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Hungarian Grand Prix 2022: Race Predictions

Here's what to expect in the Hungarian GP 2022.

Dev Tyagi Author

Updated - 30 July 2022 11:14 pm

The rains stopped. The sun came out. And all of a sudden, it seemed that the famous racing battleground that is Mogyorod said to George Russell, “You will have it all, sunshine!”

And so it happened; George Russell, who had not set the fastest time in any sector whatsoever in any part of qualifying, snatched the pole position for the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Did anyone see that blisteringly fast 1:17:377 coming? Did you, Toto?

In doing so, the young King’ Lynn-born became the 105th different driver in Formula 1 to start from pole position. It was a surprise result for Ferrari, who despite looking all set to clinch pole position, failed to better Russell and emerged second and third as Sainz beat Leclerc in the qualifying.

McLaren’s Lando Norris grabbed fourth and was followed by Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, the twin Alpines in fifth and sixth, respectively.

Lewis Hamilton, the driver with most race wins here at the Hungaroring, had a lowly P7 result, perceptibly out of the struggles he faced with the DRS in his final flying lap, which he had to unfortunately abort.

Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Riccardo and Max Verstappen got eighth, ninth and tenth, respectively to complete the top ten for Hungarian GP qualifying.

At least one Alpine car will score a Top-5 finish

Fernando Alonso was actually right behind Max Verstappen of all drivers in Q2 at one stage. Then, in Q3, he found himself challenged. El Nino found himself only fifth fastest in the final moments.

Ultimately, Esteban Ocon, who, lest it is forgotten, is the famous winner of the 2021 Hungarian GP, outperformed the veteran Spanish driver. The Frenchman went fifth fastest.

But knowing his penchant for a great battle and that he has all the experience in the world plus that redoubtable skill set, Alonso will make a fight out of the race on Sunday. He begins from sixth on the grid, right behind Ocon and that’s enough for a legend of the sport to make a dashing move or two come race day.

Expect a tough fight from the Spanish Samurai in the 2022 Hungarian GP. After all, when sometimes even those in the fastest cars fail to dazzle, the likes of Alonso, often found battling in midfielders, excel and come right on top.

A great example of the above is the 2017 Hungarian GP, where despite the pace belonging to the Ferraris and Mercedes’ in the race, it was Alonso, that too in an insipid McLaren, who set the fastest lap at Mogyorod (on lap 69 with only one left to race).

Leclerc will have all or nothing race at Hungary

Charles Leclerc’s world is full of infinite possibilities and also blunders, whether on the part of the strategy crew of Ferrari or on account of self-capitulation.

At Monaco, he wasn’t to be blamed, but his team was. But in the previous Grand Prix, one at Circuit Paul Ricard, Ferrari were left stunned when Leclerc spun out and found himself in the barriers. Which is when he was in the lead of the race. Such a shame!

So what happens on Sunday at the Hungaroring? Leclerc, desperate to make amends for the lost chances, will try to drive a memorable race the ideal output of which he’d hope will be a race win. And while he can certainly do it, he may also only score a podium.

He will either win or finish among the top three as Russell will definitely impose a strong resistance to counter one of Ferrari’s finest talents of late.

Sergio Perez will score points in the race despite P11 at qualifying

Few drivers have impressed this season as much as Perez. Mexican Tom Cruise to some and to many others, the driver in the other Red Bull, Perez, for all intents and purposes, is a force onto his own.

Sadly though, the 2022 Hungarian GP qualifying wasn’t the kind of result that Checo would’ve wanted; first, he got a lap time deleted, then had it reinstated, he then failed to make it to Q3. Resultantly, the 2022 Monaco GP winner was only eleventh fastest in the end.

What’s worse is that Perez found himself eliminated at the Hungaroring for the sixth consecutive year having failed to make it to Q3 by seven hundredths of a second.

Despite such massive struggles, Perez, ever a fighter, will drive a race to remember and finish inside points on Sunday.

At least one Mercedes car will be on the podium

With George Russell’s sensational qualifying lap, which yielded a maiden career pole position, the chances of the Briton finishing on the podium at Hungaroring are about as certain as one getting wet under rains.

Who knows, he could even win the contest.

That’s, unless of course some sudden skirmish on the gird or erroneous move on the part of the Mercedes newcomer ruins his chances of converting a maiden career pole into a memorable win.

Having said that, one can’t say anything with certainty in F1, isn’t it? Did anyone, for instance, foresee the opening lap fiasco for Alfa Romeo and Mercedes at Silverstone this year? Could anyone have comfortably predicted that Zhou Guanuyu would walkaway – thankfully so- from that heart-stopping crash?

In similar vein, one can’t suggest that Lewis Hamilton, the man with eight race wins, will have a pathetic race given he starts the contest from seventh on the gird, the Great Briton encountering a DRS issue on his final flying lap in Q3 for which he had to abort his lap prematurely.

In all likelihood, Mercedes’ Russell will land on the podium, if not on its top step.

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