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07/29 2018

F1 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX RESULTS: LEWIS HAMILTON EXTENDS F1 POINTS LEAD WITH WIN

 

 

Lewis Hamilton left Hungary with a 24-point lead in the championship.PHOTO BY MOTORSPORT IMAGES-LAT

Finishes more than 17 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel

BY:  SAM HALL

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas put on a great show of teammwork on Sunday as Hamilton won the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Only late contact between Bottas and Sebastian Vettel prevented the last race before F1’s traditional summer break from being a 1-2 finish for the Silver Arrows. Hamilton won by a whopping 17.123 seconds over runner-up Vettel. Kimi Räikkönen finshed third, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo fourth and Bottas fifth.

Pierre Gasly was sixth and the only other driver to finish on the lead lap.

It was a masterful show by Mercedes until lap 67 of 70. Pitting Bottas on lap 15 to cover the Ferrari of Räikkönen in what looked like a switch to a two-stop strategy, a problem in Vettel’s lap 39 stop meant that Bottas was positioned perfectly to hold up Vettel and allow Hamilton to build a race-winning margin.

Managing the task well, Bottas allowed his teammate to build a 20-second lead, but with three laps remaining, a small mistake out of turn one gave Vettel an opportunity to finally execute a pass. Vettel seized his chance but when Bottas tried to retake second, he locked a brake on the grass and made contact with the Ferrari.

Räikkönen followed Vettel through and then the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, who had started 12th and been as low as 16th on lap one, was on his tail. Out-dragging Bottas’ heavily damaged Mercedes down the main straight on lap 68, Ricciardo was able to drive around the outside, his much fresher tires giving him better grip. The move would have been completed with ease but the lack of downforce on the Mercedes, thanks to his broken front wing, saw Bottas slide helplessly into the side of the Red Bull.

Ricciardo came of the contact better than Bottas and was able to pass Bottas on the final lap.

For Hamilton, the race was simple. Regular radio messages were exchanged with the team for updates on the gap back to Vettel and the championship leader was able to notch up a sixth Grand Prix win in Hungary.

“What a beautiful day, what a great crowd we’ve had and really an amazing job from the team,” said Hamilton. “We came here knowing that the Ferraris would be real quick this weekend, but to come out with these points, we’ll definitely take it as a bonus for us. We deserve the holiday that’s coming.”

 “I was sweating, it was so hot. It was physical but obviously our aim was to manage the pace but I think it’s the last part that really kills me.”

Vettel trails Hamilton by 24 points in their seemingly private race to win a fifth world drivers’ championship crown.

A positive way of looking at the Hungarian Grand Prix for Vettel is that although Hamilton had won this event five times before today, he had never gone on to become champion in any of those seasons. In fact, the last driver to win in Hungary and win the championship was Michael Schumacher in 2004 for Ferrari.

“It was a tough race,” said Vettel. “Obviously, we were a little bit out of position for the speed that we had. I think we could go with Lewis today in terms of race pace. I had a good start surprisingly, on the harder tire, which was good and then was in third. Then I think we did well. It was a bit tricky knowing when to come in and then obviously we had a little bit of an issue in the pit stop and came out behind Valtteri.”

 “I realized right away that I couldn’t get him because his tires were still too fresh so I wa sitting back and waiting and trying to line up everything for the last ten laps and it worked. His tires were getting worse and worse and I knew how long those yellow (soft) tires last from the first stint that I had. I was quite confident that I could get him at the end and P2 is not what we really wanted this weekend but I think it’s the maximum we could get today.”

Raikkonen, yet to sign a new contract with Ferrari for 2019 or be announced elsewhere, scored a fifth consecutive podium result.

Ferrari may not have got the win that they so desperately craved on the first race weekend since the death of former president and CEO Sergio Marchionne — the whole team wearing black armbands and the whole grid joining in a moment of silence before lights out — but a double podium and clawing points back in the constructors’ race was a good result on what could have been a much worse day.

“I think that it was the best we could hope for today,” said Raikkonen. “A far from ideal start and I think we need to improve those a bit make it a bit easier and then obviously, we catch up with Bottas after the first stop but there was no chance to overtake at that point so our option was to stop again and try again. At least we got one place back so far from ideal, I think we had pretty good speed today but what can you do? Sometimes it’s like that but we take the points and go for the next one.”

F1 Hungarian Grand Prix results

  Driver Manufacturer Behind
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport  
2 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari 17.123 secs.
3 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari 20.101
4 Daniel Ricciardo Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 46.419
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 50.000
6 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda +1:13.273
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team +1 Lap
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren F1 Team +1 Lap
9 Carlos Sainz Renault Sport Formula One Team +1 Lap
10 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team +1 Lap
11 Brendon Hartley Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda +1 Lap
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport Formula One Team +1 Lap
13 Esteban Ocon Sahara Force India F1 Team +1 Lap
14 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team +1 Lap
15 Marcus Ericsson Alfa Romeo SauberF1 Team +2 Laps
16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Martini Racing +2 Laps
17 Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing +2 Laps
18 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren F1 Team DNF
19 Max Verstappen Aston Martin Red Bull Racing DNF
20 Charles Leclerc Alfa Romeo SauberF1 Team DNF