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Edd Straw’s 2022 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

by Edd Straw
13 min read

Considering how jumbled up the Hungarian Grand Prix starting order was, the end result – another Red Bull victory, helped by another Ferrari mishap – was fairly standard for the 2022 Formula 1 season.

But while the efforts that secured pole position and the victory were the result of instinctive performances, the highest scorer in Edd Straw’s driver ratings was not either of those drivers.

Find out who was, and how the remainder of the field fared in the final race before the F1 summer break.

After each grand prix, The Race will rate each driver’s weekend with a mark out of 10.

An average mark is 5 out of 10, so that score is indicative of a decent drive given the high standard of drivers in F1.

For a more in-depth explanation, read our outline of the system.

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Started: 10th Finished: 1st


Any hope of challenging for pole was eliminated by a big lockup at Turn 2 that ruined his first Q3 lap on what proved to be his only quick lap of the final stage of qualifying. When he headed out for the key final run, he had no hybrid power deployment so was unable to set a serious laptime – resulting in 10th.


Cautious when required, notably the start, attacking when needed, when passing Leclerc, and managed his overheating clutch troubles well. Even when he did make an error by spinning while exiting Turn 13, he recovered brilliantly – losing only around four seconds. Underpinning all of that, he was also relentlessly quick.

Verdict: Two errors – one on his first Q3 run and the other the lap-41 spin – have to compromise a rating that would otherwise be a 10.

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Started: 11th Finished: 5th


Always looked to be well off Verstappen’s pace, but even so, his elimination in Q2 was a surprise. While he had a lap on his first run erroneously deleted, then reinstated, that confusion didn’t significantly impact how qualifying played out. While he blamed traffic in the form of Magnussen for costing time, the car had the pace to have been through comfortably even without that slight hindrance.


Cleared the midfield runners efficiently enough in the first stint, which started with his attacking start, and was quick enough to pick up a place when Leclerc had to make a third pitstop. He also produced the pace required in the closing stages to hold off the Ferrari and close on Sainz and Russell – with the VSC denying him the chance to challenge them late on.

Verdict: Not at Verstappen’s level, but did show a decent enough turn of speed in the race.

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Started: 7th Finished: 2nd


Hamilton looked to be the quicker Mercedes driver, despite being a little slower than Russell on their first runs on used softs in Q3. But the loss of the DRS at the start of his key lap in Q3 led Hamilton to abort it. That left him an unrepresentative 0.765s off the pace when a front row was on the cards.


Dispatched the duelling Alpines at the start, and although it took him a while to clear Norris he hadn’t lost much to the leaders by the time he got up to fourth. He was undercut by Verstappen in the first stops, but a long second stint on mediums allowed him to run softs in the closing stages. Having jumped Leclerc when the Ferrari driver made an extra stop, he then passed Sainz and Russell to secure second place.

Verdict: Drove an exemplary race to recover from qualifying misfortune.

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Started: 1st Finished: 3rd


Produced the first truly special qualifying lap of his Mercedes career out of the bag, with his ability to commit and feel the track grip ramping up allowing him to capitalise on a car that was switching on its front tyres well. He wasn’t fastest in any of the three sectors but strung together a lap that allowed him to defeat the theoretically quicker Ferraris.


Effectively led the first 30 laps of the race, but couldn’t keep Leclerc behind in the second stint. Verstappen then undercut his way past at the second stops, with Russell – on mediums for a longer final stint compared to his team-mate on softs – inevitably falling behind Hamilton late on.

Verdict: Pole lap and race-leading stint were excellent, but ultimately slightly behind Hamilton on pace and tyre management.

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Started: 3rd Finished: 6th


Always looked marginally the slower Ferrari driver, with Sainz ultimately ahead thanks primarily to his advantage through the Turn 12 right-hander. There, Leclerc was a little too conservative and lost time on a lap where, like Sainz, he struggled a little with the front end at times.


When Leclerc took the lead from Russell, a win looked on the cards but a combination of Ferrari not having the pace of Red Bull and the eccentric decision to pit for hards to cover Verstappen while there was still life in his second set of mediums – which he did tell the team over the radio, albeit not too strongly – meant he dropped to the back of the lead group. Yes, the car wasn’t as quick as expected but the strategic decisions also cost him.

Verdict: Behind Sainz on single-lap pace, stronger on race pace but misguided strategy cost him.

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Started: 2nd Finished: 4th


Had the pace for pole position but delivered a lap he described as “nothing special” on the crucial final Q3 run. After setting the best first sector time of all, it was a rear-end snap at Turn 5 that ultimately cost him pole, with a few small moments over the rest of the lap adding up to second on the grid with a lap 0.168s off his theoretical best.


Chased leader Russell in the first stint, but was overcut by team-mate Leclerc in the first round of stops. Ran a longer middle stint than Leclerc, meaning he was able to switch to the softs for the final stint but he and the car didn’t have the pace to hold off Hamilton in the closing stages. But he did at least keep Perez at bay, albeit with the assistance of the late VSC.

Verdict: Should have taken pole position and, although not as quick as Leclerc on Sunday, salvaged a better result.

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Started: 9th Finished: 15th


Seemed to struggle more with understeer as the track gripped up, meaning he struggled on his one Q3 lap on fresh softs. He lost a chunk of time in Turn 2, then on the second half of the lap, ending up six tenths off Norris.


Had a decent first couple of stints, showing similar pace to Norris while on the soft and medium compounds. But once onto the hards, his pace dropped off dramatically compared to his similarly shod team-mate and he dropped out of points contention – earning a five-second penalty for clattering Stroll along the way that relegated him from 13th on the road to 15th.

Verdict: At times, decent, at other times poor on an erratic weekend of fluctuating pace.

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Started: 4th Finished: 7th


Pieced together a strong lap in Q3, albeit losing a little time off Turn 5 and through the chicane. That was enough for fourth place, keeping the Alpines well at bay. Although the gap to Ricciardo was exaggerated, he was once again clearly the faster McLaren driver.


That he finished 23 seconds clear of the rest of the midfield pack tells you how good a job Norris did. He sensibly avoided getting tangled up with recovering frontrunners Hamilton and Verstappen, never looked threatened and even got the tricky hards working relatively well in his final stint.

Verdict: Dominant in the midfield battle, but not the most complex of races to execute in the end.

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Started: 5th Finished: 9th


Ocon was delighted to qualify fifth and ahead of Alonso, despite having only one set of fresh softs for Q3 and generally looking like marginally the slower Alpine driver through the weekend.


Irritated Alonso with his aggressive defence at the start, but settled into what can be called second in the midfield battle early on. He had dropped to seven seconds behind Norris by the time the first round of pitstops started. As neither Alpine driver had a second set of mediums, that meant a one-stopper with a long hard stint with the resulting lack of pace meaning both dropped away from Norris. Ocon was ordered to let Alonso past during that stint, then had to hold off Vettel in the closing stages for ninth.

Verdict: Excelled in Q3 and did a decent job in the race, albeit struggling more on the hards than Alonso.

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Started: 6th Finished: 8th


Breezed through Q1 and Q2, ensuring he had two sets of fresh softs for the top 10 shootout. He ended up six hundredths slower than team-mate Ocon after a hustling lap, struggling in the first couple of corners for front end and then losing time to Ocon in the final sector.


Alonso was frustrated by Ocon’s aggressive defence at the start, settling into ninth place during the first stint. He fared slightly better than his team-mate once on the hards and passed him under team orders on lap 41.

Verdict: Slightly underachieved in Q3 but ultimately had the edge on Ocon on race pace.

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Started: Pitlane Finished: 12th


Squeezed three runs into Q1 thanks to concerns about the pace of the car and did put in a lap quick enough for Q2 at the end of the first part of qualifying. Unfortunately, it was deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn 5 – something Gasly himself was incredulous about – meaning he ended up down in 19th place and three tenths off Tsunoda.


Started from the pits but made decent progress throughout the race to climb to 12th. Made some passes along the way, notably on the Haas drivers, Bottas and Ricciardo, and was upbeat about the promising signs shown in the race even though he couldn’t challenge the Aston Martin drivers for the final points place.

Verdict: Drove a good race from the back in a car he’s still not happy with.

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Started: 16th Finished: 19th


Like his team-mate, opted for three sets of softs in Q1 but was never quick enough to make Q2. Although he also had a lap deleted for a Turn 5 track limits violation, it wasn’t his best time so had no impact. Struggled for grip overall, describing the first sector in particular as “disastrous” on that score.


“It didn’t feel like I had much of a race” was Tsunoda’s summary of a trying afternoon on which he struggled for grip and balance. Ran a three-stop strategy but wasn’t able to produce the pace Gasly could, with a spin at the chicane for good measure.

Verdict: Although he outqualified Gasly, not a good weekend.

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Started: 18th Finished: 10th


Vettel’s crash at Turn 8 in FP3 wasn’t the ideal preparation for Q1, but having chipped in with the repair job in the garage he was ready for the start of the session. But he felt the car balance had shifted from the previous day’s dry running and struggled to string together an especially tidy lap, leaving him fractionally slower than Stroll and out in Q1.


Escaped a clash with Albon at Turn 2 on the opening lap caused by tightening his line when Latifi was on the inside. He then made quick progress in the first stint to close upon Stroll. Vettel ended up on the better side of the strategic split Aston Martin implemented, with two long medium stints to the end, so Stroll waved him by for what proved to be 10th place. However, Vettel reckoned with one more lap he’d have passed Ocon.

Verdict: A good weekend, but FP3 crash counts against him.

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Started: 14th Finished: 11th


Outpaced Vettel by 0.068s in Q1 and advanced to Q2 having initially been in the dropzone thanks to Gasly having a laptime deleted. His final Q2 lap was untidy in places, with a rear end snap at Turn 5 then a moment in the final corner and a laptime a couple of tenths of his theoretical best.


Got himself into the points by passing one-stopping Bottas, but the long final stint on softs didn’t pay off and Stroll had to let Vettel by for 10th place. Without being on the wrong side of the strategy split, would likely have picked up another tenth place.

Verdict: A good weekend in limited machinery.

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Started: 19th Finished: 18th


Produced a mighty first sector on his final Q1 lap – quick enough to make him third-fastest driver through there in the whole of qualifying. He was on course to make it to Q2 when he had a big moment at the final corner in a tailwind that ruined his lap, leaving him last based on his first-run pace, just over three tenths off Albon.


Front wing damage picked up when Vettel squeezed him in the Turn 2 confusion meant a long, hard race for Latifi. He opted for a three-stopper but, given the windy conditions that don’t help the sensitive Williams and the damage, he was on a hiding to nothing. But he did at least beat Tsunoda and wasn’t far behind Albon.

Verdict: Couldn’t translate the bright moments into much tangible.

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Started: 17th Finished: 17th


Potentially had the pace to grab a place in Q2, but leaked time through sector two on what was otherwise a decent lap – even if he didn’t quite match Latifi’s stellar pace through the first sector. Like his team-mate, found the car a little bit sensitive aero-wise when the wind picked up.


Picked up front wing damage when Stroll clipped it at Turn 2, forcing an early pitstop. That left Albon off the back and given the pace of the wind-sensitive Williams he was never going to be able to recover from there. He did at least get ahead of team-mate Latifi, but was on a hiding to nothing.

Verdict: Tricky weekend in a tricky car.

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Started: 12th Finished: 13th


Zhou didn’t have the Alfa Romeo floor/diffuser upgrades, but wasn’t far off making Q3 nonetheless. But for losing time in the first sector thanks to his front tyres being down on temperature, which he blamed on a prep lap compromised by traffic, he might well have been made the top 10.


The combination of being a little too cautious into Turn 1 and then being boxed in at Turn 2 led to Zhou dropping to 17th on the opening lap. From there, ended up on a two-stop strategy but was never able to regain the ground lost early on despite producing a decent first stint from there.

Verdict: Pace was good but poor first lap was costly.

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Started: 8th Finished: 20th


Felt the Alfa Romeo upgrade package was working reasonably well and made it through to Q3, eventually qualifying eighth thanks to Red Bull’s problems. Was one of only four drivers in the top 10 to string together three personal best sectors on his final run after judging the evolving grip levels well.


Executed a one-stop strategy well, but it wasn’t quite good enough to have earned him points even if what the team called a “technical problem in the fuel system” hadn’t put him out late on. He was running 12th at the time.

Verdict: Had the pace for points, but not the strategy.

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Started: 13th Finished: 16th


While Magnussen didn’t feel the team had enough time to get on top of the set-up demands of Haas’s major upgrade package, which only he had, he did feel the car was working relatively well – if proving inconsistent given the need to chase the set-up. Ended up almost four tenths faster than Schumacher in the old-spec car, although several tenths were likely left on the table.


Magnussen was caught out by Ricciardo having to check up when Alonso chopped across him out of Turn 1, sustaining damage to the left-side front wing endplate. That led to a black-and-orange flag and an early stop to switch to hards.

Verdict: Unfortunate first-lap mishap eliminated any faint chance of a good result.

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Started: 15th Finished: 14th


Described his Q2 session as “chaotic” given the difficulty of getting a lap together. That meant he didn’t extract the laptime he should have done, failing to match his Q1 best. But considering he was in the old-spec Haas, his pace relative to Magnussen was decent enough.


Tried to make a strategy using the hard tyre work, which it didn’t – largely through the difficulty getting it to work. But ultimately, the Haas wasn’t quick enough to be a points threat.

Verdict: Solid performance in the old-spec car.

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