F1: Vettel, Ferrari end Mercedes’ winning streak in Hungary
Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari ended a seven-race winning streak for the Mercedes F1 team after a commanding performance at the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. It was Vettel’s 41st Formula One win, tying him for third all-time with Ayrton Senna.
Nico Rosberg looked set to make ground on his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the points but a puncture towards the end of the race led to the German finishing behind his teammate.
Vettel took the lead from third on the grid heading into the first corner while his teammate Kimi Raikkonen went from fifth to second.
The two scarlet cars remained up front for most of the 69-lap race, which had been shortened by one lap for an aborted start when Felipe Massa had stopped short in his grid slot.
Pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton fell to fourth place in the opening corners before running off track at the chicane, dropping to 10th and spending the rest of race working his way back up through the field. However, a late Safety Car for a crash involving Nico Hulkenberg bunched the field back up and Hamilton lost out on the restart.
The Safety Car was deployed late in the race when Nico Hulkenberg’s front wing fell off heading into the first corner. The debris got trapped under the German’s car and he was left with no control, sliding head-on into the outside turn 1 tire barriers.
This was a blow for Ferrari as it bunched the field back up with Vettel leading Raikkonen (who was down on power after an MGU-K failure), Rosberg and Hamilton. However, Hamilton lost out on the restart and had to race defensively while Raikkonen’s MGU-K problems led to the Ferrari crew calling him into the pits to retire the car.
Massa was given a five-second penalty during his first stop for triggering the aborted start while the Lotus drivers also earned penalties later in the race when Romain Grosjean had an unsafe release from the pits (5-second time penalty) and Pastor Maldonado had avoidable contact with Sergio Perez which sent the Mexican into a spin (drive-thru penalty). Lewis Hamilton was also handed a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact with Daniel Ricciardo on the restart. Max Verstappen and Pastor Maldonado were also handed a penalties for speeding in the pits. Maldonado then received his third penalty of the day for passing under the Safety Car. Daniil Kvyat was given a 10-second post-race penalty for gaining an advantage off course.
Through all the carnage, Red Bull and McLaren came out the big winners with Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso in the top five.
Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo were battling for second in the closing laps when the two made contact, forcing Ricciardo to pit for a new front wing and rendering Nico Rosberg with a puncture. Rosberg finished eighth while Hamilton rallied back to a sixth place finish.
When all was said and done, the podium was Sebastian Vettel, Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo, as the Australian driver had came back into the race over 10 seconds behind his younger teammate, allowing Kvyat to take his penalty and still finish in second position.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.