Hungarian Grand Prix: Ferrari Is Wasting Its Title Shot

Hungarian Grand Prix Ferrari Carlos Sainz

The status quo shifted in a major way for Scuderia Ferrari at the beginning of the 2022 Formula 1 season. Having ostensibly broken free of the midfield struggle against McLaren Racing, the storied team suddenly enjoyed a newfound status as a legitimate title challenger. But after starting in P2 and P3 at this past weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix only to finish in P6 and P4, perhaps it’s time to face facts: Ferrari has officially squandered a primo opportunity to reclaim the championship – both driver and constructors – for Maranello.

Across the first three grands prix of 2022, Charles Leclerc won in Bahrain, finished P2 in Saudi Arabia, and won again in Australia; whereas Carlos Sainz Jr followed (somewhat) closely behind in P2, P3, before a rather unfortunate retirement which would repeat itself the next race at Imola. As any F1 fan who’s been around since before Netflix’s intervention will tell you, however, the season is long, fickle, and wickedly cruel.

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Through a lethal combination of unreliable machinery, questionable team strategy, and disastrous luck, Ferrari has found itself on the back foot. Defending champion Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing are no longer chasing the Prancing Horse — it’s the Prancing Horse who are now playing catch-up.

And no better example has been provided than that of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr and Charles Leclerc started in P2 and P3. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez started in P10 and P11. It should’ve been a lock… right? Apparently not. Recording a sensational drive, Verstappen charged his way up the grid to claim his 28th grand prix victory; while Ferrari baffled the world with yet another nonsensical race weekend strategy.

“We need to speak with the team and understand the thought behind putting the hard tyre on because I felt very strong with the medium,” a frustrated Charles Leclerc diplomatically told Sky Sport during his post-race interview.

“Everything was under control and for some reason, I don’t know why we went on the hards.”

“Honestly the pace on my side, I was pretty happy. The only thing is obviously everyone will remember the last part of the race where it was a disaster for me, especially with the hards.”

“That’s where I lost the race basically. I lost 20 seconds with the pit, another six seconds on five laps on the hard because I was just all over the place on the tyre.”

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In contrast, the script has yet again been flipped for Mercedes F1. Where the Toto Wolff-led outfit’s year had initially been informed by sub-par engineering, it’s now shaping up to be an epic comeback story thanks to the consistency of both seven-time world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton and the prodigy that is George Russell (as well as improvements to the Silver Arrows over time, of course).

Point of fact, despite the fact Mercedes is still trailing behind Ferrari in the constructors standings, the former has managed to outscore the latter ever since the Spanish Grand Prix,

Here’s a quick recap of what’s gone down:

Spanish Grand Prix

Ferrari Results

  • Charles Leclerc: Retired
  • Carlos Sainz Jr: P4

Mercedes Results

  • Lewis Hamilton: P5
  • George Russell: P3

Monaco Grand Prix

Ferrari Results

  • Charles Leclerc: P4
  • Carlos Sainz Jr: P2

Mercedes Results

  • Lewis Hamilton: P8
  • George Russell: P5

Azerbaijan Grand Prix

Ferrari Results



  • Charles Leclerc: Retired
  • Carlos Sainz Jr: Retired

Mercedes Results

  • Lewis Hamilton: P4
  • George Russell: P3

Canadian Grand Prix

Ferrari Results

  • Charles Leclerc: P5
  • Carlos Sainz Jr: P2

Mercedes Results

  • Lewis Hamilton: P3
  • George Russell: P4
Ferrari Mercedes F1 Outscored

British Grand Prix

Ferrari Results

  • Charles Leclerc: P4
  • Carlos Sainz Jr: Won

Mercedes Results

  • Lewis Hamilton: P3
  • George Russell: Retired

Austrian Grand Prix

Ferrari Results

  • Charles Leclerc: Won
  • Carlos Sainz Jr: Retired

Mercedes Results

  • Lewis Hamilton: P3
  • George Russell: P4

French Grand Prix

Ferrari Results



  • Charles Leclerc: Retired
  • Carlos Sainz Jr: P5

Mercedes Results

  • Lewis Hamilton: P2
  • George Russell: P3

Hungarian Grand Prix

Ferrari Results

  • Charles Leclerc: P6
  • Carlos Sainz Jr: P6

Mercedes Results

  • Lewis Hamilton: P2
  • George Russell: P3

After this past weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari has just nine races to turn it around.

Currently, Charles Leclerc sits in 2nd place with 178 points to championship leader Max Verstappen’s 258 points, while Carlos Sainz Jr sits in 5th with 156 points. George Russell, on the other hand, has now overtaken Sainz Jr to secure 4th with 158 points, followed by Lewis Hamilton in 6th with 146 points.


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