Race Report: Lewis takes points lead with Hungarian GP win

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After 30 years of racing in Hungary, the winner of the Hungarian Grand Prix has still only come from pole position 13 times as Lewis Hamilton converted a great start into his fifth win at the Hungaroring breaking free of the record four wins he shared with Michael Schumacher.

Lewis took the lead of the race from pole-sitter and teammate Nico Rosberg at the first turn and didn’t look back as he took the checkered flag 70 laps later. For Nico, finishing second was the best he could do to limit the points damage and now trails Lewis in the championship by six points.

Red Bull were hoping for a good race and thought that if they got the jump on Mercedes at the start, they may have a really good chance. As it was, Daniel Ricciardo did make a good move and was able to hold off Sebastian Vettel for the third place on the podium and his third appearance there in as many years.

WinWin

A momentum-fueling win for Lewis who now takes the lead in the championship as Formula 1 heads toward Nico’s home grand prix in Germany next week. Having just missed out on pole position, Lewis put his head down, practiced his starts and made the most of a day in which his second and third stint did present some tire performance challenges that yo-yo’d his lead between .6 and 1.5s.

A win for Daniel Ricciardo who may have hoped to finish higher but given the pace of the Mercedes, a podium finish ahead of Ferrari is a narrative that may just be the story of the remainder of the season. Can Ferrari hold off a rapidly improving Red Bull? Daniel’s podium elevated him to third in the driver’s championship too.

A win for Fernando Alonso and McLaren because if they were ever going to do well this season, Hungary was the track they should do it at and they did finishing 7th and in the points even if Alonso had racked up three formal warnings for exceeding track limits.

One could suggest that starting 14th was not good and Kimi Raikkonen’s surge from the back of the grid to 6th was a good race for the Finn even managing to be blocked by Max Verstappen who was weaving to keep the 2009 champion behind him. Ferrari’s strategy for Kimi played well and deserves a favorable mention.

A nod has to go to Carlos Sainz for quietly driving to 8th and in the points ahead of Williams and Force India drivers.

FailFail

A fail for Nico Rosberg who secured pole position—even with controversy—and then managed to lose the position at the start to Lewis and Daniel Ricciardo. While he did put a good move on Daniel to reclaim second, losing the win and lead in the points now provides serious momentum for his teammate and he will need to quickly reverse that trend if he has any design on winning the title.

It could have been a win for Jolyon Palmer to finish in the points but he threw it away when he spun in the last half of the race. Palmer said he doesn’t know what caused the spin but I suspect the man behind the wheel may have had something to do with that and it doesn’t help his chances of keeping that seat for 2017.

A fail for Force India who seemed caught off guard by Sergio Perez’s pit stop on lap 43 and possibly cost him a points finish.

A fail for Williams and Felipe Massa who struggled to finish 18th and perhaps there were some chassis issues that caused the lack of pace but Williams has continued their slide backward with each race but some of that sting was removed by Valtteri Bottas finishing in the points in 9th.

With his teammate in 8th, Daniil Kvyat’s 16th place finish and 5s penalty was an end cap on a bad weekend with a career that continues to sink since being demoted to Toro Rosso.

WTHWTH

A WTH for Max Verstappen for his dodgy defensive move on Kimi Raikkonen that apparently didn’t warrant a penalty but it was clearly a double move that cost Kimi the end plate of his front wing.

A WTH moment for Lewis Hamilton who is still moaning about Nico’s pole position and dog-whistling a call for rules clarification as well as suggesting that the lack of a penalty is now a bad message for junior series drivers and everyone else. Give it a break, Lewis, you didn’t get pole, deal with that mate.

A WTH moment for Jenson Button who seriously questioned his penalty for struggling with a hydraulic issue that presented a safety issue but the team told him not to shift which was a breach of the radio ban regulation which will surely go a long way in furthering this debate over the draconian nature of the rule.

A WTH moment for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton for his oddly slow second stint on soft compounds prompting the team to tell him several times to pick up the pace and eventually they threatened him that they would pit Nico first if he didn’t pick up the pace. His reaction to that was to immediately start setting 1:24’s again and it prompted NBCSN’s Will Buxton to suggest that Lewis was purposefully backing Nico Rosberg up into the clutches of the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.

Results:

Hungarian GP Results:

PosDriverCarGap
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1h40m30.115s
2Nico RosbergMercedes1.977s
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault27.539s
4Sebastian VettelFerrari28.213s
5Max VerstappenRed Bull/Renault48.659s
6Kimi RaikkonenFerrari49.044s
7Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda1 Lap
8Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Ferrari1 Lap
9Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes1 Lap
10Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes1 Lap
11Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1 Lap
12Jolyon PalmerRenault1 Lap
13Esteban GutierrezHaas/Ferrari1 Lap
14Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1 Lap
15Kevin MagnussenRenault1 Lap
16Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Ferrari1 Lap
17Felipe NasrSauber/Ferrari1 Lap
18Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes2 Laps
19Pascal WehrleinManor/Mercedes2 Laps
20Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari2 Laps
21Rio HaryantoManor/Mercedes2 Laps
Jenson ButtonMcLaren/HondaRetirement

Drivers’ Championship Points

PosDriverPoints
1Lewis Hamilton192
2Nico Rosberg186
3Daniel Ricciardo115
4Kimi Raikkonen114
5Sebastian Vettel110
6Max Verstappen100
7Valtteri Bottas56
8Sergio Perez47
9Felipe Massa38
10Carlos Sainz30
11Romain Grosjean28
12Nico Hulkenberg27
13Fernando Alonso24
14Daniil Kvyat23
15Jenson Button13
16Kevin Magnussen6
17Pascal Wehrlein1
18Stoffel Vandoorne1
19Esteban Gutierrez0
20Jolyon Palmer0
21Marcus Ericsson0
22Felipe Nasr0
23Rio Haryanto0

Constructors’ Championship Points

PosConstructorPoints
1Mercedes378
2Ferrari224
3Red Bull/Renault223
4Williams/Mercedes94
5Force India/Mercedes74
6Toro Rosso/Ferrari45
7McLaren/Honda38
8Haas/Ferrari28
9Renault6
10Manor/Mercedes1
11Sauber/Ferrari0
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race
An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.

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Member

They showed Max vs. Kimi for quite a while, didn’t they? Although there were calls for switching over to Daniel vs Seb, every time I heard about the gap between them, it was 1-1.5 sec, which isn’t exactly nose to tail is it? Although Max’s move probably warranted a investigation according to the rules, why not rethink the rules for blocking altogether? DRS provides such a great advantage for the driver behind, wouldn’t it be fair for the driver ahead to be able to block more agressively? I know that the blocking rules were written due to Schumacher’s moves, but… Read more »

longshot
Guest
longshot

The problem with aggressive blocking (ie. weaving) is that it sets the scene for high-speed collisions. The T2 incident in this race could very easily have eliminated both cars had Kimi not reacted as quickly as he did.

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

How in God’s name did Charlie Whiting look at that video and come up with ‘one move’? Is this an example of F1’s very complex rules, or is it ‘Max is the future’ stuff, or is there a wrinkle in space/time? I mean did anyone watch that and not see a violation of the rules both in letter and spirit, as well as a dangerous situation? I am no Kimi fan, I think his resigning says to the world ‘Ferrari is happy to lose and sell cars based on the glory of years gone by’ but this one was just… Read more »

mini696
Member

The stewards need to spend more time looking at Max’s blocking, and less time worrying about the teams asking if Button wants a cup of tea over the radio.

longshot
Guest
longshot

Lewis apparently said after the race that he was deliberately running with lower engine settings in the 2nd stint, hence his lack of pace. And who would blame him considering the number of engines that have failed on him this year?

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

Makes sense but let’s be honest, when he comes over the radio with that horrid fake voice (the one he used to say he felt he was floating like Ali) and says he’s driving as fast as humanly possible, he invites calls of ‘pants-on-fire’.

Coji
Guest

2007 WDC. This week d’s unfortunate Jenson was 2009. When Buxton asked HAM about messing with Nico, I think his reaction tells it all. Kind of a shitty thing to do to a teammate, but that’s part of the sport we love. Nico didn’t seem to have anything for Lewis all day and I thought he would struggle to keep RIC behind on lap one. VES definitely should have been hit up for weaving/blocking/dangerous driving, then to complain that RAINwas exceeding track limits after he being told of warnings was funny. Only because he’s a teen did I associate it… Read more »

Andreas
Guest
Andreas

Great drive from Lewis – it just goes to show how important getting the start right is. Also, Ricciardo deserves a mention for his bold move around the outside of turn 1. The Button drive through may seem harsh, but I think (the Stewards’ decision doesn’t say specifically) the problem was the instruction to ”don’t shift”, followed by ”stay out”. In the Sky F1 race broadcast (I haven’t had time to watch the post-race part of the show yet) Crofty was under the (erroneous) impression that you could tell the driver whatever you like, as long as you then come… Read more »

MIE
Editor

Unlike some of his contemporaries, Raikkonen doesn’t usually run into other drivers. He seems to take greater care to avoid contact and so may be more susceptible to Verstappen’s small changes on direction. Verstappen on the other hand can either drive very fast while looking in the mirrors,or he has a sixth sense of just where the other driver will be.
There may not have been much overtaking in Hungary but there was some good racing in defending positions from both Red Bull drivers.

Zachary Noepe
Guest
Zachary Noepe

Agreed about the radio. If we’re going to debate everything Jenson Button whines about while he’s circling around in 21st, we need a whole separate website for that. Doesn’t make any of it wrong.