Max Verstappen got off to a stronger start than poleman Lewis Hamilton, who represents Mercedes. Hamilton lost additional positions to both McLaren drivers Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris early on in the race. For Piastri, the advantage came from staying tight to the inside in Turn 1, while Norris went around Hamilton on the outside at Turn 2.
The first round of pitstops saw Norris sliding into second place by overtaking Piastri. The sturdy drive from Red Bull‘s second car driven by Sergio Perez did little to rattle Norris who managed to maintain his second position till the end, despite Perez‘s persistent attempts. Perez concluded the event at third place.
The 2023 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix saw Hamilton and Verstappen sharing the front row for the first time since the much talked about Abu Dhabi GP in 2021. But Hamilton was unable to keep his pole position advantage as Verstappen made a swift move on the inside in Turn 1.
Hamilton‘s further encounters saw him forced out wide by Verstappen, which allowed Piastri to chase him down, followed by Norris who dethroned him even further at Turn 2. Hamilton ended up in fourth position, progressing ahead of the Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, who embarked on 11th point start with soft tyres in contrast to the majority who started on mediums.
The first corner witnessed a collision spearheaded by Zhou Guanyu. He lost control of his Alfa Romeo and bumped into Daniel Ricciardo‘s AlphaTauri which consequently hit Esteban Ocon before nudging into the Alpine team-mate Pierre Gasly. Both Ocon and Gasly were forced to retire with suspension damage. This marked Alpine‘s second back-to-back exit.
Vestappen capitalized on the first corner mishap and quickly took a firm lead against Piastri. Meanwhile, Perez, who began in ninth wearing hard tyres, overtook Fernando Alonso who was representing Aston Martin in 8th lap.
Verstappen finally called for pit stop at lap 24, retaining his lead over Perez. Perez soon responded with a pit stop of his own and wedged back into the race between the Ferraris. Meanwhile, Hamilton bypassed Russell to steal fourth place as Mercedes decided to juggle racing strategies.
Perez successfully outpaced Sainz at Turn 1 on lap 27, and moved past Russell at Turn 2 in the next lap. Perez closed on Hamilton near the middle of the race, but Hamilton put up a stubborn fight. Red Bull had to alter race strategies in order to shake off Hamilton.
Hamilton made his final pitstop, exiting from second place with 20 laps remaining and came back into fifth place. Verstappen, once again, took his final pitstop at last, swapping back to medium tyres to secure his extra point for fastest lap.
Verstappen claimed a decisive victory, his seventh win of the season, finishing 33 seconds ahead of Norris. Norris managed to secure the second place despite mourning over backmarkers hindering his progress in the race. Perez came in third, a solid finish indeed, and Hamilton slipped into fourth with 13 laps remaining.
Charles Leclerc, who ranked sixth, received a 5 seconds penalty for overspeeding during his final pitstop. George Russell from Mercedes took advantage of this opportunity and passed Sainz on track for seventh place, pushing Leclerc to sixth position. Aston Martin representatives, Alonso, and Stroll, along with Ferrari‘s Leclerc and Sainz, claimed the remaining points of the race.