Hungarian Grand Prix: Vettel heads Ferrari one-two

vettel, raikkonen

Sebastian Vettel powered to victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix, followed home by his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen to record the team’s second 0ne-two of this season, their first double at the venue since 2004.

It was a tense grand prix, but in the end a processional race as overtaking was virtually impossible among the front-runners. But Vettel’s victory was no walk in the park as he struggled with an off-centre steering wheel, while Raikkonen closed in on him in the latter part of the race.

In the end the German managed the race well, increasing his pace when he needed to and thus claimed his fourth win of the season and increase his championship lead to 14 points.

Vettel said on the podium after the race,  “I am over the moon. It may not have looked like it but it was a difficult race. I had my hands full from the start. Something went wrong. The steering started to go sideways. Towards the end it came back when I had a cushion but I had to stay focused the whole race.”

“It seemed to get worse then I stayed off the kerb. It wasn’t easy, I didn’t do a favour to Kimi who could go faster but I didn’t have the pace.  At the end it did come back to it, but I really had to stay focused the whole race. I was hoping for a couple of laps to breathe but it didn’t come,” added Vettel.

Raikkonen played the team game, although he made it clear over the radio that he had pace in hand to go faster and challenge for the lead. But the Ferrari pitwall ignored his calls, with the team’s big boss Sergio Marchionne looking on and held station – in the end it was an inspired and correct call.

Raikkonen summed up his race, “I had a great car today. I got a good start but didn’t want to force the issue. I was following for 71 laps. It’s not ideal, obviously I want to win. It’s not easy to overtake and especially when it’s a team-mate, you take more care. At least the team is happy, that’s the main thing.”

The Ferrari pair held station despite sustained pressure from Lewis Hamilton who closed the gap rapidly and pursued hard, but this generation of Formula 1 cars is not conducive to racing at close range on the Hungaroring.

Hamilton simply had no answer despite the apparent extra pace he had in the Mercedes and on the final lap he slowed done enough to allow teammate Valtteri Bottas through to finish third as agreed with the team.

Earlier they ordered the Finn to allow his teammate past to challenge the Ferrari duo with the proviso that they would swap him back if the Briton was unable to get by either of the red cars. Hamilton did as agreed and thus ended fourth.

Bottas said afterwards, “I was getting a little bit worried as the gap was increasing. I was really struggling with the back-markers. Thanks to Lewis for keeping the promise in the end and letting me by. I gave him the shot to try and get past the Ferraris. It’s a shame as we had good pace today but with the starting position we couldn’t finish any better.”

Max Verstappen finished fifth, but was the villain in Red Bull’s afternoon which promised so much but in the end they were left to ask: what if?

The Dutchman was handed a ten seconds penalty for punting off his teammate Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap in Turn 2 as they battled for the same piece of tarmac. The Australian’s race ended on the spot and prompted a safety car period for the first five laps of the race.

It was a shame for the energy drinks outfit whose race car was very strong, with Verstappen running fourth for the first half of the race and, then after his penalty, was easily the quickest car on track in the latter half with fresh soft tyres.

In the end Verstappen was 13 seconds adrift of the winner and only a couple of seconds down on the Mercedes pair ahead of him.

It was a great afternoon for Fernando Alonso and McLaren who finished sixth after an eventful afternoon, including the fastest lap of the race which took him and his team by surprise.

Carlos Sainz was seventh in the Toro Rosso, followed by Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon who stayed out of trouble to finish eighth and ninth respectively for Force India, ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne who made it two McLarens in the top ten.

Blow-By-Blow Report

Pole position man Vettel got away comfortably in the lead at the start, with Raikkonen slotting into second ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton though was under pressure from both Red Bulls. Verstappen got past the Briton as they exited Turn One, while Ricciardo slipped down the inside of the Mercedes to take P5 as the field streamed towards Turn 2.

Ricciardo attacked his team-mate on the outside but Verstappen had a small lock-up and that caused him to momentarily lose control. He slid into the side of Ricciardo’s car and the Australian went off track.

Ricciardo tried to rejoin but the side and rear right of his car were too damaged and he spun in the middle of the track, causing the following cars to take evasive action. The Safety Car was deployed.

When racing resumed Vettel held his lead in front of Raikkonen and Bottas. The stewards though had placed Verstappen under investigation and as the racing began again he was handed a 10-second time penalty for causing the collision with his team-mate.

At the front, Vettel began to carve out a gap and 15 laps into the 70-lap race he was 2.9s ahead of Raikkonen and just over six seconds clear of Bottas in third.

The race then settled as the gaps at the front stabilised. That situation changed on lap 26 when Vettel began complain that his steering was “hanging to the left”. Raikkonen closed to within 1.3s of his team-mate as the pit stop window opened.

Bottas was the first of the front runners to stop, at the end of lap 30, and he emerged in fifth after taking on soft tyres. Hamilton followed a lap later and then Vettel pitted from the lead to take on soft tyres.

Raikkonen was the next in and he almost managed to pass his team-mate in the stop. The Finn rejoined just behind his team-mate and was quickly on the radio to lament the fact that he felt he had the pace to stay out and carve out time that might have put him in front of the German after his stop.

The situation began to become pressing the race neared the lap 40 mark, with Raikkonen questioning Vettel’s pace and warning that Bottas was getting closer. He was told Vettel had a handling issue. Meanwhile, championship leader Vettel was told to avoid hitting kerbs.

By lap 44, Bottas was 1.8s behind Raikkonen, with Hamilton also in hot pursuit, just 1.1s behind his team-mate. At the front Vettel was 1.5s clear of Raikkonen.

On lap 46 Bottas pulled over in Turn 1 to allow Hamilton through to attack Raikkonen and on lap 51 he got to within DRS range of the Finn. Bottas, meanwhile, was told that if his team-mate could not pass the Ferrari that Hamilton would make way for him to retake third place.

The Briton was given five laps to make a move and then, when Raikkonen proved difficult to follow, he was handed another five to pass the Finn. By lap 63 he was still trailing the Finn and awaiting “a mistake” from the Ferrari driver.

It didn’t come, however, and as the final laps counted down Hamilton drifted out to more than two seconds behind Raikkonen.

Further back Verstappen was closing in on Bottas and with a few laps remaining was right on the Finn’s tail. The threat from the Red Bull suggested that Hamilton might not be asked to cede third back to Bottas but on the final lap Hamilton pulled across and allowed Bottas to slip through to third.

Verstappen almost pounced on the move but in the end Hamilton crossed the line in fourth place, just 0.3s behind the Mercedes man.

Fernando Alonso took a superb sixth place for McLaren with Carlos Sainz a very solid seventh for Toro Rosso.

Eighth place went to Force India’s Sergio Perez, who had climbed from 13th on the grid, while ninth place went to the Mexican’s team-mate Esteban Ocon.

The final point was taken by Stoffel Vandoorne in the second McLaren.

Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring – Race Result

POS NO DRIVER CAR LAPS TIME/RETIRED PTS
1 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 70 1:39:46.713 25
2 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 70 +0.908s 18
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 70 +12.462s 15
4 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 70 +12.885s 12
5 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 70 +13.276s 10
6 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 70 +71.223s 8
7 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO 69 +1 lap 6
8 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 69 +1 lap 4
9 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 69 +1 lap 2
10 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 69 +1 lap 1
11 26 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO 69 +1 lap 0
12 30 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT 69 +1 lap 0
13 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 69 +1 lap 0
14 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 69 +1 lap 0
15 94 Pascal Wehrlein SAUBER FERRARI 68 +2 laps 0
16 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 68 +2 laps 0
17 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 67 DNF 0
NC 40 Paul di Resta WILLIAMS MERCEDES 60 DNF 0
NC 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 20 DNF 0
NC 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 0 DNF 0

Fastest Lap: Fernando Alonso 1:20.182 on lap 69

2017 Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship Standings

POS DRIVER NATIONALITY CAR PTS
1 Sebastian Vettel GER FERRARI 202
2 Lewis Hamilton GBR MERCEDES 188
3 Valtteri Bottas FIN MERCEDES 169
4 Daniel Ricciardo AUS RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 117
5 Kimi Räikkönen FIN FERRARI 116
6 Max Verstappen NED RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 67
7 Sergio Perez MEX FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 56
8 Esteban Ocon FRA FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 45
9 Carlos Sainz ESP TORO ROSSO 35
10 Nico Hulkenberg GER RENAULT 26
11 Felipe Massa BRA WILLIAMS MERCEDES 23
12 Lance Stroll CAN WILLIAMS MERCEDES 18
13 Romain Grosjean FRA HAAS FERRARI 18
14 Kevin Magnussen DEN HAAS FERRARI 11
15 Fernando Alonso ESP MCLAREN HONDA 10
16 Pascal Wehrlein GER SAUBER FERRARI 5
17 Daniil Kvyat RUS TORO ROSSO 4
18 Stoffel Vandoorne BEL MCLAREN HONDA 1
19 Jolyon Palmer GBR RENAULT 0
20 Marcus Ericsson SWE SAUBER FERRARI 0
21 Antonio Giovinazzi ITA SAUBER FERRARI 0

2017 Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championship Standings

POS TEAM PTS
1 MERCEDES 357
2 FERRARI 318
3 RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 184
4 FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 101
5 WILLIAMS MERCEDES 41
6 TORO ROSSO 39
7 HAAS FERRARI 29
8 RENAULT 26
9 MCLAREN HONDA 11
10 SAUBER FERRARI 5

Hungarian Grand Prix – Official FIA Race Weekend Documents
(Click live links to download official PDF)

CIRCUIT INFORMATION

TIMING INFORMATION

RACE

QUALIFYING SESSION

THIRD PRACTICE

SECOND PRACTICE

FIRST PRACTICE

TECHNICAL REPORTS

STEWARDS BIOGRAPHIES

STEWARDS DECISIONS

FIA COMMUNICATIONS

PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPTS

NATIONAL PRESS OFFICE

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS