Mercedes AMG Petronas’ Lewis Hamilton held off teammate Nico Rosberg to take the Hungarian Grand Prix win as well as taking the lead of the Drivers’ Championship for the first time this season. He heads to the Hockenheim circuit for the German Grand Prix with a six points lead over his teammate. He took the win after overtaking his teammate at the start of the race and converted it into a fifth win during the 2016 season so far.
The Hungaroring is known for being difficult to overtake on and the start would always be crucial for the Brit to pass his teammate. The two Mercedes were neck and neck as they approached the first corner. Hamilton managed to pass his teammate to take the lead of the race. Rosberg was also overtaken by Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo but the German made a brave move around the outside of the Australian into turn two to retake second place. Max Verstappen was close behind teammate Ricciardo, the two were running in third and fourth.
After changing tyres on lap sixteen Hamilton began to come across difficulties on the soft tyres during his second stint of the race. This ended up allowing Rosberg up onto his tail as well as allowing Ricciardo to chase the two Mercedes and close the gap down at one second per lap. Red Bull Racing called Ricciardo into the pit lane on lap thirty-three for his second stop but the undercut did not work in the team’s favour. This allowed Mercedes to retake control and lead the race after they stopped for their second time eight laps later in the race. Ricciardo was now not a threat to the Mercedes pairing. After Rosberg pitted, Hamilton was able to enjoy a four second advantage over the German until Esteban Gutierrez ignored blue flags which held Hamilton up. Rosberg was able to close up on Hamilton, the latter responded with his personal best lap time of the race. Hamilton did everything he could to hold on to the lead to take victory with just under a two second advantage.
The last podium spot was fought for by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen lost any chance of a podium finish after he emerged from his last stop behind Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Vettel closed in on Ricciardo as he was on fresher tyres, the Australian driver held on to third by 0.674 seconds. Kimi Raikkonen’s progress was impressive and entertained fans during the first part of the race. Once the pit stops had been completed by the drivers Verstappen regained fifth place from Raikkonen, but because the latter had a new set of super soft tyres available and quickly caught up with Verstappen. A collision at turn two put a stop to Kimi being able to take the place back from the young racer. The Finnish driver seemed to be angered and annoyed by what looked to be a double move by Verstappen. McLaren-Honda’s Fernando Alonso finished the race in a respectable seventh place, the team lost Jenson Button from eighth place early in the race due to a failing hydraulic pressure. After radio contact with the team the Brit was handed a drive through penalty for ‘unauthorised radio communication’. An oil leak put an end to Button’s race with just ten laps of the race remaining.
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz finished in eighth ahead of Williams Racing’s Valtteri Bottas in tenth. Eleventh went to Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg with teammate Sergio Perez behind, taking the final points finish. Renault Sport F1’s Jolyon Palmer looked to be on to scoring his first points for the team but unfortunately spun at turn four which dropped him down to twelfth, which is where he finished. Thirteenth went to Haas F1’s Esteban Gutierrez with teammate Romain Grosjean behind in fourteenth. Fifteenth went to Renault Sport F1’s Kevin Magnussen with Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat in sixteenth. Sauber’s Felipe Nasr finished the session in seventeenth, Felipe Massa finished in eighteenth for the Williams Racing team. Manor Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein finished in nineteenth ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson in twentieth. Twenty-first went to Manor Racing’s Rio Haryanto. The only person not to be classified was Jenson Button.
©Fay Tilley 24th July 2016.