DATA DEEP DIVE: Used to be Toto Wolff proper? May Hamilton have received in Hungary with out his DRS drawback?

It wasn’t simply Max Verstappen who pulled off a surprise restoration in Hungary as Lewis Hamilton completed in the back of the championship chief to complete moment on the Hungaroring having certified 7th. Right here’s how the Mercedes motive force pulled it off – and the way he would possibly have received his first race of 2022…

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DRS woes

A DRS factor price Hamilton in qualifying and noticed him get started Sunday’s Grand Prix in 7th position, whilst workforce mate George Russell certified on pole place for the primary time in his Method 1 occupation. The graph beneath displays how closely-matched the Mercedes pair had been of their first runs of Q3 – which noticed Russell move a provisional moment and Hamilton a provisional fourth, the pair then break up via 0.174s.


In his first Q3 run, Hamilton (purple line) misplaced out to Russell (blue line) within the high-speed corners – Turns 4 and 11 – as defined within the chart above

Hamilton was once then hit via a DRS factor hampering the seven-time champion’s ultimate Q3 run. Underneath, it’s transparent that Hamilton misplaced out at the straights, in all probability via as much as 20 km/h. He ultimately sponsored out of his lap and settled for 7th at the grid, 0.765s off Russell’s advanced lap for pole place.

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Russell’s (blue line) and Hamilton’s (purple line) ultimate Q3 laps when put next, with as much as 20 km/h misplaced via Hamilton because of a DRS factor

How did Hamilton beat Russell to moment?

The beneath chart compares Russell and Hamilton’s race speed, correcting for gas, and shows their differing methods – Hamilton having ended the race on softs; Russell having begun on softs.

Within the preliminary laps, Hamilton was once caught in the back of Lando Norris however, as soon as Norris pitted on Lap 11, Hamilton started to check his soft-shod workforce mate – Russell’s tyres starting to put on – on speed.

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In the second one stint, Hamilton started to out-pace Russell, particularly as Russell misplaced time combating with Charles Leclerc till Lap 31. Russell’s speed larger as Leclerc pulled away however Hamilton was once nonetheless fairly sooner.

Hamilton prolonged his moment stint whilst Russell needed to prevent to check out and block Verstappen’s undercut. Hamilton subsequently controlled to change for softs for his ultimate stint and lap over one-second quicker than his workforce mate, permitting him to catch each Russell and Carlos Sainz via the top.


Hamilton’s a very powerful moment stint

The second one stint, the place Russell and Verstappen opened the window having pitted from softs to mediums on Lap 16, proved to be a very powerful now not only for Verstappen, however Hamilton too. The Pirelli pit prevent abstract, beneath, displays how the race panned out.

READ MORE: Horner says Verstappen’s Hungary win was once ‘considered one of his highest drives’ and backs Perez to ‘come again more potent’


To start with, the entire top-six drivers had been lapping inside of 0.5s of one another, and when Leclerc and Russell misplaced lap time combating from round Lap 26 to Lap 31, Hamilton was the quickest motive force on the right track – as proven via the race speed chart beneath.

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Perez was once within the combine till Lap 37, when his tyres started to drop off and his speed sharply dropped away.

Sainz controlled to increase his stint till pitting for softs on Lap 47; Hamilton extending till Lap 51. Crucially, Hamilton was once now in a position to push at the gentle tyres all through his ultimate stint whilst different drivers needed to arrange their tyres, and the Mercedes motive force was once in a position to make it to P2.


May Hamilton have received?

Mercedes Group Essential Toto Wolff stated “we might have had a amusing combat on the entrance for the victory” had Hamilton now not had a DRS factor in qualifying. So, what would have took place had Hamilton taken pole on Saturday?

The chart beneath plots the race speed of the highest six and simulates Hamilton’s race speed, the use of Russell’s lap occasions from pole till Lap 11 (when Hamilton handed Norris).

Assuming Hamilton would have taken his first prevent on Lap 19 as he did within the race, he would have emerged 3rd in the back of Russell and Leclerc and ended up catching them and combating across the Lap 25-30 mark, which might have price him lap time. Moreover, our simulation says that it will had been most probably that Leclerc would have handed Hamilton quickly after that struggle.

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A longer center stint, as he carried out on Sunday, would have observed Hamilton go out in entrance of Sainz – Leclerc pitting once more for softs for Hamilton to inherit some other position – for Hamilton to move Russell via the Lap 55 mark.

With a tyre benefit over Verstappen, Hamilton would possibly had been in a position to move Verstappen and hang on because of the past due Digital Protection Automotive – however Hamilton’s tyres would then drop off relative to Verstappen’s mediums and he would possibly have misplaced out.

However both means, had Hamilton taken pole it possibly would – as Wolff stated – have arrange a scintillating late-race struggle for the win.

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