Daniel Ricciardo goes into the summer break on the back of wining the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix. Ricciardo secured his second Grand Prix win after an exhilarating race packed full of action.
Nico Rosberg started the race on pole position whilst his team-mate was resigned to starting from the pit lane. Hamilton was joined by the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen as well, following his crash in the final stage of qualifying.
In the final hour leading up to the start of the race, the threat of rain crept over the Hungaroring. With dark black clouds and wind swiftly getting closer to the track it was clearer than ever that we would start with a wet track. Something that could have helped Hamilton make his way through the field/ But by the start of the race the track was mostly dry.
Come the start of the formation lap, every driver had opted for the intermediate tyres thanks to the damp track. For Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso he unfortunately would be joining the queue in the pit lane for the start of the race after a loss of power meant he was unable to pull away.
As the red lights changed green and the race was underway, the reduce traction meant a slow start for most. Bottas was able to capitalise early on and make his way past Sebastian Vettel for second place. However, the poor conditions and cold breaks resulted in a spin for Hamilton into turn 2. One of the biggest issues with starting from the pit lane is that you do not get to carry out a formation lap. The lap drivers need the most for a race as it allows them to build tyre and break temperature.
Over the early laps of the race the track conditions improved for the DRS to be enabled. With the improving track, Hamilton was also able to start picking his way through the rear of the field whilst his team-mate stormed away at the front.
Unfortunately for all, on lap nine the safety car was deployed following a heavy crash for Marcus Ericsson at turn 3. Ericsson’s Caterham was completely destroyed by the impact. With all four corners of the car showing damage.
Under the safety car the field pitted for fresh rubber with almost all drivers choosing to switch to slick tyres. Unlike McLaren who opted to pit Button for fresh intermediate tyres with Magnussen staying out on track. As the top four, Rosberg, Bottas, Vettel and Alonso, they were unable to pit immediately when the safety car was deployed as they had already passed the pit entry. This resulted in the four of them falling back into the pack for the restart. A restart that was delayed further with Romain Grosjean spinning behind the safety car and ending his race.
When the race eventually restarted, having the intermediate tyres meant Jenson Button was able to take the lead of the race and go on to set the fastest lap of the race. Unfortunately he would need to keep up this pace for the next lap as the rain McLaren were hoping for did not turn up and he was forced to pit again. Sending the Brit from the front to the rear of the field, along with his team-mate.
Under the safety car, Rosberg appeared to have an issue with his rear brakes. He was told by the team to change his break bias in order to reduce to use of the rear brakes. But this came as no help to Nico when the race was underway as he kept dropping places and now had Hamilton a few cars behind.
From lap sixteen, Hamilton began a scrap with Vettel for sixth place. Unfortunately no matter what he tried out of turn one, an overtake was never on the cards as the inside of turn two remained too wet. Any potential move would have resulted in Lewis and Seb either crashing into each other or both going out onto the run off.
Moving on to lap 23, a big crash for Sergio Perez meant he was out of the race and brought out another safety car. Force India already had one car out of the race after Hulkenberg retired earlier on. This time, Sergio crashed after running wide on the exit of the final corner. Once he got a wheel onto the astroturf he lost control of the rear, sending him straight into the pit wall.
At the restart, Alonso led from Vergne, Rosberg, Vettel, Hamilton and Ricciardo, who had pitted under the safety car. Alonso went on to extend his lead over JEV on the following laps, setting new fastest laps whilst lapping a second quicker than the drivers behind him.
Come lap 33, Rosberg headed to the pit lane to keep his strategy on track. As Nico hit the pit lane speed limit line, a spinning Vettel came into the shot. In an almost identical spin to that of Perez earlier on, Vettel dipped a wheel onto the astroturf and span across the track. Luckily for him, he suffered no damage to his Red Bull, despite making contact with his rear wheel.
Now with Rosberg and Vettel out of his way, Hamilton was now targeting Vergne for second place. It took the Brit just one lap before he made his move on the Frenchman. On the run up the hill for turn four, Hamilton pulled to the outside of Vergne, dipping his wheel onto the grass but a daring move resulted in a gain of position.
A few laps later Hamilton briefly had the lead of the race after Alonso carried out his second stop. Lewis only led for the one lap but by the time he exited the pits on the medium tyres, he was now ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg. Despite Lewis starting from the pit lane and Rosberg from pole.
From lap 45 a battle between the Mercedes boys was on the cards with Nico closing Lewis down quickly whilst on the soft compound tyres. The Mercedes team thought it best to step it before this battle hotted up however, telling Lewis not to hold Nico up. But at no point did Hamilton pull over and let his team-mate pass, simply because at no point did Nico get close enough to Lewis for it to make sense. For multiple laps the gap between the two remained around one second, with Nico constantly on the radio moaning he was still behind.
At the time, Lewis was P3 with Nico P4 but out in front Ricciardo continued to lead the race in a strong position. However, he could not keep his commanding position after fears on the tyres life span resulted in Red Bull bringing the Aussie into the pits for fresh tyres.
With Rosberg pitting a few laps later, it looked like the battle for the win would be between Alonso, Hamilton and Ricciardo. But with Ricciardo on fresh rubber, he set new fastest laps on his way to closing the lead duo down.
The battle for the lead soon tightened up with the three spread out by just 1 and a half seconds on lap 62. Hamilton had DRS on Alonso, whilst Ricciardo had DRS on Hamilton. Meaning no one could close down enough for an overtake just yet.
But over the next few laps the gap continued to tighten, and with Alonso holding Hamilton and Ricciardo back, Rosberg was gaining rapidly at the trio. Knowing Nico could be joining the battle for the win, Ricciardo began to threaten Lewis even more into turn two.
Eventually into turn two on lap 67 of 70, Ricciardo dove down the outside of Hamilton. Although Hamilton forced the Red Bull wide, he found the grip and ensured he was ahead going into turn three. Then, just one lap later he had the lead of the race after overtaking Fernando Alonso into turn one after breaking late.
Now with just two laps remaining, Alonso continued to keep Hamilton at bay with solid defending into turn two. Despite his tyres fading away, Lewis was unable to make a move after his tyres also faded away. Meaning Nico Rosberg was able to close down even more.
But over the final laps no more overtakes at the front meant Daniel Ricciardo took the top step of the podium to win his second Formula One Grand Prix in his debut season at Red Bull. Fernando Alonso securing 2nd place meant the Spaniard took his first podium of the season since the 2014 Chinese Grand Prix. And finally, it was pit lane to podium for Lewis Hamilton after he took third place ahead of his team-mate. The gap between Ricciardo and Alonso at the chequered flag was just over 5 seconds. Whilst the gap between Alonso, Hamilton and Rosberg was just 1.1 seconds. Another driver who made a lot of progress through the field was Raikkonen after the Finn started in sixteenth.
|1||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||70||Winner||4||25|
|2||14||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||70||+5.2 secs||5||18|
|3||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||70||+5.8 secs||22||15|
|4||6||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||70||+6.3 secs||1||12|
|5||19||Felipe Massa||Williams-Mercedes||70||+29.8 secs||6||10|
|6||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Ferrari||70||+31.4 secs||16||8|
|7||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||70||+40.9 secs||2||6|
|8||77||Valtteri Bottas||Williams-Mercedes||70||+41.3 secs||3||4|
|9||25||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Renault||70||+58.5 secs||8||2|
|10||22||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||70||+67.2 secs||7||1|
|11||99||Adrian Sutil||Sauber-Ferrari||70||+68.1 secs||11|
|12||20||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren-Mercedes||70||+78.4 secs||21|
|13||13||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus-Renault||70||+84.0 secs||20|
|14||26||Daniil Kvyat||STR-Renault||69||+1 Lap||10|
|15||17||Jules Bianchi||Marussia-Ferrari||69||+1 Lap||15|
|16||4||Max Chilton||Marussia-Ferrari||69||+1 Lap||18|
|Ret||21||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber-Ferrari||32||+38 Laps||13|
|Ret||10||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham-Renault||+46 Laps||17|
|Ret||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||+48 Laps||12|
|Ret||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||+56 Laps||9|
|Ret||8||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||+60 Laps||14|
|Ret||9||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham-Renault||+63 Laps||19|