Vettel’s victory was made possible after he made an excellent start from the second row of the grid to take the lead by the first corner. But he had to fight hard to keep it, after the field was compacted by a safety car, in place to protect the cars from damage caused by debris on the main straight. As a result the cars passed through the pit lane repeatedly – with few drivers taking the opportunity to change tyres.
This safety car period caused strategies to be disrupted. But despite this moving target, Vettel only briefly lost the lead to his team mate, Kimi Raikkonen, before regaining it all the way to the finish – with the Ferrari team executing a perfect strategy over all 70 laps. Vettel started the race on the soft tyre, before completing a second stint on the soft tyre and ending it on the medium: just as we had predicted.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg chose an alternative strategy by completing only one stint on the soft tyre and then finishing the race on the medium tyre – but a certain second-place finish was taken away from him almost within sight of the finish, when he picked up a puncture following contact with the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo eventually finished third, with his team mate Daniel Kvyat claiming his best-ever finish in second (despite a 10-second penalty), confirming the pace of Red Bull seen during free practice and qualifying in Hungary. It was also a career-best result for Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, who finished fourth.
HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX, HUNGARORING 70 laps, 306.630km., Weather: Sunny/Hot. CLASSIFIED: P. DRIVER TEAM TIME 1. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1h46:09.985 2. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull + 15.748 3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull + 25.084 4. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso + 44.251 5. Fernando Alonso McLaren + 49.070 6. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG + 52.025 7. Romain Grosjean Lotus + 58.578 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG + 58.876 9. Jenson Button McLaren + 1:07.028 10. Marcus Ericssoon Sauber + 1:09.130 11. Felipe Nasr Sauber + 1:13.458 12. Felipe Massa Williams + 1:14.278 13. Valtteri Bottas Williams + 1:20.228 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus + 1:25.142 15. Roberto Merhi Manor + 2 laps 16. Will Stevens Manor + 4 laps * 2014: Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull - 1h53:05.058 Fastest Lap: Daniel Ricciardo - 1:24.821 NOT CLASSIFIED: Carlos Sainz JR. Toro Rosso 60 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 55 Sergio Perez Force India 53 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 42 After 10 Races: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Lewis Hamilton 202 1. Mercedes AMG 383 2. Nico Rosberg 181 2. Ferrari 236 3. Sebastian Vettel 160 3. Williams 151 4. Valtteri Bottas 77 4. Red Bull 96 5. Kimi Raikkonen 76 5. Force India 39 6. Felipe Massa 74 6. Lotus 35 7. Daniel Ricciardo 51 7. Toro Rosso 31 8. Daniil Kvyat 45 8. Sauber 22 9. Nico Hulkenberg 24 9. McLaren 17 10. Romain Grosjean 23 11. Max Verstappen 22 12. Felipe Nasr 16 13. Sergio Perez 15 14. Pastor Maldonado 12 15. Fernando Alonso 11 16. Carlos Sainz JR. 9 17. Jenson Button 6 18. Marcus Ericsson 6