Winners and Losers at the Hungarian Grand Prix

Winners and Losers at the Hungarian Grand Prix

29 July 2014 – The Hungaroring produced a thrilling encounter ahead of the Formula 1 summer break, with Red Bull sensation Daniel Ricciardo grabbing his second victory through some bold overtaking and numerous other drivers going wheel-to-wheel. GPUpdate.net presents the winners and losers from the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Winners

With his infectious smile and laid-back personality, Daniel Ricciardo has already established himself as one of the most popular figures in the paddock. But that persona belies his intensity on-track as he notched up his second Grand Prix victory – this one achieved without the assistance of a significantly wounded Mercedes. Ricciardo had not been on the pace for much of the weekend, with the Australian admitting that his Friday practice was next to useless, while in qualifying he was beaten by team-mate Sebastian Vettel. In the wet conditions at the start he slipped back to sixth, but this was inadvertently a blessing in disguise. The leading quartet missed the pit entry and, allied to McLaren's erroneous tyre call, he soon found himself in the lead, on merit. When Sergio Pérez made friends with the pit wall, Ricciardo and race engineer Simon Rennie quickly switched their strategy, stopping behind the Safety Car with the intention to pit once more. Ricciardo managed his Options and led once others pitted – even resolving a brief engine blip – before he made his final stop and emerged in third. He bided his time before attacking Lewis Hamilton around the outside of Turn 2 – no mean feat – and then slipping up the inside of Fernando Alonso on the next lap. A well-deserved victory.

What will Fernando Alonso decide to do for 2015? If anything, the Hungarian Grand Prix proved once again that Alonso is one of Formula 1's greatest ever talents. The Spaniard, lumbered with a recalcitrant Ferrari which is tricky in the corners and not exactly great on the straights, has, understandably, cut a frustrated figure at times in 2014, but has finished every race in the points so far. In Hungary, Alonso sensed an opportunity in the damp conditions. He jumped up to fourth at the start and even briefly got ahead of Vettel, before the German edged back in front. Like the leaders, Alonso missed the pit entry when the Safety Car was deployed yet he stayed out of trouble and managed his Option tyres superbly to lead the race – an unusual sight this season. His Option tyres were well past their best, so late on he was simply powerless to prevent Ricciardo from surging through, although in doing so he preserved whatever rubber he had remaining to defend against Hamilton and a charging Nico Rosberg. As ever, Alonso grasped an opportunity with both hands, aided by an uncharacteristically aggressive Ferrari team (perhaps a Marco Mattiacci influence), and it almost paid off.

If ever there was a picture of dejection in sport, it was the sight of Lewis Hamilton looking forlornly at his singeing Mercedes, turning away and trudging back to the Mercedes motorhome during the opening stages of qualifying at the Hungaroring. Hamilton has borne the brunt of the issues plagued by Mercedes in 2014, but this was almost too much to take for a man whose title aspirations seemed to be slipping away. Fast forward 24 hours and the situation was little better. Rosberg had stormed into a lead, while Hamilton was facing the wrong way at Turn 2. Hamilton had misjudged how cold his brakes were, a symptom of being unable to participate in the formation lap due to a pit lane start (a first for the Briton), and spun under braking, glancing the barriers on his way. From there, though, he carved through the field and, by the time the Safety Car was removed, he was close behind Rosberg. He dispensed rapidly with more rivals and profited when Vettel channelled his inner Pérez, before sweeping around the outside of Jean-Éric Vergne in a majestic move. His choice not to allow Rosberg through was correct in hindsight and, while he lost out to Ricciardo, he did well to retain third considering the state of his tyres. A good recovery drive.

Losers

When you're on pole, comfortably lead the first stint and your team-mate starts from the pits and hits the wall on the first lap, you probably wouldn't imagine being beaten by him 69 laps later. And yet that's exactly what happened to Nico Rosberg. The German was unable to pit immediately when the Safety Car was deployed for Marcus Ericsson's accident, but crucially he erred on the first lap of the restart while scrapping with the Intermediate-shod Kevin Magnussen and slipped behind Jean-Éric Vergne and Fernando Alonso. The Ferrari driver moved ahead of Vergne, but Rosberg was unable to follow suit and consequently couldn't extract the maximum from his package. Mercedes decided to put Rosberg on Options but while he closed up behind Hamilton, he was never close enough to pass nor justify Hamilton lifting off so significantly. Rosberg was right to be slightly frustrated, especially as it was a decision from Mercedes rather than the driver, but he was equally naïve if he expected Hamilton to allow him through so easily. Rosberg's final stop dropped him to seventh but he carved through slower rivals and ate into the advantage of the leading trio, albeit arriving on the back of Hamilton too late. He had a go, but his team-mate shut the door at Turn 2 and Rosberg had to settle for fourth. Bad timing played a part, but greater decision making on the day would have netted a better result.

Over recent races, Sebastian Vettel has been increasingly at ease with the handling of the Red Bull RB10. The German mastered an unusual driving technique over the past few years so getting accustomed to a 'normal' car, allied to several technical issues, understandably took time. In Budapest, he was on form throughout practice and almost clinched pole position, until Rosberg duly exerted his authority. The race, though, told a different story. Vettel slipped to third behind Valtteri Bottas and was one of the drivers to lose out in the first Safety Car period. Perhaps more gallingly, it was the second Safety Car stint which also scuppered his strategy. Because he stopped a lap later than Ricciardo earlier on, Red Bull split strategies and left Vettel out, whereas Ricciardo pitted and switched to the race-winning strategy. However, Vettel kept dipping a wheel onto the kerb exiting the final corner – a trait noticed by the following Hamilton – and after several laps his approach bit him. He did astonishingly well to avoid an enormous impact with the pit wall, but his tyres were ruined and his race was effectively run. He did well to hold on to seventh on used rubber at the end, but this was a weekend when he lost 19 points to Ricciardo, despite an upturn in form.

Force India
has been one of the surprise packages of the season but the recent resurgence of fellow Mercedes-powered team Williams has somewhat put the Silverstone-based team into the shade. Force India's policy has always been about maximising their opportunities as they are, naturally, unable to keep up in the development race with financially superior rivals. However, in Hungary, Nico Hülkenberg committed the cardinal sin of Formula 1 by running into team-mate Sergio Pérez. The duo had been running on the fringes of points when Hülkenberg tried to put a move on Pérez. On the previous lap, Pérez had taken a wider line into the final corner but the next time around he approached it from a tighter angle and a committed Hülkenberg was powerless to avoid slithering into the side, before he continued into the barriers, ending his run of top 10 finishes. Pérez's day lasted little longer as he dropped it exiting the final corner and spun violently into the pit wall, littering the circuit with debris. It was a sizeable impact but he walked away uninjured. It was nonetheless a disappointing ending to a promising first half of 2014 for the team, which is now realistically embroiled in a battle for fifth in the Constructors' Championship with McLaren – a repeat situation of 2013. Force India will be hoping history doesn't repeat itself.

Phillip Horton
Twitter: @PHortonF1

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 27 August 2016

  2. 17:38

    F1 photos: Saturday at Spa-Francorchamps

    F1
  3. Pérez: Force India maximised qualifying 17:36

    Pérez: Force India maximised qualifying

    Sergio Pérez reckons Force India maximised its potential by claiming sixth and seventh on the grid for the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  4. 17:08

    GP3 photos: Saturday at Spa-Francorchamps

    GP3
  5. Leclerc controls GP3 opener in Belgium 17:06

    Leclerc controls GP3 opener in Belgium

    Ferrari protégé Charles Leclerc claimed his third GP3 Series victory of the season after dominating proceedings at…

    GP3
  6. Ricciardo 'not too disappointed' with qualifying 16:56

    Ricciardo 'not too disappointed' with qualifying

    Daniel Ricciardo says he is "not too disappointed" with his fifth-place grid slot in Belgium, given this weekend's precarious…

    F1
  7. Button: Q2 lap as good as 2012 pole run 15:50

    Button: Q2 lap as good as 2012 pole run

    Jenson Button reckons the lap he posted to reach the final phase of qualifying in Belgium was as good as his run to pole…

    F1
  8. 15:48

    GP2 photos: Saturday at Spa-Francorchamps

    GP2
  9. Gasly extends advantage with third GP2 victory 15:46

    Gasly extends advantage with third GP2 victory

    Pierre Gasly moved into a 23-point advantage in the GP2 Series as he cruised to his third victory of the season at…

    GP2
  10. Hamilton: Spa 'worst time' to take penalties 15:17

    Hamilton: Spa 'worst time' to take penalties

    Lewis Hamilton says the Belgian Grand Prix has proven to be the "worst time" to take his engine-related grid penalties, given…

    F1
  11. Räikkönen felt pole position was possible 15:03

    Räikkönen felt pole position was possible

    Kimi Räikkönen felt that pole position was within his and Ferrari's reach at the Belgian Grand Prix, after finishing within…

    F1
  12. Verstappen: Red Bull can be 'very pleased' 14:42

    Verstappen: Red Bull can be 'very pleased'

    Max Verstappen reckons Red Bull can be "very pleased" with its efforts during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, as he…

    F1
  13. Rosberg relieved by pole on 'difficult weekend' 14:32

    Rosberg relieved by pole on 'difficult weekend'

    Nico Rosberg expressed his relief as he collected pole position for the sixth time this season despite enduring a "difficult…

    F1
  14. 14:06

    Belgian Grand Prix: Full qualifying results

    F1
  15. Rosberg beats Verstappen to Belgian GP pole 14:05

    Rosberg beats Verstappen to Belgian GP pole

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg beat Red Bull's Max Verstappen to pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, taking advantage of…

    F1
  16. Gutiérrez hit with five-place grid penalty 13:34

    Gutiérrez hit with five-place grid penalty

    Haas' Esteban Gutiérrez has been handed a five-place grid penalty for the Belgian Grand Prix following an incident with Manor…

    F1
  17. 12:46

    Follow qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix!

    F1
  18. Hamilton up to 55-place grid penalty at Spa 11:08

    Hamilton up to 55-place grid penalty at Spa

    Mercedes has confirmed that it has carried out further changes to Lewis Hamilton's F1 W07 Hybrid on Saturday morning in Belgium…

    F1
  19. 11:06

    Belgian Grand Prix: Full Practice 3 results

    F1
  20. Räikkönen puts Ferrari on top in final practice 11:04

    Räikkönen puts Ferrari on top in final practice

    Kimi Räikkönen put Ferrari on top during final practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and…

    F1
  21. Wolff: I'll make sure Vandoorne gets seat 10:37

    Wolff: I'll make sure Vandoorne gets seat

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has promised to find Stoffel Vandoorne a seat in Formula 1 for the 2017 season, if McLaren-Honda does…

    F1
  22. 09:52

    Follow final practice for the Belgian GP!

    F1
  23. Leclerc extends title lead with Belgium pole 09:19

    Leclerc extends title lead with Belgium pole

    Charles Leclerc extended his GP3 Series title lead as he stormed to pole position for the opening race of the weekend at…

    GP3
  24. Sauber pair able to note gains from new parts 08:34

    Sauber pair able to note gains from new parts

    Sauber pair Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr say they were able to note gains made by the team after it introduced a raft of…

    F1
  25. Alonso sure Honda update marks 'step forward' 08:16

    Alonso sure Honda update marks 'step forward'

    Fernando Alonso says he is sure that Honda's updated power unit will mark a "step forward", despite his limited and dialled-down…

    F1
  26. Massa: Williams/Force India fight 'tough' 07:36

    Massa: Williams/Force India fight 'tough'

    Felipe Massa says Williams faces a "tough" fight against Force India to secure fourth in the standings, with the two teams…

    F1
  27. Wehrlein: Hot weather should boost Manor 06:42

    Wehrlein: Hot weather should boost Manor

    Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein believes high temperatures should suit the team, following an eye-catching display during Friday's…

    F1
  28. Video of the Day: Past, present and future race 05:42

    Video of the Day: Past, present and future race

    Fernando Alonso takes on McLaren team-mates Jenson Button and Stoffel Vandoorne, and ex-Formula 1 racers Mika Häkkinen and…

    F1
  29. Friday 26 August 2016

  30. Force India 'not perfect' despite strong pace 17:04

    Force India 'not perfect' despite strong pace

    Force India's Nico Hülkenberg believes there is still more pace to come from the VJM09, after an encouraging pair of practice…

    F1
  31. Grosjean critical of high tyre pressures 16:57

    Grosjean critical of high tyre pressures

    Haas driver Romain Grosjean has criticised Pirelli's mandatory tyre pressures at the Belgian Grand Prix, which he says makes the…

    F1
  32. 16:24

    F1 photos: Friday at Spa-Francorchamps

    F1
  33. Mercedes used five tokens for Spa upgrade 16:16

    Mercedes used five tokens for Spa upgrade

    Mercedes has revealed that it used up five of its engine development tokens on its Belgian Grand Prix upgrade, leaving it with…

    F1
  34. Vettel: Opening day 'very tricky' for Ferrari 16:07

    Vettel: Opening day 'very tricky' for Ferrari

    Sebastian Vettel has labelled the first day of practice for the Belgian Grand Prix as "very tricky", after he finished fourth…

    F1
  35. Rosberg: Halo device did not disturb me 15:52

    Rosberg: Halo device did not disturb me

    Nico Rosberg has described his test with the 'halo' cockpit protection device during Belgian Grand Prix practice as a…

    F1
  36. Hamilton thanks mechanics after 'tough' day 15:45

    Hamilton thanks mechanics after 'tough' day

    Lewis Hamilton heaped praise on his Mercedes mechanics after a "tough day" of work in Belgium, prior to taking a substantial…

    F1
  37. 15:32

    GP2 photos: Friday at Spa-Francorchamps

    GP2
  38. Giovinazzi beats team-mate Gasly to pole 15:30

    Giovinazzi beats team-mate Gasly to pole

    Antonio Giovinazzi edged out Prema team-mate Pierre Gasly to secure his second GP2 Series pole position of the season at…

    GP2
  39. Verstappen: Red Bull 'better than expected' 15:13

    Verstappen: Red Bull 'better than expected'

    Max Verstappen admits that Red Bull is performing "better than expected" at the Belgian Grand Prix, but is refusing to get…

    F1
  40. 14:34

    Belgian Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  41. Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in second practice 14:32

    Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in second practice

    Max Verstappen led team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in a Red Bull 1-2 during Friday afternoon's second practice session for the…

    F1
  42. 12:52

    Follow second practice for the Belgian GP!

    F1
more news