Max Verstappen won at a canter to take a seventh win in a row and ninth of the 2023 season.
His win means that Red Bull break McLaren’s record of 11 straight victories in 1988, with the Milton Keynes outfit now on their 12 straight triumph.
The result means Verstappen has a championship advantage of 110 points, more than four race victories without reply, over teammate Sergio Perez.
His 44th career win came ahead of Lando Norris, who took consecutive podiums for the first time in his career after second in Silverstone last time out, and a resurgent Perez in third.
Polesitter Lewis Hamilton was down in fourth after a tough first corner saw him lose places to Verstappen, eventual fifth place finisher Oscar Piastri and Norris at Turn 2.
Piastri lost pace after his first stop, but these previous two weekends have shown a real coming of age having not raced in 2022 and starting life in Formula One with an undercooked McLaren.
George Russell rose well from 18th on the grid to finish sixth after Charles Leclerc’s penalty dropped the Monegasque to seventh ahead of Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz.
Fernando Alonso on the 20th anniversary since his first Grand Prix win was ninth as Aston Martin completed a Noah’s Ark top 10 with Lance Stroll in tenth.
A good initial launch at the start from Hamilton was wasted in the second phase and Verstappen got alongside, and crucially for Turn One, the inside to block pass his rival and stop his run on the exit.
That allowed Piastri to take the inside and move to second, with Hamilton boxed in to allow Norris a run on the outside of the second corner.
Behind them an awful start from fifth for Zhou Guanyu in the Alfa Romeo left him out of sync on the run to the first corner and he outbraked himself to hit the back of the returning Daniel Ricciardo’s Alpha Tauri.
That sent the Australian into the Alpine of Esteban Ocon, who launched over his teammate Pierre Gasly to break not only car but his seat, and resulted in another double retirement for the Enstone team.
Behind Verstappen the story was how quickly Perez could make his way through the field from ninth on the grid.
The Mexican was quickly into his stride dispatching the Alfa Romeos of Zhou and Valtteri Bottas, who started seventh, before taking Alonso’s seventh early on.
From there he settled behind the Ferrari duo, before Sainz stopped on lap 16 to release Perez – Leclerc would follow suit shortly after.
After that he stalked Hamilton’s Mercedes through the second stint, the both catching Piastri who had lost out to Norris in the first round of pit stops.
Both Perez and Piastri pitted on lap 44 to leave Hamilton stranded on old hards for a further six laps, and Perez passed Piastri three laps after their stops.
Norris proved to be a bridge too far in second and he couldn’t make it a 1-2 on a day of history for Red Bull.
The race marked a solid return to F1 for Daniel Ricciardo, who’s 13th for Alpha Tauri capped off a weekend that saw him outqualify and outrace teammate Yuki Tsunoda.
Red Bull in a class of their own
Verstappen made a mockery of Hamilton’s pole position and talk of a Mercedes victory within the first ten seconds of the race.
From there, his afternoon followed a familiar pattern in that he controlled the race, stretched out a comfortable lead and completed a trouble free run to the flag.
Red Bull’s 12th win broke a 35-year-old record set by McLaren for wins in a row and, as with 1988, it’s only the prospect of a double DNF that looks set to stop them from winning every race this season.
McLaren won 15 of 16 races that year, and a 100% record season is surely a target now for the current World Champions.
McLaren prove themselves
McLaren had not been expected to match the heights of the British Grand Prix, with their car suited to high speed corners at Silverstone and the team struggling on lower speed corners that characterise the Hungaroring circuit.
So it was a surprise to see Norris and Piastri qualify in third and fourth on Saturday, and aside from Perez recovering from another out of position start to finish roughly where his Red Bull should have been, they stayed there.
Piastri faded somewhat after his second stop eventually finish fifth but the rookie can be pleased with his efforts nonetheless on a circuit he hasn’t raced on since 2020.
Norris meanwhile underlined his credentials as a future world champion by backing up second place last time out with another runners-up finish in Budapest as McLaren look like they are here to stay.
Ferrari and Aston Martin falter
Put kindly, Ferrari had another race to forget.
After Carlos Sainz qualified 11th and Leclerc sixth, their pace was badly shown up by McLaren’s improvement and George Russell coming through from 18th on the grid to beat the pair of them in sixth.
Leclerc was heard less than impressed on the radio with their strategy, and lost time in the pit stops with a slow rear left tyre change.
For Aston Martin, their pace since the Austrian Grand Prix has slowly slipped away culminating in a finish this weekend at the very rear of the points in ninth and tenth for Alonso and Stroll.
The Silverstone team has never counted the Hungaroring among its favourite tracks, but there’s a lot of work to be done if they are once more emerge as one of Red Bull’s primary challengers.
Mercedes’ contrasting day.
When Lewis Hamilton woke this morning fresh from a shock 104th pole position yesterday, he cannot have expected fourth to be the best that his Mercedes could achieve today.
Mercedes struggled badly in the middle of the race as hard tyres and heavy fuel took a heavy toll in the second stint and ultimately extinguished any chance of a podium – a late salvo not enough for Hamilton to overhaul Perez.
Similarly, when Russell was tucking into his morning Weetabix, he cannot have expected sixth place from 18th on a track where overtaking is difficult.
He was helped slightly by Zhou’s skittling of the Alpines at Turn One, but his pace was solid late on and struggles for pace on the hard tyre masked by being in a train of slower cars earlier in the race, and his charge against a spent Ferrari team ensured that he salvaged a good result from an awful Saturday.
Images courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool / Getty mages, and Pirelli F1