[F1 2018 NEWS FEATURE] HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX: RACE REVIEW

Formula 1 news story about [F1 2018 NEWS FEATURE] HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX: RACE REVIEW

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has won the Hungarian Grand Prix for a record sixth time, the 4-time F1 World Champion using his teammate Valtteri Bottas as a rear gunner to keep the Ferraris behind for most of the race - ensuring he took the victory at a canter, 17.1 seconds the gap to Sebastian Vettel, extending his lead over the German in the standings to 24 points.

Hamilton, who mastered sodden conditions in qualifying for his 77th pole position, got a great start - and led until his sole stop on Lap 25, but while Ferrari went long with Vettel’s stop to try and close the gap to Hamilton, pit stop issues for both Ferraris hampered its progress, and ultimately cost it a chance at the win at a track where it should have dominated.

“We came here knowing that the Ferraris would be really quick this weekend, but to come out with these points - we’ll definitely take it as a bonus for us,” Hamilton. “We’ve deserved the holiday this time.”

Vettel and Raikkonen closed out the podium, with Bottas falling down to fifth place, after ageing soft tyres forced late race contact with Vettel and Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, who got past on the final lap.

The sport now has its traditional summer break, with the sport returning to Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit on August 26.

Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retired Pts
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 1:37:16.427 25
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 70 +17.123s 18
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 70 +20.101s 15
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 70 +46.419s 12
5 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 70 +50.000s 10
6 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 70 +73.273s 8

Here’s how the FORMULA 1 2018 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX played-out lap-by-lap:

Build Up:
It’s the final race before F1’s traditional summer break, the 33rd Hungarian Grand Prix - and with the championship battle so close, the winner in Budapest today can take crucial confidence into the break, to build upon when F1 returns in four weeks’ time at Belgium’s famed Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

A thrilling wet qualifying session shuffled the grid, with Mercedes taking a surprise fourth front row lockout this year - 4-time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton mastering the torrential conditions to take his sixth pole in Hungary, his 77th overall and fifth this season. His teammate Valtteri Bottas is alongside, but has accepted he will cede position to help Hamilton’s title race.

It’s then an all-Ferrari second row, with Kimi Räikkönen outqualifying Sebastian Vettel for only the second time this year, and both will be hoping to leapfrog the Silver Arrows on the run down to the start with a 618 metres to cover before hitting the apex for Turn 1. And it’s a race for honour as well, with Ferrari’s former chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne sadly passing last week. Behind the Ferraris, it’s Carlos Sainz, who was one of the stars of qualifying - fifth his equal-best slot, and best-ever for Renault.

It’s then a Red Bull sandwich, with Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly (P6) and Brendon Hartley (P8) split by Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen (P7), with his teammate Daniel Ricciardo stuck down in P12 after the team left him on the softs on a drying track in Q2. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso starts from P11 on his 37th birthday, while Williams’ Lance Stroll will now start from the pit lane, following installation of an older-spec front wing after a crash in qualifying destroyed the latest version.

It’s going to be a long hot race, track temperature at 57 degrees Celsius, ambient at 33 degrees, with the chance for a one or two stop race, depending on degradation - with all drivers allowed to run on whatever dry compound tyres they like, given the wet qualifying. A one-stop race would see a pit window between laps 12-20 if you start on the ultras, 16-24 if you start on the softs - both going onto the mediums. But we could see a two-stop race if the tyres overheat and potentially blister in baking conditions.

Formation Lap:
In terms of tyre choices, both Mercedes are on ultrasofts, as is Raikkonen for Ferrari, then Vettel and Sainz are on the softs to go for a longer first stint. The balance of the top-10 are on the ultras, as is Ericsson (P14) and Perez (P18). The rest are on the softs, with Stroll starting from the pit lane on the mediums.

Lap 1:
Polesitter Hamilton has a great start, with Raikkonen all over the back of Bottas but he stays P3 - Vettel retaining P4. Vettel goes past of Raikkonen for P3 into Turn 2. Verstappen up to P5, then it’s Gasly, Magnussen and Sainz who has dropped back. Hulkenberg is up to P10.

Lap 2:
Hamilton leads Bottas by 1-second, then Vettel by less than a second in P3. Ricciardo got contact on left front, he says, not sure if damage - likely tyre, not front wing. Leclerc has retired, mechanical problem on pit straight.

Lap 3:
Hamilton sets the fastest lap, a 1:23.184, he’s 1.7 seconds up on Bottas. Vettel is 1.3 seconds behind in P3, with Raikkonen behind him and Verstappen closes the top-five. Grosjean in P12 is all over the back of Alonso. Ricciardo in P15 is less than half a second behind Ocon.

Lap 4:
Hamilton sets another fastest lap, a 1:22.893 - more than six tenths faster than Bottas and Vettel behind him. Hamilton now leads by 2.3 seconds over Bottas. Vettel needs to clear Bottas if he’s to have a chance of winning this race. Ricciardo is past Ocon and up to P14. DRS has been enabled.

Lap 5:
Hamilton leads Bottas by 3.3-seconds. Vettel remaining around 1-second behind in P3, watching closely. Ricciardo racing Vandoorne hard for P13, and goes off the track at Turn 3. Can’t make it stick. Hulkenberg in P10 is just over a second behind Hartley.

Lap 6:
Hamilton and Verstappen are the only ones in the 1:23s. Th rest of the top-six are in the 1:24s. Ricciardo passes Vandoorne for P13 into Turn 1. Verstappen has no power and is slowing. It looks like it’s terminal. He pulls off on the run down to Turn 6 and has stopped. Virtual Safety Car has been deployed.

Lap 7:
We’re under the VSC - top-10 is Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, Raikkonen, Gasly, Magnussen, Sainz, Hartley, Hulkenberg, Grosjean. VSC ends. DRS enabled. Ericsson pitted under the VSC and now has the mediums on.

Lap 8:
So Hamilton leads Bottas by 3.7 seconds, then Vettel is 1.5 seconds adrift in P3. Ricciardo is chasing down Alonso for P11, and can’t get past into Turn 2.

Lap 9:
Hamilton leads Bottas by 4-seconds, he’s really stretching his legs as Bottas holds back Vettel. Ricciardo is right on the tail of Alonso and he goes past at Turn 1 for P11, and the Spaniard tries to come back into Turn 2 but can’t do it. Ricciardo’s next target ahead is Grosjean.

Lap 10:
Red Bull’s Christian Horner says he thinks MGU-K failed on Verstappen’s car. Hamilton out front by 4.2 seconds, ahead of Bottas. Ricciardo in P11 is chasing down Grosjean, 0.7 sec the gap and fifth the target according to Horner.

Lap 11:
Raikkonen has no drinks bottle, it is not connected. He’s 1.4 sec behind Vettel in P4. Ricciardo passes Grosjean for P10 into Turn 1, and he’s now into the points.

Lap 12:
Perez in P15 is 0.6 sec behind his teammate Ocon, while Ricciardo is 0.7 sec behind Hulkenberg for a chance at P9. It’s Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, Raikkonen and Gasly for the top-five. And it’s a long game at the moment with Ferrari needing to eat into Mercedes’ lead if it’s to get a win today.

Lap 13:
Hamilton leads Bottas by 5.5 seconds, Vettel doing a personal best lap to stay 1.8 seconds behind Bottas. Ricciardo gets past Hulkenberg for P9 into Turn 1.

Lap 14:
Hamilton is still setting the pace out front, he’s 5.8 seconds ahead of Bottas. Ricciardo passes Hartley for P8 into Turn 1, he’s doing just what he hoped to do at the last round in Germany. Sainz is next, 1.5 sec up the road.

Lap 15:
Hamilton sets the fastest lap, a 1:22.783 - as Raikkonen pits from P4. It’s an early one, he goes onto the softs. 5.1 seconds, it’s a slow stop and he exits in P6. A left rear to blame for the issue. Ricciardo is right behind Sainz now.

Lap 16:
Hamilton sets another fastest lap, a 1:22.539 - as Bottas pits from P2 to cover off the undercut. It’s a 2.5 second stop and he’s onto the softs as well. He exits in P4. It’s the top Ferrari should have done. Ricciardo passes Sainz for P7 into Turn 1.

Lap 17:
Another fastest lap for Hamilton, a 1:22.402. He’s 8.7 seconds behind the leader, and sets a personal best time. Immediately bettered by Ricciardo, with a 1:22.397. Raikkonen passes Magnussen for P5, he’s now behind Bottas. Hamilton told to keep on going.

Lap 18:
Hamilton leads Vettel by 8.7 seconds, with another personal best lap. Raikkonen sets the fastest lap, a 1:22.046.

Lap 19:
Hamilton leads Vettel by 8.7 seconds, so is not eating into his lead but is on harder tyres. Ricciardo says his tyres are being consistent. He’s chasing down Magnussen for P6.

Lap 20:
The too-three all do personal best laps, low 1:22s. Ricciardo looks like he’s about to make a move on Magnussen. But can’t make it stick, this is a great battle.

Lap 21:
Hamilton leads Vettel by 8.4 seconds, who set another personal best lap. Raikkonen in P5 is less than a second behind Gasly. Ricciardo tries to Magnussen into Turn 1, but goes around the outside of Turn 2. An excellent move. He’s up to P6, with Raikkonen 8.5 seconds ahead.

Lap 22:
Vettel has taken a chunk of time out of Hamilton’s lead, he’s now 7.6 seconds adrift and is on Plan C. Raikkonen passes Gasly for P4 into Turn 1.

Lap 23:
Vettel has taken out more time from Hamilton’s lead, he’s now 6.5 seconds behind the Brit. Hamilton’s front tyres are looking grained, lots of oversteer.

Lap 24:
Vettel went deep into turn 12, and lost time - he’s now 7.2 secs behind Hamilton. He’s pushing now. As Hamilton laps traffic. Hulkenberg pits from P11.

Lap 25:
Hamilton leads Vettel by 6.5 seconds, but is going through traffic which could cost him time. Bottas is 20-seconds behind in P3. Will we see Hamilton pitting soon? Hartley pits.

Lap 26:
Hamilton pits from the lead, promoting Vettel into the lead. He’s onto the softs, 2.7 second stop. He comes out in clean air, in second place. Sainz pits as well. So it’s Vettel, who’s yet to stop, then Hamilton and Bottas, Raikkonen in P4. Ricciardo is chasing down Gasly for P5.

Lap 27:
Vettel leads Hamilton by 13.1 seconds, followed by Bottas with a 7.9 second gap to his teammate. Ricciardo passes Gasly for P5 into Turn 1, the Australian on a passing tour de force.

Lap 28:
Vettel leads Hamilton by 12.6 seconds, with the Brit setting the fastest lap, a 1:21.968. Perez in P17 is half a second behind the Williams of Lance Stroll. We’re expecting Vettel to go 10-15 laps longer on the softs.

Lap 29:
Vettel leads Hamilton by 12.9 seconds, the German three tenths of a second faster on that last lap. The leaders have lapped up to P14, which is Hulkenberg.

Lap 30:
So Vettel will need to pass Hamilton on track if he wants to win this race, once he has his stop. The German a few tenths faster on that last lap. Grosjean pits from P8.

Lap 31:
Vettel still faster than both Mercedes, the Ferrari extending his gap over Hamilton to 14.3 seconds. He’s looking to jump Bottas at his stop, to claim second for a straight fight on Hamilton. Perez passes Stroll for P16 into Turn 1.

Lap 32:
Vettel and Hamilton doing identical times, 1:22.7s. The gap is 14.5 seconds. Magnussen pits from P7. Raikkonen in P4 is chasing down Bottas, with 1-second between them.

Lap 33:
Vettel leads Hamilton by 14.3 seconds, then it’s Bottas and Raikkonen - who wants to get past and slow his countryman down. Gasly pits.

Lap 34:
Hamilton is responding to Vettel, 0.7 sec faster on that last lap. The gap now 13.5 seconds. Bottas in P3 stays ahead of Raikkonen, with 1.2 seconds the gap there.

Lap 35:
We’re getting close to a chance for Vettel to pit, with the limit on the ultrasofts around 30 laps. Hamilton is still eating into his lead, 13.1 seconds.

Lap 36:
Vettel leads Hamilton by just 12.1 seconds, Bottas is 12.4 secs behind his teammate. Raikkonen is 1-second behind Bottas, with Ricciardo 5.2 seconds behind in P5. Vettel going through traffic and losing time.

Lap 37:
Vettel has lost more time in traffic, 10.2 seconds the gap now to Hamilton in P2. Grosjean in P12 is chasing down Sainz, 0.7 secs the gap.

Lap 38:
Vettel is losing a huge chunk of time through traffic, with 9.3 seconds the gap to Hamilton in P2 now. But has now cleared the traffic. The field has been lapped up to 9, Magnussen.

Lap 39:
Bottas sets the fastest lap, a 1:21.842. as Raikkonen pits for the softs. He rejoins in P5. Ocon in P10 has a train of cars behind him with Sainz, Grosjean and Hartley behind.

Lap 40:
Vettel pits from the lead, onto the ultrasofts but front left sticks - 4.2 second stop. That stop has cost him second, and he rejoins behind Bottas. That’s another bad Ferrari stop. Alonso pits. Bottas sets the fastest lap, a 1:21.736.

Lap 41:
So the order is Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Gasly, Vandoorne, Magnussen, Alonso and Sainz completes the top-10. Vettel is all over the back of Bottas into Turn 1, but goes wide. Raikkonen sets the fastest lap, a 1:21.405. Vandoorne pits.

Lap 42:
So it’s Hamilton, then Bottas who is less than a second ahead of Vettel. Raikkonen sets another fastest lap, a 1:21.381.

Lap 43:
Vettel unable to make a move on Bottas. Hamilton leads Bottas by 7.6 seconds. Raikkonen sets yet another fastest lap, a 1:21.278.

Lap 44:
Vettel looks unable to get past Bottas on that lap, while Raikkonen is flat out on purple - another fastest lap on 1:21.135.

Lap 45:
Ricciardo pits from P4, he’s onto the ultrasofts. 2.2 second stop, super quick work. He returns in P5. Vandoorne in P9 is running behind his teammate Alonso.

Lap 46:
Hamilton out front sets a personal best lap, 0.8 faster than Bottas and Vettel on that last tour.

Lap 47:
Vettel going to the end so must overtake the two Mercedes ahead if he’s to take this win. Ricciardo sets the fastest lap, a 1:20.012. Only seven cars are on the lead lap.

Lap 48:
Hamilton still faster than those around him, he leads Bottas by 10.6 seconds. Vettel in P3 is 2.8 seconds behind Bottas.

Lap 49:
Hamilton leads Bottas by 10.9 seconds, then Vettel 2.8 seconds back in P3 - despite setting a personal best. No cars are now within 1-second of each other. Stroll pits.

Lap 50:
Hamilton continuing to stretch his legs out front, 11.3 seconds the gap to Bottas. Vettel in P3 is doing personal best laps, but is 1.6 second behind Bottas.

Lap 51:
Top-10 is Hamilton, Bottas, Vettel, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Gasly, Magnussen, Alonso, Sainz, Grosjean. Vandoorne, who has shadowed Alonso all race, is slowing - he pulls off onto the side of the track at the exit of Turn 1. Virtual Safety Car deployed.

Lap 52:
Mercedes is preparing for a stop, which turns into a bluff. We’re still under the VSC here. Hulkenberg pits. VSC ends.

Lap 53:
Hamilton leads Bottas by 12.1 seconds. Vettel is 1.5 seconds behind in P3. Raikkonen is 9.1 seconds adrift of his teammate in P4.

Lap 54:
Hamilton setting a personal best lap out front, while Bottas in P2 is keeping Vettel well behind him.

Lap 55:
Hamilton leads Bottas by 13.9 seconds. Vettel closing down Bottas for a chance at P2.

Lap 56:
Hulkenberg passes Perez for P13. Bottas laps Alonso, as Vettel tries to pass. But can’t make inroads.

Lap 57:
Bottas says rears are starting to get hot. Vettel is chasing him, with 1-second the gap between them.

Lap 58:
Hamilton has a 15.5 second lead over Bottas, then it’s Vettel and Raikkonen and Ricciardo - who’s 18.2 seconds adrift of the second Ferrari.

Lap 59:
Hamilton’s pulled out a full second on Bottas, 16.5 seconds the gap - Bottas has been on the softs for 44 laps. Vettel cannot get past. But Raikkonen is behind him, and faster - so should be let past.

Lap 60:
Hamilton leads Bottas by 17.3 seconds, Vettel in P3 is trying his best to get past Bottas but can’t get close.

Lap 61:
Hamilton is covered out front, with a 17.9 second lead. Both of the Ferarris are stuck behind Bottas.

Lap 62:
Hamilton now 19-seconds ahead of Bottas, with both Ferrris pushing to get past but stuck behind the Finn.

Lap 63:
Hamilton now 21.3 seconds ahead of Bottas, with the Brit asking about his teammate’s tyres.

Lap 64:
How fast can you go, Ferrari asks Vettel. 1.5 seconds faster he replies. Hamilton 21.8 seconds ahead of Bottas, with the Brit doing a personal best lap.

Lap 65:
Hamilton now leads by 23-seconds. Bottas is struggling to hold the Ferraris back. Vettel tries to go around the outside of Turn 1, but crashes into Bottas at Turn 2 closing the door on the Mercedes.

Lap 66:
Bottas is now in P4. Hamilton leads Vettel by 24.2 seconds, then it’s Raikkonen 0.9 sec behind in P3. Mercedes could pit Bottas.

Lap 67:
Vettel sets a personal best lap, but is 23.5 seconds behind Hamilton.

Lap 68:
Bottas and Ricciardo are squabbling for P4. And the Australian tries to go around the outside - as the pair touch. Another contact for Bottas, who understeered into the Red Bull. The incident is set to be reviewed after the race.

Lap 69:
Hamilton leads Vettel by 19.2 seconds.

Lap 70 - FINAL LAP:
Bottas told to give back the position to Ricciardo. And the Australian slides on the inside into Turn 1. Ricciardo goes up to P4. Hamilton wins in Hungary for the sixth time, extending his lead over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the drivers’ standings.

Pos No Driver Car Laps Time/Retired Pts
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 1:37:16.427 25
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 70 +17.123s 18
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 70 +20.101s 15
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 70 +46.419s 12
5 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 70 +50.000s 10
6 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 70 +73.273s 8
7 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 69 +1 lap 6
8 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 69 +1 lap 4
9 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 69 +1 lap 2
10 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 69 +1 lap 1
11 28 Brendon Hartley Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 69 +1 lap 0
12 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 69 +1 lap 0
13 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 69 +1 lap 0
14 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 69 +1 lap 0
15 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 68 +2 laps 0
16 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 68 +2 laps 0
17 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 68 +2 laps 0
NC 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 49 DNF 0
NC 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 5 DNF 0
NC 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 0 DNF 0