by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 207
The ‘non-passing’ Hungaroring turned on an awesome F1 race on sunday because, guess what, lewis Hamilton’s prayers were answered – it sprinkled with rain in the lead-up and the field started on Intermediates. But where to start ... Ultimately, it was Daniel Ricciardo’s day – and the pendulum swung his way as early as lap eight. That’s when Marcus Ericsson piled his Caterham into the wall and brought out a Safety Car. The front four were already past the pit entry (well, Alonso mightn’t have been), so it was the next cars, headed by Button (great start), Ricciardo, Hulkenberg and Massa who piled in first. Most went for Soft slicks based on a drying track, but McLaren’;s weatherman got it wrong again. Rain coming, he said, so both McLarens stayed on Inters. Mistake ... The Safety Car was extended as Grosjean lost his Lotus, just trying to keep his slicks warm, and also hit the wall. When it went green, Button had a brief lap or two of glory, slipping past Ricciardo, but the Inters soon gave up (as with Magnussen) and the McLarens were out of the picture. Up front, with the initial top four now in amongst the action, Ricciardo led (on Softs) charging away from Massa (on Mediums), and Alonso, who’d done Vergne, leaving him to cope with an oncoming barrage from Rosberg, Vettel (on Mediums) and ... Hamilton. Yup, despite almost throwing it all away on lap one, locking up cold brakes at Turn Two, and just grazing the wall, the Safety Car had done wonders for Lewis. He was very much back in the game. After all, building up a ‘new’ car knowing it was a ROF start, the team would havesetituptobeajetonthestart- finish straight, maximizing the passing potential, and it was working, so far. The call that won Ricciardo the race came on lap 23 – as Perez joined the ‘wall’ club, bringing out the Safety Car again. Dan and Massa pitted, the rest of the contenders didn’t. The Red Bull emerged in sixth, on fresh Softs. Hmmm. Five cars on mixed tyre strategies, all needing to stop sometime soon. Ricciardo knew now that it was on. It went green on lap 26. “Guys, we can win it from here,” he radioed in. Couldheeke44lapsoutofasetof Softs? That’s what he set out to do, noticeably easing the rubber into the job as the other five battled with each other – and helped by the fact that Alonso led, with Vergne next and Rosberg still unable to get past the determinedly- driven Toro Rosso. One-by-one, the five pitted, and Ricciardo eased out his gap from (a) Massa and (b) more importantly the Mercs, still bottled up behind Alonso. By lap 40 the situation was clear. If Ricciardo could make his tyres last, it was a lay-down win. Massa was 12 seconds back, with Alonso still holding Hamilton, and Rosberg, at bay a further four seconds adrift. Mercedes were suggesting that Lewis let Nico through, but in reality he wasn’t pressing hard enough to justify it. So he didn’t. Massa was first to move, taking himself out of the game on lap 45, again fitting Mediums for the final 25 laps. Up front, though, Ricciardo was starting to feel his rears going. What to do? On lap 54, 16 to go, they made the call. He was in, and out, on fresh Softs, dropping to fourth. It became third when Rosberg did likewise, throwing the dice on his battle with Lewis. The final laps were brilliant: Alonso (having decided to tough it out on wearing Softs), Hamilton on Mediums, unable to get past the Ferrari, Ricciardo closing in on good Softs, and – coming from a long way, Rosberg blistering along on fresh Softs ... Again, Ricciardo took his time. Waiting, waiting. Four to go and he moved – one unsuccessful go outside Turn 2, then a lap later it was done, around the outside. Lewis just didn’t have the grip left to resist successfully. Superb. Then Alonso. Down the inside into Turn 1 ... from a fair way back. Again, no answer. It was done. Rosberg blazed closer to Hamilton but simply ran out of laps. Oh, and did we mention that Vettel had a last corner lose as well, amazingly just grazing the inside wall, limping home seventh behind a steady Raikkonen. It just ain’t his year ... 26 GPWEEK.com // 26 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> HUNGARY PARTNERS: