Could Hamilton have won the Hungarian GP without DRS issue?

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The official Formula 1 website did an analysis of what would have happened at the Hungarian Grand Prix, had Lewis Hamilton not suffered a DRS failure in qualifying.

In their ‘Data Deep Dive’ column on the official Formula 1 website, Samarth Kanal and Jamie May did a data analysis to figure out if Lewis Hamilton could have won the Hungarian Grand Prix, had he not suffered a DRS issue in qualifying.

“Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff said ‘we would have had a fun fight at the front for the victory’ had Hamilton not had a DRS issue in qualifying,” they wrote

“So, what would have happened had Hamilton taken pole on Saturday?”

After looking at the data, here is what they concluded.

“Assuming Hamilton would have taken his first stop on Lap 19 as he did in the race, he would have emerged third behind Russell and Leclerc and ended up catching them and battling around the Lap 25-30 mark, which would have cost him lap time.

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“Furthermore, our simulation says that it would have been likely that Leclerc would have passed Hamilton soon after that battle.

“An extended middle stint, as he executed on Sunday, would have seen Hamilton exit in front of Sainz – Leclerc pitting again for softs for Hamilton to inherit another place – for Hamilton to pass Russell by the Lap 55 mark.

“With a tyre advantage over Verstappen, Hamilton might have been able to pass Verstappen and hold on thanks to the late Virtual Safety Car, but Hamilton’s tyres would then drop off relative to Verstappen’s mediums and he might have lost out.

“But either way, had Hamilton taken pole it most likely would, as Wolff said, have set up a scintillating late-race battle for the win,” Kanal and May concluded.

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