F1 || Race 11 || Hungary Review
Since the Hungarian Grand Prix last weekend, @frenmyn has shared her thoughts on the race and @esteban85 has shared his thoughts (both articles in Spanish) so here are my belated thoughts on another dramatic race weekend.
Hamilton v. Verstappen
After the events at Silverstone 2 weeks ago, the rivalry between Hamilton and Verstappen had taken an intense twist and once again, all eyes were on the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers as we head for the Hungaroring in Hungary. In case you missed it, this is what happened at Silverstone...
Hamilton earning himself a 10 second penalty and Verstappen earning a trip to hospital. The 10 second penalty not enough to prevent Hamilton from winning the race and subsequently anger the Red Bull garage.
So on to Hungary and a track notoriously difficult to overtake at so a crucial day of qualifying. Q1 wasn't a big surprise, perhaps with the exception of Tsunoda who went out along with the 2 Williams and Haas. Q2 was slightly more dramatic with Sainz getting caught by a gust of wind and blown off track into the wall, which would see him start in 15th and then Q3 saw Mercedes lock out on the front row with the Red Bulls taking up the 2nd row of the grid. We were all set then for a Mercedes, Red Bull showdown.
Lights Out, Away We Go...
If we're being honest, one of the main attractions of Formula 1 is the dramatic crashes which is one reason that the start of the race is so exciting. If nothing happens at the front of the grid, we watch the back for the plumes of dust and cars drifting off the track. We haven't had much of that yet this season but Hungary was the exception and well worth the wait.
All of free practise and qualifying was undertaken in hot conditions so when it started raining 15 minutes before lights out, you just knew there'd be drama.
Lights out and away we go... Hamilton started well, Norris started amazingly and Bottas went backwards at pace. As the cars approached Turn 1, Norris was looking up the inside of the Red Bulls and then the chaos began. Bottas mistimed his braking horribly and upended Norris, sending him into Verstappen whilst Bottas himself took out Perez. In 1 fell swoop, Bottas had taken Perez out of the race (along with himself) and damaged Verstappen's car to the extent that he wouldn't be able to mount a challenge. If Red Bull were already pissed with Mercedes, I could only imagine what they were thinking after this!
Then it was Stroll's turn, storming down the inside, he took out Leclerc which also took out Ricciardo. Bottas, Perez, Norris, Leclerc and Stroll were all out and a Red Flag meant another restart.
If the crash at the start was the most impressive of the season so far, what happened next is possibly the most bizarre thing I've ever seen in Formula 1. With the track drying as the formation lap took place, every driver went to the pits to change their tyres and start from the pit lane. Every driver except Lewis Hamilton who would see the lights go out alone at the front.
This was a big mistake on Hamilton's part. The track was dry, he needed to change tyres and when he came out of the pits, he was in last place.
This allowed for a great drive from Esteban Ocon to comfortably win the Hungarian Grand Prix from Sebastian Vettel with Hamilton finishing 3rd, Sainz in 4th and Verstappen down in 10th. But the end of the race didn't signal the end of the drama - Vettel being stripped of his podium, disqualified from the race for being unable to extract the requisite 1 litre of fuel from the car - A cruel blow to a driver whose luck appeared to have changed. The final rankings looking like this:
I have no doubt that we won't see as unpredicted a top 10 again this season - a dramatic weekend and Hamilton now leading the championship by 8 points.