Budapest, The Hungaroring: It's twisty, narrow track nestled comfortably in the valley.....Rosberg is in pole.
|Driver||Team||Race Time||Points||Average Speed (mph)|
|Lewis Hamilton (GB)||Mercedes||1:40:30||25||183.059|
|Nico Rosberg (GER)||Mercedes||+1.977 Sec||18||182.999|
|Daniel Ricciardo (AUS)||Red Bull||+27.539 Sec||15||182.226|
|Sebastian Vettel (GER)||Ferrari||+28.213 Sec||12||182.206|
Hamilton celebrates his win with the 'dab' (the trademark celebration of America's NFL Cam Newton), jumps on his car, bows to the crowd and hugs anyone he can get hold of on his team; pleased with this victory?
Despite some uneasy moments and an apparent struggle for pace, Hamilton cruised to a comfortable victory in Hungary - leading from start to finish. He controlled the race from when he passed Rosberg on the first corner of the 1st lap and he is now 6 points ahead of him in the championship.
This race gives Hamilton a record-breaking 5 wins here in Budapest. It's a relatively new addition to the Formula One calendar - with the first race held in 1986. The first actual Hungarian Grand Prix was held in 1936, but war and politics prevented it from taking part again until 50 years later.
Notorious for it's tight, unyielding track, "The start was everything." (Hamilton). Starting in pole, Rosberg was immediately overtaken by Hamilton and then Ricciardo. The Australian almost snatching the lead from the current World Champion.
"With Daniel on one side and Lewis on the other I was out of space and that was it really. It is not possible to pass on this track." (Rosberg)
Though Rosberg didn't lose 2nd place for long, passing Ricciardo at Turn 2 - a pivotal moment on a track famed for it's lack of overtaking opportunities. The top 5 of Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Verstappen and Vettel remained within a mere 10 seconds from front to back for the first part of the race. And the top 3 held their positions through the 1st pit, after which Ricciardo slipped 8 seconds behind Rosberg. They managed to keep Hamilton under pressure though; Rosberg was never more than 3 seconds behind and Ricciardo within 3 seconds of them during the latter stages of the race.
So this 'convincing' win was not without pressure or moments of panic. Hamilton appeared not to be as comfortable on softs as on the supersofts; consequently Rosberg and Ricciardo started to close the gap following the pit. And later a mistake at Turn 12 (Lap 62) put Rosberg directly on his tail.
Hamilton was told by Mercedes to hurry up or they would bring Rosberg in 1st at the final stops. Was this apparent lack of speed a deliberate ploy by Hamilton to unnerve his teammate? Or was he really struggling? Following the threat he managed to increase his speed by a full second.
Hamilton also had to endure being held up in traffic by Haas' Esteban Gutierrez on lap 52, despite 3 blue flags - prompting him to show the middle finger when he was finally able to pass.
Responding to Mercedes taking the 1st and 2nd podiums, Toto Wolff said "I am very delighted, it was a really good race... It is very special."
5th: Max Verstappen
6th: Kimi Raikkonen
7th: Fernando Alonso
Whispers of a potential Red Bull victory had been doing the rounds following the 3rd practice on Saturday, when Verstappen was within 0.002 seconds of Rosberg.
But it was Ricciardo who got the podium place, "It's great to have another podium this year. The first one (Monaco) was a bit bittersweet..." (Ricciardo)
Verstappen had started ahead of Vettel. But by making his 1st pit stop 2 stops after him and emerging behind Kimi Raikkonen - he slowed, while Raikkonen made impressive strides on his softs. And so for the rest of the race 'the real' battle commenced between Red Bull and Ferrari for what was ultimately 5th place.
Raikkonen drove exceptionally well, starting from 14th and gaining ground amid the difficult 'traffic' to 5th/6th place. Verstappen spent 13 frustrating laps directly behind but unable to pass him, until Raikkonen's final pit stop placed the Red Bull driver in front. On his new super softs Raikkonen caught up and eventually collided with Verstappen while attempting to overtake during Lap 57 - but failed to pass him.
Raikkonen felt that the Dutchman's defending, rather his late decision to turn and defend the inside line, wasn't legal "I've seen people penalised for much less." But the stewards didn't even feel it necessary to investigate, much to Raikkonen's chagrin.
Jenson Button started 8th and dropped to last with hydraulic problems in his "race from hell." With 7 laps left, he was eventually told by McClaren to stop (at that point he was 20th). To add insult to injury he was penalised for 'illegal' radio communications, after complaining of a brake pedal which kept going to the floor and was told not to change gear.
“So the brake pedal going to the floor isn’t considered a safety issue?.....That is… quite interesting. I think someone needs to read up on what is safe and what isn’t.” (Button)
Teammate Fernando Alonso managed to take 7th place.
Jolyon Palmer - A late spin cost him (first time) points and he eventually finished 12th. He had finished 13th in the race but was put up a place thanks to a 5 second time penalty given to Guttierrez for ignoring blue flags
"It was the best drive of my career but I spun it and we didn't get any points. I'm gutted." (Palmer)
8th: Carlos Sainz Jr
9th: Valtteri Bottas
10th: Nico Hulkenberg
Next up....Germany. Fives wins each for Rosberg and Hamilton so far this season - who will tip the balance? Or can Red Bull cause an upset in the Mercedes camp?