Anyone who has only seen the past two Grands Prix in the exciting Formula 1 season must almost think that Lewis Hamilton can hardly miss the championship.

While the Briton took 40 points with a win and (for now) a third place, Max Verstappen only collected one point.

But appearances are deceiving, Red Bull is still in the title race.

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One mistake by Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes ruined Verstappen's chances of winning for the second race in a row. After the start at the Hungaroring on wet asphalt, the Finn braked too late and drilled into the back of Lando Norris' McLaren, which hit Verstappen hard.

It was not quite comparable to the situation with Hamilton at Silverstone, but it was again a Mercedes that was the immediate cause. That's how Verstappen felt too. It was also the second race in a row in which Verstappen was unable to show what his Red Bull was capable of in the race. That bad luck added to the pole position for Hamilton creates a picture that the 36-year-old Englishman is currently walking away with the world title.

And the 'momentum' also lies with the seven-time world champion, but that has been fed by his dubious win at Silverstone, two qualifications in which the Mercedes performed well and a drive through the remainder of the Formula 1 field on Sunday. That was mainly filled with midfield cars that are no match for Hamilton's Mercedes.

Red Bull did not have a good weekend in Hungary, apart from the crash in the first corner.

It was the first time since the Spanish Grand Prix eight races ago that Mercedes was clearly faster.

In all races in between, Verstappen's car was faster, or at least equivalent.

One less weekend of Red Bull with a crash in the first corner is no reason to think that Mercedes is over.

At Silverstone, Verstappen certainly had the better car at race speed.

The figures for the first half of the season are therefore excellent.

Victories until the summer break

  • Max Verstappen: 5 victories

  • Lewis Hamilton: 4 wins

Pole positions until the summer break

  • Max Verstappen: 5 poles

  • Lewis Hamilton: 3 poles

External factors play a major role

The title fight is currently more influenced by external factors for Verstappen than by sheer speed.

Moreover, factors on which the Limburger has no influence.

The blowout in Azerbaijan, the crash with Hamilton at Silverstone and Bottas' braking error on Sunday cost the Dutchman dozens of World Cup points.

Of course Hamilton also had his unlucky moments, but the balance is emphatically different for the Briton.

He missed at least 25 points in Azerbaijan, although he caused it himself by accidentally pressing a button on the steering wheel during the restart.

The 18 points can be deducted from this that Hamilton still dragged from the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna, where he still finished second despite a lengthy foray into the gravel.

Courtesy of arguably the best timed red flag in Formula 1 history.

And then there was Mercedes' curious strategic choice at the restart on Sunday to be the only one not to go to dry-weather tires that ultimately cost Hamilton the win.

But the team also did that to itself and did not cost dozens of points.

If Verstappen looks back on the first half of the season, he can rightly conclude that he is no longer in the lead in the title fight, mainly due to bad luck.

This immediately disproves the image that Hamilton threatens to walk away with the world title.

Of course, Verstappen will have to go along again after the four-week summer break, with the Belgian and Dutch Grand Prix immediately on the program.

It becomes necessary to start scoring again.

World Cup standings

  • Lewis Hamilton: 195 points

  • Max Verstappen: 187 points

Red Bull wants to continue to develop

Normally, Red Bull also supplies Verstappen with the means for this.

Christian Horner has previously said that his team will go "all the way" in developing the car.

This is a unique opportunity for Red Bull to once again grab a world title, after it has been in the grip of the dominant Mercedes since 2014.

Of course she can play tricks with the development of the car of 2022, but it is almost inconceivable that the team will let that stop them now.

It should be noted that Red Bull has a well-deserved reputation for developing cars best throughout the season.


Is not Verstappen but Hamilton the title favorite now?

How far does Mercedes want to go?

At Mercedes it is completely unclear how much time and resources they still want to put into this season's car, but the effective update that appeared on the car at Silverstone with (probably) twelve races to go cannot possibly be the last.

If so, Red Bull certainly has the title up for grabs. The annoying thing is that the sounds from Mercedes itself about this are now completely unreliable. The previous update would not come according to Hamilton and team boss Toto Wolff, but eventually it did.

Added together, despite two bad weekends in a row, Verstappen still has a very real chance of becoming the first Dutch Formula 1 world champion this year. As long as he can regularly use the full potential of himself and his car. It would also be nice if the bad luck devil visits Hamilton for a change.

The next Grand Prix is ​​on August 29 at the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium