Vettel wins Hungary GP: Hamilton fourthposted in F130 | 07 | 2017

    FERRARI NO1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL fended off team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to seal a tense victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Championship rival Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, gifted Mercedes team-mate third place, while the two Red Bulls collided on the opening lap. (Related: Scot Paul di Resta back in F1 action)

    Vettel’s performance was handicapped by steering issues which surfaced even before the race started at the Hungaroring. Yet, despite acknowledging after the race that Raikkonen was quicker, Vettel won by 0.9seconds. It was Ferrari’s first 1-2 of the season, and first in Hungary since 2004. The win means Vettel takes a 14-point lead over Hamilton into the four-week summer break, with nine grands prix remaining.

    Hamilton’s race had been compromised early on. Not only did he start from fourth on the grid behind Bottas, but his Mercedes crew lost communication due to a cracked fibre optic cable.

    Bottas-and-Hamilton-Car-1--1-.jpg

    The result was the three-times world champ found himself stuck behind his team-mate (pictured above) for a lengthy period after their pitstops despite having a faster car. The delay meant he lost maximum performance in his tyres.

    Hamilton, in fact, pointed out once radio comms had been re-established that his original super-soft compound tyres were still “quick enough” when he was called in to have the softs fitted.

    After the pitstops, it became clear Vettel’s steering issues were increasing to impact on his performance and Raikkonen called on his team let him pass for the lead. The request was not accepted.

    In complete contrast, Mercedes agreed to Hamilton's similar request with Bottas, on the provision that the positions were swapped back if Hamilton could not pass Raikkonen.

    Bottas-Podium-Spray.jpg

    Immediately, Hamilton closed on to the gearbox of Raikkonen and was told he had five laps of full power to make a pass. As he struggled to pass due to the turbulence coming from the rear of the No2 Ferrari, the deadline was extended. Still Hamilton could not get through and gave up the chase in the closing laps.

    Hamilton then  lifted off on the final lap, allowing Bottas through to take the final podium position (pictured above) as Raikkonen shadowed Vettel to the flag in front.

    At Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo was left fuming after his team-mate Max Verstappen slid into him on the fast left-hander at Turn 3 on the opening lap. The impact wrecked the Aussie’s race forcing him to retire immediately.

    Not surprisingly, Stewards deemed Verstappen (pictured below) at fault and slapped a 10sec penalty on him, served at his pitstop.

    Max-Verstappen.jpg

    The Dutchman had run a comfortable fourth, sandwiched between Bottas and Hamilton through the opening stint of the race, but dropped back after serving his penalty.

    However, such was his pace at the end of the race that he closed to within two seconds of Bottas, making Hamilton’s decision to gift third place back to the Finn even more risky.

    As the Englishman eased off to let Bottas through just before the chequered flag, he had to immediately accelerate quickly to cross the line in fourth just ahead of Verstappen.

    There was better news at McLaren where Fernando Alonso not only scored McLaren-Honda's best finish of the season with sixth, but set the fastest lap right at the end. Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne ensured it was a double points finish for the team with 10th.

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    Seventh went to the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr, despite a controversial early wheel-banging battle with Alonso, with the Force India duo of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon eighth and ninth respectively.

    Scot Paul di Resta, standing in for the unwell Felipe Massa at Williams, delivered a solid performance, having had just 90mins warning ahead of Saturday’s qualifying.

    In a car he had never raced before, Di Resta held 16th early on, ahead of the two Saubers and just behind his Williams team-mate Lance Stroll. Di Resta’s race was ended seven laps premature when his car suffer an oil leak and he was told to retire the car.

    F1 — Hungarian Grand Prix Race, the Hungaroring (Result):

    1. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari - Ferrari 70 laps

    2. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari - Ferrari +0.9s

    3. Valtteri Bottas FIN Mercedes - Mercedes +12.4s

    4. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes - Mercedes +12.8s

    5. Max Verstappen NED Red Bull - TAG +13.2s

    6. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda +1m 11.2s

    7. Carlos Sainz ESP Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap

    8. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes +1 lap

    9. Esteban Ocon FRA Force India-Mercedes +1 lap

    10. Stoffel Vandoorne BEL McLaren-Honda +1 lap

    11. Daniil Kvyat RUS Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap

    1. Jolyon Palmer GBR Renault - Renault +1 lap

    13. Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas-Ferrari +1 lap

    14. Lance Stroll CAN Williams - Mercedes +1 lap

    15. Pascal Wehrlein GER Sauber - Ferrari +2 laps

    16. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber - Ferrari +2 laps

    Retired:

    17. Nico Hulkenberg GER Renault - Renault 68 laps

    18. Paul di Resta GBR Williams - Mercedes 61 laps completed

    19. Romain Grosjean FRA Haas-Ferrari 19 laps completed

    20. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull - TAG 0 laps completed

    Related: Hamilton surges to British GP win

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    Jim McGill

     

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