Hungarian Grand Prix: Hamilton dominates to take first win with Silver Arrows

Lewis Hamilton led from the start asnd controlled the Hungarian GP right to the end

Lewis Hamilton led from the start asnd controlled the Hungarian GP right to the end

It took ten races to come – Lewis Hamilton’s first victory as a Mercedes driver – and when it came it was a famous one, as he dominated the Hungarian Grand Prix in a manner that surprised all, including himself, having declared just 24 hours earlier that a win at the tight and twisty Hungaroring, in blistering hot conditions, would be impossible. He was wrong.

Next best was Kimi Raikkonen who gave another top notch performance to finish second, in a thrilling late race defence of his position from Sebastian Vettel in all out attack mode. The world champion had to settle for third.

Contrary to predictions Hamilton did not falter at the start, the Mercedes did not succumb to the heat; instead the combination lasted effectively and thoroughly trounced the opposition. Such was the manner of victory, including some cruising in ‘save-those-tyres-mode’ during the final ten laps, that the Silver Arrows must now be considered serious championship contenders.

Hamilton managed a great start, and proceeded to fend off Sebastian Vettel’s early attacks before taking control of the race. The only obstacles he encountered were dealt with swiftly and efficiently – first dispensing of Jenson Button after his first stop, and later after his second stop making short work of overtaking Mark Webber.

 Lewis Hamilton celebrates win number one as a Mercedes driver

Lewis Hamilton celebrates win number one as a Mercedes driver

When inspired Hamilton has few peers, his need to win almost desperate, and his third victory at the track near Budapest was a product of sheer inspiration. You get the impression nothing would have stopped him on the day as he well and truly vindicated his move from McLaren to Mercedes. The relief was palpable, he even kissed his car!

“It’s an incredible feeling and I’d like to thank all the fans. My team did an incredible job, we studied a lot last night and were hoping the tyres would last. We had no idea it would go that well. I was hungry for it today, I was going all out. Usually I get stuck in traffic and today I was going for every move I could,” declared the 2008 world champion on the occasion of his 22nd grand prix win.

Kimi Raikkonen’s relentless points scoring record continued in Hungary, but more than anything the Finn gave a gutsy drive to take second place after starting sixth on the grid and with the 18 points haul overtaking Fernando Alonso in the championship points table.

The Lotus driver was the only one out of the top six to two-stop, and by the end of the race was down on pace, but still had enough to keep a charging Vettel at bay.

“I keep making my life difficult on Saturdays so we pay the price [on Sunday]. I had a good car, we did two stops, it was tight with Seb at the end but we gained some points in the championship. I felt the tyres were good at the end but I didn’t really have any doubts that I could keep Seb behind me, I had good speed throughout. The team worked well, everything worked well, but unfortunately yesterday wasn’t the easiest day otherwise we could have challenged for the win,” reflected Raikkonen afterwards.

2013 Hungarian GP podium (L to R) second placed Kimi raikkonen, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn, winner Lewis Hamilton and third placed Sebastian Vettel.

2013 Hungarian GP podium (L to R) second placed Kimi raikkonen, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn, winner Lewis Hamilton and third placed Sebastian Vettel.

Smart money before the race would have been on Vettel and Red Bull to take top honours, but in the end Mercedes and Hamilton were too strong and the Lotus strategy a lap too cunning.

Nevertheless the reigning world champion keeps a healthy points lead, at the top of the championship table, going into the summer break.

Vettel summed up his afternoon, “It was not the best race. The start was difficult and when Lewis pulled in we thought we could do it on the softs. I damaged my front wing which did not help. I tried to hang in there and tried to fight back with Kimi. I could not get him on the straight. We wanted a little bit more today.”

Any friendship between Vettel and Raikkonen was tested when the Red Bull driver tried to overtake on the outside of Turn 3,  but Raikkonen was having none  of it by keeping his line and forcing Vettel wide. The champ was not happy and got onto the team radio: “He didn’t give me enough room.”

The team responded: “We’ll inform Charlie [Whiting].”

Nothing came of it and afterwards Vettel commented on the podium,  “I told Kimi I was not happy but he was laughing. That’s racing.”

That they might be teammates next year? Interesting times lie ahead if that is going to be the case.

Race winner Lewis Hamilton kisses his race winning Mercedes

Race winner Lewis Hamilton kisses his winning Mercedes

Our man of the match award would have to go to Mark Webber who was dogged by bad luck in qualifying which limited him to tenth place on the grid, but in the race he knuckled down and bounced back impressively to take fourth place, almost treating us to a tussle against his Red Bull teammate – but he was about six seconds short.

After starting fifth one would have expected Fernando Alonso to have made it on to the podium, as this has tended to be the trend in recent races. However, in Hungary the Ferrari seemed out of sorts, and the Spaniard had to work hard to bring it home fifth.

Early in the race Romain Grosjean looked set to contend for a podium spot, as he harassed Vettel and looked feisty in what was clearly a good car. But the Frenchman was again a tad too enthusiastic in his overtaking moves including banging wheels with Jenson Button and going off track to overtake Felipe Massa.

Although the Frenchman never really looked overtly dangerous, his off track excursion versus Massa got him a drive through penalty which ended any hopes of a podium. Sixth was the reward for his toil.

Mark Webber went from tenth on the grid to fourth at the finish

Mark Webber went from tenth on the grid to fourth at the finish

Seventh place went to Button who at least was battling on the right side of the top ten. He proved hard to pass for Vettel, and in the end McLaren would have been happy to have both drivers score points on the day – Button was seventh and Sergio Perez ninth.

Splitting the McLaren pair on the results sheet in eighth place was Felipe Massa who was in the wars, His Ferrari appeared bullet proof as it survived some hard knocks during the course of the race.

Pastor Maldonado rounded out the top ten and thus scored the first point of the season for the Williams team – cue relief all around.

While Hamilton enjoyed the spoils of victory, teammate Nico Rosberg rued a DNF after the engine in his Mercedes blew up as he powered down to Turn 2 on lap 66. A bittersweet day for the three pointed star.

Last word to winner Hamilton: “This is probably one of the most important grand prix wins of my career having moved to a new team. I could not be happier. I hope there is plenty more to come. We have to work hard but if we can make the tyres last here we can do it anywhere.”

Now for the holidays….

(GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

Formula 1 - We love it!

Formula 1 – We love it!

Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring – Sunday, 28 July 2013

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time Grid Pts
1 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 Winner 1 25
2 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 70 +10.9 secs 6 18
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 70 +12.4 secs 2 15
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 70 +18.0 secs 10 12
5 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 70 +31.4 secs 5 10
6 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 70 +32.2 secs 3 8
7 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 70 +53.8 secs 13 6
8 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 70 +56.4 secs 7 4
9 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 69 +1 Lap 9 2
10 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 69 +1 Lap 15 1
11 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 69 +1 Lap 12
12 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 69 +1 Lap 14
13 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 69 +1 Lap 8
14 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 68 +2 Laps 20
15 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 68 +2 Laps 19
16 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 67 +3 Laps 21
17 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 67 +3 Laps 22
18 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 66 +4 Laps 18
19 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 64 +6 Laps 4
Ret 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 42 +28 Laps 16
Ret 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 28 +42 Laps 17
Ret 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 19 +51 Laps 11
  • Tinto

    Not the result I have expected :), nevertheless a great race by all four drivers: Lewis, Kimi, Seb and Mark. I wish Seb would have done better, but that is racing. A long vacation ahead :(

  • hillside

    Kimi just showed Seb on how things will get down if they become team mates.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Crow taste great!! Thanks for proving me wrong Lewis !!

    This certainly proves you don’t need Adrian Newey to build an race winning car. (Got that Ferrari?)

    Hamilton was on a mission. Can’t question focus anymore either whether it be the dog, the girls, whatever. Like I said in an earlier post: Dood’s got mad skills. Great to see it come together at Merc, Rosberg blowing up, notwithstanding.

  • KC

    A very Vettell- like win. Naturally all the people who bash Vettel for winning like that ( BORING!!!) will praise Hamilton to the sky for doing the exact same thing.

  • KC

    Button seemed to be on a one-man mission to ruin Vettel’s race. Is he angling for a spot at Mercedes next year?

    Very hard luck for Grosjean, who might have had a shot at a podium but for that ridiculous penalty.

  • realf1fan

    @hiilside Kimi does not qualify very well so he would always be playing catch up to Vettel if or when he does go to Red Bull.

    There is only one driver that would match Vettel in the same car in quali, a driver who hit the 2009 WDC 17-3 in quali last year.

    Great race today and the Red Bull car is still the number one car and if not for Jenson doing some great defending against the RB9 then I think Vettel would have won but Lewis passes on Button and on Webber twice were race winning passes.

  • KC

    The Red Bull car has not been the number one car at any point this season. Unless you are referring to the number “1” written on Vettel’s car.

  • realf1fan

    Vettel has been driving the best cars since 2009 the RB 5,6,7,8 and 9 and if it was for clarity regards the Brawn DD IN 2009 with them getting a jump on the rest then Vettel would have been a 4xwdc now. Any sensible F1 fan can see that the Newey D/force machines and the Red Bull team are just to good for the rest Alonso Hamilton in the same car would destroy Vettel.

    But I would not expect Justin Beiber fan boys to agree as there heads are always stuck up a dark and smelly orifice

  • Hawk

    @KC please do not compare this win to your preferred Vettel ‘boring’ wins. The race pace of the Merc, Lotus and RB was like the same, give or take. It is Lewis who pulled a clincher by overtaking JB almost immediately. This Vettel failed miserably to do like he did Kimi yet JB was on 3 laps older tyres than with Lewis. One would be forgiven to call it a JB conspiracy but nah.. JB has enough pressure to perform already. Lewis and Romain today made overtaking at Hungaroring not seem a problem but Seb… Ha…

    And if the RB has not been the no. 1 car this season, which one has?

  • Ukwhite

    Some people are displayind redneck skills, pseudo ‘real’f1fun being quite close with his caveman language. Take a break and meditate.

  • Psych4191

    I wonder how sweet it was for Lewis to lap the McLaren on the way to victory. To be honest, the best driver of the day was Webber. Had his car not fallen apart yesterday, he would’ve won today.

    Also, God forbid any breaks go Romain’s way. That kid is just unlucky.

  • Tinto

    Lewis is a great racer for sure, but his result is coming nicely on tyregate black helmet saga. The trend is clear. That will tarnish Mercedes cheaters results.

    Amazing for me is how naive we are considering somebody’s great skills without a good car. Gents, without a good car nobody can do anything. Schumacher’s comeback is just an example. In the car-driver tandem, the car is the most important. It is a bit of luck to be in the right car at the right moment. Consistency with what that means for the driver, a good car plus a great team around are the keys that makes a championship.

  • Psych4191

    @Tinto

    Shut up. Enough with the tyre-gate bullcrap. There are new tyres, plus every team got its own test. That excuse has had its run. Plus, you act like Mercedes is the first team to ever do anything shady.

  • Tinto

    Psych4191: Three days, un-assisted, secretive testing, 1000km, with both drivers, that comes to three extra races more than everybody else. And the results started to pop up. Coincidence?

    You shut up! Ok mate we are even :)

  • KC

    “please do not compare this win to your preferred Vettel ‘boring’ wins.”

    Of course, I forget the First Rule Of F1 Fans – “When a driver I like takes pole and wins, it’s all down his fabulous skill, whereas when a driver I don’t like takes pole and wins, that’s a sign that HE has by far the fastest car”.

    “if the RB has not been the no. 1 car this season, which one has?”

    As is commonly the case, there has been no “no 1 car” this season, not so far at any rate. The Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes have all looked pretty good at different times, and the Lotus has looked quite handy as well, but there has been no standout car over the first ten GP’s.

  • KC

    “Vettel has been driving the best cars since 2009″

    No, he has not. The 2009 RB was not “the best car” that year, the Brawn was. The 2012 RB was not the best car that year. The 2013 RB has not been “the best car” this year. Your mulishly repeating “Vettel has always had the best car” is a not a magical incantation with the power to alter reality.

    “Any sensible F1 fan can see that the Newey D/force machines and the Red Bull team are just to good for the rest”

    There are very few “sensible Fi fans”. The great majority of them are people like yourself, rabid fan boys who would not recognize reality if a piano full of it dropped on their heads. The Red Bull cars are, and have been, distinctly unexceptional cars. People who don’t know F1 – people like you – prattle on about Vettel “only winning from the front” or “not passing people” but the cars are designed in such a fashion that this is the only way they CAN win. The car is specifically designed to win from the front. When it’s not at the front it’s low top speed makes it a terrible car to try to make up ground in.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Thanks for that spirited debate.

    Just looking at the body of work here thank god we get a month break. This forum needs a bit of a holiday. Couldn’t come at a better time.

    Think before you post.

  • realf1fan

    KC you don’t know what your talking about as I said your head where the sun don’t shine.

  • Tamburello_1994

    That was suppose to go under “Tinto” comment and not really meant to “KC” two other post.

    Damn KC you’re too quick! :)

  • Lol.

    lol kc you really are a hypocrite in ever conceivable way

  • A41202813GMAIL

    Go, HAMILTON !

  • KC

    “Lol”, you are a jackass of epic proportions whose has zero knowledge of F1 or of any other sort of racing.

    Sadly, that makes you a pretty typical “F1 fan”.

  • hillside

    “@hiilside Kimi does not qualify very well so he would always be playing catch up to Vettel if or when he does go to Red Bull.”

    You mean LOTUS does not qualify well.. even in a “slow RedBull” Webber can qualify decently, its just he’s a doggy starter.

    the difference between Webber and Kimi is night and day.
    Seb is not that a mighty qualifier to say Kimi has to play catch up. so if you put Kimi/LH or FA and Seb in a similar car it’s just close as P1 and P2

  • Astrerix0013

    Glad that Vettel didn’t win the Race . After what he did to Webber in Malaysian Grand Prix

  • MacStar227

    Great win by the best driver on the current F1 grid.

  • Henk

    @ KC

    finally, Sebastian Bieber runs into a driver who wouldn’t yield automatically, like those Toro Rosso kids. Good.

  • Lol.

    @KC

    You got that from me calling you a hypocrite, and you wonder why I regard you as a complete imbecile?

  • Rockie

    Its modus operandi for Hamilton fans he has won be happy for him no Vettel has to be brought into it he couldnt pass Ham passed immediately like they were driving the same car.

  • Hawk

    ???

  • Illegal test slap on the wrist and Mercedes now are world beaters

    Amazing what an illegal test can do for you.

    Mercedes does not seem to mind being labeled cheaters. My family will forever ban Mercedes products.

    Mercedes is a company that can never be trusted.

  • earlcee7

    Its funny how pple kip referring to the test-gate whenever the W04 is on song while conveniently ignoring it when they struggle like in Germany at the last race and Canada. Mercedes won in Monaco mostly because the track is hard to overtake and great qualy pace, at Silverstone because of great qualy and luck (albeit for the wrong driver i think!!), Hungary in my opinion is the race Mercedes have really been strong not just in qualy. These new tyres are indeed working for them, little wonder Lotus and Ferrari were trying to block them!! It has nothing to do with the test in Spain, these are different tyres altogether…
    @KC although i agree with you that Vettel is a great driver, you will be lying to yourself to say the RB9 has not been the dominant car these last 3 seasons… Everyone knows you need a great car to win races!

  • Nobody

    Im Surprised mercedes win hungary but sure surprised everyone but not sure in spa if he wins there that would make the championship outlook better @ KC no offense seb vettel have the machine in the grid except the 2009 cause brawn was way ahead of the field but in 2010-2012 he have a great car but sometimes he gets overboard in 2013 i believe he can comeback strong whatever circumstances cuz he have the best team and architect Adrian Newey:) with him. @earlcee7 im agreeing with u man driver needs the best car to win race .