Tag Archives: Hungarian Grand Prix

2017 F1 Grand Prix of Hungary — Results & aftermath

Ferrari rules the ‘Ring — Vettel wins from pole, Raikkonen second; Bottas P3 & Hamilton P4 for Mercedes

Ferrari dominated the last race weekend before the long summer break joyfully watching their ace, Sebastian Vettel, manage niggling problems on his car to somehow stay out in front and win the Hungarian Grand Prix from the pole. In a race that was more fascinating from a pit-wall strategy perspective than for actual on-track action, Vettel was able to maintain enough pace to forestall Ferrari team orders that might have forced him to hand the lead over to his teammate Kimi Raikkonen when it seemed like Vettel might not have the speed. But to their credit Ferrari never made that call and despite some sort of steering woes plaguing the 4-time Champion’s chassis, Vettel rewarded the Scuderia’s confidence and gamely guided his SF70H home to earn the top step of the podium. Despite his fears of being overtaken if he wasn’t let by Vettel Raikkonen was easily able to hold off the best efforts of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton to take P2. And in the end Hamilton did the gentlemanly thing and ceded his third place position back to his Silver Arrows teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who had let the Englishman through earlier in the race to try to hunt down the Prancing Horses when Mercedes did play the team orders card. Hamilton could never manage to catch them despite some nervous moments for Maranello and, coming up short on the last lap, honorably re-payed Bottas by allowing him to finish P3 as the checkered flag flew and slipping back to come home P4. The strong 1-2 result for Ferrari meant that the team closed the deficit to Mercedes to just 39 points in the hunt for the all-important Constructors’ Title. Meanwhile, Vettel also increased his lead over Hamilton 202-188 in the Drivers’ Championship after they had been separated by a single point coming into the weekend. Looking back at their near-perfecr weekend at the tight and twisty Hangaroring Ferrari will be well pleased with the trajectory of their season-long performance improvements going into the break, while Mercedes will know they’ve got work to do to close the gap on other similarly short, tight circuits like upcoming Singapore and Brazil.

Pics courtesy GrandPrix247.com

Pics courtesy GrandPrix247.com

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had a very eventful race on his way home to a solid P5 finish. That good result was somewhat tarnished when he and his senior teammate Daniel Ricciardo came together on the opening lap when Vertsappen locked up into Turn 2 while Ricciardo was on the outside of him. Verstappen’s right front wheel clouted Ricciardo’s radiator pod dealing the Aussie’s car terminal damage in the process and causing a multi-lap Safety Car period. The race stewards deemed Verstappen at fault and handed down a 10-second time penalty but the Dutch wunderkind stayed out extraordinarily long on his starting set of Pirelli Supersoft tires and only pitted for fresh rubber on Lap 42, far later than the other contenders. So even with the 10-second penalty he managed to come out just behind the Merc of Bottas. Despite looking very dangerous on fresher Soft tires, Bottas pushed hard and Vertsappen could never make it past the Finn on a track where passing is at a premium. It was another excellent drive by Verstappen and one has to wonder what might have been without the Ricciardo incident. For certain the team will be talking to their talented young charge about the risk-reward benefit of first lap heroics. Whether Ricciardo and Verstappen will be talking much any more is another story.

F1GPHungary-RedBulls_2017

Further back in the field McLaren had their best day of 2017. Veteran Fernando Alonso, who turned 36 on Saturday, drove aggressively all race long, dicing and scrapping with a car finally fast and reliable enough to compete with the other mid-pack runners. Alonso charged home to a P6 finish, which must have felt like a victory to the team and especially Honda, their beleaguered engine supplier. Alonso’s stablemate Stoffel Vandoorne took the last points paying position with a solid P10 marking the first time this year both McLarens finished in the points. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz also gave maximum effort on his way to an impressive P7 finish. And the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon overcame a lackluster qualifying effort to come home P8 and P9 respectively, another terrific points haul for one of F1’s smallest teams.

Top 10 finishers of the Hungarian GP:

POS NO DRIVER CAR LAPS TIME/RETIRED PTS
1 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 70 1:39:46.713 25
2 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 70 +0.908s 18
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 70 +12.462s 15
4 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 70 +12.885s 12
5 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 70 +13.276s 10
6 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 70 +71.223s 8
7 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO 69 +1 lap 6
8 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 69 +1 lap 4
9 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 69 +1 lap 2
10 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 69 +1 lap 1

Complete race results available via Formula1.com.

The traditional F1 summer break is now upon us and the next race is a full four weekends away. Hope to see you at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps Circuit in Belgium to kick off the home stretch at the end of August!

2017 F1 Grand Prix of Hungary — Qualifying results

Ferrari lock out front row at Hungaroring — Vettel takes blistering pole, Raikkonen P2; Bottas P3 & Hamilton P4 for Mercedes

On the tight and twisty turns of the Hungaroring outside of Budapest, Hungary Rubens Barrichello’s 2004 lap record was bettered early and often during Saturday’s three rounds of knockout qualifying. In the end the fastest of this era’s machines at this tricky circuit were the blood red 2017 SF70H Ferraris. Team leader Sebastian Vettel led the way with an astonishing lap of 1:16.276 to seize the pole for tomorrow’s race. That time more than two seconds faster than Barrichello’s long-held lap record of 1:18.436, which the Brazilian set in the fantastic V10-powered Ferrari F2004. Vettel’s wingman Kimi Raikkonen was right behind him by two-tenths and laid claim to P2. That knocked Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas back to P3 while his Silver Arrows stablemate and championship contender Lewis Hamilton, desperate to tie the great Michael Schumacher’s all-time pole record, suffered from vibration issues and could manage no better than the fourth fastest time. After Ferrari’s bitterly disappointing run at Silverstone two weeks ago when late tire punctures cost Vettel a sure podium and Raikkonen had to scramble for his P3 the Prancing Horses seem to have found something in their downforce package to make them superior to Mercedes, at least on the relatively short and technical Hungaroring. But Hamilton, the victor at Silverstone, and Bottas, who came home P2 there, will both be hoping that their chassis can run better in the race than in the qualifying shootout because they had nothing for the Scuderia’s fine chargers on Saturday. They may also be hoping that perhaps bad luck again strikes Ferrari in what should be a hot & demanding contest come Sunday.

Red Bull was the best of the rest as both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were the only others able to log sub-1:17 laps for P5 and P6 on the grid respectively. Nico Hulkenberg was impressive in his Renault willing it all the way up to the seventh-fastest lap but it looks like he will unfortunately incur a 5-spot grid penalty for parts changes that will push him out of the top 10. McLaren had a rare excellent day and saw both of their drivers make it into Q3 — Fernando Alonso, celebrating his 36th birthday, earned P8 on the grid while his rookie teammate Stoffel Vandoorne will start P9. Carlos Sainz was able to get his Toro Rosso up to P10 though he was significantly slower than the other Q3 combatants.

Williams were forced to draft reserve driver Paul Di Resta as an emergency fill-in when their veteran pilot Felipe Massa came down with what is being loosely described as symptoms of vertigo. The Scottish DTM driver who last raced in F1 in 2013 for Force India got zero laps of practice and had never driven the 2017 car on track. Nevertheless, Di Resta put in a very credible effort out-qualifying Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson for P19 and was only three-quarters of a second slower than his teammate Lance Stroll. Depending on how things go in the race tomorrow, Di Resta may have opened some eyes and perhaps some doors for an opportunity to return to F1 full time.

Top 10 qualifiers for the Hungarian GP:

POS NO DRIVER CAR Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:17.244 1:16.802 1:16.276 14
2 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:17.364 1:17.207 1:16.444 14
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:18.058 1:17.362 1:16.530 18
4 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:17.492 1:16.693 1:16.707 17
5 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:17.266 1:17.028 1:16.797 14
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:17.702 1:17.698 1:16.818 14
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:18.137 1:17.655 1:17.468 14
8 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 1:18.395 1:17.919 1:17.549 17
9 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 1:18.479 1:18.000 1:17.894 17
10 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO 1:18.948 1:18.311 1:18.912 19

Complete qualifying results available via Formula1.com.

Tomorrow’s race airs live starting at 7:30 AM Eastern on NBC Sports here in the States. Will Ferrari have it all their way in the last contest before the summer break or can Mercedes fight back in race trim for the win? Hope to see you then to find out!

2016 F1 Grand Prix of Hungary — Results & aftermath

Hamilton overhauls Rosberg with victory in Hungary; Ricciardo 3rd for Red Bull

In something of an anticlimactic procedural of a race, Mercedes Lewis Hamilton jumped his pole -sitting teammate Nico Rosberg right at the start and then drove flawlessly to take victory at the Hungaroring. Hamilton’s third victory in a row and his remarkable fifth in the last six contests saw the current World Champion leap past Rosberg into the points lead for the first time this season. Rosberg, who had never been out of the top position in 2016 and trails Hamilton by 6 points, did come home P2. But now he will now have to face the psychological pressure of once again finding himself behind his nemesis and archival just as he has the prior two campaigns when he was runner up. After getting off to such a blistering start by winning his first 4 GP, Rosberg’s season has foundered amidst controversies and internecine warfare between the two Silver Arrows in which Rosberg always seems to somehow get the blame and the short end of the stick. He will be desperate to get a decent result in Germany next week to regain some sort of momentum to take into the long. lonely August break.

Pics courtesy GrandPrix247.com

Pics courtesy GrandPrix247.com

Further back in the field, the two Red Bulls diced all race long with the two Ferraris, with Daniel Ricciardo able to hold off Sebastian Vettel for the last podium spot and wunderkind Max Verstappen playing rough with an increasingly irate Kimi Raikkonen to best the veteran Finn, P5 to P6. Fernando Alonso did excellent work for McLaren with a solid P6, finally showing signs of  the legendary F1 powerhouse getting back towards the top with a solid P7. But his teammate Jenson Button was plagued by mechanical gremlins and had a nightmare race, running 60 laps at the back of the field before retiring, so reliability on the Honda-powered McLaren MP4-31 chassis remains a serious issue. Carlos Sainz was string again for Toro Rosso, coming home P8, while Valtteri Bottas had to settle for P9 in his rather uncompetitive Williams, a team which has definitely taken a step or two backwards this year after a couple of improving seasons. Nico Hulkenberg grabbed the last points paying position for Force India with P10 and his teammate Sergio Perez might also have been in the mix had the team not inexplicably been caught unprepared on a pit stop for tires.

Top 10 finishers for the Hungarian Grand Prix:

POS NO DRIVER CAR LAPS TIME/RETIRED PTS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 70 1:40:30.115 25
2 6 Nico Rosberg MERCEDES 70 +1.977s 18
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 70 +27.539s 15
4 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 70 +28.213s 12
5 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 70 +48.659s 10
6 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 70 +49.044s 8
7 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 69 +1 lap 6
8 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO FERRARI 69 +1 lap 4
9 77 Valtteri Bottas WILLIAMS MERCEDES 69 +1 lap 2
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 69 +1 lap 1

Complete race results available via Formula1.com.

The next race is in but a week, the German Grand Prix from Hockenheim. It’ll be the last race for nearly a month as the F1 circus gets ready for its enforced summer break. Hope to see you then to find out whether Rosberg can recapture some of his mojo or if Hamilton will keep laying down the law!

2016 F1 Grand Prix of Hungary — Qualifying results

Rosberg nabs pole as Hamilton catches ill-timed yellow, Ricciardo starts P3 for Red Bull in wet & wild qualifying

On a wet and wild qualifying contest Saturday in Hungary featuring multiple Red Flags and crash outs in the first session and rapidly drying conditions in Q3, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg pipped his teammate for the pole when Lewis Hamilton came upon a yellow flag in Sector 2 when McLaren’s Fernando Alonso spun, forcing the Englishman to lift. By the time Rosberg came to the scene Alonso had got back underway and the yellow flag was gone, enabling the German championship points leader to go flat out for the entire lap and beat Hamilton to the pole by half a second. It was a much-needed boost for Rosberg whose luck turned after his sterling start to the season and who saw his once-might points lead dwindle to a measly 1 after Hamilton’s victory two weeks ago at Silverstone, England. But come Sunday, the two Mercedes combatants will find themselves in the familiar position of duking it out from the front row and, should they make it through Turn 1, likely all race long. With this contentious dynamic duo’s history of contact throughout the 2016 season, is it so far-fetched that we might see another race-altering donnybrook in the second-to-last last race before the long August break?

The Red Bulls once again showed that they have succeeded Ferrari’s early season position as Mercedes’ main competition, with Daniel Ricciardo besting his teenage teammate Max Verstappen, P3 to P4. As if to prove how much their own luck has done a 180, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was also slowed by Alonso’s spin and was only able to muster P5 in his Ferrari. Meanwhile his teammate Kimi Raikkonen got caught out by the rapidly drying track in Q2 and could do no better than a disheartening P14 for the Scuderia. On the other end of the emotional spectrum, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz was an impressive P6 and both McLarens made the Top 10 for once, with Alonso’s earlier pre-spin Q3 time still good enough for P7, bettering his fellow veteran teammate Jenson Button by one grid spot. Rounding out the upper echelon, Nico Hulkenberg was fast enough for P9 in his Force India and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas took the last top 10 starting spot.

The first quali session was delayed by deluge of rain, interrupted by 4 Red Flags and disrupted by day-ending accidents by Williams’ Felipe Massa, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Manor’s Rio Haryanto. Hopefully the weather on race day will be better, although the sketchy conditions made for an exceptionally exciting and scrambling qualifying session.

Top 10 qualifiers for the Hungarian Grand Prix:

POS NO DRIVER CAR Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 6 Nico Rosberg MERCEDES 1:33.302 1:22.806 1:19.965 29
2 44 LewisHamilton MERCEDES 1:34.210 1:24.836 1:20.108 28
3 3 DanielRicciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:39.968 1:23.234 1:20.280 27
4 33 MaxVerstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:40.424 1:22.660 1:20.557 27
5 5 SebastianVettel FERRARI 1:35.718 1:24.082 1:20.874 25
6 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO FERRARI 1:36.115 1:24.734 1:21.131 28
7 14 FernandoAlonso MCLAREN HONDA 1:35.165 1:23.816 1:21.211 28
8 22 Jenson Button MCLAREN HONDA 1:37.983 1:24.456 1:21.597 25
9 27 NicoHulkenberg FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:41.471 1:23.901 1:21.823 24
10 77 Valtteri Bottas WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:42.758 1:24.506 1:22.182 26

Complete qualifying results available via Formula1.com.

Tomorrow’s race begins at 8AM Eastern here in the States. If qualifying was any indication it should be a barn burner — hope to see you then!

2015 F1 Grand Prix of Hungary — Results & aftermath

Vettel and Ferrari ascendent in Hungary; Kvyat & Ricciardo take 2nd & 3rd for Red Bull; Rosberg loses chance to pass Hamilton in the points late in wild race

Only in one of the wildest, most topsy-turvey Formula 1 races you will ever see would Sebastian Vettel’s masterful win for resurgent Ferrari seem like the secondary story of the day. But that’s how it felt on Sunday in Hungary in a Grand Prix featuring shunts, punctures, penalties and mechanical failures galore, as well as a remarkable 2-3 finish by Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo in their previously underwhelming RB11 chassis. It was easy to overlook the remarkable achievement of Vettel and his improved Prancing Horse scoring his first-ever win at the Hungaroring when even woeful McLaren managed to finally score double points in 2015. But the German former four-time World Champion stamped his authority on the race the moment the lights went out for the start, making a power move right on by pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes along the outside going into Turn 1. Vettel’s teammate, beleaguered Finnish veteran Kimi Raikkonen, followed close behind the space Vettel had created and all at once both Ferarris had passed both Mercedes. That left Silver Arrows teammates Hamilton and Nico Rosberg duking it out for 3rd. And then, no doubt frustrated by his ragged start, Hamilton lost his composure. The English championship leader tried to shove his way by Rosberg but had to bail out when he got too close going into a turn, sending him skittering off track into the gravel. While he was never stuck and kept rolling, a gaggle of cars passed him as he extricated himself and unlucky Lewis found himself in P10 before the end of the first lap. That seemed to set the tone for Hamilton’s race, as he proceeded to bull his way around the the Hungaroring in a seemingly futile effort to make up by brute force all the ground he lost on that eventful first lap.

F1GPHungary2015-start

Meanwhile up at the front, the race settled into a false sense of calm that belied the even greater chaos yet to come, with Vettel & Raikkonen running 1-2 and Rosberg 3rd. But right around Lap 40 Raikonnen began to experience ERS issues and dropped several dozen horsepower. The continued bad luck for the Finn left him in the unfortunate position of “blocker” for teammate Vettel and it became inevitable that the rest of the contenders would swamp him, which they soon did. With potentially his best car of the year and badly needing a strong result to stay in Ferrari’s good graces Raikkonen instead was forced to retire on Lap 60. At least no one could say that it was Kimi’s fault this time but that probably won’t help him keep his seat.

Prior to Raikkonen’s dropping out there was an eventful Safety Car period initiated when the Force India of Nico Hulkenburg had front wing failure on Lap 43 and shot straight off into the tire barrier. Continue reading