Lewis Hamilton regains championship lead, but Alpine, Esteban Ocon are the big winners

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Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon
Dan Istitene

• Lewis Hamilton regained the championship lead at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

• His title rival, Max Verstappen, walked away with two points after drama on the opening lap.

• Mercedes-AMG also passed Red Bull Racing in the championship standings.

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The 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix was riddled with drama from beginning to end. When the lights went out, signalling the start of the race, everyone got off the line, but ill-timed braking in the rain saw several drivers crashing out going into Turn 1 - whether through their own fault or by others taking them out.

Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen was one of the big losers in the race, having been hit by Lando Norris' McLaren after Mercedes-AMG's Valtteri Bottas hit him from behind. Bottas mistimed his braking and took out both drivers and Sergio Perez (Red Bull) in the process. Bottas' team boss, Toto Wolff, apologized to Red Bull and Verstappen for what happened, but Bottas' actions could have far-reaching effects on this year's championship…

Here's how the championship looks after the 11th round of the 2021 championship.

Ocon gets his first win

Following the drama of the opening lap and the ensuing chaos in the pitlane, Esteban Ocon (Alpine) was in a prime position to win the race. The driver led from Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and Nicholas Latifi (Williams), ensuring his team's first win under the new Alpine name. Ocon would stand on the top step of a Formula 1 podium for the first time in his career to give both his team and the F1 community something to truly celebrate.

Lewis Hamilton had a torrid start to the race in his Mercedes, but managed to claw his way from last to third when the chequered flag dropped. Vettel, who finished second, was disqualified from the race, which promoted Hamilton and everyone else. Hamilton's title rival, Verstappen, came home in ninth place after Vettel's expulsion to salvage two championship points. In the championship standings, Hamilton regained the lead with an eight-point advantage over the Red Bull driver.

Mercedes in the driver's seat

Both Red Bull and Mercedes saw only one driver finish the race in the points, with the Silver Arrows getting the maximum number between the two. While Red Bull had a four-point advantage coming into the race, they now trail Mercedes by 12 points. In the standings, Williams scored their first points of the 2021 season when both drivers came home in seventh and eighth place, respectively. The team scored a total of 10 points, pushing them clear of both Alfa Romeo and Haas.

With Carlos Sainz Jr. promoted to third place following Vettel's disqualification, Ferrari has tied with McLaren on 163 points.

However, the weekend belonged to the Alpine team. Ocon and team mate Fernando Alonso brought home 37 points - the most for any team at the end of the race - to put them 19 points ahead of Aston Martin and nine of AlphaTauri.

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