Race Report: Vettel wins Hungarian Grand Prix

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Did you predict a Ferrari win in at the Hungarian Grand Prix? If so, then you sensed something most fans hadn’t. Sebastian Vettel took the victory in Hungary while the two Mercedes drivers failed to score a podium finish in the new turbo era.

The win signaled one thing about Mercedes, if you can get the jump on them at the start, they tend to be vulnerable and beatable.

It was an eventful race and very unpredictable to be sure and perhaps just the shot in the arm F1 needed before taking another 3-week break.

Win

Win

You have to give a win to Vettel for a measured and Senna-equaling 41st win of his career. Ferrari may have found pace over the last three weeks and perhaps the Hungaroring favored the Scuderia but regardless, a great start and competitive pace took the victory.

A win for both Red Bull drivers who finished on the podium giving the team a much needed boost in morale. Daniel Ricciardo became the one Red Bull that effectively spoiled both Mercedes drivers’ races. Kvyat said he learned the meaning of “never give up” on Sunday and clearly it was a valuable lesson.

The fourth place finish for Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen was a real highlight for the youngster as it was the best result for the team since Vettel gave them a 4th place in Brazil back in 2008.

It may seem like platitudes but a win goes to McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button for finishing in the points. The team certainly found the Hungarian circuit more to their liking and they scored much-needed points.

Fail

Fail

A fail for Pastor Maldonado who seems to have revived his crash magnate status in scuttling Force India’s Sergio Perez’s race. Force India had its own fail this weekend with suspension failure on Sergio’s car as well.

A fail for Mercedes who got poor starts, making me wonder if that ban on pre-start radio direction from the team over clutch bite points may have had a bigger impact. The poor starts put them in the clutches of actual cars racing for position and collisions ensued.

Nico Rosberg gets a fail for being “off” the entire weekend and not taking advantage of teammate Hamilton’s poor race and closing the points gap. His door-slamming on Daniel Ricciardo put him an additional four points behind Hamilton heading into summer break.

A fail for Ferrari in retiring Kimi Raikkonen’s car with engine trouble. The Finn got a great start and looked set to run with Vettel but the car let him down at a time when he needs to be producing.

WTH

A WTH goes to Lewis Hamilton for driving like the Lewis of old. Having a poor start (or Ferrari’s outstanding start), Lewis pressed the opportunities and paid the price. His move on teammate Nico Rosberg was ill-advised as was his restart clouting of Ricciardo which garnered a penalty. It was not Lewis’s day at the office and even champions are allowed an off day from time to time…or are they?

A WTH moment for Force India who seemed to have structural issues with Perez but also had a complete front wing failure for Nico Hulkenberg that cost a decent result and brings reason for concern over their chassis integrity.

Results

1. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) 1hr 46min 09.985sec
2. Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Red Bull) at 15.748sec
3. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull) 25.084
4. Max Verstappen (NED/Toro Rosso) 44.251
5. Fernando Alonso (ESP/McLaren) 49.079
6. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 52.025
7. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus) 58.578
8. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes) 58.876
9. Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren) 1min 07.028sec
10. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber AG) 1:09.130
11. Felipe Nasr (BRA/Sauber AG) 1:13.458
12. Felipe Massa (BRA/Williams) 1:14.278
13. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Williams) 1:20.228
14. Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Lotus) 1:25.142
15. Roberto Merhi (ESP/Marussia) 2 laps
16. Will Stevens (GBR/Marussia) 4 laps

DNF

Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Force India): 42nd lap
Sergio Perez (MEX/Force India): 54th lap
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Ferrari): 56th lap
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Toro Rosso): 61th lap

Driver’s Championship Points

1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 202
2. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 181
3. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 160
4. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 77
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 76
6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 74
7. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 51
8. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 45
9. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 24
10. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 23
11. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 22
12. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 16
13. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 15
14. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 12
15. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 11
16. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 9
17. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 6
18. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 6
19. Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 0
20. Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 0

Constructors Points

1. Mercedes 383
2. Ferrari 236
3. Williams-Mercedes 151
4. RedBull – Renault 96
5. Force India – Mercedes 39
6. Lotus – Mercedes 35
7. Toro Rosso – Renault 31
8. Sauber – Ferrari 22
9. McLaren 17
10. Marussia – Ferrari 0

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bclautz

Pass rosberg on Kimi, Donkey that one easy Maldonado being Maldonado. Although Lewis gave it a run for his money. Drive Vettel great drive.

Junipero Mariano

If you needed to find a way to slow down Mercedes, I guess the driver coaching ban was it, as opposed to banning split turbos or something. Will Mercedes win the championship? Yes. But I’m hoping it gets a little harder for them to walk away with it..

Michael in Seattle

The drivers’ aids, and “coaching” ban on clutch-bite points, doesn’t start until Spa, btw. I think Williams figured something out, and Ferrari figured out what Williams found.
Love the fact that Mercedes has trouble in dirty air.

Will Irwin

Can’t tell if the bad starts by Mercedes are due to some problem in their car (that is three duff starts in a row by HAM) or by some brilliance on the part of Williams and Ferrari engineers. Whatever it is, it is turning out to to really liven up the racing. Will be fascinating to see how the ban on clutch bite point advice plays out.

Junipero Mariano

That’s a really good point. I wonder if Mecedes just doesn’t account for dirty air as much as the other teams would if they figure they’ll always be in front. Certainly Nico has complained about it and Lewis is all front tires be damned, he’s passing you. On the other hand, dirty air is the reality the other teams must face and deal with it the best they can.

Dougahlos Haggerty

Pass would be ferrari drivers on Mercedes drivers…donkey…Maldonado without doubt….drive…Alonso from 15the to 5th….not quite a war off attrition race so…..well earned drive

dude

Front wings are ruining racing.

Michael in Seattle

Wings – period – are harming racing. Designed floors and partial ground effects cannot come soon enough.

Paul KieferJr

So, that’s two wins for Ferrari, as predicted. Who here thinks they’ll win more?

dude

Kimi might have a chance at Spa, he usually wakes up around that time of the year.

Ian Robinson

That made me smile, so true.

Andreas Möller

A dramatic and very eventful race, with what must have been a very busy sunday afternoon in the Stewards’ room :-) Superb drive by Vettel, while people tripped on themselves (and each other) behind him. The Maldonado hattrick (three penalties in the same race)… well, the less said about that, the better. Great job by McLaren, taking advantage of events around them to get both cars into the points. Sadly, I can’t help think that a race like this, with midfield to top runners stumbling all over the place, would have been a perfect opportunity for Jules Bianchi to steal… Read more »

Michael in Seattle

Donkey: Share between Mercedes team and Nico Rosberg. The team because they didn’t have his option tires ready when he pitted during VSC, and Rosberg for being a dork and not handling the gift that awaited him in the form of championship lead, or damn close to it. Crikey, hitting Ricciardo = bonehead move.
Pass: Seb and Kimi on the Merc boys at start.
Drive: Many choices. I’ll take Seb with a nod to Kimi. Honourable mentions to Fernando, Ricciardo and Kvyat.

adaptable1

Epic race! Truly a champion’s drive by Vettel. One thing that I noticed at the last safety car was that Nico went onto hard tires instead of the softs (like the RBR cars). Had he gone onto the softs, he could have had better pace than the Red Bulls and never got into the tussle with Riccardo. Hindsight is 20/20, but the BBC were quick to point that out during Nico’s stop. Bring on Spa!!! Three weeks seems like another eternity.

Shocks&Awe

5Live talked about this in their post-race podcast. and said almost exactly the same thing. They reckon that the decision had already been made, that Nico wanted to cover Hamilton, but that when the SC came out, they didn’t’ have time to switch the tires to the option and had to stick to the original plan.

peter riva

It was an eventful race, but besides Kimi having another Ferrari failure (that’s 4 this year, which pundits will chalk up to his record no doubt; “everyone is saying he’s gone” Great NBCSN Diffey, not everyone obviously) – besides Kimi, the race had one recurring theme, perhaps engendered by the narrowness of the track (Ricciardi on Rosberg) but mostly caused by two factors: 1. The darn DRS. Catch up to someone, you can’t pass them, open DRS + gain 10mph and blow on by, dump them in dirty air causing an additional 2 sec gap. 2. The argy-bargy boys, those… Read more »

Adam Edney

I would give it a 4.5 out of five

Mike S

The result was awesome, I am glad Lewis did not make the podium. Folks, before anyone reacts, most who know me here know that I am a Lewis fan from his carting days, and LH/Merc is my team. Why I said this is because this race is EVERYREASON I have been a rabid F1 fan since the 70’s as a kid. Pushing the limits, both technically and human is the F1 world. If these pilots were robots…it would be boring eventually. But machines, teams/systems and drivers are pushed to the edge. The unpredictability (except for Pastor ‘Thunderdome’ Maldonado) is beautiful.… Read more »

jakobusvdl

“Straight to the scene of the accident” as Martin Brundle likes to say. When Hulkenberg lost his front wing, he immediately locked up the front wheels and went nose in to the barrier. We quite often see that type of crash in F1 (though fortunately not due to front wing failure), are the ‘rules’ of emergency braking different for F1 cars? Typically in a car with no ABS, you’re told to cadence brake to prevent lock up and reduce stopping distance / retain some steering control. These guys are the best drivers in the world, if they don’t cadence brake… Read more »

jakobusvdl

Does anyone else think the steward decisons on the numerous first corner clashes and collisions were a bit inconsistent?
For me it was hard to discern the difference between the ones that attracted a penalty, and the ones that didn’t.
Still with 9 penalties handed out in the race, perhaps that was enough.