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GP Week : Issue 225
Mercedes came within touching distance of one of the oldest records in Formula One history in Hungary. Heading into the race the team had recorded nine consecutive double podium finishes and after qualifying stood on the brink of drawing clear of Ferrari to take its tally to ten. Ferrari scored nine consecutive double podium results between 1952 and 1953, its cause helped by the fact it was able to enter as many cars as it liked. At the 1952 Italian Grand Prix there were no less than ten Ferraris on the grid, five of them from the factory team. That day Alberto Ascari won with teammate Luigi Villoresi in third. However, in Hungary both Mercedes drivers made life difficult for themselves after compounding their poor getaways with further issues. Lewis Hamilton crossed the line in just sixth place after being handed a drive- through penalty following contact with Daniel Ricciardo while Nico Rosberg recovered to finish only eighth. Hamilton's day was particularly scrappy. Following his poor start, which dropped him to fourth behind the two Ferrari's and Rosberg, the reigning world champion ran off the road at the top of the hill after putting a wheel on the dirt in the braking zone. That dropped him deep into the pack before making reasonable ground prior to the safety car. Out front, Rosberg looked a toothless tiger against the Ferrari's of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, his job aided by an ailing Ferrari engine and a safety car when the German finally moved into second. A clumsy move with Daniel Ricciardo gave Rosberg a right rear puncture soon after Hamilton had banged wheels with the Australian to damage his front wing, for which he was made to trundle through the pits. " I just had a very bad day at the office," admitted Hamilton post race, and few could disagree. "It was one of the worst races I think I've had." " we had two bad starts - and then things went from bad to worse," explained team boss Toto Wolff. " Lewis ran off track on lap one, then came the incident with Ricciardo, the nose change and the drive-through - and somehow still managed to get back to P6." Rosberg's day was compromised by running the final stint on the medium tyres. Having run them in the middle stint Rosberg could have swapped back to the faster option tyres, but with the safety car out the there was no time. Instead of attacking Vettel for the lead he ended up squabbling with Ricciardo on softs, which ultimately comproomised his race further. 32 GPWEEK.com // 32 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> HUNGARY PARTNERS: The one that got away