Race Report: Hamilton extends lead with Hungarian GP win

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The Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring is often called Monaco without the walls and it was a track that Ferrari were quickest on with Friday’s practice sessions proving that notion. Mercedes were not as quick and were even concerned about being quicker than the Red Bulls. They needed help and Saturday brought the help they needed.

A rainy qualifying session provided chaotic, changeable conditions and Mercedes took advantage by out-performing Ferrari for a front row lockout. This meant that Ferrari would have to rely on their long-run pace in order to try to win but that is a tall order on a track like Hungary.

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In the end, Mercedes didn’t have to contend with the long-run pace of the Ferraris as Lewis Hamilton had a good start, took the lead and managed the pace for 70 laps for the win. Sebastian Vettel recovered to second with his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, in third. It isn’t the result Ferrari would have wanted as they honored the passing of their CEO, Sergio Marchionne.


A big win for Mercedes, who didn’t feel this circuit was going to flatter them, but Saturday’s rain provided an opportunity to out-perform Ferrari and Sunday was an opportunity to execute their plan and not have to contend with Ferrari’s quicker pace. A big gift on a weekend they weren’t expecting a gift and it is a critical win for both championships

A big win for Pierre Gasly and Toro Rosso for a brilliant 6th place finish and a very good drive from the Frenchman. Pierre had a good start and managed his race to remain in the top 10 all day. A good result for the team and Honda with a nice points haul.

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A win for Daniel Ricciardo who lost places at the start and managed to pick his way through the field into 5th place. He managed to finish the race after being clouted by Valtteri Bottas late in the race and despite underfloor damage, Daniel has a terrific drive back to the front with his teammate, Max Verstappen, suffering a DNF.

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A win for Haas F1’s Kevin Magnussen who had a measured, incident-free race to 7th and in the points. More importantly, it puts Haas F1 5th in the Constructor’s Championship and his teammate, Romain Grosjean, recovering into the points helped as well.


A fail for Valtteri Bottas who was running well and in second place having covered Kimi Raikkonen’s early pit stop only to clash with Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo in the closing laps of the race on worn tires. Valtteri was nonplussed with the label the team gave him as wingman to Lewis, the team’s strategy and the outcome of the race. He called both clashes racing incidents, but the team’s verbiage and strategy seemed more frustrating to the Finn.

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A fail for Red Bull who suffered yet another Renault engine failure (MGU-K) with Max Verstappen on lap 6 and for McLaren who had a Renault engine failure on lap 51 with Stoffel Vandoorne who was having one of his best races thus far in his new chassis.

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A fail for Sauber’s Charles Leclerc who had a DNF on lap 2 and for Marcus Ericsson who couldn’t manage to pick up the pieces for the team finishing down in 15th.


A WTH moment for Renault who were running well but both drivers sank toward the back and two customers suffered engine failures. Sainz and Hulkenberg finished 9th and 12th respectively and it should have been both cars in the top 10 fighting for best of the rest, instead, Toro Rosso had those honors.

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One of those odd moments when you’re thrilled to have a team boss like Christian Horner on your live broadcast and the chance to have him call the pass his driver is making on a competitor only to have them hit each other and Horner left to live broadcast the incident. Quick thinking from Crofty to take over the broadcast at that point.

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Certainly Force India’s drama this weekend was a WTH moment and it now becomes clear why we aren’t seeing the Force India of 2017. Sad that a driver had to initiate the administrative proceedings and that the current owners didn’t do anything to move the team onward to a new owner.

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Not quite sure why Ferrari’s pace in Vettel’s car wasn’t there on the Ultrasoft compounds. It seemed the right strategy but the slow pit stop lost Vettel the chance to cover Bottas’s stop and this spoiled any chance they had at pitting their pace against Lewis Hamilton’s.

Race results

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes701h37m16.427s
2Sebastian VettelFerrari7017.123s
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari7020.101s
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault7046.419s
5Valtteri BottasMercedes7050.000s
6Pierre GaslyToro Rosso/Honda701m13.273s
7Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari691 Lap
8Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Renault691 Lap
9Carlos SainzRenault691 Lap
10Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari691 Lap
11Brendon HartleyToro Rosso/Honda691 Lap
12Nico HulkenbergRenault691 Lap
13Esteban OconForce India/Mercedes691 Lap
14Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes691 Lap
15Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari682 Laps
16Sergey SirotkinWilliams/Mercedes682 Laps
17Lance StrollWilliams/Mercedes682 Laps
Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren/Renault49Gearbox
Max VerstappenRed Bull/Renault5Power Unit
Charles LeclercSauber/Ferrari0Collision

Driver’s Championship

1Lewis Hamilton213
2Sebastian Vettel189
3Kimi Raikkonen146
4Valtteri Bottas132
5Daniel Ricciardo118
6Max Verstappen105
7Nico Hulkenberg52
8Kevin Magnussen45
9Fernando Alonso44
10Sergio Perez30
11Carlos Sainz30
12Esteban Ocon29
13Pierre Gasly26
14Romain Grosjean21
15Charles Leclerc13
16Stoffel Vandoorne8
17Marcus Ericsson5
18Lance Stroll4
19Brendon Hartley2
20Sergey Sirotkin0

Constructor’s Championship

3Red Bull/Renault223
6Force India/Mercedes59
8Toro Rosso/Honda28
Overall Race
race-report-hamilton-extends-lead-with-hungarian-gp-winAn exciting race to watch from a strategy standpoint with two sides of that coin. Would Mercedes be threatened by the pace of the Ferrari or would their strategy work? Would Ferrari be able to take advantage of their long-run pace or could Mercedes set the pace and keep them behind?
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Tom Firth

I liked the pre-race minute of silence to Marchionne, thought that was highly appropriate and respectful from F1.

Onto the race itself, Think your 3.5 rating is about right. It wasn’t an amazing race but as Hungaroring goes, we’ve seen far worse. Getting irritated at Ferrari continuing to chuck points away and if Bottas hadn’t had his mini meltdown, it would have been somewhat poor for Ferrari. Do you think Red Bull will tell any difference when swap to Honda? At least Honda seem to progressing whereas Renault almost seem to be regressing.

Another poor show for Williams :(


After so many dramatic races this year, a ‘normal’ race seemed a bit dull.
It seemed only Ricciardo was able to overtake on the circuit, and the rest of the field was pretty much static.
That worked out well for Toro Rosso, with Gasley and Hartley getting strong results, and McLaren having Alonso and Van Doorne running way out of position.
Did Sainz get any kind of a penalty for his tardy efforts to get out of Vettel’s way?
Without the time lost behind him, the second half of Vettel’s race would have been a lot different.

Tom Firth

No Sainz didn’t get any kind of penalty. In fact the FIA didn’t even seemingly summon him to the stewards office which I find somewhat odd.


Maybe SKY misreported the “9 blue flags”, the tv coverage only came to it just before Sainz let Vettel past
But certainly Vettel went from under 20 sec behind Bottas to over 28 sec in a lap, something happened.


Not quite a normal race. This was still impacted by safety cars (two VSC periods). That maintains the 100% record for this season.


Wouldn’t that make it normal (ie. a race without a VSC or SC would be unusual)?

Did the VSCs really have an impact? Alonso got caught out and a few backmarkers made an early stop…unless I’m forgetting something?


Worryingly for this season, you are correct, it is usual to have the racing interrupted by a safety car period.

The impact it has is on the winner’s race time. So it is impossible to compare this season with any previous years to see if the cars are faster or slower. The pole position time and race fastest lap only tell part of the story, as they don’t show the effect of tyre degradation or having to save fuel.


Sounds like you keep some interesting spreadsheets Dave, what sorts of data and statistics do you track?
Did you listen to the Autosport podcast discussing ‘How good was Jim Clark?’. Apart from compelling argument that he was one of the greatest ever, they present statistics on ‘super laps’ over the seasons.
That seems to comparing fastest times for the teams over each season to compare their relative performance.
The margins were tiny in Clark’s era, and are still pretty tiny now


This article shows the sort of analysis that I would like to be able to do.


Unfortunately the number of safety car affected races (15 last season, and every single one this year) means that the analysis will be flawed. A late safety car, with the leaders stopping for fresh tyres, and no need to save fuel, will result in a n improvement in the fastest lap.

I haven’t yet listened to the recent Autosport podcasts (I changed my phone and lost the URL for their RSS feed), I’ll have to catch up.


Thats high quality analysis and interpretation Dave.
Its a pity the data hasn’t been there to carry it on.
I guess you’ve looked at other measures to compare across the races and seasons, where do they fall short?


I think this was about as good of a result as Ferrari could expect considering their qualifying position, and the fact that they couldn’t jump ahead of the Mercedes on the first lap or two. VET’s hold up for lapped cars and bad pitstop didn’t end up costing him anything. It’s hard to imagine VET could have made up 8s AND passed HAM in the last laps. I was excited to hear Toto’s criticism of BOT after he ran into two cars from behind – “it is either intentional or incompetence” – oh wait, of course he didn’t say that… Read more »


Someone had to go there B52, and you beat me to it ;-)
I was hoping Vettel would throw in a cheeky question about the kind of tactics Mercedes are using. That would have amused me greatly.


I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with using Bottas as a blocker, but Mercedes is taking things too far with the way they keep leaving him out so long on shot tires. They’re turning him into a huge safety risk, regularly wearing out his tires to the point where he literally cannot control the car enough to avoid collisions. He could have just as easily had this bumper-car finish at Silverstone as well, the way he was sliding around. Bottas isn’t going to complain, he’s a good company man, but if they keep this up he’s going to get… Read more »


Oh and I just saw this nonsense from Toto: “In today’s race, starting P2, Valtteri’s race was the perfect wingman’s race. I don’t mean it in championship terms, because we have no number one and no number two, but just how he was racing was, from my standpoint, the best race so far from Valtteri with Mercedes in the last few years.” Yeah, OK, Bottas is on equal terms with Hamilton, which is why you told Bottas to hold position in second in Germany when he looked to have better pace than Lewis. Does Mercedes even believe half the shit… Read more »


I don’t see hypocrisy in Toto’s statements. I do believe they let their drivers race, and in Germany elected to give the order to hold station for this very reason. Had they left them to race in those conditions there was a very real possibility that it would have ended in tears for both of them as they are racing drivers driven to win and take risks doing it. They already say VET go into the barriers by himself from the lead. I think what hurts BOT chances of getting to win a race is that he comes on strong… Read more »


RAI seemed to have a few chances during the race to get around VET but seemed to abort the attempt. Almost like he wanted to show he could get their and then drop back. I’d love to see RAI back into killer mode and take the fight to VET. Maybe if he knew he wasn’t going to be on the team next year he’d do exactly that and is why there is no news on that front yet.


I thought that Vandoorne’s radio message indicated a gearbox failure, rather than anything Renault are responsible for.


Thats right, Vandoorne had a gaerbox issue. renault is only screwing RBR over. This can’t be coincidence anymore.

Michael H

@PMR, By “screwing” RBR, you are talking about Renault releasing a new MGU-K update (better cooling/reliability) that required some packaging changes RBR didn’t want to do so stuck with the old MGU-K….right?

Chris R

“You will not have the drink, sorry.”
Best moment of the race.


Everybody: aaannnndddd brake.
Daniel: aaannnddd 3, 2, 1, brake.


There was something a little different yesterday… a good race, somewhat predictable at times (including RBR engine issues), somewhat exciting DannyRic (spelling?) providing the thrills, somewhat stupid (Bottas screwing up and then getting hammered by MB with “wingman”) and then, there was the ending, three drivers all standing around waiting for an interview and all the cameraman and the fans wanted was Kimi, his wife and kid. The crowd roared louder for Kimi than for either Hamilton or Vettel… interesting, no? The kiss for his kid – believe me when I say this – said more about the man than… Read more »