Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton had the taste of success following the FIA Formula One 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix, as he took the chequered flag as the winner and secured his first victory since joining the UK based team at the beginning of the season after his move from McLaren.
The 2008 World Champion picked up his 22nd career win to date ahead of Lotus Renault’s Kimi Raikkonen, who had a battle on his hands in the latter stages of the Grand Prix with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, but the Finnish driver managed to hold onto his second place as he crossed the line at the end of the 70 lap marathon and Vettel had to settle for third position to complete the podium line up.
Vettel’s team mate, Mark Webber, improved on his qualifying spot of 10th place yesterday after opting not to set a time in the Q3 session. The Australian may have missed out on a podium spot to Vettel but scored some valuable Championship points for his fourth place finish in any case.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished where he started the race to take fifth place, whilst Alonso’s team mate, Felipe Massa dropped down one place after qualifying seventh yesterday and the Brazilian driver completed the Grand Prix in eighth position.
Raikkonen’s team mate, Romain Grosjean was very much in the limelight in the race, not only as a result of starting in third place but also for a couple of incidents that occurred during the proceedings. The French man got a little too close for comfort to McLaren’s Jenson Button on lap 24 which led to slight contact and caught the attention of the stewards for the reason of causing a collision. It was reported around lap 30 that the incident would then be investigated after the race and it is yet to be confirmed as to whether or not any further action will be taken.
Grosjean came under fire again with the stewards who investigated him again for leaving the track at turn four and allegedly gaining an advantage against Massa following their scrap for position. Grosjean was forced to face the consequences of his actions as a result of the incident with Massa and he served a drive through penalty on lap 38.
Grosjean and Button seemed to overcome their close encounter on the track as they crossed the finish line and ended up in sixth and seventh place respectively.
Button’s team mate, Sergio Perez slipped down the field by a few places at the start of the race but when the festivities came to a close the Mexican driver managed to get back into his qualifying spot of ninth place and has added a couple of points to his current hold on 12th place in the Drivers’ Championship.
Williams’ driver, Pastor Maldonado will have certainly given the team something to smile about as he picked up the 10th and final point scoring position as a result of his performance in today’s race. The Venezuelan has put the first point of the season on the board for the UK based team in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships after the team seem to have had a few struggles since the beginning of 2013 against their rivals.
Beyond the all-important top 10 spots, the four drivers in the newest teams towards the back of the field went onto finish the race and were joined by a few midfield ones who did not manage to secure a point scoring position. Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg may have kept out of the way of the usual front runners, but the German became of interest to the stewards on lap 39 and was investigated for speeding in the pit lane following the recent change to the limit by the FIA. Hulkenberg had to serve a drive through penalty as a result of this.
Like Hulkenberg, the Toro Rosso duo of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo finished the race but unfortunately were not rewarded with any Championship points outside the top 10.
There were a select few drivers who failed to make the grade and made an early exit from the proceedings. Hulkenberg’s team mate, Esteban Gutierrez was one of the unlucky drivers to do so when his car was seen parked up in the garage and it looked to be going nowhere fast on lap 30.
Hamilton’s team mate, Nico Rosberg also suffered the misfortune of retiring from the race when the engine on his car suddenly blew on lap 66 leading to a temporary oil fire and he swiftly abandoned his car off the track near to the exit of turn two. Rosberg’s race did not get off to the best start either when he and Massa had contact on the first lap which saw the German quickly drop down the pack.
In what was the 350th Grand Prix for the Mercedes team as an engine supplier the cause of Rosberg’s retirement will more than likely be one that they will not want to remember in some ways.
Mercedes shared their race of two halves consisting of one positive and one negative result with the Williams team. Maldonado may have finished the race but his team mate, Valtteri Bottas did not have the opportunity to do so when he was spotted getting out of his car at the side of the track on lap 45.
The other two drivers who sadly failed to cross the finish line were the Force India pair of Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta. Sutil was the first of the two to fall on lap 20 when his car was pushed into the garage and it was reported that his retirement was due to a hydraulic problem which would have been a disappointing end for the German in his 100th Grand Prix today.
Di Resta joined Sutil on the side lines on lap 68 when his car was spotted in the pits and did not emerge onto the track for the last two laps which spelt the end of the Scotsman’s race.
Hamilton has proved that his track record at the Hungaroring is still on form, despite having moved to a new team and now picking up a race win with Mercedes following today’s outcome. The Englishman managed to hold is nerve from start to finish even with the pressure of starting alongside Vettel who could not catch him or second place man Raikkonen.
The drivers and teams now have another three week break until they participate in the Belgian Grand Prix on 25th August. Hamilton certainly has his time to shine following today’s race result, but Vettel is still very much in control at the top of the Drivers’’ Championship with Hamilton in fourth place at present and with Raikkonen and Alonso in between, the battle is still very close and competitive going into the next race and the others remaining on the 2013 calendar.