July 29th, 2013 (F1plus/R. Baillie).- The Hungarian Grand Prix was a race of surprises; Lewis Hamilton took his first win for Mercedes after a surprise pole, Sebastian Vettel struggled for pace and Pastor Maldonado picked up the first point for Williams.
1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 25 Points
Following on from a surprise pole position, Hamilton finally managed to take his first win for Mercedes.
Before the race he felt he didn’t stand a chance of winning, but absolutely everything seemed to go his way during the race. The 2008 world champion drove the car and managed his tyres perfectly while his rivals weren’t so lucky and struggled with pace and tyres.
A well deserved victory for Hamilton, which must provide a much-needed boost for both him and the team.
2. Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus - 18 Points
The warm track temperatures certainly favored Raikkonen, who was able to manage his tyres perfectly.
Going into the last few laps of the race with tyres 13 laps older than Sebastian Vettel, the Finn still appeared to have plenty of life left in them and was able to defend well against the chasing German.
3. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull Racing - 15 Points
An unusual race for the current world champion who just wasn’t his usual dominant self in Hungary.
A slow start meant he had to fight hard to retain second place rather than chasing down Hamilton. Throughout the entire race the only time Vettel took the lead was due to the leader pitting for fresh tyres and the German just didn’t have the pace to catch Raikkonen during the closing laps of the race and later commented that the “key issue” during his race was getting stuck behind Jenson Button.
After failing to pass Raikkonen, he was heard on the radio questioning whether Raikkonen had left him enough room, even though the Finn appeared to have nothing wrong at all; a subtle hint that perhaps Vettel and Raikkonen would not be great teammates after all.
4. Mark Webber - Red Bull Racing - 12 Points
Choosing not to run during Q3 and starting on the medium tyres paid off for Webber on Sunday.
The Australian had a good start and was able to manage his tyres well choosing the medium tyres three times in a row, meaning he had to stop shortly before the end for a quick stint on the soft tyres. The last minute pitstop didn’t damage his race too much as he finished in fourth place.
5. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - 10 Points
Yet again Alonso found himself unable to challenge for the win.
The double world champion was hardly seen throughout the race and was only able to manage fifth place.
Following the race the FIA have announced that the Spaniard is under investigation for activating his rear wing three times when he was not within the DRS zone of the driver ahead of him.
6. Romain Grosjean - Lotus - 8 Points
Things looked very promising for the Frenchman after qualifying in third place, but a rookie error cost him a podium finish.
Grosjean had a strong start, nearly passing Vettel going into the first corner, and was able to retain third place despite strong starts from other drivers around him.
His strong race started to come undone after he passed Felipe Massa while he was outside of the track limits, which saw him receive a drive through penalty.
Another incident with Jenson Button which saw Grosjean make contact with Button saw him receive a 20 second post race penalty which didn’t affect his result as he was 21 seconds ahead of, ironically, Button.
7. Jenson Button - McLaren - 6 Points
It was a busy afternoon out in Hungary for Button who seemed to have to battle with every driver at some point or another.
The Englishman found himself busy defending hard against the likes of Vettel and Grosjean and was just as confused as anyone watching the race and was even heard asking his engineer what was going on.
Button fought for a well deserved 7th place.
Raikkonen was able to hold off Vettel (LAt Photo)
Maldonado brought hte first point for the William steam (LAT Photo)
8. Felipe Massa - Ferrari - 4 Points
A very quiet and non-competitive race for the Brazilian saw him finish in eighth place.
Contact with Nico Rosberg at the beginning of the race damaged Massa’s front wing end plate, which affected his balance throughout the rest of the race.
Speaking after the race Massa said that he wasn’t “definitely can’t be happy with eighth place,” and went on to say that the track didn’t suit their car “for various reasons.”
Nevertheless, he was hoping the Italian based team could be more competitive during the second half of the season.
9. Sergio Perez - McLaren - 2 Points
A quiet race for the young Mexican, who managed to bring the car home in the points.
While Perez started ninth on the grid and brought the car home in ninth place after a quiet race, he was still able to pick up important points for the team, especially with both Force India’s failing to finish the race.
After the race Perez was looking at the positives and said “a result like this is encouraging for everybody in the team, and it’s a nice present with which to send us into the August break.”
10. Pastor Maldonado - Williams - 1 Point
Thanks for Maldonado the Grove based team have picked up their first point of the year.
The Venezuelan started 15th place and made a three-stop strategy work well and was able to capitalize when Rosberg retired with an engine failure.
Maldonado praised the car saying, “The car felt consistent, maybe not as fast in the second and third stints, but very consistent.” He also added that he was hoping to pick up more points during the second half of the season.
11. Nico Hulkenberg - Sauber
Another tough weekend for the German who was unable to pick up points again.
For the past two races Hulkenberg has been able to pick much needed points for Sauber, but was unable to do so in Hungary thanks to a drive through penalty for speeding in the pitlane.
After the race Hulkenberg said that reason for his speeding in the pitlane was because he had trouble shifting from first to second gear, and he must have released the button too early when things got “hectic”.
12. Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso
A difficult start for Vergne saw him drop back from 14th place to 16th place during the first few corners.
From then on the Frenchman says he “did what he could” and said that while the car had pace they were unable to match their “usual rivals”.
13. Daniel Ricciardo - Toro Rosso
Like his teammate Ricciardo struggled to move forward and take on their rivals, unlike his teammate though the Australian concedes that they weren’t quick enough and just didn’t have the pace.
Ricciardo feels that the high temperatures are part of the problem as the team struggled at the Nurburgring, which also saw high track temperatures.
14. Giedo van der Garde - Caterham
A great race from van der Garde saw him finish above his teammate and both Marussia drivers.
van der Garde had a good start and was able to pass Bottas on the opening lap. The Dutchman was “really pleased” with the race and even said it was “the best race of the year” for him, saying that his tyre management was improving.
15. Charles Pic - Caterham
The warm track temperatures suited Pic well who was able to pull off a two stop strategy, making the medium tyres last 32 laps on his third stint.
The Frenchman though that although he managed his tyres well, there “wasn’t really anything more I could do.”
16. Jules Bianchi - Marussia
While Bianchi was hardly seen throughout the race, he was once again able to finish ahead of his teammate.
Speaking after the race he said the race was a bit of a ‘battle’ thanks to the cars balance. He was also able to see the positives, saying “we remained reliable in a race which is very demanding for the cars, bringing two cars home once again”.
17. Max Chilton - Marussia
Like his teammate Chilton has a tough race and again found himself finishing in last place.
The Brit echoed his teammate saying that balance was an issue, especially on the medium tyres, which made the car hard to handle and even harder to manage tyre degradation, costing them time which wasn’t aided by the blue flags.
DNF - Paul di Resta
Following a disappointing qualifying session and failing the finish the race, the Hungarian Grand Prix was a weekend to forget for di Resta.
During the race the Scot spent most of the race outside of the points and was called into the pits towards the end of the race due to a hydraulic issue.
DNF - Nico Rosberg
Despite qualifying well, unlike his teammate Rosberg had a miserable race.
Things got off to a bad start for the German who ran wide and dropped back down to 12th place on the opening lap.
Mere laps after setting the fastest lap, Rosberg pulled over at turn 2 with smoke billowing out of the back of his car due to an engine failure.
DNF - Valtteri Bottas
Another first for Williams, who saw Bottas’ first retirement of the season.
The Finn didn’t quite seem to have the pace his teammate, Maldonado, had and spend most of his race towards the back of the field. On lap 45 he was forced to retire with a hydraulic issue.
DNF - Esteban Gutierrez
The Hungarian Grand Prix weekend was one to forget for Gutierrez who suffered issues on both Saturday and Sunday.
He was only able to put in one lap of running during FP3 thanks to an engine issue. On Sunday his race was ended by a gearbox issue, which saw him retire on lap 30.
DNF - Adrian Sutil
The German was the first of the Force India’s to retire with a hydraulic issue as he was pulled into the pits on lap 20.
Sutil had a poor start which saw him drop back a few places after starting 11th on the grid. Speaking after the race he said it was “disappointing not to finish,” especially as he was beginning to recover from a bad start.