From Britain, teams flew to Hungary under the cloud of the death of French driver Jules Bianchi. He had suffered a head injury in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix last season and had been in a coma. Everyone paid tribute to the young driver with a minute of silence prior to the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Bianchi was only 26 years old.
Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton together hold the most number of wins for the Hungarian Grand Prix at four. Daniel Ricciardo won the Hungarian Grand Prix last season and Hamilton won twice in a row before that. In the end, it was Vettel that took the chequered flag, only his second win this season and first win in Hungarian. Vettel and the Ferrari team dedicated their win to Jules Bianchi. Vettel was followed by Daniil Kvyat in second place and Ricciardo in third place.
Qualifying was yet again dominated by the two Mercedes drivers Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Hamilton posted the fastest lap times in all three qualifying rounds, giving him an easy pole position. Team mate Rosberg posted the second fastest lap times in all three rounds, giving him the second grid position. However, qualifying had its own drama, as Vettel missed the first 30 minutes of qualifying due to electrical problems, but he still managed a third place position on the grid. Sergio Perez was not so lucky, as he crashed badly in the first qualifying session, but was unhurt – Perez could not finish the third qualifying round, but still managed 13th position on the grid. Kimi Raikkonen also had a bad practice session, as his front wing came loose, leaving debris on the circuit – he still managed to qualify in fifth place. Top ten grid positions were as follows: Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas, Kvyat, Felipe Massa, Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean.
Vettel was on fire, quickly taking the lead in the first lap, overtaking Rosberg and Hamilton! Fans held their breath as Hamilton ran into the grass in the sixth turn of the first lap – but he re-joined the race in 10th place. What a start for Ferrari! On lap 10 Hamilton, frustrated being stuck behind Massa in 10th place, made his move, bumping cars with Massa but luckily averting an accident –moving into ninth place. Vettel still remained in the lead, followed by Raikkonen, Rosberg, Bottas and Ricciardo.
The race continued to excite fans, as drivers vied for positions. In lap 18, Raikkonen lost part of his front wing and was forced to pit. Lap 19 saw Maldonado touch Perez as he tried to overtake – spinning into the gravel, but he was able to re-join the race in 15th place. Maldonado received a 5-second drive through penalty for his move. In lap 33, Hamilton set the fastest lap, slowly moved up the pack to fifth, but Vettel still in the lead. Lap 41 saw the first retirement of the race, as Nico Hülkenberg crashed into the barriers. In lap 49 Hamilton and Ricciardo touch – Hamilton subsequently received a drive through penalty. Four retirements followed in succession after that, the most frustrating probably being Raikkonen’s who was driving a good race – other drivers that retired: Perez, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Will Stevens.
As if the race so far had not been exciting enough, in lap 63 Ricciardo made a bold move to overtake Rosberg. He ran wide, touching Rosberg, damaging his front wing and Rosberg suffered a puncture. With only six laps to go, Kvyat moved into second place, Ricciardo in third and Verstappen in fourth, Fernando Alonso in fifth and Hamilton in sixth. Nothing changed in the last few laps, with Vettel taking the chequered flag. His win at the Hungarian Grand Prix is his 41st win, tying him with legendary driver Ayrton Senna. Kvyat’s second place finish, gave the Russian driver his first career podium finish.
A couple of adjustments were made post-race. Stevens was qualified as the 16th place finisher, having completed over 90% of the race, even after his retirement in lap 65. Kvyat received a 10-second penalty for over-shooting the track, but this did not change his second place finish. Verstappen received a time penalty for speeding behind the safety car, he still finished in fourth place.
Even though this is the first race of the season when neither Mercedes drivers stepped on to the podium, the top five Drivers’ Championship standings remained unchanged. Hamilton remained in first place with 202 points, followed by team mate Rosberg with 181 points. Vettel’s was not enough to overtake Rosberg and he remained in third place with 160 points. Bottas remained in fifth place with 77 points – unchanged from the last race, as he finished in 13th place. Raikkonen remained in fifth place with 76 – also unchanged from the last race.
The top five Constructors’ Championship standings also remained unchanged after the Hungarian Grand Prix. Mercedes continued to build on its leading position, even with drivers only finishing in sixth and eighth place, with 383 points. Ferrari remained in second place with 236 points, a whopping 147 points behind Mercedes. Williams-Mercedes remained in third place with 151 points – unchanged from the last race. Red Bull’s 2-3 finish in Hungary was still not enough catch up Williams and they remained in fourth place with 96 points. Force India remained in fifth place with 39 points. Only one team had yet to score any points, Marussia-Ferrari.
Full Race Results
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:46:09.985s
- Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull-Renault) +15.748s
- Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull-Renault) +25.084s
- Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso-Renault) +44.251s
- Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Honda) +46.079s
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +52.025s
- Romain Grosjean (Lotus-Mercedes) +58.578s
- Valtteri Bottas (Williams-Mercedes) +80.228s
- Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) +58.876s
- Jenson Button (McLaren-Honda) +69.130s
- Marcus Ericsson (Sauber-Ferrari) +69.130s
- Felipe Nasr (Sauber-Ferrari) +73.458s
- Felipe Massa (Williams-Mercedes) +74.278s
- Pastor Maldonado (Lotus-Mercedes) +85.142s
- Roberto Merhi (Marussia-Ferrari) +2 laps
- Will Stevens (Marussia-Ferrari) retired, lap 65
- Carlos Sainz Jr. (Toro Rosso-Renault) retired, lap 60
- Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) retired, lap 57
- Sergio Perez (Force India-Mercedes) retired, lap 54
- Nico Hülkenberg (Force India-Mercedes) retired, lap 41