Lewis Hamilton has taken victory for a sixth time at the Hungarian Grand Prix after leading his title rival Sebastian Vettel home. The Mercedes driver led most of the race, after stopping earlier than Vettel and the German deciding to stop later than Hamilton.
That later pit stop for Hamilton ultimately proved pivotal in the outcome of the race as the German’s stop proved to be longer than expected. That led to Vettel losing his advantage from Hamilton and dropped him to third behind Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Before the stop, Vettel had already lost time in traffic then the team struggled to change the front right costing him two seconds. He then spent over a quarter of the race stuck behind Bottas.
Re-joining behind Bottas with just over thirty laps to go. He then got stuck behind the Finn until they collided with four laps remaining.
Hamilton said “We came here knowing Ferrari would be really quick this weekend so to come out with these points, we’ll definitely take it as a bonus. I’m really happy with how strong its come the last couple of races. We’ve got to come strong in the next half.”
Vettel had closed up on Bottas with five laps to go, the Finn held off the Ferrari into Turn One, the German then cut back going to the outside for Two. But then, Bottas braked too late trying to retain the position before making contact with the Ferrari.
Both teams opted to keep both cars out, but Bottas lost out to Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian got a run on him along the start-finish straight and made a pass into turn one. The incident between Vettel and Bottas has been deciding it was a racing incident.
However, his incident with Ricciardo earned him a ten-second penalty and two points on his licence. That doesn’t change the result of the race as the Finn had a twenty-three second lead over Pierre Gasly.
The Finn forced Ricciardo wide and then Mercedes ordered him to give the place back. However, the stewards didn’t take action on either incident which involved Bottas. Meanwhile, Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen was forced to retire with a loss of power on lap six.
Speaking about the incident, Bottas said “The rear tyres started to die. I tried to defend the best I could, as aggressive as I could, but it just ended up being a bit of a mess at the end.”
Toro Rosso’s Gasly was best of the rest in sixth, the Frenchman getting ahead of the Renault of Carlos Sainz at the start. He then remained seventh until Ricciardo retired, moving into sixth. Gasly also withstood the pressure from the Haas of Kevin Magnussen.
After a disappointing qualifying, Fernando Alonso worked his way from eleventh to eighth. The Spaniard used a long first stint to get the overcut on the cars around him, despite getting held up by Esteban Ocon in the first stint.
His teammate Stoffel Vandoorne used the same strategy to follow Alonso through the field. However, he was forced to retire with a gearbox problem in the closing stages. That moved Renault’s Carlos Sainz to ninth and Haas’s Romain Grosjean to tenth.
On a difficult weekend for Force India, where the team went into administration, Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were thirteenth and fourteenth. Force India have appeared to struggle on track with the car’s performance all weekend, but made progress on track after starting eighteenth and nineteenth.
- Notebook – Hungarian Qualifying
- Hungarian GP – Qualifying Result
- HUNGARIAN GP – Lewis Hamilton takes a surprise pole in wet conditions as Mercedes lock out front row
- Notebook – Hungarian Practice
- HUNGARIAN GP – Sebastian Vettel fastest in second practice by seven hundredths off a second
- HUNGARIAN GP – Ricciardo tops a close first practice by seven hundredths over Vettel
- Prixview – Hungarian Grand Prix