NASIR IS LOVING HIS HUNGARIAN GOULASH AND THE HOST SIMPLY HAPPY ANOTHER F1 RACE WAS ON THE EXCITING SIDE OF LIFE. WE HAVE A REPORT FROM F1W FAMILY MEMBER LOUIS JANSEN AND A GREAT GOODY BAG.
MORE WORDS FROM Mr. VETTEL…
“We leave Hungary and for a few weeks we can console ourselves with the fact that we made it to the podium in a race in which we knew we were going to struggle. Today, we simply could not match the pace of our rivals. In terms of strategy, the idea was to come up with something different to try and do better than fourth. I managed to extend the first stint to 39 laps and that allowed me to fit Softs and have a stronger pace than Charles in the closing stages. Now we can recharge our batteries and prepare to battle once more in Spa and Monza, tracks where we ought to be more competitive. We know there is still some performance to come from the SF90 and we have to work on that, but I am convinced that there is a margin to get better results.”
LCH won the Hungarian Grand Prix with an inspired strategy from his Mercedes team beating the Red Bull of Max Verstappen into second after a gripping encounter at the Hungaroring. Sebastian Vettel finished third, with his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc fourth. Carlos Sainz took an excellent fifth, his second in a row for McLaren, in front of the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly.
This was yet another masterclass from Hamilton and Mercedes who called the race to perfection, one of the best wins they have returned this season. It had hung in the balance throughout but, although Verstappen had led almost the entire race until the pass by LCH on fresher rubber! Mercedes decision to pit their driver a second time gave Hamilton a decisive advantage he exploited brilliantly.
SCHUMACHER STORMS TO MAIDEN F2 VICTORY IN BUDAPEST
Mick Schumacher became the second rookie winner of this season’s FIA Formula 2 campaign with a commanding performance from lights-to-flag in the Sprint Race that required every inch of his defensive abilities.
The PREMA racing man beat out the experienced Nobuharu Matsushita to earn his maiden F2 win and a first taste of champagne for PREMA this season. DAMS’ Sérgio Sette Câmara came home in third, having pushed and prodded Matsushita all the way, in the tightest of front threes.
The German had been handed reverse grid pole for the second time this season, thanks to a strong 8th place finish in yesterday’s Feature Race and he got away smoothly off the line, despite the Carlin attached to his rear wing.
Matsushita, starting P2, waited until the first turn to make his move and skidded around the outside of the German, but he ran out of track and remained second. Sette Câmara had forced his way ahead of Jordan King when the lights went out for third, while Nikita Mazepin rose four places to break into the points’ paying places.
Schumacher set the fastest lap in his attempts to put space between himself and Matsushita, but the Japanese driver reacted by beating his time around the Hungaroring and slicing into the distance between them. Less than a second behind him was Sette Câmara, in an intense three-wary tussle for first.
With thick clouds appearing above, the track temperature fell from 41 to 35 degrees, adding a further challenge to Schumacher’s defence of P1. Still, he clung on, but Matsushita remained within five tenths of him and refused to let the German breathe.
The Brazilian in third had the same tactic, but couldn’t find a way through at Turn 3 when the two went side-by-side and the Carlin came out ahead. Championship contender Luca Ghiotto had been one of the fall guys in Mazepin’s rise to 8th, but he was able to regain the spot when the ART man lost pace on lap 18. Callum Ilott and Guanyu Zhou both followed the Italian through, after the Russian had warned his team that he was in trouble. Ghiotto’s overtake of the Russian put him in a 1-2-3 with title rivals Nicholas Latifi and Nyck De Vries in a three-way fight for 6th.
LUNDGAARD’S PERFECT WEEKEND CONTINUES WITH MAIDEN F3 WIN
Danish driver joined on Budapest podium by British duo Fewtrell and Hughes
Christian Lundgaard took his first ever FIA Formula 3 win in style today, marching round the Hungaroring in 1stfrom lights-to-flag. The Danish driver continued his so far flawless weekend with his third P1 finish of Round 5, ahead of ART Grand Prix teammate Max Fewtrell and HWA RACELAB’s Jake Hughes.
The Dane may have clung onto 1st at the start, but there was plenty of movement behind him when the lights went out. Fellow Renault Academy driver Fewtrell hugged the back of him off the line to hop up to second. Niko Kari also benefitted from Jüri Vip’s sluggish start from P2, lunging to third whilst the Estonian dropped to 5th. Championship leader Robert Shwartzman also suffered frustration as he dropped four places to 8th.
As those in front looked to consolidate their positions on a dry afternoon in Hungary, drama played out at the back of the field. The rear tyres of Raoul Hyman and Liam Lawson’s machines collided, which sent the former into a dizzy spin. Thankfully, the Sauber Junior driver was able to recover, but Pedro Piquet in P4 wasn’t so lucky, suffering a brake issue which forced him into retirement in the pits.
Out in front, Lundgaard set the fastest lap on his way to collecting a tidy 3s lead, with Fewtrell and Kari still in procession. The Finn was clinging onto 3rd by the skin of his teeth, but seriously struggling with grip and looked to be fighting a losing battle with Vips in behind. Kari briefly skidded off track as he continued to suffer, but managed to claw it back and fend off the Estonian once again.
The Trident racer would have to do it all again two laps later when he locked up and went wheel-to-wheel with the Hitech man for what felt like an eternity. Eventually, he scrambled back in front, but he was in increasing danger. Vips waited three more laps to eventually make the move stick, as both he and Hughes dashed past Kari. Shwartzman followed through a lap later and Kari started to freefall.
Just when it looked like any further drama had been put to bed, Hughes appeared in the wing-mirror of Vips to steal the final podium place on the penultimate lap, weaving around the Estonian and bombing down the inside.
At the chequered flag, Lundgaard was over-the-moon to cross the finish line ahead of teammate Fewtrell. Hughes took 3rd place, with Vips settling for fourth. Shwartzman managed fifth, ahead of Felipe Drugovich who scores his first championship points, and Leonardo Pulcini. Marcus Armstrong managed to creep into the points in 8th, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant.
MAX DENIES BOTTAS AND TAKES HIS FIRST POLE POSITION OF HIS CAREER!
The Red Bull driver took control on the first runs in Q3 with a lap of 1m14.958s, which put him 0.178s ahead of the lead Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
While Bottas was able to eclipse Verstappen’s time at the second attempt, Verstappen then banged in a 1m14.572s to clinch pole position by just 0.018s thanks to his pace in the final sector.
Lewis Hamilton was two tenths off the pace in third place ahead of the lead Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, who survived spinning backwards into the barrier at the last corner during Q1 to earn fourth.
Sebastian Vettel was half-a-second off the pace in fifth place ahead of the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly, who was almost nine tenths off Verstappen’s pace.
All of the top six will start Sunday’s race using medium Pirellis having used that tyre to set their time in Q2.
McLaren led the way in the battle for midfield supremacy, with Lando Norris shading Carlos Sainz by 0.052s.
Romain Grosjean took eighth in the Australian Grand Prix-specification Haas, 0.028s faster than the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was bumped to 11th place and quickest of those eliminated in Q2 by Raikkonen’s late lap – missing out by less than half-a-tenth.
Although Hulkenberg failed to improve on his second run, that was still enough to keep him ahead of fellow non-improvers Toro Rosso pairing Alex Albon and Daniil Kvyat.
Antonio Giovinazzi was 14th for Alfa Romeo having also failed to find time at the second attempt, putting him ahead of Kevin Magnussen in the latest-specification Haas, who was unable to repeat his strong Q1 pace in Q2.
DAMS driver secures first win since Round 3, ahead of De Vries and Aitken
Nicholas Latifi won for the first time since Barcelona with a masterclass on the tight turns of the Hungaroring, bombing ahead of Nyck De Vries at the start and never wavering. Amazingly, it is the first time this season that the Championships’ top two have shared a podium, with the duo finishing ahead of Campos Racing’s Jack Aitken.
Despite the downpour in Friday’s Qualifying session, the rain held off on Saturday morning in Hungary and De Vries made the most of the dry surface to get away cleanly off the line, battling off a move down his right from Luca Ghiotto. Or, so he thought! Nicholas Latifi surged past them both on the left and nipped by at the end of the first turn, with De Vries’ locking up.
There were plenty of places gained further back at Turn 1 as Aitken jumped three to 5th, while Hubert hopped five to 13th. There was heartbreak for Louis Delétraz, whose slow start when the lights went out saw him drop to 8th, before his Carlin slowed down to a stop.
Aitken began hounding Mick Schumacher in 4th, who had fallen off the tail of Ghiotto. The German defended his position well, but lost out in the pits as Campos delivered a perfect stop, which saw the Brit nip ahead of both the PREMA man and Ghiotto.
By the time Latifi pitted a lap later, he’d built a strong gap over De Vries and returned in 6th place, directly in-front of the ART Grand Prix man who had already stopped. The race lead was handed to Jordan King who was on the alternate strategy.
Latifi briefly put space between himself and De Vries when he passed Ralph Boschung, but he got caught in traffic and the Dutchman began to catch him. There was a brief Virtual Safety Car as Arjun Maini pulled over onto the gravel and became the morning’s second casualty.
Nobuharu Matsushita passed Schumacher down the pit-straight when racing resumed, while Latifi zipped by Hubert for second, who was also yet to stop. By the time King pitted from first and handed Latifi back the lead, the Canadian had built up a 6s gap between himself and his title rival.
The front three spots were back into the hands of Latifi, De Vries and Aitken, with Ghiotto in 4th and unable to match the Brit’s speed. This sent the Italian into the clutches of Matsushita and sparked a mass brawl for fourth.
Ghiotto was able to fend off the Carlin driver, which sent him into the lurches of Sérgio Sette Câmara who had risen magnificently from 12th. The duo went two wide ahead of Turn 3, which put King into the mix. Narrowly avoiding a kiss of tyres, the Brazilian and the Briton edged passed Matsushita.
The battles were brought to a swift conclusion when Boschung’s Trident went up in smoke and forced him to pull over onto the gravel. The race finished under the subsequent Safety Car, although Ghiotto and King were handed penalties after the chequered flag for a SC infringement and fell down the order. Latifi safely crossed the line ahead of De Vries and Aitken. Sette Câmara claimed fourth, ahead of Matsushita, Ghiotto, King, Schumacher, Guanyu Zhou and Callum Ilott.
The Canadian’s victory sees him gain ground on De Vries at the top of the Drivers’ Championship, with De Vries now on 192 points and Latifi 28 behind him. Sette Câmara moves up to third on 133, ahead of Ghiotto on 130. Aitken completes the top five with 128. In the Teams’ Championship, DAMS have increased their lead and now have 297 points, ahead of UNI-Virtuosi on 237. ART Grand Prix sit third on 198, with Campos Racing behind on 158 and Carlin on 135.