The tenth event of this year's Formula 1 World Championship, the Hungarian Grand Prix, takes place in a somber atmosphere throughout the weekend. The fans and the paddock remember the person of Jules Bianchi , who succumbed to his injuries last weekend after a serious accident in last year's Japanese Grand Prix. The single-seaters are decorated with at least the #17 symbol , which was the Frenchman's number, and just before the start, the riders observed a minute's silence. However, the race started after her and believe me, it was something to watch.
The qualification has traditionally been the best for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton took first place with more than half a second, followed by Nico Rosberg. The third Vettel had another bigger gap, on the other hand, the fourth Ricciardo was only just behind the four-time world champion. The Finns occupied the third row in the order of Räikkönen Bottas, Kvyat finished seventh, Massa eighth, Verstappen ninth and Gorsjean tenth. Behind them were Hülkenberg, Sainz, Pérez, Maldonado, Alonso, Button, Ericsson, Nasr, Merhi and Stevens.
The start itself had to be repeated due to the bad position of the Brazilian Massa , so the race was shortened by one lap. In addition, the Brazilian matador received a five-second penalty, which, given the offense, he could have been rather happy about. The second start was already without complications, but both Ferraris rushed past both Mercedes like an arrow. Vettel was comfortably leading after the first corner, Räikkönen fought a battle of nerves with Rosberg, which the Finn eventually won. Only the fourth place remained for Hamilton, whose start really did not work out at all. And it was even worse. During one of the attacks on Rosberg, he went off the track and could be glad that it didn't end in an accident , but "just a drop" to tenth place behind Felipe Massa. The Brit had to start completely from scratch and it must be noted that he did not succeed completely. Ferrari's number two and Rosberg's third quickly built up a lead, so that within five laps Hamilton was already more than fifteen seconds behind first place. Valtteri Bottas with Williams acted as a solid plug there in fourth place, not even Nico Hülkneberg's Force India behind him, or two Red Bulls in the order of Kvyat Ricciardo.
And it was around this pair that the course of the next few rounds revolved. While at the front it was about passing Rosberg , whose formula was set to circle at the front, and for Hamilton about constant pressure on Massa, Kvyat was told by the team radio to let Ricciardo in front of him, because he is riding a different strategy and is therefore slower. This turned out to be a fact after a few more laps, when the Australian easily beat the fifth Hülkenberg and then also the fourth Bottas. But Hamilton managed to overtake Massa after all, using the DRS system. The speed of the "silver arrows" was felt by Sergio Pérez on the Force India in the thirteenth lap, the Briton thus ended up in eighth position. However, his loss to the leading trio gradually increased, in addition, Rosberg had trouble keeping up with Räikkönen, who was driving about 2.5 seconds behind the leader Vettel.
The Hungaroring turned out to be relatively demanding on tires , which is why the first competitors appeared in the pit lane as early as the fifteenth lap. Massa, Grosjean or Kvyat were not missing among them. And it was the Lotus mechanics who dangerously let Grosjean into the path of Massa, and he later received a five-second penalty for it. Meanwhile, thanks to the pit stops, Hamilton managed to get up to fifth place, and around the twentieth circuit, he also consistently set the best lap times. On the twentieth lap, just before his first stop , Kimi Räikkönen complained that he had lost a piece of his front wing. However, Ferrari evaluated this problem as marginal with zero impact on the car's performance, which was practically confirmed a few laps later. But back to the stops of the top five, where Ricciardo , in addition to Hamilton, got a bit invisibly. At the end of the 21st circuit, Sebastian Vettel was the first to run for the new tires, just a lap later Räikkönen also showed up for Ferrari. Both pilots put on a softer set of tires. Mercedes chose an interesting strategy – while Rosberg switched to a harder set, Hamilton stayed on the soft. But he was a little late in the pits, which cost him, among other things, a place ahead of Ricciardo on the harder set of tires.
However, that changed in the approach to the 29th lap, and the Brit overtook the ever-smiling Australian even with the use of DRS . After this maneuver, there was a phase of the race where the distances were more closely watched than the battles on the track. Vettel was up to nine seconds ahead of Räikkönen, and Rosberg was back by another ten or more. On the contrary, Hamilton on faster tires was literally pulling Rosberg back by leaps and bounds – in the 38th lap, he already had a loss of only six seconds, while the German's loss to the second Ferrari gradually increased to values greater than fifteen seconds. At that moment, no one doubted that the red horses from Maranello were going for the double! However, Räikkönen shouldn't have reported "some strange engine sound" on the 42nd lap. A technical investigation on the Ferrari box stamp showed that it is a kinetic engine generator, which could be continued, but without a significant portion of power.
In the 43rd lap, another blow came for Ferrari, i.e. the imaginary one. The real one was experienced by Nico Hülkenberg , whose front wing broke on the finish line for no apparent reason and his Force India headed straight for the tire barrier. At the end of the straight, carbon fragments were strewn everywhere, and although the race management tried to solve it for a while with a Virtual Safety Car, they finally had to send the real one onto the track. And that came in handy for both Mercedes, who basically caught up behind both Ferraris for free. In addition, one had a problem with the engine, Rosberg then received information through his headphones that the two cars in front of him not only had a problem warming up the harder tires, which both drivers switched to just before the start of the silver Mercedes-AMG GT S , but at the same time keeping on them even after the restart performance. I also owe you the information that, just like Ferrari, both Mercedes went to the pits during the Virtual Safety Car and also switched to a harder set of tires. On the contrary, Red Bull took advantage of this moment and sent both of their pilots for the final "sprint" on a softer and faster set of tires.
Just before the restart , the order was Vettel, Räikkönen, Rosberg, Hamilton and Ricciardo. The restart took place on the approach to the 49th circuit out of a total of 69, and Rosberg immediately overtook the slower Räikkönen without any major problems. Similar to the start, the restart did not go well for Hamilton, who fought with the approaching Ricciardo and it actually ended as badly as possible for both of them. Mutual contact , during which the Australian damaged the side of the single-seater (but was able to continue) and Hamilton the front wing. In addition, the latter fell to the bottom of the top ten after several more fights with Kvyat and Bottas and had to drive for a new front spoiler. Bottas also paid for the scrum after the restart, who suffered a puncture in his rear tire and the race was practically over for him. On the contrary, the second Rosberg earned the most from it, and the brakes third Ricciardo with fourth Kvyat. Räikkönen's problems continued to worsen, so the team decided to call him to the pits on the approach to the 53rd lap to restart the entire power unit. However, that didn't help either, and the sad Finn had to retire four laps later.
In the 54th lap, Lewis Hamilton received another hard direct. He was found guilty of an accident with Daniel Ricciardo and received a pit lane penalty. After her, he dropped to thirteenth place and his hopes for points were more than slim. On the contrary, Fernando Alonso did absolutely fantastic, whose McLaren suddenly found himself in sixth place in the standings after all the problems and penalties! In front of him, Vettel, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Kvyat and Verstappen were put together after 56 laps. Above all, the first three were very close to each other – at one point even within two seconds! Daniel Ricciardo couldn't keep his nerves in check at the beginning of the 64th lap, who very ambitiously tried on Nico Rosberg in the first corner. He braked heavily, but the German also did not have an ideal pass and it all ended in a mutual collision! Ricciardo lost part of his front spoiler and had to pit. Rosberg lapped the entire lap with a flat left rear tyre. At that moment, more than one fan wished to be in the cockpit of Lewis Hamilton, who, with a series of penalties and dropouts of his rivals, ended up behind Grosejan in seventh place. He managed to overtake that and when he passed the pits, where Rosberg was just setting up with a flat tire, he was already in sixth place. I remind you that with this Alonso moved to fifth place !
Daniil Kvyat, whose above-mentioned accident brought him to second place, drove very discreetly. And since he had a lead of about thirty seconds over his teammate, he didn't have to worry about a ten-second penalty for gaining an advantage in the duel by going off the track. Max Verstappen also drove inconspicuously but reliably in fourth place. And since nothing dramatic happened, Sebastian Vettel with Ferrari crossed the finish line first. In an emotional radio interview, he did not forget to dedicate his win to Bianchi, who would most likely be his teammate from next season. Daniil Kvyat won the second, and at the same time the first, place on the podium. Despite the accident, Daniel Ricciardo finished behind him – it was definitely Red Bull's best result of the season. Despite the chase, the Mercedes ended up deep in the field – Hamilton sixth, Rosberg eighth. And that can still be considered a good result given the circumstances. However, Pastor Maldonado became the uncrowned king of the thirtieth race in Hungary. In just one race, he managed to collide with Pérez at the beginning of the race, exceed the speed limit in the pit lane, and finally overtake the Safety Car. I think the final fourteenth place reflects the number of penalties received. In conclusion, it should be noted that all three on the podium dedicated their positions to Jules Bianchi. The next race will be held after the summer break in three weeks in Spa, Belgium. And due to the modification of the rules, which forbids the use of electronics during starts, we certainly have something to look forward to.
Results of the Hungarian WC 2015
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||1:46:09.985 (69 laps)|
|2.||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||+ 15.748 s|
|3.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||+ 25.084 s|
|4.||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||+ 44.251 s|
|5.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren||+ 49.079 s|
|6.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 52.025 s|
|7.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus||+ 58.578 s|
|8.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||+ 58.876 s|
|9.||Jenson Button||McLaren||+ 1:07.028 s|
|10.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||+ 1:09.130 s|
|11.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber||+ 1:13.458 s|
|12.||Felipe Massa||Williams||+ 1:14.278 s|
|13.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams||+ 1:20.228 s|
|14.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus||+ 1:25.142 s|
|15.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia||+ 2 rounds|
|16.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia||technique|
|NC||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso||technique|
|NC||Sergio Perez||Force India||technique|
|NC||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||crash|
Running standings after ten of the nineteen races – drivers
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||202 points|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||181 points|
|3.||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||160 points|
|4.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams||77 points|
|5.||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||76 points|
|6.||Felipe Massa||Williams||74 points|
|7.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||51 points|
|8.||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||45 points|
|9.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||24 points|
|10.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus||23 points|
|11.||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||22 points|
|12.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber||16 points|
|13.||Sergio Perez||Force India||15 points|
|14.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus||12 points|
|15.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren||11 points|
|16.||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso||9 points|
|17.||Jenson Button||McLaren||6 points|
|18.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||6 points|
|19.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia||0 points|
|20.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia||0 points|
Current standings after ten of the nineteen races – teams
|4.||Red Bull||96 points|
|5.||Force India||39 points|
|7.||Toro Rosso||31 points|
|10.||Manor Marussia||0 points|