Pictures courtesy Ferrari
It was Sebastian Vettel as
well as his team Ferrari’s second victory of the Formula One season
in Hungary on July 26, 2015. In a way it also broke the monotony of a Lewis /
Nico win for Mercedes for several of the recent F1 races. It was a pure
Hungarian thriller as Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat scored his first F1 podium in
second and team mate Daniel Ricciardo surviving clashes with both Mercedes cars
for the third position.
For the Silver Arrows it was a
disastrous race as the two drivers had secured a pole and a second position a
day earlier. Lewis Hamilton started badly from pole, ran off track to drop to
10th on lap one, and later took a drive-through penalty for a collision with
Ricciardo. He eventually raced in sixth while his teammate Nico Rosberg managed
But there was no denying that
it was a Ferrari day. A 69 lap charge
around the Hungaroring ended in a win for Sebastian Vettel. The German took the
lead right after the start but saw his 30 second advantage wiped out when the
Safety Car came out on lap 42. Seb kept his concentration, doing a good job of
managing the final third of the race, to take the chequered flag in first place
for his second win with Ferrari, his first ever in Hungary.
Seb’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen
was, however, very unlucky. The Finn was lying second for much of the race,
thanks to a great start and a determined overtaking move on Rosberg under
braking for Turn 2. Kimi was right behind his team-mate for two thirds of the
race, but his chance of a podium evaporated on lap 56 when a problem with his
energy recovery system meant he had to retire
Equally unlucky was Rosberg who
was set for second, until a late coming-together with the charging Ricciardo at
Turn 1 - deemed a racing incident by the stewards - gave him a left-rear
puncture and dropped the German to eighth.
By midpoint - lap 35 in a 69 lap
race (it was meant to be 70 laps), Ferrari’s Vettel was leading teammate Raikkonen
by eight seconds and an off-form Rosberg a further 11.8s back. Hamilton's
efforts, meanwhile, had seen him climb to fourth, another 14s back.
On the 42nd lap, the front
wing of Nico Hulkenberg's Force India tore off, showering Ricciardo with debris
and sending the hapless German out of seventh place and into a high-speed
meeting with the tyre wall. He missed Valtteri Bottas's Williams by
centimetres, and fortunately climbed shaken but unharmed from the wreckage.
At first the Virtual Safety
Car was deployed, but two laps later the real thing came out as there was too
much debris to be cleared away.
By this stage Raikkonen was
already suffering with MGU-K problems, which were hurting his pace massively. He
lost his initial advantage and had to be retired.
Into the final laps, and
Rosberg was under attack from Ricciardo who had opted for the soft rubber. With
five laps to go he lunged down the inside of Rosberg into Turn 1, but Rosberg
had the cut back, and as they exited the corner they touched. Rosberg sustained
a punctured right-rear tyre and limped to the pits, while the Red Bull driver
sustained front wing damage and was forced to pit for a replacement.
Max Verstappen, in the
meantime, scored his best result with an
excellent fourth for Toro Rosso.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso came
in fifth and his teammate Jenson Button ninth, thereby adding 12 points to
Romain Grosjean salvaged
seventh for Lotus, just fending off Rosberg who recovered to eighth ahead of
Button. Marcus Ericsson came in tenth and took the final point ahead of Sauber
team mate Felipe Nasr.
Sergio Perez of Sahara Force
India eventually joined his teammate Hulkenberg in retirement, while Carlos
Sainz failed to finish after losing power with his Toro Rosso, while Marussia
retired Will Stevens four laps from the flag. Team mate Roberto Merhi was 15th
on what was an incredibly tough and emotional weekend for Jules Bianchi's old
After the completion of the
Hungarian round, Hamilton retains his points lead, with 202 to Rosberg's 181,
but Vettel is getting closer, with 160. Mercedes, meanwhile, have 385 points to
Ferrari's 236, but Red Bull are closer to Williams' 151 with 96.
Position Driver Team Points
1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL FERRARI 25
2 DANIIL KVYAT RED BULL 18
3 DANIEL RICCIARDO RED BULL 15
4 MAX VERSTAPPEN TORO ROSSO 12
5 FERNANDO ALONSO MCLAREN 10
6 LEWIS HAMILTON MERCEDES 8
7 ROMAIN GROSJEAN LOTUS 6
8 NICO ROSBERG MERCEDES 4
9 JENSON BUTTON MCLAREN 2
10 MARCUS ERICSSON SAUBER 1
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