Ferrari lost the chance to claim their second 1-2 finish in Hungary after Strategy errors and now trails Red Bull by 96 points going into the summer break.
Ferrari had a disastrous weekend in the 2022 Hungarian GP. Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finished only P4 and P6 despite starting P2 and P3 for the race.
On the flip side, Max Verstappen had a power unit issue and was unable to set a time on Q3. He started the race P10 and even suffered a mid-race spin on tricky track conditions.
But the reigning F1 champion claimed his 8th Victory in the season. This was the 24-year-old’s first victory starting outside the top six. Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell completed the podium finishing P2 and P3.
His win sees him extend a massive 80-point lead over nearest rival Leclerc. And Red Bull takes a 96-point lead over second-placed Ferrari in the constructor’s standing.
And now Ferrari faces the threat of Mercedes coming after their second place. After overcoming a difficult start to the season, Mercedes are only 30 points behind the Italian team.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) July 31, 2022
Ferrari had hopes of a 15-year-long wait to win the F1 title after a strong start to the season. But after consistent driver errors, poor strategy calls and reliability issues, they have been outsmarted by Mercedes and Red Bull.
After Leclerc crashed out of the French GP while leading, Ferrari was already in a tough spot. Team Principal Mattia Binotto claimed the team must finish 1-2 in all the remaining races. But heading into the summer break, the hopes are low in Maranello.
Ferrari has been hunting for the constructors’ title since 2008. The last driver to have won the title with Ferrari was Kimi Raikonnen in 2007. And it does not look like 2022 could be the year too for the ‘Prancing Horse.’
How Ferrari messed up their 2022 Hungarian GP
Ferrari had a front 3 lock up after Charles Leclerc, and Carlos Sainz qualified P3 and P2. Mercedes’s George Russell started on pole, which was his career first. The duo performed well in the 3 practice sessions being quickest in FP1 and Fp2.
The advantage was on Ferrari’s side as both the Red Bulls were starting in 10th and 11th. With Hungaroring’s notorious reputation for being a difficult circuit to overtake in, Ferrari had eyes on a possible 1-2 finish.
THEY WERE LAUGHING AT THE FERRARI STRATEGY IN THE COOL DOWN ROOM 😭😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/Gy06TOZPjd
— Ry 💤 (@lecasteIIet) July 31, 2022
But while Max Verstappen was moving up the grid rapidly, Ferrari lost out. Both the Red Bulls and Mercedes cars pitted earlier than Ferrari, undercutting them.
Ferrari opted to fit the hard tyres on Leclerc’s car while Russell and Verstappen were on mediums. Leclerc’s second stint was supposed to be extended until he could pit for soft tyres, but the team chose to put hard tyres on his vehicle instead, which proved to be a disastrous blunder.
Verstappen easily passed Leclerc, who was struggling on the Hard tyres. The Monegasque was called later for soft tyres, but it was too late. Leclerc dropped to 6th place, dropping out of podium position and possibly out of the title race as well.
As abuse is no longer allowed when we speak about F1, I’m forced to say Ferrari’s strategists are brilliant.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) July 31, 2022
Ferrari’s original plan was to use Mediums and soft later on. The data from Friday showed that Leclerc was faster than the rest of the grid with soft tyres and could have claimed an easy victory.
But even Leclerc was unsure why Ferrari decided to improvise their original plan. He said after the race, “I’m very disappointed, obviously.
He added, “The pace was really good on the medium tyres, the second stint also everything was under control and then we decided to stop on the hards. I made it clear that I felt good on the medium, so I don’t exactly know what happened.”