Hungarian GP Biggest F1 Winners & Losers: Alonso Shines, Bottas Flops

Published 08/02/2021, 10:52 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas collides with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez Pool via REUTERS/Peter Kohalmi

After an action-packed race weekend ended at the Hungarian GP just before Formula 1 leaves for the summer breaks.  So, let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers to emerge from the main race in Budapest.


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Winner 1 – Esteban Ocon

After the first lap crash, the race was red-flagged to clear the track of debris. And after a 30-minute stop, drivers came out of the pit lane for a standing start. However, only Lewis Hamilton started the grid from the track on intermediates; every other driver chose to pit for fresh tires.


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Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon celebrates with teammate Fernando Alonso after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga.

This allowed Esteban Ocon to lead the race, which he held for almost all 70 laps. The Frenchman showed massive resilience to beat Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton to secure his maiden F1 victory.

Loser 1 – Max Verstappen

After having a perfect start, Max Verstappen jumped from P3 to P2 before the first corner and was just behind his arch-rival Lewis Hamilton. Valterri Bottas, who had a poor start dropped from P2 to P5. And before turn 1, the Finn crashed into Lando Norris, who then contacted Verstappen.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021. McLaren’s Lando Norris collides with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen Pool via REUTERS/Peter Kohalmi.

The Dutch had major damage to his right barge board and was forced to pit. With the red flag triggered after the first lap incident, the Red Bull mechanic fixed some damages, but Verstappen struggled with pace throughout the race. Eventually, the Dutchman finished P10, just behind George Russell.

Winner 2 – Fernando Alonso

The two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso, showcased massive resilience to keep Lewis Hamilton at bay, which helped the former’s teammate to secure his maiden Formula 1 victory.

The Spaniard held back the reigning champion for 10 laps and denied him his 100th Grand Prix win. Finally, on lap 65 on turn 2, the Briton overtook Alonso after the Alpine driver locked up on turn 1 and went deep.

Owing to his breathtaking driving, the two-time world champion also won the Driver of the Day vote.

Watch Story: From Shocking Lewis Hamilton Crash to Ferrari Pit Stop Blunder: Most Sensational Moments in Bahrain GP History

Loser 2 – Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, in what can be termed as one of the most disastrous F1 starts, dropped from P2 to P5 almost instantly. And on turn 1 of the Hungaroring, the Finnish driver made a massive mistake.

Bottas made a poor braking judgment and collided with McLaren’s Lando Norris, which later smashed into both the Red Bulls. Soon after, Lance Stroll locked up and crashed into Charles Leclerc. The crash led Bottas, Perez, Norris, Stroll, and Leclerc out of the race, and subsequently, the race was red-flagged.

Winner 3 – George Russell

George Russell has finally ended his points drought for Williams at Hungarian Grand Prix. The young Brit finished just ahead of Max Verstappen at P9. While speaking to the media post the race, Russell literally burst into tears after scoring his points for Williams in three years.

Ultimately, it was double points finish for the Wantage-based team, as both Latifi and Russell finished inside the points.

Loser 3 – Sebastian Vettel

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel has been disqualified from the Hungarian Grand Prix after securing a P2 finish at the Hungarian GP. According to rules, drivers must ensure a minimum of 1-liter fuel to be available in their cars at the end of the race. However, the stewards could only extract 0.3 liters of fuel from his Aston Martin AMR21.


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Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – August 1, 2021. Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in action REUTERS/Florion Goga.

Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification means that both Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz inherited second and third place, respectively.

But not all is lost, as Aston Martin have appealed against Seb’s DQ from the race.


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Do you agree with this analysis? Or was there another driver that stood out for you at the Hungarian GP?


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Pingaksh Sharma

257 articles

Pingaksh Sharma is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been following this sport since India hosted the Grand Prix in 2012 and has been an ardent supporter of the eventual race winner, Sebastian Vettel. He is also a fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull and hopes the former breaks the Lewis Hamilton dominance.