon at times appearing as though he was going through the motions.

Nicholas Latifi – Williams: 3

Sunday’s underwhelming 18th-place finish was all the more so given Nicholas Latifi built up so much hype with his table-topping time in FP3. The Canadian ultimately proved irrelevant come race day.

Valtteri Bottas – Alfa Romeo: 5.5

The first driver to retire after completing 65 laps, Valtteri Bottas was 14th at the time but looked handicapped on the hard tyres approaching the home stretch.

Zhou Guanyu – Alfa Romeo: 7

Alfa Romeo’s other contender, Zhou Guanyu made the most of what he had to work with despite a disastrous start and only dropped one place to end up 13th.

Kevin Magnussen – Haas: 5.5

A forgettable day at the office started with an early trip into the pit following his first-lap repairs, though it wasn’t enough to salvage much hope for points regardless.

Mick Schumacher – Haas: 7

Mick Schumacher is developing a consistency that will please his Haas superiors, even if it was only good enough for 14th on Sunday, one place better off than he started.

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