Valtteri Bottas replaces Charles Leclerc at Ferrari for Hungarian GP

Ferrari turned a prospective race win into a sixth-placed finish for Charles Leclerc in Hungary on Sunday.

Formula 1 graphics often give us some entertaining moments during races, and they provided us with another during the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend.

Sergio Perez joined Ferrari in Austria as he was shown as winning the race instead of Charles Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz replaced Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in second, with the Dutchman finishing third in place of Sir Lewis Hamilton.

Neither Sainz nor Perez had finished the race in Spielberg, and the graphics were at it again in Budapest as George Russell was hunting down Leclerc for second place.

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas was the driver shown as defending from Russell in the Ferrari as the 24-year-old inched closer to him, in a move that had been tipped towards the end of 2015 while the Finn was at Williams.

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Leclerc was in fact the driver in second place and, not for the first time this season, he had the lead stripped away from him by a strategic error.

The five-time race winner started the race P3 for the Scuderia behind team-mate Carlos Sainz, while Russell grabbed his maiden pole in sensational fashion on Saturday.

The Scuderia drivers swapped positions in the first pit stop phase, and the Monegasque was able to dispatch the Mercedes during the second stint.

However, his team made a terrible call when Max Verstappen, who had made it up to fourth after starting 10th, pitted behind Sainz to put on a set of Mediums to go to the end.

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Inexplicably, Ferrari responded by bringing in Leclerc, who did not seem to be under any immediate threat from Verstappen, putting him onto a set of Hards.

The Dutchman passed his title rival twice after spinning following his initial move, before Russell, who pitted onto a fresh set of Mediums himself, passed the Ferrari for second.

Ferrari brought their driver back into the pits for Softs late on, and he had to settle for sixth behind Sergio Perez after a terrible day for the Maranello-based side.

Sainz, meanwhile was left out along with Sir Lewis Hamilton, and he too pitted for Softs towards the end.

But the Spaniard could not catch Russell, allowing Hamilton to pass the 27-year-old on his way to a second-placed finish having started seventh.

Verstappen comfortably won the race as he opened his lead out to 80 points in the championship.