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Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

A sunny Hungarian afternoon turned into a wave of red as Ferrari managed to secure a 1, 2 result in the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday. The Scuderia managed a steering issue on Sebastian Vette’s car and a quicker teammate in Kimi Raikkonen to lock out the top-two spots.

Sebastian heads into the summer break with a 14-point lead and managed to give himself some room to breathe as he entered the weekend with just a 1-point lead. For Lewis Hamilton, ceding the spot back to teammate Valtteri Bottas, he lost ground giving 3 points back in his championship bid.

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

Win

If you were looking for dodgy starts to re-shuffle the field, the win is that both Ferrari’s and both Mercedes got good starts and all kept their respective positions into the first turn but Lewis did lose a position to Max Verstappen. After the re-start, Lewis did take a shot at Verstappen, which was a good try, but he also needed to nurse his tires so he chose to slot in and look toward the long-run which was a good call.

A win for Ferrari who were taking heat on social media during the race for not letting Kimi past Sebastian earlier in the race but holding their nerve, they were able to take a 1, 2 and hold both Mercedes behind them in the strategy that ultimately was the correct call. Raikkonen may have been faster due to Seb’s steering issue but unless Hamilton could mount any seriously threatening challenge, Ferrari were cool and kept the head’s down and won.

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

A big win for McLaren and Fernando Alonso—who celebrated a birthday this weekend—for bringing both cars home in the points with a 6th and 10th for Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne respectively. Alonso even set the fastest lap of the race and the team must be buoyed by the result. The result lifted McLAren off of the bottom of the constructor’s championship list.

A decent recovery drive brought both Force India’s back in to the points with Sergio Perez 8th and Esteban Ocon in 9th with a damaged car. After a poor qualifying effort and tough race, the team managed points and that’s important.

Fail

A fail for Max Verstappen who hit teammate Daniel Ricciardo and damaged his radiator ending the Australian’s race. The incident prompted a Safety Car period and a radio conversation from Ricciardo who was not happy calling it “immaturity”. It’s a shame because both Red Bull’s got slightly better starts than both Mercedes and Ferrari and could have mixed it up amongst the leaders with Ricciardo running third when he was hit. The stewards reviewed the incident and assigned a 10-second time penalty for Verstappen.

A fail for Mercedes who struggled all weekend and while they ultimately didn’t have the pace at the Hungaroring, it will be even more difficult to reconcile the weekend’s strategy should Hamilton lose the championship by three points or less. I appreciate they were all patting their own backs about the spot swapping back and forth but ultimately it hurt Lewis’s title bid…at least potentially. 

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

A fail for Renault who had both cars in the 1op 10 and lost out on points from attrition and a lack of pace on a track they should have had a dual-points finish.

A fail also for Williams who couldn’t manage better than 14th in a race with four DNF’s and that’s unfortunate but it wasn’t for a lack of trying from both Lance Stroll and Paul Di Resta.

WTH

For a team who castigates Ferrari for their team orders and is often quoted as a team that let’s their drivers race, lap 46 was a bit of a telegraphed team order to let Lewis past Bottas. The logic was that Hamilton was faster than Bottas and as a Ferrari fan, I completely understand. I understand that Mercedes wants to seem virtuous with their giving the spot back to Bottas on the last turn of the race but I find that as odd that the broadcasters and fans found it “good sportsmanship” and a fair and correct move. Lewis put himself in serious danger as Verstappen was all over the back of Bottas and as Hamilton slowed 7s to allow the pass, he could regret the decision.

I’m biased because I have no issues with a team orchestrating the best result for both driver’s and constructor’s championships. Ferrari, contrary to NBC’s Steve Matchett’s strong advice, held strong and finished exactly the way they wanted to. Mercedes had a faster driver in Hamilton and he also needs to mitigate the points loss to Vettel, who won. I understand Mercedes wants to be fair but I believe Hamilton should have stayed where he was as he was the faster driver.

Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

A WTH with the plague going around the paddock that struck Martin Brundle and apparently Felipe Massa who did not qualify or race and this set in motion the call for Paul Di Resta to be called out of his Sky Sports F1 broadcast booth to take the seat for the race. Paul hadn’t driven a F1 car in anger since 2013 and had never drive the current spec of hybrid power unit and new chassis. An outstanding job by anyone’s measure but his presence did mean the grid didn’t have a Brazilian in the race in approximately 30 years. Paul’s blue flag skills were not impressing Kimi Raikkonen who radioed that if he can’t obey the flags, he should go back to reporting.

A WTH for Haas F1 who had a slow puncture on Romain Grosjean’s car and upon pitting for the change, they cross-threaded the left-rear wheel nut and it ended the Frenchman’s race.

RESULTS – 70 LAPS:

POS DRIVER CAR GAP
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1h39m46.713s
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.908s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 12.462s
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 12.885s
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 13.276s
6 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m11.223s
7 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
8 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
9 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
10 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1 Lap
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1 Lap
12 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1 Lap
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
14 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1 Lap
15 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 2 Laps
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2 Laps
17 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Collision
Paul Di Resta Williams/Mercedes Oil leak
Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari Wheel
Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault Collision
Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes Withdrawn

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP:

POS DRIVER POINTS
1 Sebastian Vettel 202
2 Lewis Hamilton 188
3 Valtteri Bottas 169
4 Daniel Ricciardo 117
5 Kimi Raikkonen 116
6 Max Verstappen 67
7 Sergio Perez 56
8 Esteban Ocon 45
9 Carlos Sainz 35
10 Nico Hulkenberg 26
11 Felipe Massa 23
12 Lance Stroll 18
13 Romain Grosjean 18
14 Kevin Magnussen 11
15 Fernando Alonso 10
16 Pascal Wehrlein 5
17 Daniil Kvyat 4
18 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
19 Jolyon Palmer 0
20 Marcus Ericsson 0
21 Antonio Giovinazzi 0

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP: 

POS CONSTRUCTOR POINTS
1 Mercedes 357
2 Ferrari 318
3 Red Bull/Renault 184
4 Force India/Mercedes 101
5 Williams/Mercedes 41
6 Toro Rosso/Renault 39
7 Haas/Ferrari 29
8 Renault 26
9 McLaren/Honda 11
10 Sauber/Ferrari 5
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall Race
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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Max Johnson
  • Michael

    I’ll give an alternate view on Hamilton. 1. He was given 5 laps to do his thing. He waited until the last possible second hoping, I bet, that something bad would happen to Bottas making it irrelevant that he didn’t really keep his word. 2. With extreme focus now on drivers with their actions and what they AND podium interviews from Coulthard asking pointed questions…If you were Hamilton, would you want to be up there answering that question in front of a bunch of already annoyed Finnish fans? 1+2=no choice…good spin though since Hamilton has already proven that he is not a man of his word.

    I put the race on mute on lap 47 when it became apparent what the commentary would be like. Pure bliss. I was stuck with Croft and Davidson (my thumbs down in a second), but I had a pretty good feeling that I had the lesser of two evils between them and Matchett/Diffey. Flipped the commentary back on during the last 4 laps. I’m really tired of driver swapping. This used to be taboo and now Mercedes is making it “strategy” with Hamilton fans (I count most of the TV commentators in that obvious boat) pissed Ferrari won’t play ball. This is racing, no matter how much people want to conveniently make it a “team sport” so their guy can win. Got no problems with performing an under/overcut, but this slowing down to let someone by is crazy.

    My thumbs down for Anthony Davidson who was completely apologetic on Verstappen’s behalf and held that line of dialogue up until Max got a 10 second penalty then begrudgingly stated they had to do it. His excuse was that Max “didn’t mean to do it”. Yes he did and he does it every single race. *It* being performing do or dies moves that require much more than 1 line. If you are on either side of Max, there is a good chance there will be heavy contact and he seems to always come out the better. Wonder what the commentary would have been like had he hit Hamilton? Hitting your teammate was almost as good. Hope Ricciardo doesn’t let him off easy. People got all over Vettel for saying Max is a bit twitchy…

    Speaking of Verstappen, I’ll take issue with your feeling that Hamilton made one effort on Verstappen then called it quits to save tires. He said on the radio that trying to make a pass was too dangerous with the way Verstappen was driving. So, thumbs up to Verstappen. He is in at least one driver’s head. Hamilton’s half-hearted attempt doesn’t compare to Sebastians 100% effort against Verstappen last race.

    Sorry, but Kimi gets a thumbs down. All that whining on the radio and on the podium (I took it as whining). He was upset because he wasn’t gifted a win by the team. He couldn’t get close enough to try and make a serious pass and Hamiton couldn’t get close enough either. Sorry mate. that’s racing. I am really getting annoyed with what the product is turning in to.

    Want to easily and cheaply improve the product? Get rid of driver to team communication.

    • Zachary Noepe

      I feel you and NC both have valid points and what links them all (and makes them unresolvable) is a car design/tire/track combination which makes racing impossible. Ferraris strategy call should have killed them, it was crazy, except the cars were as able to change places as cars in a freight train would be.

      This stupid race was over ten seconds in and watching the drivers maintain a safe distance and circulate was so damn pointless at one point i didnt realize the safety car was in 2 laps earlier i thought it was still yellow.

      • Michael

        I agree, but making it acceptable for the team to play chess with its drivers is not the answer *for me*. Having to listen to biased TV commentators insist on a team strategy is complete BS. Commentators should be (at least basically) neutral, imo. The current formula makes it difficult, I get that, but the voice inside me screams, “It can’t be that hard to fix!”

        Lots of drama though (not the kind I really appreciate) so I’m sure Liberty likes what is happening. I’ve become annoyed enough with F1 over the years that I have switched off for a season or two. I’m getting that feeling again.

        • Salvu Borg

          Looks and sounds like you have been listening to SKY COMMENTATORS.
          Wait a minute, are people now actually complaining about FERRARI not issuing team orders, but happy with Mercedes doing so, and when not doing so saying they should have done so.
          Not to defend how great team players are the Red Bullies drivers, but ironically one of their drivers said the day before the race *this would be a take no prisoners race” little did he know he would be the first casualty. big mouths are not easy to keep shut, I remember him shouting on the radio “get outta my f************** way” that was “Monaco 2015: formula 1- reddit” go google it and watch.

        • subcritical71

          Everyone has good points. The way I feel is +1 for Hamilton for doing what he said he would do. I’m sure it was not the easiest for him to give up these points, especially with Bottas creeping into the championship picture.

          I look at it this way and maybe I look at it as too black and white. If he convinces the team to let him pass Bottas AND makes the statement ‘I’ll give it back’ then he must do this, it was a pre-condition to the original pass. If he doesn’t want to give the position back don’t make that a condition up front.
          I’ve also seen commentary that he has now lost the 3 points and it may bite him later. Quite frankly, these were not his points to loose pending the agreement made to let him pass originally.

          I believe the cooperation shown by both of the Mercedes drivers will reap them more benefits than losses. Every other time we have seen a teammate not respect the other it has caused nothing but more lost points through the season (Vettel v. Webber, Hamilton v. Rosberg, Perz v. Ocon). Not to mention when team orders are issued which deflates the other driver (Alonso v. Massa). In the next races it may be more than 3 points Hamilton can gain if Bottas is asked to do the same again.In you own lives who do you want to work with more… the person with a high Say-Do ratio! F1 is no different.

          • jakobusvdl

            Mercedes didn’t lose any points through this and still lead the Constructors Championship by a healthy margin. I’m sure that was a factor in how the team looked at the situation, and what they’d accept.
            If handing the place back would have disadvantaged the team, it probably would have played out differently.

        • jakobusvdl

          It would be great if the coverage of this hugely international sport were neutral. In NZ we get the SKY F1 coverage, and some of the presenters and the lead commentator are so ‘British’ biased that it really puts me off (and I’m from there!).

          • Salvu Borg

            you mean those at SKY ARE BIASED?

          • jakobusvdl

            Not all of them, but some for sure. But in comparison to Radio5 live, they’re all completely impartial ;-)

    • johnblair7

      Beg to differ, I’ve seen many reports that Lewis asked about giving the place back after the 5 laps but was told No.

      • Salvu Borg

        “seen MANY REPORTS that number 44 asked about giving the place HE WAS GIFTED back” I also seen many reports when he DID NOT gave the place HE WAS GIFTED back, I also seen many reports when he was ordered to let his team mate through and he refused.
        Team player/ man of his word? my leg, chose one of my two, we are here talking about a BORN liar, about a total jerk, a dickhead being pumped-up by those of his oneeyed fan club at SKY which are doing more harm then good to the sports by their gutter type reporting, being in a position to influence their sheep like followers.

        • johnblair7

          What is your problem, I don’t understand people like you. Maybe its because I’m mixed race, worked all my life from a paperboy at 13, a soldier from 16-40. Worked since then for a Company called Wolseley, but shortly to leave work due to MND, ALS in the US. I would never use the sheer vitriol and hatred you use. Still I don’t mind what over people have or have achieved.

          • johnblair7

            Over people should be other☺

          • jakobusvdl

            What’s MND ALS?

          • johnblair7

            MND is Motor Neurone Disease, known as ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in the US. It is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease in the US he was a famous baseball player from many years ago. The upper and lower motor neurones that activate your voluntary muscles start to die leading to gradual paralysis and eventually death.

          • jakobusvdl

            Sorry to hear that John, that’s a really tough break.
            Hope you’ll still be around F1B for a good long while.

    • Achim

      The current areo seems to make it (almost) impossible to overtake on tracks like Hungary. Therefore thumps up and overtake of the race for me to Fernando and a honourable mention to Hülkenberg for at least trying.

      Seeing the fact that Lewis not even once was close on making a serious attempt on Kimi, I doubt that Kimi could have make a move on Seb without any team orders. The same as Lewis could not overtake his teammate without help from the strategy team.

      I always think the way Max races against others it will lead to an almighty accident at some point. I really like the kid and I also like that he is not intimidated by the other drivers. But he has to learn that at some point you have to accept to be overtaken.

  • Amols

    Commentators calling for team orders is a new trend and one I don’t like. The teams will do what they think gets them more points in constructors championship, it’s understandable, sure. But that’s not why I watch the race, to see who the teams think should be ahead. Track position in Hungary is way more important than ultimate pace and wether Lewis supporters liked it or not Bottas had track position. He was quicker in qualifying and quicker off the line – he earned that third. It’s true in Monaco and it’s true here – You have track position, You can defend it well even if the guy behind You whines about it over radio on far fresher tyres. Valtteri lost pace while sitting in Kimi’s dirty air for lap after lap and at that point Lewis may have had more life in his tyres, but why would commentators call for Valteri or Sebastian to give up their well earned track position and let their teammate past?

    The team sport aspect of it ends when Your drivers are third and fourth on their final lap. Same team points with either driver ahead. If Valtteri agreed to give his track position to Lewis, that’s on him. He’s a single GP win away from leading his teammate in championship points, if the team gets the same points after the race, why should he give up his track position and serve Hamilton’s championship? So while the team may have believed Lewis was faster, Valtteri having been stuck behind Kimi for many laps before dropping off into cooler air, knew that Lewis would be unlikely to succeed where he failed, and they would most likely stay 3rd and 4th.

    • Salvu Borg

      “commentators calling for team orders is a new trend” those commentators that calls for team orders does so when it suits the driver they support, they also when it suits the driver they support asks why and acts like they are Scandalized and or appalled the other team does not, but they forgets how scandalized and appalled they were when the other team issued team orders. TRULLY hypocrites that comes with a pedigree certificate from the deepest of gutter journalism.

  • Zachary Noepe

    I’m never going to run for President of the Will Buxton fan club but he does a tough job well and Maurizio Arrivabene was unnecessarily prickish with him on the grid. What a jerk I wish the Singapore police had kept him in jail for longer for throwing his cigarette on the street.

  • Peter Riva

    The other GREAT news?
    Alonso was not lapped! (re-written here because I had it on the wrong editorial)

    • Zachary Noepe

      Yeah one wonders whether Monisha mightn’t have been onto something in taking 50 million dollars or whatever to run next years Hondas?

  • Hanwi
  • jakobusvdl

    WIN – it was fantastic to see McLaren Honda turn in such a great weekend,
    WTH – Alonso recalling the deckchair incident, when Honda had powered him to their best result in 3 seasons. That joke probably didn’t get any laughs in Sakura.
    WIN – Paul Di Resta’s return to F1, that was certainly the other feelgood story of the weekend, ‘the boy dun good’.
    With Kubica’s Renault test drive, and Todd and Tim’s manlove for Nic Heidfeld, maybe all the teams will be persuaded to sign drivers who never got to deliver their full potential in F1 – who else would make the list?

  • pmr

    And a WTH for Ricciardo’s behaviour after the crash. First calling Verstappen a f-ing sore loser on team radio, then showing him the international sign of friendship as he drives by and then telling differen’t broadcasters that his team is an amature and immature. I get that he’s frustrated to be punted out of the race, and rightfully so. But that was uncalled for. The only immature RBR driver that day was Daniel himself

    • Meine Postma

      I tend to disagree, he was also interviewed on dutch TV not long after that and there he also said that Max was a sore loser, but that he would talk to Max afterwards and that if Max apologised it would not strain the relations.

      I found that very professional.

      • pmr

        He not only told the dutch tv. He said to NBC it was amaturistic and to sky he said it wasn’t inexperience and that Max didn’t try to over take, in other words he said that max took him out on purpose.

        Like i said, i get that he’s frustrated but throwing your team mate under the bus like that is just really poor behavior.
        I’m not saying they should all tow the company line Rosberg style and they should show emotion. But he could also have just said ‘Yeah i’m angry, that a-hole punted me out a race where we had good chances’. What he did was just petty, and makes him look like a sore loser.

        • Meine Postma

          Volgens mij valt dat wel mee. Ricciardo had gewoon gelijk.