Hungarian Grand Prix – Race


Renault’s protest of Racing Point’s design is not expected to be resolved for a couple of weeks, so seeing the “pink Mercedes” take row 2 in Qualifying must frustrate the other teams further.

Provisional grid: HAM, BOT, STR, PER, VET, LEC, VER, NOR, SAI, GAS, RIC, RUS, ALB, OCO, LAT, MAG, KVY, GRO, GIO, RAI
That’s HAM’s 90th pole position and 7th pole in Hungary

An hour before the start of the race, and it’s raining at the Hungaroring – we could be in for the first wet race of the season
BBC’s forecast says the rain will stop before the start

Green lights; cars can head out for installation laps then form up on the grid
Looks like everyone’s on intermediate tyres
Mechanics are busy trying to dry their pit boxes

VER has slid off, into the tyre wall at T12 – he’s broken off his front wing but did he also break the front-left suspension?
Red Bull mechanics are putting a new nose cone on VER’s car; still checking the suspension
Looks like they’re going to change some of the suspension rods while the drivers assemble for the anthem
This is a real test for the mechanics – if they’re not done in time for the formation lap, VER will have to start from the pit lane
They’re putting the wheels on, so presumably that means they’ve finished fixing the suspension
Radio for VER telling him the formation lap procedure is unchanged; “Incredible work guys, that’s unbelievable thank you so much”

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap
They’re all on inters except MAG who’s on full wets
Radio from KVY – wants to switch to dry tyres now, so he’ll start from the pit lane
No, it’s only GRO who enters the pit lane instead of taking the grid
Radio from HAM reporting concerns about the engine sound

01/70: Poor start from BOT – he’s down to P6
VER past the both Ferrari for P3
Reports on BOT moving before the start

02: HAM, STR, VER, VET, LEC, BOT, PER, SAI, RIC, LAT
KVY pits

03: LEC pits, followed by BOT

04: HAM pits; softs go on; rejoins
STR, VET, PET all pit
VET has to wait as other cars pass his pit box
Race control: stewards investigating RAI for being out of position at the start
LAT spins; rear puncture?

05/70: VER pits
They’re all on mediums now except LEC, KVY, GAS, RUS, GIO & LAT
LAT is still limping back to the

06: HAM, VER, MAG, GRO, STR, LEC, BOT, VER, ALB, PER
Race control: pit lane incident involving LAT & SAI under investigation for unsafe release (clearly LAT was released into SAI, and that caused his puncture)

07: BOT fastest lap 1:23.730
STR inside GRO – almost ended badly but GRO makes room – takes P4
RAI given 5sec penalty for being out of position on the grid

08: STR f/lap 1:23.
BOT attacks LEC but the Ferrari defends and keeps P6

09: HAM f/lap 1:22.170
STR closing on MAG
Radio from LEC – “these softs are rubbish”

10/70: HAM, VER, MAG, STR, GRO, LEC, BOT, VET, ALB, PER
HAM f/lap 1:22.130
BOT attacks LEC; takes P6
LAT given 5sec penalty for unsafe release (He’s currently P20 and lapped)

11: BOT closing on GRO

12: ALB takes P8 from VET
BOT easily past GRO for P5

13: HAM 10sec ahead of VER, who in turn is 12.5sec ahead of MAG
ALB closing on LEC
Radio for HAM telling him a light shower is about 12mins away

14: ALB within striking distance of LEC, but VET is catching ALB

15/70: HAM, VER, MAG, STR, BOT, GRO, LEC, ALB, VET, PER, RIC, SAI, KVY, RAI, OCO, GAS, NOR, GIO, LAT; no retirements as yet

16: ALB makes a move, backs out – VET is now in striking range

17: HAM f/lap 1:21.436
GAS pits, retires from his 50th GP
STR makes a good move on MAG to take P3
Radio from ALB, “why aren’t you giving me more power?”

18: ALB still sandwiched between LEC and VET
ALB inside LEC into T1; takes P7
VET takes a look too but LEC closes the door on his teammate

19: HAM f/lap 1:21.363
VET lining up LEC again; will Ferrari tell LEC to let VET past?
VET around the outside at T2 to take P8

20/70: HAM, VER, STR, BOT, MAG, GRO, ALB, VET, LEC, PER
Radio from LEC asking if they’re sure the weather is coming because he wants to get rid of the soft tyres
LEC now has a train behind him: PER, RIC and SAI

21: Radio from LEC “Front left is dead; we should pit”
LEC pits; hard tyres go on; rejoins P15

22: HAM has ~12sec lead; looking smooth out front
Sky Sport think the rain will pass outside the circuit

24: SAI closing on RIC who’s P10
Radio from HAM – “a lot of wear on the left front”

25/70: HAM, VER, STR, BOT, MAG, GRO, ALB, VET, PER, RIC, SAI, RAI, OCO, NOR, LEC, KVY, RUS, GIO, LAT; out: GAS
HAM f/lap 1:21.341

26: Radio for ALB “expect rain in about 8 minutes”

28: LEC closing on NOR

29: NOR defends P14 but LEC keeps up the pressure
ALB takes P6 from GRO

30/70: HAM f/lap 1:21.265
VET pits from P8; rejoins P12

31: HAM f/lap 1:21.198
PER dives inside GRO to steal P7

32: LEC tries to push NOR wide but NOR defends P14

33: VET f/lap 1:20.786
LEC tries again, going to the outside this time, and takes the spot

34: VET f/lap 1:20.734
RIC inside GRO for P8
BOT pits from P4; mediums go on; rejoins still P4

35/70: HAM, VER, STR, BOT, MAG, ALB, PER, RIC, SAI, GRO, VET
Radio from HAM reporting spots of rain

36: ALB pits; hard tyres go on; rejoins P10
STR pits from P3; mediums go on; rejoins P4
BOT f/lap 1:20.359
MAG pits, followed by PER

37: VER pits from P2; hard tyres; rejoins still P2
BOT f/lap 1:20.128

38: HAM pits from P1; mediums; rejoins still P1

39: BOT f/lap 1:18.945

40/70: HAM, VER, BOT, STR, RIC, SAI, VET, ALB, MAG, PER, LEC, KVY, GRO, OCO, NOR, RUS, RAI, GIO, LAT; out: GAS
PER attacking MAG, takes P9
Radio for HAM telling him to manage his front left; “I am, I am”
Radio for ALB – no more rain expected

41: SAI pits from P6; hard tyres go on; rejoins P11
Radio for RUS telling him there could be more rain

42: LAT has slid off at T5; rejoins

43: Red Bull under investigation for drying ALB’s grid spot before the start

44: HAM has 19.5sec lead over VER; BOT ~2sec behind the Red Bull
RIC pits from P5; mediums go on; rejoins P9

45/70: HAM, VER, BOT, STR, VET, ALB, PER, MAG, RIC, LEC

46: BOT catching VER at quite a pace

47: BOT now close enough to have DRS
RIC takes P8 from MAG
Radio from VER asking where BOT is; “he’s right behind you!”

48: VER picks up his pace a bit; BOT loses DRS
OCO past GRO for P13

49: GRO locks up; NOR attacks and takes P14
Radio from GRO asking the team to check the car as “I have no grip”

50/70: HAM, VER, BOT, STR, VET, ALB, PER, RIC, MAG, LEC
BOT pits from P3; hard tyres go on; rejoins still P3

52: LEC locks up; SAI closes up but not enough to attack just yet
BOT f/lap 1:18.435
Radio for BOT “target pace 18.5 to beat him”

53: BOT 1:17.913
STR pits from P4; hard tyres go on; rejoins P4, just ahead of VET

54: Radio from HAM “this tyre doesn’t feel great”

55/70: HAM, VER, BOT, STR, VET, ALB, PER, RIC, MAG, LEC, SAI, KVY, OCO, NOR, GRO, RAI, GIO, RUS, LAT; out: GAS
HAM laps PER (P7)

56: HAM’s lead is ~23sec – almost a free pit stop

57: ALB closing on VET
HAM has lapped ALB, so next up is VET 🙂

58: HAM laps VET (P5)

59: Radio for VER “head down, back on the pace”; “I’m trying”
Will Mercedes put HAM on softs for a few quick laps?

60/70: HAM, VER, BOT, STR, VET, ALB, PER, RIC, MAG, LEC, SAI, KVY, OCO, NOR, GRO, RAI, GIO, RUS, LAT; out: GAS
SAI wheel to wheel with LEC but can’t make the pass for P10

61: SAI takes P10 from LEC
BOT closes and laps LEC
Radio for HAM suggesting a pit stop, suggesting hard tyres; HAM asks for softs; told they’ll grain after 3 laps

62: Will they wait a few laps then put HAM on softs, or pit now and go with hard tyres?

63: Radio for HAM, “box, box”; they have softs ready … but HAM doesn’t pit

64: Radio from HAM “what’s going on?” Bono says he’ll have to find out!
Radio for HAM confirming they want a bit more margin before switching to softs

65/70: HAM’s lead now 26.5secs; VER is 5.5sec ahead of BOT

66: If instead of Driver of the Day it was Team or Mechanics of the Day, I’d vote for VER’s guys
KVY has OCO and NOR right on his tail
ALB takes P5 from VET

67: HAM pits; softs go on; bit slow getting the rear left on; rejoins ~6sec ahead of VER
BOT 1:17.665

68: HAM laps PER again (because PER unlapped himself when HAM pitted)

69: HAM f/lap 1:17.497
BOT now within DRS behind VER

70/70 = final lap: BOT 0.3sec behind VER
NOR past OCO for P13

HAM takes the chequered flag – his 8th victory in Hungary
HAM f/lap 1:16.627
VER P2 with BOT right on his tail

Provisional result: HAM, VER, BOT, STR, ALB*, VET, PER, RIC, MAG, SAI; LEC, KVY, NOR, OCO, GRO, RAI, GIO, RUS, LAT
DNF: GAS
Fastest lap: HAM

*ALB under investigation for his team drying his grid box before the start (That could be a big penalty or even disqualification!)
Replay of ALB on the grid – the team have got blowers pointed at the engine ducts, not at the ground, so I think it’s a non-issue

Interviews:
HAM “Believe it or not, still pushing at the end”; “One of my favourite races”
VER “Yeah, not how I wanted it at the beginning”
BOT “Pretty bad race for me”; “Lost it at the start”

Oh, they’re actually using the normal podium this time
Bono is up there to collect the Constructor’s trophy
Trophies are handed out by the FIA official rep
HAM sprays Bono before the race engineer even picks up his bottle… and then HAM swaps bottles and continues to spray him 🙂

So we have a weekend off and then back-to-back races at Silverstone