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Sebastian Vettel Takes a Huge Win For Ferrari At The Hungarian Grand Prix

Drafting the Circuits

Formula 1 Report

Hungary Grand Prix

By Steve Aibel

@steveaibel

 

The Hungarian Grand Prix started with a show of solidarity and commemoration to Jules Bianchi, the Formula 1 driver who lost his life last week after a terrible accident in Suzuka, Japan last year. The drivers all joined hands in a circle around their helmets during a moment of silence for Jules Bianchi. Christine and Philippe Bianchi, Jules parents, were also in the circle during the observation of silence.

The memory of Jules Bianchi circled the Hungary Grand Prix

The memory of Jules Bianchi circled the Hungary Grand Prix

The Grand Prix ended with another heartfelt tribute when Sebastian Vettel dedicated the win to Bianchi.

Sebastian Vettel and James Allison celebrate victory in Hungary

Sebastian Vettel and James Allison celebrate victory in Hungary

“Incredible day but this victory is for Jules. We know that it has been an incredibly tough week and it’s, I think, for all of us very, very difficult, so this one is for him and especially all the people in Ferrari and all the Ferrari we knew that sooner or later he would have been part of our team, part of this family. Cette victoire, c’est pour Jules.”

It is this sort of larger perspective that makes Vettel as much a champion out of the car as he is within! Vettel has a history of acknowledging the moments in his racing career that take on special significance and sharing that perspective with his team. Well done Seb!

Sebastian Vettel won the Hungarian Grand Prix followed by Red Bull drivers Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo. Vettel’s second win of the season was also his first in Hungary, and his 41st in F1 tying Ayrton Senna. He used his trademark squeeze play at the start of the Grand Prix to control the racing line and vault ahead of the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Teammate Kimi Raikkonen also got past the Mercedes duo allowing the Ferraris to edge out a considerable lead and control the race from the front.

Ferrari and Red Bull dominate Hungary

Ferrari and Red Bull dominate Hungary

Lewis Hamilton made things difficult for himself when he went off track and dropped back to 11th position. Hamilton seemed to believe that Nico Rosberg had blocked his line but later seemed to accept that he had made his own mistakes in what was a rough race for Hamilton. Hamilton was set to hand the Driver’s Championship lead to Nico Rosberg by race end, until Rosberg was rear ended by an aggressive Daniel Ricciardo. Rosbergs right rear tire was punctured resulting in a long, slow run back to the pits and an eventual finish of 8th place.

By far, this was the worst performance for the World Champion Mercedes team. Hamilton described Hungary as “a bad day at the office.” The long string of having a Mercedes driver on the podium ended with the 6th and 8th place finishes. The last time there was not a Mercedes driver on the podium dates back to the final race of the 2013 season in Brazil. Mercedes Toto Wolff, said “For us, it was incident packed. We had more incidents in this one race than we did throughout the season.”

Ferrari had the look of a double podium until Kimi Raikkonen experienced an issue with the Ferrari’s MGU-K. Raikkonen ran in 2nd position for most of the race until the drop in power made him an easy target and he fell down the order. The Ferrari pit crew attempted to restart the car and reestablish full power but was unable to do so. Raikkonen was forced to retire the injured Ferrari, finishing out of the points.

Red Bull Racing had a rejuvenated weekend in Hungary with Daniil Kvyat securing his best ever finish of 2nd and Daniel Ricciardo finishing 3rd. This was Kvyat’s first podium in Formula 1. Placing 2 drivers on the podium was a huge victory for both Red Bull Racing and Renault.

Second place finish for Daniil Kvyat was his first podium

Second place finish for Daniil Kvyat was his first podium

Max Verstappen brought his Toro Rosso home 4th for his best finish in Formula 1. Toro Rosso has been somewhat of an enigma this year as the cars have had pace but but been snake bit with mechanical issues preventing the car from showing its true pace.

Behind Verstappen was, wait for it, Fernando Alonso in the McLaren with a 5th place finish.   Teammate Jenson Button brought his car home 9th. By far, this was the best result of the year for McLaren. The McLaren’s benefitted from an increase in ERS power of the Honda engine which was turned up to full power for the first time this year. To have both cars finish in the points is a huge step forward for the McLaren Honda partnership. Are we starting to see the full potential of the partnership between McLaren and Honda?

A big step forward for McLaren as both cars score points

A big step forward for McLaren as both cars score points

The summer break now commences and the halfway point of the season is here. Mercedes has firm control of the Constructors Championship but the Drivers Championship is certainly up for grabs. Rosberg trails Hamilton by 21 points and Sebastian Vettel is only 21 points behind Nico Rosberg. It is shocking that Sebastian Vettel has become relevant in the championship battle. He could be a major distraction in Nico Rosbergs attempt to chase down leader Lewis Hamilton.

The F1 schedule resumes in one month with the Belgian Grand Prix. The legendary track at Spa is will be a welcome return to a championship battle that is picking up speed.

Drivers’ Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton   202
  2. Nico Rosberg     181
  3. Sebastian Vettel 160
  4. Valtteri Bottas      77
  5. Kimi Raikkonen  76
  6. Felipe Massa      74
  7. Daniel Ricciardo 51
  8. Daniil Kvyat        45
  9. Nico Hulkenberg 24
  10. Romain Grosjean 23
  11. Max Verstappen  22
  12. Felipe Nasr         16
  13. Sergio Perez       15
  14. Pastor Maldonado 12
  15. Fernando Alonso 11
  16. Carlos Sainz Jr.    9
  17. Jenson Button      6
  18. Marcus Ericsson  6

 

Constructors’ Championship

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

One comment

  1. Steve throughly enjoyable article as always. Thank you for keeping us up to date on the F-1 racing. I got to watch this one which is rare as they don’t always carry them here!

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