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Lewis Hamilton has revealed he is suffering with the symptoms of long Covid after he required medical attention in the wake of Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion, 36, drove superbly to race from last to third, and ultimately second after Sebastian Vettel was later disqualified for a fuel infringement, to take the lead in the Formula One world championship following a frenetic race at the Hungaroring.
But Hamilton was visibly struggling physically after the 70-lap race. He was assisted on to the podium, and then appeared unable to summon the strength to hold his celebratory champagne bottle.
Hamilton, who contracted coronavirus in Dubai last December, and was ruled out of the subsequent Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, was taken to see the Mercedes team doctor.
A spokesperson for the Silver Arrows said the British driver was suffering with dizziness and fatigue.
Hamilton missed his television interviews, before later speaking in the FIA’s official press conference for the top three finishers.
He said: “I haven’t spoken to anyone particularly about long Covid, but I think it is lingering there.
“I was having real dizziness and everything got a bit blurry on the podium.
“I have been fighting with staying healthy following what happened at the end of last year, but still it’s a battle.
“I remember the effects of when I had Covid, and training has been different ever since then. The level of fatigue that you get is different and it’s a real challenge.
“I’m trying to keep training and preparing as best I can. Who knows what it was today? Maybe it was hydration, I don’t know, but it was definitely different.”
Hamilton said he also felt unwell during the British Grand Prix a fortnight ago.
He added: “I suffered with something similar earlier this month at Silverstone, but today was way worse.”
After the press conference finished, Hamilton sat in his seat alongside the surprise winner of Sunday’s race, Esteban Ocon. Hamilton was then helped to his feet by the Frenchman and a member of Mercedes’ staff.
Hamilton will now have the best part of four weeks away from competition before the next race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on August 29.
Hamilton, who heads into the summer break holding an eight-point advantage over Max Verstappen in his quest for a record-breaking eighth title, last year said he felt happy to be alive after battling with Covid-19.
The Briton lost four kilograms as he fought the virus but rushed back to take part in last season’s concluding round in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton blames Mercedes for not clinching victory
Lewis Hamilton said a mistake by his Mercedes team denied him victory at Sunday’s superb Hungarian Grand Prix.
Alpine driver Esteban Ocon claimed one of the most unlikely wins in the sport’s recent memory, with Sebastian Vettel initially second for Aston Martin before his disqualification for a fuel infringement, and Hamilton delivering a brilliant comeback drive from plum last to third on an unforgettable afternoon.
Vettel's punishment would later see Hamilton bumped up to second.
A rain shower 30 minutes before the race set in motion an almost unbelievable sequence of events here.
At the getaway, Hamilton’s slow-starting Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas assumed the role of the Hungaroring bowling ball. McLaren’s Lando Norris, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and, crucially, Max Verstappen, were Bottas’ helpless skittles.
It was the perfect strike for pole-sitter Hamilton, who not only emerged from the first-corner madness in one piece, but also saw his title rival drop from second to 13th. The race was red-flagged for 25 minutes to clear up the debris. As Red Bull hastily patched up Verstappen’s wounded machine with duct tape - and a furious Perez and red-faced Bottas forced to retire from the race - Hamilton looked certain to cruise to the flag.
But during the delay, the rain stopped, the sun emerged and the circuit was virtually bone dry. At the end of the formation lap, the 14 remaining drivers, bar Hamilton, peeled in for slick rubber. The curious decision by Hamilton’s Mercedes team meant the seven-time world champion was the sole man to take his marks on the grid for the most bizarre of re-starts.
Hamilton stopped the next lap around, dropping him to 14th and last. "We obviously all started on the intermediate tyres, and during the formation lap I tried to give information to the guys," explained Hamilton.
"I kept telling them it's dry, dry, dry and they said to me ‘stay out’. I don't understand it. We don’t make it easy for ourselves. It's a mistake from us."
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff refuted his superstar driver’s claim. "It was 100 per cent the right decision and I stand by it," said Wolff. "In the end, you need to make the call out there, and judge whether it is dry enough. I thought that within one lap it couldn’t dry up like it did.
"You have to take it on the chin - that it was the wrong outcome but the decision was right. I don’t think it was an error."
Back on track, Hamilton took aim at his team over the radio: “Come on, guys, get on it for the rest of the race.” “We are on it, Lewis,” came the reassuring reply from his race engineer, Peter Bonnington. “Verstappen still has damage. You are easily going to be the fastest man out there. We can still win this.”
Hamilton had the bit between his teeth. In fairness to Mercedes, an early stop for a change of rubber ignited Hamilton’s comeback, taking him ahead of a struggling Verstappen. By lap 30 of 70, Hamilton was up to sixth - following a mighty move around the outside of Pierre Gasly at the high-speed Turn 4 - and then fifth as he took Gasly’s Alpha Tauri team-mate Yuki Tsunoda.
“What is our target?” he yelled over the radio. “We are fighting for a podium,” said Bonnington. “It is going to be hard but you can do it.” Fernando Alonso pitted and Hamilton was up to fourth, but on ageing rubber he was running out of steam.
Mercedes rolled the dice to bring Hamilton in for his third stop of the afternoon. With 22 of the 70 laps to run, Hamilton emerged from the pits 25 seconds behind Ocon but taking more than three seconds out of the Frenchman’s lead. Suddenly a shock win appeared on the cards.
A breathless Hamilton asked the questions: “Where am I? How many cars have I got to overtake?” Bonnington replied: “Four cars for the win.” Wolff then made a rare appearance on the radio. “Lewis, you can win this,” he yelled. Hamilton was suddenly just 10 seconds away from his 100th victory, and one that would certainly rank among the finest of his career. But Alonso had other ideas.
The world champions dramatically went wheel-to-wheel on laps 55 and 57, and on lap 63 came within millimetres of contact on the uphill drag to Turn 4. But with five laps left, Alonso afforded an opening to Hamilton at the first corner, and the Mercedes man did not need a second invitation.
On lap 67, Hamilton raced past Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz at the first corner to seal third, taking the chequered flag 2.7 seconds behind Ocon. Verstappen finished 10th, but was prompted to ninth thanks to the Vettel punishment. The Dutchman was 33 points ahead of Hamilton just a fortnight ago, but heads into the summer break eight points adrift.
"Again, taken out by a Mercedes and that is not what you want," he said. Bottas was punished by the stewards with a five-place grid penalty at the next round in Belgium.
Hungarian Grand Prix, as it happened
Okay, that is it from me today
Thanks for joining me. If you feel like me you might need a little lie down. Thankfully – or not – we've got nearly a month before F1 cars return to the track at the Belgian Grand Prix. So plenty of time for rest. Mercedes lead both championships after a couple of incident-packed races.
Enjoy the rest of your evening.
Christian Horner speaks to Sky Sports F1
Unfortunately he [Bottas] eliminated both cars. The damage, the cost of the damage – it looks like an engine on Sergio's car. Max has run with half a car – the entire right-hand side of the bargeboard was missing. He probably had less downforce than Mick Schumacher today. Max fought for that one point and that could prove vital.
It's racing. Toto wasn't driving the car. I am sure he didn't tell Valtteri to do it but the consequences for us is brutal. And in a cost cap environment that needs looking at by the FIA. I think we've got a lot to be positive about and the full team is motivated.
Toto Wolff on Mercedes' decision to not pit Hamilton
I think we did absolutely the right thing. As a leading car it's difficult to take the decision and if you are the only one pitting you are coming out last. Now it looked like we were a little bit lonely on the grid and it played against us.
Be on the right tyres at the right time.
Hamilton looked to be struggling on the podium
Moving very gingerly. Hope he's okay.
Updated constructor standings
Mercedes retake the lead. No points for Red Bull for the second race in a row. That will hurt going into the summer break. Need to regroup.
Hamilton reacts to his third place
Probably should have gained 20+ points on Verstappen today. Still, all in all it worked out well.
Fernando Alosno waited for Ocon to come back to congratulate him
He won his first race here back in 2003, for this Enstone-based team. 18 years later, aged 40, he played a very important part in helping his team to victory.
Ocon reacts to an excellent maiden victory
What a moment. It feels so good. We had some difficult moments this season that we overcome with the team. What can I say, it's fantastic. Congrats to Fernando as well because I think the win is due to him. Thank you for the trust that everyone is putting into me. The team kept a big trust and we are back where we belong. Sebastian was mega quick the whole race but we managed to hold him off.
Hamilton reacts to a fightback third
"We came here this weekend, definitely didn't know how it was going to go. Considering the circumstances today, I'll take it."
Johnny Herbert, doing the interview after, has just pronounced Hamilton the winner
What on earth?
I love Johnny but he is routinely bad at these post-race interviews.
Hamilton on the radio
"That could have been an eaaaasy win," he says. He's right.
Vettel reacts to second
I'm obviously a little bit disappointed. I felt I was a little bit faster the majority of the race but Esteban didn't do a single mistake. It's hard to overtake. It's a great result for us but when it's that close...
Right, what does that do to the driver standings?
Hamilton takes the lead again but, arguably, it should have been even more had Mercedes brought Hamilton in at the end of the second formation lap. Could have been worse for Verstappen. He took a point in the end with a heavily damaged car.
Hamilton the only driver of the top three who makes it to where they are supposed to be
Ocon continued around instead of parking by the number one spot and Vettel had stopped on track and has to make it a long, long way back to the pit lane.
Ocon has parked his car at the end of the pit lane... and he's jogging back too. How very strange. May as well make the most of it.
Hungarian GP - Classification
Points for Williams! Gasly gets the fastest lap point.
"I tried, I tried, I tried the whole race. Man, following is so difficult," Vettel says on the radio.
ESTEBAN OCON WINS THE HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX!
Wonderful. Simply wonderful. What can you say?
Alonso very close to Sainz now...
But that's not really what anyone cares about, though it would make Alpine's day even better.
Ocon has just a few corners left before taking an unreal win. He has handled the pressure of Vettel superbly...
Hamilton only 3.3s behind him! Alonso really helped Ocon win the race. Superb work. Another few laps and it might have been a Hamilton win...
Just two more laps for Ocon to hold on...
1.5s the gap. Hamilton in third, 4.6s behind Vettel.
Gasly does indeed pit.
Lap 68 of 70 - Ocon leads Vettel by 1.5s
Verstappen actually within DRS range of Russell for ninth.
Wonder if Gasly, with 25s to Tsunoda behind him might stop for a fresh set of tyres for an extra point. It currently rests with Hamilton.
Lap 67 of 70 - Hamilton into third!
He gets Sainz at the first corner, despite some robust defending from the Ferrari driver. It was very close to a collision... Sainz tried the outside-inside switcheroo and sees a podium disappear off into the distance.
Hamilton now 10 seconds off the lead so unless something strange happens he won't win this race. Still, 15 points isn't too bad given Verstappen is scoring just one.
Lap 66 of 70 - Hamilton very close to Sainz now!
The podium is within reach. The Ferrari has old hard tyres so I think this is only a matter of time.
Meanwhile, Ocon has stretched his lead over Vettel to 1.4s...
Lap 65 of 70 - Hamilton complaining about Alonso's defending
"At that speed it's so dangerous, man."
Not sure he has a divine right to overtake Alonso.
Alonso goes deep into turn one and Hamilton makes the move stick going through the inside! He had backed out of the move but the pressure told in the end.
I think Alonso has done a fantastic job at helping out Ocon here. He's maybe helped him to the victory...
I'm sure Red Bull will be appreciative of the defending, too.
Lap 64 of 70 - Full order as we head into the final laps
OUT: MAZ, NOR, PER, STR, LEC, BOT
Lap 63 of 70 - Hamilton and Alonso touch!
Hamilton forces Alonso to defend... Hamilton runs wide at turn two, gets a better run through turn three and four...
Hamilton thinks about a move around the outside at the quick left-hander but they nearly touch!
Superb defending from Alonso. Hamilton not happy about it though.
Lap 62 of 70 - Hamilton much closer to Alonso this time
With DRS heading into turn one... he doesn't have a look but will get DRS into turn two but he's too far behind to even consider a move. He's now 9.3s off the lead with just nine laps to go.
Valtteri Bottas has been given a five place grid penalty for the next race. Maybe by then he'll be out of a seat for 2022, being replaced by Russell. Miserable day for him today.
Lap 61 of 70 - Verstappen gets Ricciardo
And, crucially, or maybe not... the final point.
Alonso still keeps Hamilton behind.
At the front now Vettel is within a second of Ocon! Not that we've seen much of it in the last 20 minutes...
This is so tense.
Lap 60 of 70 - Hamilton STILL can't get a good enough run into turn one
Alonso goes a bit deep into turn one and Hamilton comes back but he isn't close enough. Not really any overtaking chances other than at turn one through to three and four. Makes sense just to be patient.
Sainz is being closed down by Alonso here, only 1.4s ahead of him.
Lap 59 of 70 - Top 10 and gaps
Verstappen in 11th and in danger of ending this race a lap down. Still within DRS range of Ricciardo and a point, though.
Lap 58 of 70 - Wonder if Hamilton is using his battery wisely
You can do a lap where you harness the power a lot, and then drop back. That is what looks like happening as Hamilton has ended up dropping back on alternative laps.
Lap 57 of 70 - Hamilton still not close enough to Alonso at turn one
Alonso pushes Hamilton to the edge of the track at turn two and he still can't get past! He is doing a great job at holding his position but this is crucial if Alpine are to win the race with Ocon. Absolutely crucial.
Hamilton cannot take any undue risks here...
Lap 56 of 70 - Hamilton not close enough to Alonso at turn one
Not this time around, even with DRS. It helps if you don't lock up, obviously. Could this period cost him the win? He's now losing time to the leaders and every second counts. He's struggling to get close to Alonso on this lap in the dirty air.
Lap 55 of 70 - Hamilton and Alonso getting very close now!
Alonso locks up into turn one which gives Hamilton a chance in the first part of the lap. They go side-by-side but Alonso's defensive driving is superb and Hamilton does not get a sniff!
That was exciting. Verstappen down in 11th but closing up on Ricciardo for a point.
Lap 54 of 70 - Ocon leads Vettel by 1.3s
Hamilton took out 1.8s off of Alonso last time around. They are very close this time.
Can he make his tyres last, with enough pace, until the end and for the win?
Lap 53 of 70 - Would be horrible if Hamilton took the win off Ocon
He's got 99 wins! What does another one mean?!
Would be quite the comeback, though. AGAIN.
Lap 52 of 70 - Hamilton five seconds behind Alonso
Will have much fresher and quicker tyres by the time he gets to the back of him but that doesn't mean Alonso won't fight it...
Lap 51 of 70 - Top 10 and gaps
Verstappen in 11th and not too far away from being lapped.
Lap 50 of 70 - Hamilton asks how many cars he has to overtake for the win
Hamilton has Toto Wolff in his ear. "Lewis you can win this," he says calmly. Hamilton's last lap was 3.5sec quicker than Ocon's...
That is a big pace advantage. But it won't last for the next 20 laps. But does he have enough?
Lap 49 of 70 - Vettel nearly takes the lead!
Raikkonen, being lapped, gets in the way and Vettel nearly pounces at turn one!
That was close... Tsunoda is given the order to let Gasly through for sixth.
Lap 48 of 70 - 23 laps to go
Hamilton has 26 seconds to make up in that time. It's definitely doable. Definitely. He has Alonso 15 seconds up the road and Sainz another four seconds ahead of him. Vettel is four seconds ahead of him.
Lap 47 of 70 - Ocon's lead now less than a second
Can't imagine the pressure he's facing. Never won a race before, only one podium.
Hamilton pits! He's onto the mediums. Where does he come out? Behind Alonso and in fifth.
Here we go...
Lap 46 of 70 - Full order
Six cars retired.
Lap 45 of 70 - Hamilton says his tyres have a second wind
What a surprise...
His lock up at turn one won't help things but it was not an enormous one. Sainz has tyres fresher by 13 laps, which equalises things a little. The Ferrari has generally been a good race car in the last couple of months.
Ocon leads Vettel by 1.1s.
Lap 44 of 70 - Williams have both drivers in the points
Surely they will score at least one point today...
Lap 43 of 70 - Ocon leads Vettel by 1.3s
Who does Hamilton have ahead of him? Sainz, Vettel and Ocon.
Alonso still lapping very well. Catching Hamilton by at least a few tenths a lap.
Lap 42 of 70 - Alonso with the fastest lap
Vettel locks up into turn one and loses a few tenths. Hamilton's pace is similar to that of the leaders, and is 1.3s behind Carlos Sainz. Not sure the Ferrari will be that easy to pass.
"Rears are ----," Hamilton says. Sure, sure.
Lap 41 of 71 - It's still very close at the front
Just a second in it now. Vettel started to drop back towards the end of the first stint. Everyone on the hard tyres now. Not sure they will all end the race on them.
Hamilton is only eight seconds off the lead but has tyres that are 18 or so laps older than the leaders Ocon and Vettel.
Verstappen stops again for a set of medium tyres. Absolute disaster for him today. Looking like he's going to surrender the lead of the championship today, sadly. Through no fault of his own.
Lap 40 of 70 - Alonso now in from the lead
It was nice while it lasted.
Lap 39 of 70 - Top 10 after those stops
Verstappen in 11th and probably relying on retirements to score any points.
Lap 38 of 70 - Ocon is fairly sedate into the pit box
But you don't want to miss your marks. Alonso goes into the lead but can Ocon keep Vettel behind?
It's going to be close but there's only metres in it... the Alpine stays ahead but Vettel, with hotter tyres, gets close into turn four but doesn't try a move... oh man. My heart-rate is rising.
Without the slow stop Vettel would have been ahead!
Lap 37 of 70 - Vettel stops from second!
It's a slow stop. Slow-ish anyway. 3.3 seconds. Not a disaster but perhaps that rules out the undercut. Vettel now in third, behind Alonso – it's now an Alpine one-two – but ahead of Sainz and Hamilton.
What do Alpine do with Ocon now? In, in, in, surely?
Yep, in he comes...
Lap 36 of 70 - Full order
How are we only just over half way?
Lap 35 of 70 - Schumacher falling back now
Ricciardo gets him first at turn one and two and then Verstappen at turn three.
Hamilton told he's fighting for a podium. Sainz has pitted and is 1.9s ahead of Hamilton, but Sainz has tyres fresher by 13 laps. Do Mercedes need to pull the trigger again?
Lap 34 of 70 - Russell puts on a bold move on Schumacher
Around the outside at turn two and up the inside of turn four! He's into ninth now. Mick has defended excellently and fairly today. Aggressive, though.
Ocon leads Vettel by 2.4s now.
Lap 33 of 70 - Ferrari get ready for Sainz
He was vulnerable to Hamilton, who is lapping back again in the 1:21s.
Lap 32 of 70 - Top 10 and gaps
Hamilton gets Tsunoda around the outside of the quick right-hander before the hairpin. He's up into fifth now.
Lap 31 of 70 - Gasly pits
That puts Hamilton up into sixth, Tsunoda still ahead.
Lap 30 of 70 - Ocon leads Vettel by two seconds
First time it's been that large for a while. I think most of these guys who have yet to stop will be going straight onto the hards and one-stopping. Hamilton looks a likely two-stopper. The pace of the leaders not quite as good as Sainz and Alonso behind. A few tenths in it.
Lap 29 of 70 - Not even sure the grass is wet now
"The sky is getting black," Alonso says. "Nothing on the radar at the moment," he is told.
Hamilton now within DRS range of Tsunoda. How does this end? Tsunoda has three laps fresher tyres but it shouldn't really be any competition. But whatever he can do will help his parent company.
He can't get past with DRS this time.
Lap 28 of 70 - Hamilton has Tsunoda ahead
"Are we on lap 43 already?" Hamilton asks. "That's laps remaining, Lewis," comes the reply.
Lap 27 of 70 - Hamilton up to seventh
Easily through Latifi with DRS on the pit straight.
Ocon leads Vettel still by 1.6s. Still in the 1:22 and 1:23s. Vettel would come out behind Alonso were he to stop now, who would probably lend a hand to his team by getting in the German's way. So a tricky decision for Aston Martin here.
Lap 26 of 70 - Hamilton sets a new fastest lap
He was in clear air, actually. Not any more. Latifi is less than a second up the road in seventh. Verstappen behind Ricciardo and in 12th and struggling to make up any time. As I said earlier, a good result for Red Bull here is just having Hamilton only score, say, 10 or 12 points and not 18 or 25.
Lap 25 of 70 - Full order
OUT: MAZ, NOR, PER, STR, LEC, BOT
Lap 24 of 70 - Hamilton does get past Schumacher
And moves into eighth. He has the Williams of Latifi up ahead next. The gap is about five seconds. Now Hamilton is in traffic he will struggle to continue to do the 1:21s he was doing in clean air. Latifi and Tsunoda, who are his next targets, have both stopped.
Lap 23 of 70 - Will Alpine or Aston Martin pit first?
They are both in the fight for the race win here, no doubt. Hamilton is flying and has closed up back onto Mick Schumacher again. He should get past him very easily on the pit straight if he's patient. No need not to be.
Latifi pits from third. That has opened up the pit chances for the top two.
Lap 22 of 70 - Hamilton sets the fastest lap
Two seconds quicker than Ocon and Vettel, in first and second. Russell pits from 7th.
Sainz is told to box but he says he has pace and wants to run long. Is that a mistake? It could be. I don't think his pace is all that.
Lap 21 of 70 - Hamilton undercuts Verstappen...
...and overtakes Ricciardo as both the Red Bull and McLaren come out of the pits...
That's not what Red Bull wanted but I don't think they had any real chance of beating Hamilton today with the Red Bull in the state it is.
Lap 20 of 70 - Hamilton goes onto the hards but comes out 12th
Still ahead of both Alfa Romeo cars who have served various penalties. Verstappen has to respond. I have no idea where this race is going now...
The hard tyre can do 50 laps. Whether it should and has sufficient pace to do so is another matter.
Lap 19 of 70 - Top 10
Hamilton 11th, 0.9s behind Gasly, but he comes into the pits...
Lap 18 of 70 - Hamilton on the blower to his team as well
"I don't know what to say goes. I just can't get close to people."
Vettel moves into DRS range of leader Ocon. Gasly is lapping quicker than the leaders, too. This race is going to get even more interesting strategically.
Lap 17 of 70 - Hamilton complaining about low grip
He has just set the fastest lap, having just overtaken Schumacher. Gasly next up, Verstappen has gotten ahead of him somehow. Hamilton now lapping quicker than the leaders for the first time this race. Still 30 seconds behind, though.
Lap 16 of 70 - Full order
Raikkonen pits and takes a 10 second time penalty for the unsafe release. And it's a slow stop as well.
Lap 15 of 70 - Ocon leads Vettel by 1.3
Latifi still in third and 1.7s ahead of Tsunoda in fourth.
Hamilton now has Mick Schumacher ahead of him and then a bit further up the road is... Max Verstappen.
Lap 14 of 70 - Verstappen and Schumacher touch wheels!
It's a move that started on the pit straight. He tried around the outside of turn one, ran off the track, then carried on around the outside and then the inside of turn three and four. On the straight heading into turn the next turn they touched as Verstappen got a much better exit.
Hamilton locks up and runs wide at the hairpin and loses even more time. He's now nearly 30 seconds behind leader Ocon.
Lap 13 of 70 - Vettel drops back a little
1.3s the gap to leader Ocon. Yes, leader Ocon.
Verstappen still not into the points. Mick Schumacher really struggling here. I think a good result for Red Bull today would be Hamilton not finishing in the top four...
Lap 12 of 70 - Vettel nearly within a second of Ocon
The track is obviously, very clearly, bone dry now. Slick tyre strategy the key now.
Verstappen still not ahead of Mick Schumacher. Gasly in 12th is holding up Hamilton. Hamilton's brake temperatures are going through the roof.
Don't think he can get too smart with Gasly, who will fight for his life for 12th.
Lap 11 of 70 - Top 12 and gaps
Lap 10 of 70 - Hamilton clears Giovinazzi
He's now in 13th but 22 seconds behind leader Ocon. Verstappen is struggling to try and get through Mick Schumacher.
It's a 10-second stop/go penalty for Giovinazzi for speeding in the pit lane. Raikkonen will almost certainly get a penalty for an unsafe release.
Lap 9 of 70 - Vettel is closing in on Ocon
Not incredibly quickly, but he made a tenth on the Alpine the last time around. Hamilton has a look at Giovinazzi but can't find a route through.
"If you need to compromise my race to help Nicki, do it," George Russell says.
Lap 8 of 70 - And breathe...
Hamilton is still 14th but is within DRS range of Giovinazzi.
"I can't even get close, guys," he says. It's hard to overtake here but he's already 20 seconds behind ocon and lapping over a second a lap slower.
Lap 7 of 70 - Ocon leads Vettel by 1.5s
Latifi in third is six seconds behind the Aston Martin of Vettel.
This was a bizarre sight...
Lap 6 of 70 - Mazepin is out because Raikkonen was released into his path in the pit lane
Absolute nonsense and dangerous.
"Come on guys, get on it for the rest of the race," Hamilton says. He's told he can still win it. That he can.
Lap 5 of 70 - That has to be one of the worst decisions in the history of F1
Russell was told to give the places back as he overtook them in the pit lane. Fair enough...
Here's the order.
Mazepin is out, somehow.
Lap 4 of 70 - Russell is dropping back!
What's the problem here? What bad luck...
Hamilton pits, but where is he going to be coming out?
At the very back...
Verstappen is even ahead...
Ocon leads Vettel and Latifi!
Lewis Hamilton is the only driver who stays out so he keeps the lead...
Now the rest of the drivers come out but they are already not far behind. George Russell is in second already! Then it's Latifi!
Have Mercedes made a mistake here? Hamilton is going to drop right back here. Russell is only five seconds behind already!
What have Mercedes done here? This is ridiculous. Why didn't they bring him in for slicks?!
It will be a standing start
And, if I were Verstappen. Or any of the drivers, I'd come in at the end of the formation lap.
I think that is what may happen...
Does Hamilton come in? Nope. Ocon in second does...
Who else? Sainz? Verstappen absolutely has to twist here. And he does. Looks like Hamilton is the only driver out there on the grid!
This is incredible!
Second formation lap begins
"It's definitely going to be drying quick," Hamilton says. Think this could all get quite straightforward for him now. Not that he would have made a mess of it in the rain.
Looking at it now, I think slicks is the right call straight away. Sun is out and will dry the track very quickly. Not to mention the 16 F1 cars going around it.
They haven't managed to put on a new bardgeboard onto the Red Bull
I wonder what he tries to do here... has to try and salvage something but his car will be losing a lot of time if it dries out. Not dry enough yet, though, I'd say.
This will be the first time that Lando Norris has not scored points in 2021
"Just annoyed, I guess. Lap one, I don't know why that has to happen. Nothing I could do," he tells Sky Sports F1.
Bottas's gutter ball...
This is what Verstappen's car looked like before they started the repairs
The sun is coming out now... and I think it has stopped raining. Verstappen down in 13th at the moment. Wonder if it will be a standing restart. I would presume not.
Race will restart at approx 1432 UK time
Lando Norris has been retired from the race, the damage is too severe to continue.
We've had more rain falling in the time they have been sitting stationary under the red flag. Wonder if anyone might start on the full wet tyres...
A few more images from that first lap
An unsafe release from McLaren
Should be a penalty for an unsafe release. If he can keep going – his floor is pretty badly damaged.
Red Bull, meanwhile, have an awful lot of work to do on Verstappen's car. Not sure how long this delay will last but Red Bull will hope that it's as long as it can possibly be.
Norris's front wing...
He's down in 15th...
That was pretty amateurish driving from Bottas, to be honest. Just braked so, so, so late. Stroll went into the side of Leclerc at the first turn, going right across the kerb and spearing into the Ferrari. So that's why those two are out...
This was like wacky races...
It's all worked out very well for Hamilton...
Lap 2 of 70 - RED FLAG
Here's the order...Ocon second! Vettel third.
OUT: PER, STR, LEC, BOT
Lap 2 of 70 - Verstappen pits...
But as he exits he has some bodywork coming off his car, which is left on the pit lane exit. It was a whole bargeboard!
"There's so much debris," Hamilton says.
Pérez has pulled up at the side of the track.
That's good news for Verstappen. They can repair the car.
Lap 1 of 70 - This is bad for Verstappen
It was all Bottas's fault. He brakes too late, goes into the back of Lando Norris, who then goes into Verstappen... and then Bottas goes into Pérez... My word.
I am not sure Verstappen can continue with this damage.
THE 2020 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX IS GO
It's a fine start for Hamilton but a terrible one for Valtteri Bottas... he drops right back.
Verstappen up into second, Pérez third...
But it's even worse one for Verstappen as Lando Norris can't slow his McLaren down enough and spears into him at the first turn and i will be surprised if he can carry on. So much damage...
Bottas is out already somewhere...
Here's the safety car. Leclerc out as well. Not sure what happened there...
It's raining a bit heavier now
They start to form up on the grid. This could be brilliant. And chaotic. I can see a few chancing their arm one way or another...
Giovinazzi is pitting for... what tyres? Slicks!? Yes. Mediums.
We're away on the formation lap...
How much spray is there? Not too much as it stands. Stroll told that it'll be this light-ish rain before heavier and then easing off. Helpful? Not much to be honest.
Everyone starting on the inters
But Hamilton says, "if it stays like this, it will not be inters... it's drying as it comes down. This is very much on the verge."
Will it stay like this, though?
Giovinazzi gets a weather update
I still don't know what tyres they will be starting on... I think slicks, just about. In which case the soft tyres will be an advantage on a damp but not sodden track.
Lando Norris speaks to Sky
Says he thinks it will be a slicks start at the moment. Still another 12 or 13 minutes before they actually launch off the line, though.
1. HAM 2. BOT
3. VER 4. PER
5. GAS 6. NOR
7. LEC 8. OCO
9. ALO 10. VET
11. RIC 12. STR
13. RAI 14. GIO
15. SAI 16. TSU
17. RUS 18. LAT
19. MAZ 20. MSC
The start/finish straight is looking a little bit darker with the light (but increasingly heavy) rain that has been falling in the last 10 or so minutes. With the rain forecast to continue until at least 2.30pm BST and to increase in intensity I think a few drivers might start on the inters.
McLaren's Andreas Seidl speaks to Sky Sports F1
He's asked about the rain...
It's not clear what the intensity will be. A lot of conversation between engineers and drivers to make sure we start the race on the right tyres. This is one of the reasons why we love this sport. As always, this opens up a lot of opportunities unfortunately in both directions.
A full wet start would be something, but would be even more interesting if it was a marginal dry/wet start.
Here we go... the rain has started
Only a few light drops at the moment, but Doctor Helmut Marko has put his Red Bull-branded rain jacket on. And the old gazebos are coming out on the grid, ponchos are going on in the grandstands.
Will it be a wet start? 25 minutes to go...
Vettel making a pro LGBT statement with his helmet
Fair play to him.
Just over 30 minutes until lights out
George Russell complains about Carlos Sainz's Ferrari getting in the way at the pix exit. Was almost a near miss – a near, near miss. Would have been an extremely low-speed accident, mind you. Sainz starts 15th after making a mess of his Ferrari in qualifying.
Okay, maybe we will get the rain then
Red equals rain and it is heading to the circuit.
We've had some cracking wet races here in the past. 2006, 2011 when Jenson Button won both times.
Constructor standings after 10 rounds
Could Mercedes take the lead again after today? They could... and I do think they will. Though the skies have darkened, somewhat...
Qualifying head-to-heads after 11 rounds
Note, this only includes the traditional three-session, hour-long format. Otherwise you're not comparing apples and applies if you include the Sprint Qualifying from Silverstone.
Hamilton 8 Bottas 3
Verstappen 10 Pérez 1
Norris 8 Ricciardo 3
Stroll 5 Vettel 6
Alonso 6 Ocon 5
Leclerc 8 Sainz 3
Gasly 11 Tsunoda 0
Raikkonen 3 Giovinazzi 8
Schumacher 9 Mazepin 2
Russell 11 Latifi 0
It will be absolutely bone dry at lights out, guaranteed
Driver standings after 10 rounds - Top 12
Sergio Pérez did not manage to get in a second quick lap in Q3 yesterday
He was at the end of the Bottas-Hamilton-Verstappen train and just got the flag before starting his lap. Hamilton was quite slow in intentionally keeping the Red Bull of Verstappen behind him in Q3's second runs. But then again the Red Bulls could have just overtaken... or sent their cars out first, knowing they had to beat Hamilton's time.
Verstappen and Horner didn't seem to fussed by it, in fairness. And I am not sure it denied Verstappen a shot at pole. Could have been second, though...
Watch: On board for Lewis Hamilton's pole lap
He's quite good around this track.
Was rainy, now dry and sunny, in short.
Hungarian GP - Qualifying times
Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 15.419secs
Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:15.734
Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:15.840
Sergio Perez (Mex) Red Bull 1:16.421
Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:16.483
Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:16.489
Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:16.496
Esteban Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1:16.653
Fernando Alonso (Spa) Alpine 1:16.715
Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Aston Martin 1:16.750
Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) McLaren 1:16.871
Lance Stroll (Can) Aston Martin 1:16.893
Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:17.564
Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:17.583
Carlos Sainz Jr (Spa) Ferrari. 1:16.649
Yuki Tsunoda (Jpn) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:17.919
George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:17.944
Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1:18.036
Nikita Mazepin (Raf) Haas F1 1:18.922
Mick Schumacher (Ger) Haas F1 No Time Set
Good afternoon F1 fans
And welcome to our coverage for the Hungarian Grand Prix from the Hungaroring, just outside of Budapest. It's 35 years since Formula One first raced at this track and very little has changed in the layout since then. It is – unfairly, I think – known as Monaco without the walls and, although it is not the greatest track on the calendar, it is far from the worst.
Another thing has not changed in the last decade or so and that is Lewis Hamilton's dominance at this track. He was won here eight times already – his first in 2007 – and is aiming to become the first man to win nine races at a single circuit. Unbeaten here since 2017, he is in prime position – and pole position – to do so again, finishing first in qualifying quite comfortably in the end. It is his first pole position since the Spanish Grand Prix back in May, though in fairness he was quickest in the three-session hour-long qualifying at Silverstone, but that was not the final, nor official qualifying so does not count as a pole.
Tactically it's looking pretty good for the defending champion. He has team-mate Valtteri Bottas in second alongside him and both Mercedes cars start on the more favourable medium compound tyres whilst Max Verstappen, starting third, and the rest of the top 10 start on the softs.
The plus side for Verstappen here is that it is a fairly long run to the first corner and he also starts on the clean side of the track, though with plenty of overnight rain that may not be quite so crucial. You heavily suspect that his hopes of winning the race rest on getting ahead on the first lap. If not he could face losing his championship lead – heavily cut at the last race after the clash – to Hamilton heading into the summer break. Suddenly it could all be coming up Mercedes.
The race begins at 2pm BST and, as ever, we'll be here for all of the build-up, the race action and reaction.