Verstappen strengthens grip at the top

Monaco winner Perez lands new deal

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (1/10 Drivers Championship 2022) climbed nine places to claim victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix, moving 80 points clear at the top of the standings.

The Dutchman struggled with engine problems during qualifying on Saturday and subsequently started 10th on the grid at the Hungaroring in Budapest.

He put in a faultless drive on Sunday though and was well supported by a perfect pit strategy from Red Bull, manoeuvring his way through the field and twice passing Charles Leclerc (13/2 Drivers Championship 2022), raising further questions about Ferrari’s race operations after a strong start to the season.

Verstappen said: “I was of course hoping I would get close to the podium, but it was very tricky conditions out there but we had a really good strategy, we were really reactive, always pitting at the right time.

“I was battling a lot of guys and it was a lot of fun out there. It was a crazy race but of course very happy we won it.”

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Mercedes appear to be finally finding their feet with Lewis Hamilton (33/1 Drivers Championship 2022) and George Russell (66/1), who started on pole, securing second and third respectively, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was fourth.

Verstappen now sits 80 points clear of Leclerc in the standings after earning his eighth chequered flag of 2022, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who finished fifth, five points further back.

With just nine races left of the campaign, Verstappen’s healthy lead in the Drivers’ Championship already looks unassailable.

It’s also looking like Red Bull (1/7 Constructors Championship 2022), sitting 97 points clear of Ferrari (7/1), will go on to claim the Constructors Championship for the first time since 2013, having watched Mercedes claim the crown in each of the last eight seasons.

The season is now set to break for the summer with the next Grand Prix taking place in Belgium at Spa-Francorchamps on August 26th.

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Author: Lucas Carlson