Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton made history. McLaren’s Jenson Button could not catch a break and experienced another lousy race. And Daniel Ricciardo brings his big smile back with yet another podium finish for Red Bull.
This weekend was an interesting weekend for F1 at the Hungarian GP from Practice 1 to the race. Qualifying Round 1 went through five red flags and restarts due to rainy and slippery conditions. Had the first round of qualifying not continued after the initial red flag due to weather, the grid would have been incredibly interesting with the Silver Arrows (Mercedes) at p21 and p22.
It would have resulted in an even more interesting race than Sunday’s.
Race start gave way to Mercedes immediately clinching the 1-2 spots, but not before being challenged by Ricciardo and teammate Max Verstappen. It was a Mercedes-Red Bull lead for the first 15 laps until the first round of pitting and Ferrari could make an appearance.
Now, unfortunately the progress of the other drivers and teams were not highlighted much because of the focus broadcast on the Mercedes/Red Bull/Ferrari battles for p1-6. Hamilton although he appeared to be taking it easy for the majority of the race, held fast onto p1 for the entirety of the race, with teammate Nico Rosberg enjoying smooth sailing as well.
Ricciardo was constantly challenged by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel for p3 and held strong (Note: Vettel appeared more irritated by the lack of use of blue flags and traffic than not getting that podium victory). The battle for p5 and p6 between Verstappen and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was the most interesting, especially with Verstappen swerving a little questionably on lap 57, resulting in Raikkonen rear-ending the young driver’s car and finishing the race with a damaged front wing.
It was to say, a heated race. The drivers were racing as if someone had lit their seats on fire–everyone was on their toes and the defense to ensure they had a points or podium finish. The only way the race could have been more exciting is if we had any yellow cautions–but yesterday was a cleaner race than usual.
Anyways, the fun and unexpected is still coming from Red Bull, who have again made yet another podium finish and are giving Ferrari and Mercedes a run for their money. It’s downright impressive what Ricciardo and Verstappen have accomplished this season, and I’m sure the Red Bull team is proud and satisfied.
Hamilton is surely celebrating having surpassed past Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher’s four Hungary wins with his fifth Hungarian win on Sunday. His resulting points with a First finish gave him the lead in the World Championship as well, which is a first for him this season. The season started off with the impression Hamilton may have given up on his wins or was maybe burnt out after so many Championship wins, so it’s nice to see the defending World Champion fight back and show he is still a winning driver.
Formula 1 has needed this mix-up and new challenges, as I have stated in earlier posts. Getting back into watching it a couple of seasons ago, there was a yawn factor in watching the races as it was always a Mercedes win with Mercedes and Ferrari on the podium–you pick who is where. To see Red Bull with consistent finishes is fantastic. And Force India has been making way in efforts with points and podiums as well.
With the rest of the teams, well, they also need their efforts recognized as I’ve seen them rotate consistently for points in the World Championship with their finishes. Speaking of, I feel like Button would make a better contender in the points race if his car was not having as many problems as it’s had these last few races.
Next week is the German Grand Prix, which naturally Vettel and Rosberg will have their eyes and hearts set on winning as it’s their home GP. But for once in a long time, as there are strong drivers in this series, it’s not nearly as predictable this go-around as to who might claim it a victory.
Points Scoring Position Results for Hungary:
1 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2 – Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
3 – Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
4 – Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
5 – Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
6 – Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
7 – Fernando Alonso (McLaren)
8 – Carlos Sainz Jr (Toro Rosso)
9 – Valtteri Bottas (Williams)
10 – Nico Hulkenberg (Force India)