The Hungarian Grand Prix first took place in 1986, and was won by Nelson Piquet. This year’s race saw Sebastian Vettel take pole from team mate Kimi Raikkonen, in the first Ferrari 1-2 qualifying since 2004. Four drivers have taken their maiden race wins at the Hungaroring: Damon Hill (1993), Fernando Alonso (2003), Jenson Button (2006) and Heikki Kovalainen (2008)
Felipe Massa has had a history of bad luck at the Hungaroring – an engine failure 2 laps from the end on 2008 cost him the victory. Being struck in the head by a loose suspension spring, which fell off the Brawn of Barrichello in 2009, forced him to miss the rest of the season with a fractured skull. This year illness forced him to withdraw, being replaced half way through FP3 by reserve driver Paul Di Resta.
There was a 5 place grid penalty for Nico Hulkenberg for changing his gear box, and a three place grid penalty for Danil Kvyat for impeding Lance Stroll in qualifying.
Kvyat is getting closer to a free weekend off, as two more penalty points for his licence will get him a race ban!
The Ferrari’s made a great start, with Raikkonen slotting in behind Vettel and the Red Bulls fighting it out for 4th place having both got Hamilton off the line. Verstappen then locked a wheel and drove into the side of his team mate Ricciardo. There have been a lot of collisions between team mates this season, usually at Force India or Sauber. The Force Indias have hit each other so often this year, they could make a horror movie out of their season: “Force India: When Team Mates Collide”, coming soon to cinema near you.
And I forget where I am going with this!
Oh yeah… Red Bull. So, Daniel Ricciardo was forced to retire as Verstappen appeared to have burst his radiator and the car was leaking fluid all over the track. At least with Ricciardo out of the race the other drivers could breathe a sigh of relief that they wouldn’t be forced to drink warm champagne from Riccardo’s sweaty, smelly shoe while trying to pretend it is funny!
Replays showed the Force Indias touch off the start… again…
Nico Hulkenberg hit Grosjean, and the stewards didn’t like either the Red Bull or the Hulkenberg/Grosjean collision and were investigating both mid-race.
The safety car was bought out to clean up the mess Ricciardo left at the side of the track. He was clearly one unhappy Australian as he made his way back to the garage and if it was up to Ricciardo, Verstappen would be sent to bed with no supper and a smacked backside. Luckily for Verstappen the stewards would decide, and they decided a ten second time penalty would be added to his pitstop. Later on, Daniel Ricciardo said in an interview with Sky Sports that Verstappen’s start move was “amateurish” and claimed that Verstappen does not like having his team mate in front of him!
It had been a lively first few laps as the stewards also announced that they were going to investigate Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz for an incident after the safety car restart. Replays showed Sainz trying to force his fellow Spaniard to cut the grass at turn one, well somebody has to do it, and the Honda must have a use for something, right?
Lewis Hamilton’s team radio wasn’t working, which must’ve been so nice for his race engineer given the amount of moaning Hamilton does on the radio during the race.
No further action on Hulkenberg/Grosjean or Alonso/Sainz.
There was a position swap between the Renault drivers as Hulkenberg ,who was clearly the faster of the two cars and has been all year, passed Palmer which leads to further speculation that Palmer’s days as a Formula One driver are numbered. Especially with Robert Kubica waiting to take over, and scheduled to test again soon.
Carlos Sainz demanded his team leave him alone and Grosjean was forced to pit with a slow puncture, only for his team to send him back out with a cross threaded wheel nut. An unsafe release is always investigated, and as Grosjean was forced to retire, the stewards announced this one will be investigated after the race.
Bottas was the first of the top 5 to pit. It was a slow stop (3.5) followed by team mate Hamilton (2.5) a second quicker in the pits, left him a lot closer to Bottas than he was before they pitted. Vettel also pitted, followed by Raikkonen who was not happy having to go in so soon after Vettel, as he believed he has the pace to win and should have been left out for a few more laps.
Raikkonen moved in on Paul Di Resta to lap him. Believing Di Resta impeded him, Raikkonen was left to angrily give his opinion to his race engineer. “If he can’t see me behind him, he should go back to the commentary box!”
Mercedes switched their drivers around, telling Hamilton he had 5 laps to pass Raikkonen, or give the position back.
Raikkonen was clearly the faster of the two Ferrari drivers, and was being hampered by a circuit where overtaking is impossible, and with the new regulations the cars just can’t run close enough to each other to even make DRS work.
Lewis couldn’t make any inroads into the Ferraris, and was given another 5 laps leaving everyone wondering if his radio mysteriously fail again if he hasn’t got past Raikkonen by the final lap?
Kevin Magnussen promised us a dirty race, and in order to keep his promise, he forced Hulkenberg off the track and was subsequently hit with a 5 second time penalty.
Paul Di Resta was forced to retire from last place with a technical issue. Considering he has not driven the car before qualifying yesterday, he certainly had not disgraced himself. I have seen worse stand in performances… Can anyone remember Look-How-Bad-You-Are, standing in for Felipe Massa in 2009? Poor Luca Badoer was last in every single session, while his team mate was winning the race! At least now he can stop annoying Raikkonen, and go back to the commentary box!
Nico Hulkenberg was also forced to retire. He had a scrappy race, and a weekend to forget.
Hamilton surprised everyone and I think even himself when he let Bottas through on the final lap so he can claim his rightful place on the podium.
But Vettel crossed the line to take a hard-fought victory, one that even he must know should really have gone to his team mate. Ferrari strategy is forever letting Raikkonen down, and this race is no exception.
Fernando Alonso set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap.
Driver of the day. Fan vote: Kimi Raikkonen
Driver of the day. Fiona’s vote: Kimi Raikkonen. To put it politely Kimi Raikkonen was let down by Ferrari. They got lucky today that the Hungaroring is a track where overtaking is impossible, as they want the drivers championship so badly they are willing to sacrifice just about anything to get it.
Conclusions from Hungary:
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY FERNANDO ALONSO, ALEIX ESPARGARO AND NICKY HAYDEN (we will make sure you will never be forgotten).
- The Force Indias have got to stop hitting each other!
- Lewis Hamilton can follow team orders.
- Max Verstappen needs to calm down off the start line, as he could have gotten on the podium instead of finishing 5th.
- Get well soon Felipe Massa
- If Kimi genuinely believes he has the pace to get Vettel in the pits, next time he should ignore the order to pit and do a few more laps!
I believe that is everything, have a great summer break F1 fans, see you in Spa in 4 weeks!