Verstappen made a better start than poleman Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), who lost further spots to both McLarens of Oscar Piastri, who profited from hugging the inside of Turn 1, and Lando Norris, who drove around the outside of him at Turn 2.
At the initial pitstops, Norris managed to overtake Piastri and secure second place. Despite a strong performance from Perez in the second Red Bull, Norris held onto the runner-up position and Perez finished third.
2023 F1 Hungarian GP results
How the 2023 F1 Hungarian GP unfolded
Hamilton and Verstappen occupied the top two positions on the starting grid together for the first time since the well-known Abu Dhabi GP of 2021. However, Hamilton was unable to maintain his well-deserved first-place advantage as Verstappen smoothly maneuvered past him on the inside at Turn 1.
Hamilton, forced wide by Verstappen, lost a further spot to Piastri straight away and then Norris demoted him further at Turn 2. Hamilton fell to fourth, ahead of the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and a fast-starting Carlos Sainz, who started from 11th on soft tyres unlike the majority on mediums.
Zhou Guanyu initiated a collision at the first corner when he had a poor start in his Alfa Romeo. This resulted in Daniel Ricciardo’s AlphaTauri being hit and pushed into Esteban Ocon, who then collided with his Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly. Both Ocon and Gasly had to retire due to suspension damage, marking the second consecutive double retirement for the Alpine team.
Verstappen quickly established a significant lead over Piastri as the race progressed. Starting from ninth place on hards, Perez managed to overtake Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin on lap eight. Sainz was the first among the top six racers to make a pit stop on lap 16, exchanging his soft tires for hards. Hamilton followed suit a lap later, pitting from fourth position.
Leclerc suffered a slow stop when the left-rear wheelgun failed, rejoining 11th behind Sainz and Lance Stroll (Aston, who’d also stopped earlier). Leclerc soon battled past Stroll at Turn 2 on lap 20.
Piastri, crucially, made a pit stop one lap later than Norris and surrendered his second place to his teammate upon rejoining the race. Lando cleverly employed the undercut strategy and swiftly overtook Piastri on the outside of Turn 1.
Verstappen continued racing until lap 24 before making a pit stop, which was significantly longer than the other drivers who started on medium tires. Despite Perez adopting a different strategy, Verstappen managed to maintain his lead. Shortly after, Perez also made a pit stop and rejoined the race between the Ferraris. Meanwhile, Mercedes decided to let Hamilton overtake Russell and secure fourth place, as they were pursuing different strategies.
Perez aggressively overtook Sainz at Turn 1 on lap 27, and then successfully passed Russell at Turn 2 on the following lap. After reaching the halfway point, Perez managed to catch up to Hamilton, who put up a strong resistance. Red Bull had to rely on strategic tactics to surpass Hamilton. Piastri, who was in third place, also made a pit stop at this moment but unfortunately experienced a slow stop, resulting in a one-second loss compared to Perez.
Norris completed his last lap at 45, returning to the race track 7 seconds ahead of the Piastri/Perez competition for the last position on the podium. A few laps later, Perez overtook Piastri in Turns 1 and 2, and then began chasing Norris, who was 8 seconds ahead.
Hamilton made a pit stop from the second position with 20 laps remaining, and then returned to the race in fifth place. Verstappen, on the other hand, was the last driver to make a pit stop, opting for medium tires in order to secure an additional point for setting the fastest lap.
Verstappen reeled off his seventh win of the season, 33s ahead of Norris – who chastised backmarkers for getting in his way but held on to second place. Perez charged to a solid third, while Hamilton passed Piastri for fourth with 13 laps remaining and closed right up to Perez at the end of the race.
Sixth-placed-on-the-road Leclerc received a 5s penalty for speeding in the pits during his final stop, and coupled with George Russell (Mercedes) passing Sainz on track for seventh with five laps to go, Russell took sixth position instead from 18th on the grid after his qualifying disaster.
Alonso and Stroll’s Aston Martins secured the last positions that earned points, trailing behind Leclerc and Sainz’s Ferraris.