you know you're in trouble when the reigning world champion is making jokes about you after the race. In the press conference which followed, Hamilton playfully suggested to Verstappen that his old rival Fernando Alonso would be a good teammate, saying Red Bull has a race-winning seat going to waste.
The reference was to Pierre Gasly, who goes into the summer break having undone any goodwill he had created at Silverstone or Hockenheim, when the team was quick to point to small improvements as sign of an imminent turnaround. After a frustrating afternoon, he finds himself just five points ahead of McLaren's Carlos Sainz -- the man Red Bull could have picked to replace Daniel Ricciardo instead of the Frenchman. Not only is that an awkward statistic given Sainz's history, it's crazy to think a Red Bull is that close to a car outside of the top three during an era where F1 is essentially a two-tier championship.
While Sainz is off the table for Red Bull, Toro Rosso pair Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon are not -- but there are doubts either would be ready to make that step right now. Red Bull boss Christian Horner suggested Gasly faces a crucial period of reflection away from F1 during the summer.
Speaking after the race, Horner said: "It's been a frustrating weekend for Pierre. The start wasn't great, the first lap wasn't great. We shouldn't be racing Saubers and McLarens... we need him to be racing Ferraris and Mercedes. Everything that we can do to try and help him achieve that is what we'll do.
"I think he really needs to take some time out during the summer break, reflect on the first half of the season and take those lessons into the second half of the year.
"It's vital for us, if we have any chance of catching Ferrari, that we have him finishing further ahead."
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One year on: Daniel Ricciardo is spending most of the summer break in L.A., where he is being joined by family who are flying in from Australia. The journey has parallels to the one he took 12 months ago -- on the flight over on that occasion, he turned on a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, took some time to himself and finally decided that it was time to leave Red Bull for Renault. The move shocked F1 and most people wondered if he would live to regret it.
Verstappen won't win the championship this year, and Ricciardo always insists there were multiple little factors which all contributed to his decision to leave. But from a pure performance perspective, that decision could be on his mind as he makes the trip across the Atlantic on this occasion.
Doubts about Honda's long-term project were certainly one of those factors and, had it not been for Hamilton nailing Mercedes' brilliant strategy on Sunday evening, Verstappen would have three wins to his name from four races. That figure could have been two or three, but Renault's poor form would have remained the same. Ricciardo and teammate Nico Hulkenberg have endured a frustrating run of races and both will be expecting significant improvements after the summer break.
Rookies on form: George Russell had the best weekend of his rookie season, dragging the Williams up to 16th in qualifying on Saturday and then finishing in the same position on Sunday. That's an impressive achievement given how bad that car is.
His fellow class of 2019 rookies impressed as well. It looked like slow pit stops would hamper McLaren's Lando Norris -- who really was superb all weekend -- and Toro Rosso's Alexander Albon on Sunday afternoon but both were able to keep their composure to snatch the final two points paying positions on offer. This could be a contender for the best rookie class of all time...
Two statistics worthy of mention:
Lewis Hamilton's first Mercedes victory came at the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix, his only win in his debut year with the team. Back then he had one world championship, and it was his 22nd victory. Fast forward six years and he has five world titles (and is rapidly closing on a sixth) and 81 victories, just 10 shy of Michael Schumacher's all-time record.
Max Verstappen could have started the 2019 season from the Austrian Grand Prix (four races ago) and he'd still have more points than Pierre Gasly right now.
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