Coming into Sunday, Ferrari’s mission was simple: extend Sebastian Vettel’s lead in the driver’s championship, and close the gap in the constructor’s – job done on both accounts.
Their first 1-2 in Hungary since 2004, it was somewhat fitting that the race played out in a Schumacher-esque fashion, with it ending how it started, Vettel’s lead protected by teammate Kimi Raikkonen throughout.
No, it won’t go down as one of the more entertaining races of the season, but perhaps we’ve been a bit spoiled by what the Hungaroring has offered in recent years, the lack of passing at the front more in line with what we should expect from the circuit, especially this year.
Whether it was Raikkonen on Vettel, Hamilton on Raikkonen or Verstappen on Bottas, they were always up against a lethal combination of high heat and turbulent air – a surefire way to stymie the racing.
That said, if there’s one major thing to take away from this race, it’s that the nature of the title fight remains essentially unchanged. Obviously, the 1-2 is going to provide a boost for Ferrari, but Mercedes can take solace in the pace Lewis Hamilton was able to extract on what was undoubtedly a favourable track for the Scuderia. By all means, Ferrari enter the summer break on a high, but they’ll do it looking over their shoulder…
Verstappen’s mistake proves costly for Ricciardo
Speaking to Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport a few days ago, Daniel Ricciardo admitted he considered Max Verstappen a “little brother”. If that’s the case, he might be delivering a bit of brotherly discipline after Sunday.
Sending Ricciardo out with an ill-timed lockup on their first run into turn 2, Verstappen was clearly not in his teammate’s good books. Known for his happy-go-lucky attitude, Ricciardo’s response afterwards was essentially his equivalent of a Seb Vettel rage-out, giving the Dutchman the finger as he left the track, and insinuating Verstappen was being a sore loser, having lost-out to his teammate.
— Rob van Gameren (@RobVanGameren) July 30, 2017
For his part, Verstappen didn’t hesitate to apologise, but it remains very interesting how quickly things turned for Ricciardo. Some part of it has to be attributed to being in the ‘heat of the moment’, but they are widely regarded as having one of the best teammate relationships on the grid, yet Ricciardo went straight to assuming the worst of the teenager. Thankfully they’ve got three weeks to patch things over, but it does make you wonder how friendly they really are, and what happens if/when the championship stakes are heightened…
- Fair play to Lewis Hamilton for giving his place back to Valtteri Bottas, he ran a legitimate risk with Max Verstappen so close behind
- Not a bad day for Fernando Alonso, all things considered – a fastest lap, and he brought the deckchair meme full-circle!
- Something tells me Kevin Magnussen won’t be getting an invite to Nico Hulkenberg’s birthday party…