Sebastian Vettel fought off steering problem of his SF70H to win 46th race of his F1 career. Vettel have teammate Kimi Raikkonen to thank for, as the Finn kept both Mercedes behind to complete Ferrari’s second 1-2 finish of the season.
Ferrari were on top in Saturday’s qualifying session as Sebastian Vettel clocked a record breaking lap of 1:16.276 while Raikkonen was 0.168s adrift. Bottas out qualified Hamilton for the 5th time in 11 races. Hamilton who has record number of wins at Hungarian, struggled with vibration on his tyres throughout the session. Paul di Resta replaced ill Williams driver Felipe Massa, making his first appearance in F1 since 2013 Brazilian GP. Driving the 2017 car for the first time, the Brit qualified 19th, just 0.7s off his teammate Lance Stroll. McLaren made it to Q3 for only the second time in 2017 with Alonso and Vandoorne qualifying 8th and 9th, respectively. The Force India of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez qualified at a disappointing 12th and 14th position.
The first lap saw a collision between Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. While trying to regain his place from Ricciardo, Verstappen locked his brakes into the tight turn 2 and ran into the other RB13. Ricciardo was forced to retire with a damaged radiator, triggering the safety car. After the crash, the Aussie called Verstappen a “sore loser” on radio. Subsequently, Verstappen was given a 10 sec penalty for this “immature error.” Force India made the most of the start as both their drivers were running in points after starting from outside top 10.
In-congruent team game from Ferrari and Mercedes
After the departure of the safety car on lap 6, Vettel reported a problem regarding his steering angle. The steering was a bit towards left while the tyres were pointing straight. So, it was easy for him to turn right but there was problem while turning left. Vettel’s problems further increased when his race engineer asked him to avoid heaving kerbing, which further dropped his pace. Due to Vettel’s relative slow lap times, Raikkonen in 2nd place was in threat from the Mercs. The Finn asked Ferrari to let him pass Vettel but Ferrari had other ideas. They ordered Vettel to pick up some pace. On the other hand, the leading Mercedes of Bottas was not able to put any pressure on Raikkonen. Hamilton who was confident of his car’s pace, asked his team to let him pass Bottas. Mercedes decided to switch cars and gave Hamilton a chance to attack the Ferraris. Also, the German outfit promised to switch back after 10 laps. Hamilton failed to put pressure on Raikkonen as the Hungaroring was again proved tough for overtaking. The traffic and charging Verstappen made it difficult for the Mercedes to switch back. But the 3 time World Champion kept his words and gave his place back to Bottas on the last corner just before the chequered flag.
Haas mechanics made a huge mistake by releasing Roman Grosjean’s car with a loose wheel nut on his left rear during a pit stop. Grosjean was forced to retire for safety issues and Haas was fined €5,000. The other Haas of Kevin Magnussen was given a 5 sec penalty for forcing Nico Hulkenberg out of the track. The two exchanged naughty words after the race. Hulkenberg called Magnussen “the most unsporting driver.”
It was business as usual for Force India as both their drivers scored points. Following their footprints, McLaren also had a double point finish, their first of the season. Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz battled throughout the race, and it was the veteran who ended up on top. Alonso also pulled off the fastest lap of the race with 1:20.182 in the dying moments, ending McLarens weekend on a high note.
With a 1-2 finish, Ferrari reduced Mercedes’ lead in the constructor’s to 39 points while Vettel extended his lead in the driver’s championship to 14.
- For the first time Daniel Ricciardo failed to finish the Hungarian GP and for the first time in his F1 he retired on lap 1.
- Raikkonen now holds the record of most podiums at Hungaroring. He has scored 8 podiums in 15 races at Budapest.
- Popular tyre strategy: 1 stop, supersoft (30-46) >> soft
- Longest stint on supersoft: 46 laps, Jolyon Palmer (Renault)
- Longest stint on soft: 41 laps, Lance Stroll (Williams)
- No team used Medium tyre during qualifying and race.
- Overtakes: 14, 7 with DRS
- Almost every driver had his personal best lap faster than last year’s fastest lap.
- Fastest pit lane time: 21.3s, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
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