Sebastian Vettel wins dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix with Mercedes cars not in podium
The Hungarian F1 Grand Prix 2015 had plenty of drama.
Sebastian Vettel won a dramatic, accident ridden race with Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull coming second and third. Max Verstappen came 4th. Fernando Alonso of McLaren was 5th. Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton came in sixth. Romain Grojsean of Lotus was 7th. Nico Rosberg of Mercedes was 8th and was followed by Jenson Button of McLaren in 9th. Marcus Ericsson of Sauber was 10th.
In an emotionally surcharged moment, all drivers observed silence and stood around the helmet of Jules Bianchi to mourn his death.
After that the drivers gathered to start the race but there was an aborted start as Felipe Massa was found to be too short of this starting grid.
After that there was still lot of drama when the race started. At the starting of the race Sebastian Vettel had a clean getaway from the starting blocks and lead the race and was followed by his teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Nico Rosberg was third followed by Pole sitter Hamilton in 4th. Hamilton complained that “Nico crossed over my line there, pushed me wide”. Hamilton put a wheel on the gravel and was down to 10th. After this it appeared that Hamilton’s hope of winning the Hungarian Grand Prix for the 5th time was up in smoke. Especially since he was stuck behind the Williams of Felipe Massa for a long time. Then finally Lewis Hamilton overtook Felipe Massa and was quickly behind the tail of 8th placed Sergio Perez of Force India. In Lap 12 he could finally overtake Sergio Perez for 8th. By then Hamilton was already 30 seconds down on Sebastian Vettel.
Nico Rosberg in the initial moments of the race, despite not winning, would have been happy as Hamilton went down to 10th. In a circuit notorious for the difficulty in overtaking, Lewis Hamilton came back from 10th in the grid to 5th by Lap 15. Ofcourse, he was also helped by Valttteri Bottas and Kvyat making their first pitstop. Lewis Hamilton might be feeling tensed as he asked “You are very quiet Bono”. He was then asked to push and immediately Hamilton upped his pace.
In lap 19 Pastor Maldonado of Lotus and Sergio Perez of Force India collided. This incident was investigated and Maldonado was handed a drive through penalty for causing the accident.
In lap 20 Hamilton pit and took soft tyres. In lap 21 Rosberg pit and took medium tyres. So Mercedes changed the strategy for both the drivers.
However, for Hamilton it was a bit unfortunate that he was again stuck behind Daniel Ricciardo who just emerged ahead of him after the pit stop. Ricciardo had taken medium tyres and had kept the soft tyres to charge during the last stages of the race. Hamilton overtook Ricciardo in Lap 29. He actually told Mercedes that “I’am so close. Can I have one more lap or not”? Mercedes agreed and Hamilton overtook Ricciardo for 4th. Interestingly Hamilton, despite having the same soft tyres as Vettel and having changed tyres one lap earlier was driving nearly a second faster than Vettel. However, Vettel then upped his pace and Hamilton started managing his tyres and he was told to make the maximum of his current stint so that he can only have a short stint with the medium tyres which is slower.
In Lap 43 Nico Hulkenberg of Force India has a big shunt and hit the walls to bring the safety car. Hulkenberg’s wing seemed to break off and then he had a big lock-up and hit the walls. It is a big failure that Force India has to analyse.
Both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg dived into the pits along with many other drivers. Both Hamilton and Rosberg chose medium tyres and get ready to race with the Ferraris as in one stroke all the lead of the Ferraris vanished. Unfortunately for Kimi Raikkonen he had a MGU-K power failure just before the safety car and had to deal with that loss for the rest of the race. Unfortunately, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo made contact after the restart and Hamilton started dropping back fast. He had to make a pit stop to change the nose and put on soft tyres hoping that he will again manage to overtake a few cars to limit the damage to his World Championship race. However Hamilton was handed a drive through penalty for the incident with Daniel Ricciardo.
Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo sped past Kimi Raikkonen as without MGU-K power, Raikkonen was a sitting duck and soon Raikkonen retired.
It was soon upto Nico Rosberg to overtake Sebastian Vettel for the first place. However, with 5 laps left in the race Daniel Ricciardo hit Nico Rosberg and caused a puncture just when Rosberg was barely a second behind Vettel. This ensured that Nico Rosberg fell behind Hamilton. Ricciardo also came to the pits for a new nose. This ensured that for the first time in the last two years, neither of the Mercedes cars were in the podium in a race.
The Nico Rosberg-Daniel Ricciardo incident was investigated by the stewards.