Sunday, July 24, 2016

2016 HUNGARIAN GP: PERFECT HAMILTON WIN FOR +6

Lewis Hamilton took a fifth career Hungarian Grand Prix victory ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to rise above the German in the Drivers’ Championship standings for the first time this season. Hamilton seized the lead from pole sitter Rosberg at the race start, making a better getaway than his team-mate and attacking down the inside as they made their way into Turn One.

Rosberg, meanwhile, was coming under pressure from a fast-starting Daniel Riccirado and as the Red Bull driver made a move around the outside and Hamilton took up space on the inside, Rosberg was forced to lift. Ricciardo stole into second place but Rosberg managed to retrieve the position as the pair went through Turn Two.

Hamilton, though, was away in the lead and across the next 70 laps the defending champion put in a controlled performance, managing the gap back to Rosberg with ease to eventually claim his fifth Hungarian Grand Prix win. The victory makes him the most successful driver ever at the Hungaroring as he passes the record he held jointly with Michael Schumacher.

The win leaves Hamilton six points ahead of his team-mate as the season heads towards Rosberg’s home race, next weekend’s German Grand Prix, the final race before F1’s summer break. The race could prove a crucial one in the battle for the Constructors’ crown too. While Mercedes top the manufacturers’ standings by a considerable margin, the battle for second is a tight one between Ferrari and Red Bull Racing and third and fifth places this afternoon for Red Bull ahead of Ferrari’s fourth and sixth places means the Milton Keynes team now heads to Germany just a single point adrift of their rivals from Maranello.

Both Red Bull drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, had to battle hard to hold on to their final places however. In the closing stages Ricciardo came under pressure from Sebastian Vettel, and though the gap between the two at the chequered flag was just 0.6s, the Australian always looked assured of his third Hungarian Grand Prix podium finish in a row.

Verstappen, though, had a real fight on his hands in the final quarter of the race. The Dutch driver made his final pit stop, for soft tyres, on lap 39 and slotted in behind Kimi Raikkonen who was on a different strategy and who had made impressive progress from 14th on the grid. Raikkonen then pitted on lap 50, taking on a set of supersofts tyres.

He rejoined behind Verstappen but armed with fresher, faster tyres he soon closed the gap to the Red Bull driver and began to put the youngster 18-year-old sensation under intense pressure. As he had done to the Finn when taking his maiden win in Spain, however, Verstappen defended expertly, gapping the Finn in the final sector to eradicate the influence of DRS and the making his car as wide as possible through the opening corners to keep the Ferrari man at bay until the flag.

With Raikkonen sixth, seventh place went to Fernando Alonso, who took the place at the start by passing Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz. The six points earned by Alonso will be welcomed by McLaren but it might have neen more had eigth-on-the-grid Jenson Button not suffered a loss of hydraulic pressure early on. He soldiered on but an oil leak eventually led him to retire form P19 after 60 laps. 

Sainz took a solid eighth place and four points, a useful return on a day when chief Constructors’ Championship rivals Force India managed to take just one point, with Nico Hulkenberg finishing behind ninth-placed Valtteri Bottas.

2016 Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring
70 laps, 306.630km., Weather: Sunny.
Classified:
 P.   DRIVER             TEAM        TIME/GAP 
 1. Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes AMG 1h46:09.985
 2. Nico Rosberg      Mercedes AMG  +    1.977
 3. Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull      +   27.539
 4. Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari       +   28.215
 5. Max Verstappen    Red Bull      +   48.659
 6. Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari       +   49.044
 7. Fernando Alonso   McLaren       +    1 lap
 8. Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso    +    1 lap
 9. Valtteri Bottas   Williams      +    1 lap
10. Nico Hulkenberg   Force India   +    1 lap
11. Sergio Perez      Force India   +    1 lap
12. Jolyon Palmer     Renault       +    1 lap
13. Esteban Gutierrez Haas          +    1 lap
14. Romain Grosjean   Haas          +    1 lap
15. Kevin Magnussen   Renault       +    1 lap
16. Daniil Kvyat      Toro Rosso    +    1 lap
17. Felipe Nasr       Sauber        +    1 lap
18. Felipe Massa      Williams      +   2 laps
19. Pascal Wehrlein   Manor         +   2 laps
20. Marcus Ericsson   Sauber        +   2 laps
21. Rio Haryanto      Manor         +   2 laps

* 2000: M.Hakkinen   - McLaren  - 1h45:33.869
* 2001: M.Schumacher - Ferrari  - 1h41:49.675
* 2002: R.Baricelo   - Ferrari  - 1h41:49.001
* 2003: F.Alonso     - Renault  - 1h39:01.460
* 2004: М.Шумахер    - Ferrari  - 1h35:26.131
* 2005: K.Raikkonen  - McLaren  - 1h37:25.552
* 2006: J.Button     - Honda    - 1h52:20.941
* 2007: L.Hamilton   - McLaren  - 1h35:52.991
* 2008: H.Kovalainen - McLaren  - 1h37:27.067
* 2009: L.Hamilton   - McLaren  - 1h38:23.876
* 2010: M.Webber     - Red Bull - 1h41:05.571
* 2011: J.Button     - McLaren  - 1h46:42.337
* 2012: L.Hamilton   - McLaren  - 1h41:05.503
* 2013: L.Hamilton   - Mercedes - 1h42:29.445
* 2014: D.Ricciardo  - Red Bull - 1h53:05.058
* 2015: S.Vettel     - Ferrari  - 1h46:09.985
Fastest Lap: Kimi Raikkonen - 1:23.086        

Not Classified:                               
Jenson Button  McLaren

After 11 races:                
 Drivers:                 Constructors:       
 1. Lewis Hamilton   192  1. Mercedes AMG 378
 2. Nico Rosberg     186  2. Ferrari      224
 3. Daniel Ricciardo 115  3. Red Bull     223
 4. Kimi Raikkonen   114  4. Williams      94
 5. Sebastian Vettel 110  5. Force India   74
 6. Max Verstappen   100  6. Toro Rosso    45
 7. Valtteri Bottas   56  7. McLaren       38
 8. Sergio Perez      47  8. Haas          28
 9. Felipe Massa      38  9. Renault        6
10. Carlos Sainz Jr.  30 10. Manor          1
11. Romain Grosjean   28
12. Nico Hulkenberg   27
13. Fernando Alonso   24
14. Daniil Kvyat      23
15. Jenson Button     13
16. Kevin Magnussen    6
17. Pascal Wehrlein    1
18. Stoffel Vandoorne  1