The first part of the Formula 1 season ended yesterday with a gripping race in Hungary that both summed up the championship so far, and effectively ended it as a competition as well.
Max Verstappen took his eighth win in 13 races this year with a consummate drive from 10th on the grid.
Lewis Hamilton was second, George Russell third, and Carlos Sainz fourth.
It was the 28th victory of the Red Bull driver’s career and it might well have been the best.
Verstappen’s drive combined caution, control, aggression, mature race management, and pure pace into a performance that simply overwhelmed his rivals, albeit with a large helping hand from a Ferrari team who yet again seemed to shoot themselves in the foot.
Ferrari converted second and third places on the grid into fourth and sixth at the flag, and put their title contender Charles Leclerc on a strategy that left their rivals and Leclerc himself puzzled.
It was not the first time this year, and the upshot is that Verstappen leads Leclerc going into the summer break by 80 points.
Verstappen’s drive in Hungary summed up his season so far. He has been in outstanding form all year, and if anything, seems to have stepped up again from the already outstandingly high level he showed in his titanic battle with Lewis Hamilton last year.