Vettel resisted big pressure to win Hungarian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel held off his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to score a tense Hungarian Grand Prix victory, as Lewis Hamilton handed Valtteri Bottas third and the Red Bulls collided.

Vettel, who drove most of the race with steering issues, crossed the finishing line 0.9 seconds ahead of Raikkonen to secure Ferrari’s second one-two of the 2017 Formula 1 season.

Hamilton gave up third position to Bottas on the final lap as agreed after his Mercedes team-mate had let him through under team orders earlier in the race to try to attack the Ferraris.

Vettel’s fourth win of the season, and first since Monaco in May, extends his championship lead to 14 points over Hamilton heading into the summer break.

Vettel and Raikkonen stayed one-two after the start, with the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen swarming the Mercedes of Bottas and Hamilton.

Verstappen got around the outside of Hamilton with a bold move into Turn 1, but ran wide on the exit and then came under pressure from Ricciardo.

Verstappen locked up into Turn 2 and ran into Ricciardo, causing damage to the left-hand side of his team-mate’s Red Bull but escaping unharmed himself.

Ricciardo, who was furious with Verstappen on the radio, dropped down the field and then spun at Turn 3, with fluid leaking from his car, forcing Jolyon Palmer off track to avoid contact.

He then pulled over to the side of the track and retired, bringing out the safety car.

The stewards deemed Verstappen to be at fault, imposing a ten-second time penalty.

Vettel led comfortably from Raikkonen in the first stint but then started reporting steering concerns.

As the Mercedes started closing on the Ferraris, Raikkonen called on his team to ask Vettel, who was struggling to turn in, to cede position but the request was not accepted.

Mercedes agreed to Hamilton’s similar request with Bottas, that the positions will get swapped back if Hamilton could not pass Raikkonen.

Once through, Hamilton was soon on Raikkonen’s gearbox and was told he had five laps of full power to make an overtake.

That deadline was extended but Hamilton could not get through and gave up the chase in the closing laps.

Verstappen had run long before his pitstop and led for a spell before the penalty dropped him back.

He rapidly closed on the lead top four in the final stages and began to attack Bottas, raising doubts over whether Mercedes would be able to swap its cars back.

But Hamilton lifted off on the final lap, allowing Bottas through then slotting back in just ahead of Verstappen, as Raikkonen shadowed Vettel to the flag in front.

Fernando Alonso scored McLaren-Honda’s best finish of the season with sixth, setting fastest lap right at the end, while Stoffel Vandoorne gave it two cars in the points with tenth.

Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr was seventh after a controversial early wheel-banging battle with Alonso, just ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

Grosjean, who made contact with Nico Hulkenberg and Marcus Ericsson at the start, was forced to pull over and retire his Haas when a wheelnut was cross-threaded at his pitstop.

The unwell Felipe Massa’s stand-in Paul di Resta spent his first Formula 1 race since 2013 battling with the Saubers before Williams told him to retire late on due to an oil leak.

After dropping back in his first-corner clash with Grosjean, Hulkenberg looked set to regain ground by running long only for a problem in his pitstop to drop him back.

He was then forced off the road while trying to pass Kevin Magnussen, who was given a 5s penalty for the move, for P11 and retired just as he had caught back up to Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat.

So a brilliant result for Scuderia Ferrari at the Hungaroring. Sebastian Vettel’s 50th race in red was victory number seven this season and he now extends his lead in the championship to 14 points as the sport take a summer break.

Hungarian Grand Prix, race results after 70 laps:

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    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    1 Lap
12    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1 Lap
13    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    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    3 Laps
–    Paul Di Resta    Williams-Mercedes    Retirement
–    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    Retirement
–    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    Collision
–    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    Withdrawn

Drivers’ standings:

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’ standings:

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

7 thoughts on “Vettel resisted big pressure to win Hungarian Grand Prix

  1. Hungarian Grand Prix race review as reported by Formula1.com.

    Sebastian Vettel led team mate Kimi Raikkonen home for a Ferrari one-two in Sunday’s Formula 1 Pirelli Magyar Nagydíj 2017. With Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finishing fourth, it means Vettel extends his championship lead to 14 points heading into the summer break.

    On a day when the Silver Arrows had no answer to the Scuderia, despite Vettel complaining of steering issues, Valtteri Bottas took third ahead of Hamilton, just in front of a recovering Max Verstappen, who had been penalised 10 seconds for taking his Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo out of the race on the opening lap.

    Fernando Alonso secured his and McLaren’s best result of the year in sixth, winning a race-long battle with fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso.

    Force India again got both cars in the points, with Sergio Perez beating team mate Esteban Ocon to eighth place, whilst Stoffel Vandoorne rounded out the top ten in the second McLaren.

    Vettel and Raikkonen finished less than a second apart after 70 laps of the Hungaroring, but the reds certainly had to work much harder that they anticipated for their 43 points.

    In the opening stages they were very much in command, as Vettel sprinted away and took Raikkonen with him, and Hamilton dropped behind team mate Bottas and Verstappen at the start.

    But gradually Raikkonen began to erode Vettel’s lead as the German started complaining of a steering problem, and when Hamilton’s car came alive on the soft Pirelli tyres in the second stint, Mercedes asked Bottas to let the Briton by.

    Then we had a real race, as Hamilton began clawing back ground lost partly because Ferrari were generally quicker, partly because of his indifferent start, and partly because a radio communication problem had seen Mercedes bring him in sooner to switch from the supersoft tyres to the softs than he thought necessary.

    Bit by bit he pulled Raikkonen in, as the Finn angrily declaimed to Ferrari that he didn’t want to have to deal with pressure from Mercedes when it would be easier to get Vettel to move over. He was told that Vettel had been instructed to speed up and to go with him. Meanwhile, Hamilton was given five laps – then 10 – in which he could use his engine’s overtake function, and was putting them under big pressure. In a brave charge he got the gap to Vettel down to 1.7s on the 54th lap, but as is so often the case at the Hungaroring, a following car just couldn’t quite gather the pace to overtake.

    Gradually he dropped away, as Bottas kept pushing hard in the closing stages to keep a threatening Verstappen at bay. The Dutchman had ran fourth and moved up into the lead when Raikkonen, the last of the leaders to stop, pitted on the 34th lap. He stayed out until the 42nd lap, but had to serve his 10s penalty during his stop for shoving team mate Ricciardo into retirement in Turn 2 on the opening lap. Now, on fresher tyres, he was coming back fast at the second Mercedes.

    In the end, Hamilton and Mercedes honoured their promise to Bottas to restore his podium slot in the event that Hamilton could not pass the Ferraris, so as Vettel won by 0.9s, Bottas ended up a further 11.5s adrift, with Hamilton 0.4s behind and Verstappen another 0.4s down.

    The result puts Vettel further ahead again in the title chase with 202 points to Hamilton’s 188 and Bottas’s 169, while Raikkonen closes on Ricciardo’s 117 with 116.

    McLaren finally moved out of last place in the constructors’ table, with Fernando Alonso finishing an excellent sixth – and remarkably setting the fastest lap of the race on the 69th tour – and Vandoorne surviving for 10th after a near-miss with the spinning Ricciardo on the opening lap, then a delay during his pit stop. They now have 11 points to Sauber’s five.

    In between the McLarens, a brilliant start brought Sainz seventh place for Toro Rosso, ahead of equally fast-starting Perez, who had a brush with team mate Ocon at the start and finished only a second ahead, as Ocon in turn was just half a second ahead of Vandoorne at the end.

    Daniil Kvyat was 11th in the other Toro Rosso, four-tenths ahead of Jolyon Palmer who had run 10th early on before being instructed to let faster Renault team mate Nico Hulkenberg by. The German was fighting for points when he was eased off-track in Turn 2 by Kevin Magnussen (who received a five second penalty as a result), but his R.S.17 malfunctioned right near the end and he was instructed to retire.

    That left Magnussen 13th from Lance Stroll who was Williams’ sole finisher after the returning Paul di Resta drove a smooth and incident-free race battling with the Saubers until he too was told to stop near the end due to an oil leak.

    Pascal Wehrlein beat Sauber team mate Marcus Ericsson for 16th, as Romain Grosjean joined Hulkenberg, di Resta and Ricciardo in retirement when an improperly fastened wheel obliged Haas to tell him to stop.

  2. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo slams “immature” Max Verstappen after first-lap clash that resulted in an early non-finish for the honey badger. Motorsport.com has the story.

    Daniel Ricciardo has hit out at Red Bull Racing teammate Max Verstappen for the first-lap collision that took him out of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    As the race got going, both Red Bulls had passed Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes at Turn 1, who got boxed in behind teammate Valtteri Bottas at the first corner.

    But Verstappen – who himself had to check up to avoid running into the back of Kimi Raikkonen at the first corner while attacking Bottas – locked up at Turn 2 and whacked into Ricciardo’s left-hand sidepod.

    “Someone hit me,” said Ricciardo on the radio. “Was that who I think it was? [bleep]ing sore loser.”

    Verstappen was given a 10s time penalty at his pitstop for ‘causing a collision’.

    “There was never a pass there,” Ricciardo told NBC. “It was just a mistake. There’s no way there was ever room, because Valtteri was covering the inside anyway.

    “I couldn’t have done anything else. I was just on my line. Obviously he got the penalty and all that, and it’s obvious whose mistake it was, it doesn’t change my race.

    “It was out of my hands, you’re never going to get that place back in Turn 2 the way it was. It’s just overambitious. That’s youth.”

    When asked if it was inexperience of Verstappen’s part, he replied: “That sounds too nice. It’s not that, probably immaturity, that’s the one. Frustrating that it’s all over in two corners.

    “I would’ve liked to have raced today, and that didn’t need to be done.”

    When asked by Sky Sports F1 what the next steps will be to avoid this happening again in future, Ricciardo replied: “Obviously, the team will do their bit and I’ll do mine. Yeah, there shouldn’t be too much to say but sure we’ll sort it out.

    “He doesn’t like when a teammate gets in front of him. It was a very poor mistake. It wasn’t on and [it was] amateur to say the least.

    “I honestly don’t think it’s trying too hard or an excuse for it. It’s like he tried T1 outside, it didn’t work and he had the line taken from him. What looks a good start is a bad start, I go past and it’s ‘oops, I’ve got to fix it.’ ”

  3. Max Verstappen says he will apologise to Red Bull Formula 1 teammate Daniel Ricciardo for their first-lap collision in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Verstappen locked up and ran into the side of Ricciardo’s car into the tight Turn 2 left-hander on the opening lap.

    That caused damage that led to Ricciardo spinning and retiring, while Verstappen was given a 10-second time penalty by the stewards and finished fifth.

    “It was of course not what you want,” Verstappen told TV crews after the race. “I think everything started in Turn 1. The start was actually quite good but I got squeezed wide by Bottas and lost quite a lot of speed.

    “We were both fighting for position in Turn 2 so we braked quite deep into the corner. I tried to keep it to the inside but then I just got locking, locking, and then I unfortunately touched Daniel on the weakest point of the car, in the side.

    “Of course I was trying to avoid Daniel but unfortunately that was not possible.”

    Ricciardo described Verstappen’s move as “amateur”, and Verstappen said he would act quickly to stop it affecting their relationship.

    “It is never my intention to hit anyone, but especially not your teammate, and especially with the relationship I have with Daniel – it’s always really good and we can always have a laugh,” he said.

    “This is not nice and I apologise to Daniel for that and also to the team because we could have scored some good points here. I’ll speak with Daniel in private and we’ll sort it out.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  4. Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg slams “nasty” Kevin Magnussen after post-race spat. The incident ends with K-Mag saying “suck my balls, honey.” Motorsport.com has the story.

    Nico Hulkenberg lambasted Formula 1 rival Kevin Magnussen as “nasty” after they argued over their Hungarian Grand Prix clash in front of television crews.

    Hulkenberg had found himself stuck behind the Dane in the closing stages of the race after a very slow pitstop, as his mechanics had struggled to change the right-rear wheel on his Renault RS17.

    On fresher soft tyres and with seemingly better pace, he ran close behind the Haas for many laps but couldn’t make a move stick to take 11th place from Magnussen.

    Eventually, their battle reached a tipping point on lap 61 of 70, with Hulkenberg trying to get around the Haas on the outside of the Turn 2 left-hander and Magnussen forcing him off onto the grass.

    The Renault driver subsequently dropped behind Daniil Kvyat and then retired in the pitlane, while Magnussen carried on, incurring a five-second penalty, which dropped him from 11th to 13th at the chequered flag.

    During post-race media scrums, Hulkenberg could be seen approaching Magnussen and sarcastically commending him for being “once again the most unsporting driver”.

    To that, Magnussen replied: “Suck my balls, honey.”

    Speaking to NBC after the run-in, Hulkenberg said: “I congratulated him for most unsporting driver of the whole grid once again. When it comes to racing, he’s just nasty.

    “Hard defending is fine but when he does this, it’s just ruthless and sending people into the wall.

    “What he did there, opening up the steering, making me run wide, it’s just being an a**hole basically.

    “We had really nice words, he said [suck my balls], that was his return, so it’s quite interesting with him, yeah.”

    Hulkenberg said he would bring the issue up with race direction: “I’ll go and speak to Charlie [Whiting].

    “I hear he [Magnussen] got a bit of a penalty, five seconds, but in his mind he won’t care about that too much.”

    Magnussen was not the only Haas driver Hulkenberg had clashed with in Hungary, as the Renault man also had a Turn 1 coming together with Romain Grosjean at the start – the Frenchman forced wide and losing positions as a result.

    The incident was investigated, with the stewards opting to take no further action.

    Having seen that clash, Magnussen radioed in to his team: “I mean, if you can do what Hulkenberg did to Romain, then it’s going to be a dirty race.”

  5. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton hopes his nice gesture by moving aside to Valtteri Bottas won’t cost him the championship. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Lewis Hamilton hopes his gesture to move aside for Formula 1 teammate Valtteri Bottas in the Hungarian Grand Prix doesn’t end up costing him the 2017 world championship.

    Bottas let Hamilton through on lap 43 as they closed on the Ferraris, which were slow due to Sebastian Vettel battling a steering problem.

    When asking to be let through to attack Kimi Raikkonen, Hamilton offered to let Bottas back ahead if he couldn’t make a pass stick, and he stuck to that promise on the final lap despite Bottas falling back and being caught by Max Verstappen.

    “Hopefully the way I drove today, and how I behaved at the end, shows that I am a team player and a man of my word,” Hamilton told TV crews after the race.

    “Slowing down seven seconds was tough and I was nervous about losing a place to Verstappen but fortunately I didn’t.

    “It’s tough in the championship but I’m a man of my word. I hope we don’t lose the world championship by anything more than three points.”

    Bottas said he was worried he would not get the place back when he fell so far behind Hamilton, so he was grateful to his teammate for sticking to the agreement.

    “When the gap was big I knew it could be a problem but in the end it was OK,” said the Finn. “Not every team-mate would give the swap back if you are running for a podium place.

    “In the end I was getting a little bit worried, I struggled with backmarkers today, but thanks to Lewis to keep the promise and let me by because I gave him the shot to get past the Ferraris.

    “The team promised that if I let him go we would swap back if he couldn’t make it, and I am thankful we swapped again.”

    Hamilton said that without Mercedes’ radio problems in the race, which prevented him from talking to the team at times, he could have tried a different strategy or got past Bottas sooner to attack the Ferraris.

    “I had really good pace, but I didn’t have radio so I couldn’t tell them “my tyres are good, let me continue’,” he said.

    “If I’d stayed out, another five or 10 laps, I could have had the chance to attack and overtake the Ferraris maybe. Then I got stuck behind Valtteri, and I lost a lot of time behind him.

    “I couldn’t tell the team I had so much pace, but they could see it, and they didn’t act initially.

    “Anyway, he let me by, but I couldn’t overtake [Raikkonen] and then I tried to do the right thing at the end.”

    Hamilton heads into F1’s summer break trailing Vettel by 14 points, with Bottas another 19 back, third in the standings.

  6. Gunther Steiner has commented that Kevin Magnussen has every right to stand up to “bully” Nico Hulkenberg. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Haas F1 team boss Gunther Steiner believes his driver Kevin Magnussen was right to hit back at “bully” Nico Hulkenberg after their Hungarian GP run-in.

    Renault driver Hulkenberg had been angered by Magnussen’s robust late-race defensive manoeuvre and approached the Dane during media interviews to sarcastically congratulate him on being “the most unsporting driver”.

    In response, Magnussen told the German: “Suck my balls, honey.”

    Talking to the media afterwards, Steiner argued Magnussen’s defensive move – which yielded a five-second penalty – was not over the limit, and criticised Hulkenberg for having clashed with Haas’ other driver Romain Grosjean at the first corner of the race.

    “Nico was the guy who destroyed Romain’s race,” Steiner said. “And then we get a penalty with Kevin.

    “Kevin did the right thing and stood his point there, in my opinion. Why would he lift? It’s a tough battle, and Nico went to the stewards to ask for a harsher penalty of Kevin, which I think is childish, immature.

    “I mean, who ever has done that, you know? I’m almost speechless. I respect Nico as a driver and as a human being, but what he did there – you don’t ask for a more severe penalty for somebody.”

    Asked by Motorsport.com whether Magnussen was right to use the words that he used in talking to Hulkenberg, Steiner stood by his driver: “It’s the right way to say it. Why would he say anything else?

    “He got a penalty, if he [Hulkenberg] thinks he [Magnussen] needs more [of a penalty], then he [Hulkenberg] needs to look at his Turn 1 incident.

    “Is it sporting to run into Romain? I mean, he [Hulkenberg] is a bully and he got away a long time with it and maybe now it’s time that somebody stands up to him. He’s a good driver, he doesn’t need to be like this.”

    Steiner said he was planning to speak to Hulkenberg when F1 reconvenes at Spa-Francorchamps after the summer break, and added: “He does his job, he’s doing a good job for himself.

    “But it’s like, if other people went down and obeyed with what he’s saying, it’s fine – I think we don’t have to, you know? He’s no world champion.”

  7. Hungarian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel has admitted Ferrari Formula 1 teammate Kimi Raikkonen was “a lot faster” than him as he struggled with steering problems.

    Vettel realised on the grid that his car’s steering was not right, but he hung on ahead of Raikkonen and the Mercedes to take a win that rebuilt his F1 championship lead over fourth-placed finisher Lewis Hamilton to 14 points.

    Though Raikkonen repeatedly told Ferrari over the team radio that he was faster, they maintained position throughout.

    “Kimi had good pace and could go a lot faster than me for the majority of the race,” Vettel acknowledged.

    He said the steering problem had worsened through the grand prix.

    “It was a tough one. I was hoping for a bit more of a quiet afternoon,” said Vettel. “I felt already there was something not right when we dropped the car on the grid.

    “The steering wheel was not on straight. It didn’t feel right and then it got worse. I did try to adapt, I knew you could not change it, and then I tried to save the rears.

    “We spoke a little bit on the radio about it, talking through the problem. They told me to avoid the kerbs but on a track where you use the kerbs, it compromises your performance. In the second stint I wanted to make sure I could use the tyres so I was holding back.

    “In the end I was pretty well flat out and they were behind me queuing. It is good you cannot overtake around his track. I had no room for error.”

    Raikkonen had challenged Vettel at the start but was then stuck behind him for the rest of the race.

    “Our starts were pretty similar and I got a tow effect and with a team mate I am not going to force the issue at the first corner,” said Raikkonen.

    “We’re going to fight but fight fair, but since that moment there is not an awful lot you can do. We were pretty safe stint on the first stint as we pulled away from Mercedes and then I caught up at the end of the stint.

    “I had the whole race following Sebastian and hoping he goes as fast as he can and not saving tyres, as the Mercedes was catching me.”

    Hamilton closed on the two Ferraris in the closing stages, but Raikkonen said he never felt under real pressure.

    “I was not too worried because car was handling well,” he said. “I could follow [Vettel] very well.But it wasn’t ideal because I felt I had the speed and I was stuck in the middle.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

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