Hamilton scores Hungarian Grand Prix victory as Vettel survives Bottas bash

Lewis Hamilton extended his Formula 1 world championship lead with victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix, as title rival Sebastian Vettel survived late contact with Valtteri Bottas to take second position.

Hamilton took a comfortable victory from pole position, with Vettel taking second despite being hit by Bottas when the Mercedes driver tried to fight back after being passed for second with five laps to flag.

Bottas dropped down to fifth, making more contact on the way after colliding with Daniel Ricciardo, as Kimi Raikkonen stole the final podium position.

Hamilton and Bottas maintained Mercedes’ one-two advantage at the start, with Vettel jumping Raikkonen at Turn 2 after passing his teammate around the outside.

Hamilton built a six-second gap over Bottas, who had Vettel within a couple of seconds of him, before pitting on lap 15 in response to Ferrari bringing in Raikkonen a lap earlier.

That eliminated Hamilton’s protection and Lewis extended his stint another ten laps but gradually began to get caught by Vettel, who was on softs to Hamilton’s ultrasofts.

A mistake from Vettel at Turn 12 on lap 23, when the Ferrari driver locked the front right and ran wide, losing a second, gave Hamilton a small reprieve.

The Mercedes driver pitted with a lead of just over six seconds and fell back from Vettel initially but then used his fresh tyres to chip away and got within 10s before Vettel finally stopped on lap 39.

Traffic, combined with Bottas pumping in two very fast laps and Ferrari suffering a problem with the front-left when Vettel stopped, meant Mercedes just regained its one-two after Vettel stopped.

That was crucial because it meant Vettel was stuck behind Bottas and could not use his ultrasoft tyres to chase down Hamilton.

Vettel spent 20 laps behind Bottas, which allowed Raikkonen – who had made a second stop – to make it a three-car fight for second.

Bottas finally forced to defend into Turn 1 on lap 65 as Vettel closed in, and Vettel cut back and got ahead on the outside heading to Turn 2.

Bottas braked too late as he tried to retain the place on the inside, clipped the inside kerb and hit the back of the Ferrari.

He broke his front wing but Vettel somehow continued without damage or a puncture, keeping Raikkonen at bay in the process to finish a distant second behind Hamilton.

Mercedes opted to keep Bottas out, but his front wing damage left him susceptible to a charging Daniel Ricciardo, who got a run on Bottas down the start-finish straight with four laps to go.

He was passing him around the outside of Turn 1 when Bottas locked up again and clattered into the side of the Red Bull, an incident that damaged Ricciardo’s sidepod and will be investigated after the race.

Ricciardo caught Bottas again and passed him with an undercut exiting Turn 1 on the final lap to complete a stunning fightback.

He had charged up the order having started P12 and dropped to P16 on a messy opening lap that included being hit by Marcus Ericsson and passed off-track by Sergio Perez.

His late promotion to fourth gave Red Bull some consolation after losing Max Verstappen early to a problem that led team boss Christian Horner to lambast engine supplier Renault mid-race.

Red Bull is switching from Renault to Honda for 2019 and its silver lining will be the Japanese manufacturer scoring sixth place with Toro Rosso and Pierre Gasly.

Gasly got ahead of Carlos Sainz on the opening lap after Sainz was dive-bombed by Verstappen into Turn 1 and managed his race perfectly to withstand a late charge from Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.

Birthday boy Fernando Alonso claimed eighth after extending his stint and jumping a pack of cars that were ahead of the McLaren early on but pit earlier and then got held up by a long-running Esteban Ocon.

Stoffel Vandoorne should have made it a double-points finish for McLaren but retired from ninth with a gearbox problem in the final third of the race.

That promoted Sainz to ninth, with Romain Grosjean claiming the final point after jumping Brendon Hartley and Nico Hulkenberg with a longer first stint.

So a great result for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton by scoring this Hungarian Grand Prix victory. It is going to be a major challenge for Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel to strike back and win the title as Formula 1 takes a well deserved rest. Battle resumes next month at Spa-Francorchamps.

Hungarian Grand Prix, race results:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 1h37m16.427s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 70 17.123s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 70 20.101s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 70 46.419s
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 70 50.000s
6 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 70 1m13.273s
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 69 1 Lap
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Renault 69 1 Lap
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 69 1 Lap
10 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 69 1 Lap
11 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Honda 69 1 Lap
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 69 1 Lap
13 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 69 1 Lap
14 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 69 1 Lap
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 68 2 Laps
16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams-Mercedes 68 2 Laps
17 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 68 2 Laps
– Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Renault 49 Not running
– Max Verstappen Red Bull-Renault 5 Power Unit
– Charles Leclerc Sauber-Ferrari 0 Collision

Drivers’ standings:
1 Lewis Hamilton 213
2 Sebastian Vettel 189
3 Kimi Raikkonen 146
4 Valtteri Bottas 132
5 Daniel Ricciardo 118
6 Max Verstappen 105
7 Nico Hulkenberg 52
8 Kevin Magnussen 45
9 Fernando Alonso 44
10 Sergio Perez 30
11 Carlos Sainz 30
12 Esteban Ocon 29
13 Pierre Gasly 26
14 Romain Grosjean 21
15 Charles Leclerc 13
16 Stoffel Vandoorne 8
17 Marcus Ericsson 5
18 Lance Stroll 4
19 Brendon Hartley 2
20 Sergey Sirotkin 0

Constructors’ standings:
1 Mercedes 345
2 Ferrari 335
3 Red Bull-Renault 223
4 Renault 82
5 Haas-Ferrari 66
6 Force India-Mercedes 59
7 McLaren-Renault 52
8 Toro Rosso-Honda 28
9 Sauber-Ferrari 18
10 Williams-Mercedes 4

6 thoughts to “Hamilton scores Hungarian Grand Prix victory as Vettel survives Bottas bash”

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

    Even as he was recording his 77th pole position on Saturday afternoon, there were few who thought that the British driver would maintain that position 24 hours later. But a nervy display from Ferrari on Sunday allowed Hamilton to fairly cruise to his 67th win, sharing the podium with chief rival Sebastian Vettel and team mate Kimi Raikkonen.

    The Mercedes had looked to be a hard car to drive during all of Friday and Saturday’s practice running, with both Hamilton and Bottas spinning at the Turn 6 chicane in FP3. But come Sunday, the four-time champion appeared to have the W09 exactly where he wanted it, as he controlled the race to extend his lead over Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ standings to 24 points.

    It had looked set to be a Mercedes one-two with six laps left to go. But Vettel used DRS to sweep past Valtteri Bottas into Turn 1. When the Finn tried to fight back into Turn 2, he locked up and clipped Vettel. The German continued, pulling Raikkonen through with him, as Bottas dropped to fourth with a damaged front wing.

    Three laps later, Bottas hit Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull as the Australian tried to make a move into Turn 1 to mark a messy end of the race for the Finn, who ended up in fifth – a position he retained even with the 10-second time penalty he received post-race for his role in the incident. Ricciardo, on the other hand, will have been delighted to finish fourth, having started the race down in P12.

    Pierre Gasly drove a great Grand Prix to finish in sixth for Toro Rosso, comfortably leading home Kevin Magnussen in the Haas, while Fernando Alonso gave McLaren something to smile about, coming home P8. The Renault of Carlos Sainz and the Haas of Romain Grosjean rounded out the top 10.

    Having finished qualifying in the pouring rain, polesitter Hamilton found himself on the grid on Sunday under a blazing sky. The Mercedes had looked to not enjoy the hot track temperatures in Hungary during practice, and many were predicting that if the two Ferraris starting in P3 and P4 could just get ahead of the silver cars off the line, it would be job done.

    The opportunity never presented itself, however, with all four drivers making almost identical getaways to initially maintain position. Sainz in the Renault had a lightning start from fifth on the grid and tried to challenge Raikkonen – who saw Vettel sweep around the outside of him at Turn 2 – for P4. But as Max Verstappen lunged down the inside of Sainz at Turn 1, the Dutchman snatched P5 away, while the Spaniard’s loss of momentum from the move saw him drop behind the Red Bull and then down to P8.

    Behind, Magnussen jumped up from ninth to seventh, while Ricciardo, caught at the back of the midfield, was rudely bumped by the locked-up Sauber of Marcus Ericsson. The impact seemed to be largely superficial, with Ricciardo dropping to P16 but surviving to begin what would be an exciting afternoon for the Australian.

    As Ricciardo set about picking through the field, making his way up to fifth by lap 27, Hamilton led from Bottas and Vettel. On lap six, Verstappen pulled the sister Red Bull off to the side of the track, his power unit having appeared to fail. Bottas was the first Mercedes to pit on lap 16, releasing Vettel, who had started on the soft tyres, while both Mercedes had opted to start on ultrasofts before switching to softs.

    Hamilton pitted 10 laps after his team mate, and with Vettel leading the race and almost exactly a pit stop ahead of Bottas on track, it looked as if Ferrari was working the overcut perfectly on Mercedes. The idea was to pit Vettel after a long stint on the softs, bring him out in P2 on a fresh set of ultrasofts and let him get after Hamilton on his newer, faster rubber. That was the theory, anyway.

    However, between lap 36 and lap 39, it all went wrong for Vettel. The German found himself snarled up in traffic, especially hurt by the Renault of Sainz. As Bottas pumped in quick laps behind, Vettel finally pitted on lap 39, but a slow change on the front-left kept him stationary for 4.2 seconds. As he exited the pits, Bottas was just ahead and now able to act as rear-gunner for leader Hamilton eight seconds up the road. Advantage Mercedes.

    Even with Vettel’s fresher rubber, he wasn’t able to find a way past Bottas, and appeared to be struggling with overheating as he consistently ran out of the Mercedes’ slipstream down the main straight. Bottas’ pace allowed Raikkonen to close up to his team mate as well, and it briefly looked as though Ferrari might emulate Mercedes’ driver inversion at Hungary 12 months ago to see if Raikkonen could get after his fellow Finn.

    However, having upped his pace, Vettel finally made it past Bottas at Turn 1 on lap 65 of 70. Bottas switched to the inside for Turn 2 but locked up, clumsily clipping the side of Vettel’s Ferrari. They build them strong in Maranello, though, and Vettel and Raikkonen pulled away from Bottas, whose failed move had dropped him into the clutches of fourth-placed Ricciardo.

    As the old Formula Renault adversaries darted around one another down the main straight with two laps to go, Ricciardo attempted a move around the outside, with Bottas – lacking downforce with his injured front wing – again locking up and sending the Red Bull darting onto the run-off, with damage to its right flank.

    Ricciardo once again survived, however, crossing the line in fourth, while Bottas ended up fifth after following Mercedes’ instruction to let the Red Bull back past. Vettel had to be content to follow title rival Hamilton home in second, left to consider how different it might have been if he’d pitted three laps earlier – or had his stop not been so slow.

    While Ricciardo earned Driver of the Day, another man who could have laid claim to that accolade was Pierre Gasly. Having started P6 in the Toro Rosso with faster drivers behind him, many would have forgiven the Frenchman if he’d dropped away in the race. But he managed his first stint brilliantly on the ultrasofts, making them last until lap 33, and his second sixth place of the season was his well-deserved reward.

    McLaren also merited praise. Both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne long-stinted their soft tyres before switching onto mediums. Given the importance of track position in Hungary, that saw them in P8 and P9 once the pit stops were all accounted for. Had Vandoorne not had to retire from that ninth place after a gearbox failure, it would have been a well-earned double-points finish, as the team appeared to find the form that they’d enjoyed earlier in the season.

    Vandoorne and Verstappen aside, the only other DNF was Charles Leclerc, whose Sauber sustained damage after contact at the start when he found himself the filling in a Force India sandwich.

    Up at the front though, it was Hamilton who claimed his sixth Hungarian Grand Prix victory, which puts the Hungaroring joint with Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve as the British driver’s top hunting ground on the F1 calendar. However, Ferrari will have been relieved to stem the damage to Mercedes, on a day when the Silver Arrows looked like they could well have had their second one-two in as many races.

  2. Christian Horner hits out at Renault after Max Verstappen radio rant. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner says the service it is getting from Renault is “some way below” what it is paying for, after being hit with another power unit failure in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Max Verstappen had been well-placed to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari in the early stages at the Hungaroring, but a suspected MGU-K problem put him out on lap six.

    The retirement led to a furious outburst from the Dutchman, who had seen another chance of good points slip from his grasp.

    He told the team: “Can I not just go ahead and **** it. I don’t care if this engine blows up… What a ******* joke all the time with this ****. Honestly.”

    With Red Bull having seen Daniel Ricciardo suffer retirements in Austria and Germany, a clearly frustrated Horner has made it clear he is far from happy with what his team is getting from Renault.

    Speaking to Sky, Horner said: “I am not going to get drawn into saying too much, but we pay multi millions of pounds for these engines, for a first-class product, a state-of-the-art product, and you can see it is quite clearly some way below that.

    “So it is frustrating. That is what it is. We still have Daniel in the race and I will let Cyril come up with his excuses afterwards.”

    Red Bull has already elected to switch to Honda engines next year, but tensions between the team and Renault are mounting in the wake of recent performance and reliability issues.

    At the last race, Horner spoke out about the fact Renault would not change as many components as it could after Ricciardo had already taken earlier penalties.

    “That’s a question for Renault,” said Horner about the events in Germany. “The normal strategy is to change everything you can.”

  3. Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is left feeling “hurt” by team boss Toto Wolff’s “wingman” comments. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Valtteri Bottas says that he is “hurt” by comments from Mercedes boss Toto Wolf that he was a “sensational wingman” in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    The Finn was forced to play a defending role in the second half of the Hungaroring race, with teammate and race leader Lewis Hamilton’s main title rival Sebastian Vettel stuck behind him.

    After holding off Vettel until just a few laps before the end to ensure Hamilton was clear in front for the win, Wolff told Sky that he admired the role Bottas played.

    Wolff said: “It feels a bit bittersweet, I don’t know why, because Valtteri would have deserved a podium because he was such a sensational wingman.”

    But Bottas seemed unimpressed by those comments, as he suggested that there was little to be happy about on an afternoon he wanted to finish much higher than his eventual fifth.

    “First of all wingman hurts,” he told TV reporters. “Second of all, I don’t see any positives in this race for me. I wanted a better result.

    “We thought in theory we should have been able to do that one stop. We had to stop earlier than we wanted because of Kimi [Raikkonen], we had to cover him, and still 20 laps before the end everything was feeling okay.

    “We could control the pace and my position, but then the rear tyres started to die. I tried to defend the best I could, as aggressive as I could, but it ended up being a bit of a mess in the end with the broken front wing and everything.”

    Bottas suggested that he would speak to team management later to discuss the “wingman” issue, as he suggested there had been no indication he was playing a supporting role to Hamilton.

    “I think we need to speak after this race,” he said. “We are over halfway [through] the year and the points gap is big, but for sure the team will decide at some point.”

    Bottas also believed that his clashes with Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages of the Hungarian GP were just racing incidents – even though he has been summoned to see the stewards for the Red Bull incident.

    “With Seb he had a good run into Turn 2,” he said. “We had a bit of a battle in Turn 1. I still had my nose inside into Turn 2, he was on the outside, he turned in very early for me and for me there was nowhere to go.

    “We touched and I was the only one who got damaged. Fair enough, I think racing incident.

    “With Daniel, it was a similar thing. I was more next to him on the inside. I had no front half of my wing so I was locking up as well.

    “I am sure he saw that I was going quite quick into the corner but he still turned in, and then we touched.”

  4. Max Verstappen is not impressed with the Renault power unit. The Red Bull driver commented that it was the “Slowest” and that the fragile Renault engine is “difficult to accept”. Motorsport.com has the news story.

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen says the Renault Formula 1 engine’s lack of reliability and performance is “difficult to accept”, with the latest failure in Hungary having left him “very angry”.

    Verstappen had passed two cars at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix to run fifth behind the Mercedes and Ferrari cars, but an MGU-K failure put him out of the race after five laps.

    The issue compounded Red Bull’s misery on what had been a difficult race weekend at one of its more favourable tracks – and Verstappen said after the race that both he and teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who finished fourth, deserved better.

    “Honestly, it’s just not at all how it should be,” he told Sky Sports.

    “You pay millions as a team for, you hope, a decent engine. But it keeps breaking down. We are also the slowest out there.

    “Honestly at the moment, it’s difficult to accept.”

    Red Bull’s strong race pace in practice meant Verstappen would’ve expected to challenge the cars ahead a strong start.

    “I felt okay with the car,” he said. “It’s always difficult to say afterwards [what result was possible].

    “At the end of the day, we could’ve been easily fifth, if nothing happened in front. Again, valuable points just thrown away.”

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, whose outfit is switching to Honda power units in 2019, said following Verstappen’s retirement that Renault’s engine was “some way below” what Red Bull was paying for.

    Verstappen had been livid on team radio when the failure occurred, first suggesting that he runs the car until the engine “blows up”, before screaming: “F**k! What a f**king joke all the f**king time with this s**t, honestly.”

    His rant was broadcast on the world feed, albeit heavily censored.

    “I was very angry at the radio. I think there was a lot of beeping out there, which was a shame that they beeped it away, would’ve been better if they would’ve allowed it.”

    As he’s already run three MGU-K components this year – one over the permitted allocation – Verstappen could face a grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix after the summer break.

    But the Dutchman, who said he was heading into the break not “in a holiday mood”, insisted this was not a major concern for him in the immediate aftermath of the race.

    “Let’s see what we have to do in Spa, if we have to take penalties or not, I don’t know yet.

    “But at the end, at the moment, I also don’t really care.”

  5. UPDATE: Valtteri Bottas has been given a 10-second penalty and two penalty points by the Formula 1 stewards for his clash with Daniel Ricciardo in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    The punishment does not change Bottas’s fifth-place result as he had a 23s cushion back to Pierre Gasly in sixth.

    Bottas was trying to limp to the finish on extremely worn tyres and with wing damage from a collision with Sebastian Vettel – which the stewards did not investigate – when he was caught for fourth place by Ricciardo.

    The Red Bull driver made a move down the outside of the Mercedes into Turn 1 but Bottas understeered into Ricciardo and pushed him wide over the runoff.

    “I feel I did all I could and gave him enough room, but I guess with the damage he went in pretty hard,” Ricciardo told Sky Sports F1. “It was definitely over the top.”

    Bottas argued that Ricciardo had brought the incident on himself and should have been more aware of the condition of the Mercedes.

    “I was more next to him on the inside, I had no front half of my wing so I was locking up as well,” said Bottas.

    “I am sure he saw that I was going quite quick into the corner but he still turned in and then we touched.”

    The stewards’ report said Ricciardo had given Bottas “plenty of room” and the collision happened because the Mercedes ran wide due to its “compromised line and less downforce from the front wing”.

    Ricciardo was able to catch and repass Bottas for fourth in the following laps.

    “I wanted to still get him back on track as opposed to waiting for a penalty,” he said.

    Mercedes had recommended to Bottas that he let Ricciardo through the first touch but he argued against it.

    When told of the radio message Bottas received, Ricciardo replied: “Thanks to Mercedes for that.”

    Source: Motorsport.com

  6. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel doesn’t blame Valtteri Bottas in hitting him. Motorsport.com has the details.

    Sebastian Vettel says he does not blame Valtteri Bottas for locking up and hitting his Ferrari Formula 1 car after being passed for second place in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Vettel had overtaken Bottas exiting the first corner with five laps to go but the Mercedes driver tried to fight back into Turn 2, locked up and hit the rear of the Ferrari.

    Bottas broke his front wing in the incident and fell to fifth, hitting Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull in the process in a later incident, while Vettel was able to continue and finish second.

    “I felt, all of a sudden, I got hit from behind,” said Vettel, who was fortunate not to be passed by teammate Kimi Raikkonen after the contact as Raikkonen was right behind him on track.

    “For him [Bottas] there wasn’t anywhere to go, I was ahead.

    “I don’t blame him – I think he had no grip and when you’re so close it’s very difficult to stop the car and I think he locked up and we made contact.”

    Vettel had been hounding Bottas for several laps on fresh ultrasofts, with Bottas trying to make an unlikely one-stop strategy work having pitted early to switch to softs.

    “I realised straight away I had a much better run,” said Vettel of the pass.

    “My rears were in better shape and I got the inside track outside of Turn 1, I had DRS. I was quite comfortable into Turn 2 knowing I got him.

    “I wanted to make sure I didn’t overshoot the braking, I hit the brakes and when I turned in I felt the contact from behind.”

    Vettel’s second place minimised the damage in the championship, as his main rival and points leader Lewis Hamilton claimed a comfortable victory.

    The result leaves Vettel 24 points adrift, but the four-time world champion said the result could have been worse.

    “I was lucky I could catch the car [after the contact] and lucky I didn’t get a puncture,” he said. “The team told me straight away that the tyres look fine.

    “I had a feeling the car was fine and it was until the end.”

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