The Hungarian GP proved to be an intriguing and unpredictable race, and given that the man himself said after qualifying that he was not looking forward to Sunday, not many people expected Lewis Hamilton to stay in front for 70 laps. But he did just that and he did it in style, helped by some decisive passes that made sure that he was in clean air and not stuck behind cars that were out of sequence. Sebastian Vettel, in contrast, did get stuck, and also damaged his front wing, and for once the German and his RBR team simply didn’t get it right. It was a great performance, too, from Kimi Raikkonen, who worked his way from sixth to second and made two stops work. Here’s how the weekend panned out among the 11 teams:
From the start of practice, Hungary looked like being a Red Bull weekend as the blue cars dominated Friday, but come qualifying Sebastian Vettel lost pole to Lewis Hamilton, and a KERS issue saw Mark Webber down in 10th after he didn’t do a flying lap in Q3. Vettel ran second in the first stint, but crucially after pitting he got caught behind late stopper Jensen Button. He also damaged his wing trying to get past. As the final pit stops played out, he dropped to third, and was unable to pass Raikkonen, despite having fresher tires. Webber started on the prime tire and led for a few laps before his late first stop. He eventually finished fourth.
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were fourth and fifth, respectively, on Friday, and that translated into fifth and seventh come qualifying. Alonso got ahead of Nico Rosberg on the first lap but it was soon apparent that Ferrari was struggling badly for race pace, and he was never a contender for a podium. In fact, Alonso ultimately lost out to Mark Webber, and thus unusually finished in the same place he started, fifth. Massa made contact with Rosberg on the first lap and carried front-wing damage throughout. Struggling like his teammate for pace, he finished eighth.