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Hungarian Grand Prix 2023

Does Red Bull have the best F1 car in history? What we learned at the Hungarian GP

What did we learn across a captivating weekend at the Hungaroring?

Max Verstappen took his F1 championship lead past 100 points with yet another victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman edged past Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton into Turn 1 before going on to defeat McLaren driver Lando Norris by 33 seconds.

With Red Bull dominating despite missing out in qualifying, what did we learn at the Hungaroring?

Red Bull RB19 F1's best car

It would be hard to argue against Red Bull's RB19 being the best car in F1 history.

Of course, as with the discussion around the best drivers, there will always be questions regarding eras and opposition, but the fact the Milton Keynes-based team has taken each of the opening 11 races this season, as well as both Sprints and all but two pole positions is a remarkable achievement, given the sport's regulations have been employed to close up the field.

Verstappen missed out on pole by only 0.003secs to Hamilton having placed focus on race day but made no mistake in dispatching the Mercedes into the first corner.

The daunting aspect of all of his wins this year is that there is likely performance being left on the table as he manages his car and tyres through the race.

On a track that has been historically difficult to overtake, a feisty Sergio Perez made his way from ninth to the podium with a number of robust moves on rivals.

Fast in qualifying, fast in the race and a two-time World Champion in scintillating form. After securing a record-breaking 12th win in a row [including Abu Dhabi last season] and the chance to take honours in every race this year, can the RB19 be stopped?

Hamilton back with a bang

The race may not have gone as planned for Hamilton, a record-extending 104th pole position was a welcome return to the top.

Not since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021 had Hamilton been first at the end of a Saturday or Sunday, with the emotion and relief following the session clear to see.

The lap to take pole was simply stunning in a car that, whilst Team Principal Toto Wolff suggested was second fastest, looked at least to have been behind the McLaren.

If there were any doubts over whether Hamilton remained hungry for F1 success, they should now be eradicated.

Norris sublime as Piastri proves worth

McLaren's return to form is quickly allowing Lando Norris' stock to rise again, as it did in 2021.

The Briton's talent has never been in doubt having impressed since joining McLaren in 2019. But the slow start to the season had overshadowed his prowess behind the wheel as the team languished outside the points.

But two podiums in a row have underlined his future World Champion status, given his impressive qualifying and race-pace consistency en route to the results.

Whilst praise is heaped on Norris, Oscar Piastri's efforts as a rookie cannot be overlooked. A stunning junior career indicated the Australian would excel at the top of single-seater racing and although a podium went begging for the second race in a row, he must take heart from the performance on display.

If McLaren can continue its rapid rise, the driver line-up it boasts could well emerge as one of, if not the best, on the grid.

Result Race - Hungarian

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Ricciardo refreshed

The return of Daniel Ricciardo did not provide a points-scoring finish, but we did get an inkling the short-lived break away from the grid has done wonders.

Eight-time race winner Ricciardo out-qualified Yuki Tsunoda at the first time of asking to start 13th on the grid, but his heart would have been in his mouth when getting a hit at the rear from Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu.

Luckily for the Australian, there was no significant damage and a clever strategy allowed him to recover back through the field, eventually finishing where he started.

With little preparation time and driving the car at the bottom of F1's Constructors' standings, it was a solid effort from Ricciardo. Let's hope the 'Honey Badger' we all know and love is back for good.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

ATA trial ruffles feathers

The 'Alternative Tyre Allocation' trial certainly shook up the weekend, with two fewer sets of tyres per car than usual and stipulated compounds throughout qualifying.

What came of the trial was a mixed-up practice schedule as teams navigated their way through the weekend from different angles, whilst the final grid was a big difference compared to the norm.

But no everyone was happy, especially with the lack of running in practice. Mercedes had each driver use just one set of Mediums across Friday, leaving Hamilton and George Russell in the garage for large periods of time.

With fans at the circuit missing out, Fernando Alonso called the trial "a disaster". But another trial will follow at Monza before a decision is made as to whether the ATA will be implemented from next season.

It would be a major step towards F1's sustainability goals, so the debate will continue.

F1 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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