Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have impressively demonstrated their dominance in Hungary
Nine races will be in this Formula 1 season, the motorsport year is only about halfway around - but you can confidently congratulate the world champion. The time to congratulate Lewis Hamilton for the next world title would certainly not be better than now. Hamilton has earned the world title at an early stage with the hussar piece from the Hungaroring.
It was a breathtaking chase, the defending champion had put on his parade route. From the start the young racer Max Verstappen drove ahead, except for a short period after the pit stop he had dominated the field. In the Formula 1 scene, quiet hope germinated that this World Cup year but still released from their boredom and Hamilton and Mercedes would become a challenger.
But if it needed proof that Hamilton and Mercedes are the smartest, most savvy combination in current Formula 1, it was this race. The racing team's strategy of making a second pit stop 20 laps to go and providing fresh tires to Hamilton for the final spurt was already masterful. The strategy, however, to be so accurate, that was a driving world champion piece.
Superior to others in tactics
"He drove in his own league," said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolf about his star. And that is exactly what is currently happening: Hamilton also does not win every race, out of the previous twelve he has eight decided for himself. But he is superior in terms of race tactics to all others.
This is even more true when you make the direct comparison with his teammate Valtteri Bottas. The Finn had a dream start into the season, he is as well-equipped by Mercedes as Hamilton, but he does not have the nerve strength of the Brit, not the chutzpah, not the cold-bloodedness in pressure situations. In Hungary, he came second in qualifying in the first corner with Hamilton together, it was clear how this duel would go out.
Bottas had to drive with a broken front wing to the pits and all his ambitions, Hamilton placed in Lauer position behind Verstappen. He showed patience, patience and struck three laps to go.
It is one of the paradoxes of this season that it is extremely low in tension and surprise in terms of the outcome. And that still fascinates the races at the moment. "Formula 1 has just a huge high," says former champion and RTL expert Nico Rosberg. And indeed, the individual races in the past few weeks repeatedly offered ignition and conversation. The recovery of Sebastian Vettel in Hockenheim, the triumph of Verstappen in Austria, now the calculated Aufholkunst of Hamilton.
Only ten wins behind Schumacher
The Brit drove safely to his sixth world title, the victory in Hungary was his 81st Grand Prix success. He is only ten wins behind the record of Michael Schumacher. After all, he will not be able to catch up this season. But next year. Hamilton could then become the first racer with 100 Grand Prix successes.
Of such numbers, the four-time champion Sebastian Vettel is currently quite far away. Ferrari can basically put off the year, team boss Mattia Binotto made in the interview before the race an almost fatalistic impression. After twelve Grand Prix races, the Italians are still without a win of the season, Verstappen and Red Bull have them at the moment also run out of second place.
"We got one on the cap today," says Vettel. In the past, the German would have been badly acidified after such days, angrily had once escaped the press. Now he licked an ice cream during the interview. A relaxed Sebastian Vettel - that's not a good sign for Ferrari.