Hungarian Grand Prix 2015 Recap

The Hungarian Grand Prix once again lived up to its reputation as one of the most unpredictable races in F1. Nobody expected these will be the results of this race. Sebastian Vettel won the race while Red Bull finished with both of their two drivers on the podium. For the first time after a very long time, neither Hamilton nor Rosberg didn’t had a podium finish. And after a long time also, both McLaren drivers Alonso and Button were able to have a points finish on a race.

Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton once again clocked the best time in qualifying to grab the pole position on race day. His time of 1min 22.020sec was almost half a second faster than the best time of Nico Rosberg which is 1:22.595. Sebastian Vettel edged out last year’s winner, Daniel Ricciardo for the third spot. McLaren’s misery continues here in Hungary as former world champions Alonso and Button will begin the race on 15th and 16th positions respectively.

Racing Conditions

The weather is perfect for racing during the Sunday afternoon in Hungaroring with blue skies and very little (or no) chances of rain. Before the race, the drivers made a tribute to Jules Bianchi who died because of the injuries he sustained in the Japanese GP last year. He was the first F1 fatality since Aryton Senna’s death in 1994.

The Grid

The Race

The race has to be restarted again after it was found out that Felipe Massa was out of position at the end of the formation lap. After the restart, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari took the first and second positions while Rosberg of Mercedes followed them on third. Lewis Hamilton had a bad start as he ran into the grass and ended up in 10th place.

Massa received a time penalty because of the incident at the beginning of the race. Hamilton now launches an attack on Massa who is on 9th place. The Brazilian was able to hold off Hamilton momentarily, but on lap 10 the Brit was able to finally overtake him. On lap 11, the race leaders are as follows: Vettel, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Bottas and Ricciardo.

On lap 13 some drivers made their first stop. Merhi came in first, then Bottas and Kyvat. Other drivers made their first stop on lap 15. Massa was one of them and he also served his 5 second time penalty during his first trip to the pit lane.
On lap 19 Maldonado and Perez’s cars accidentally got into in contact with each other leaving Perez’s car spinning into the gravel. Fortunately, Perez’s car wasn’t damaged and he was able to rejoin the race immediately.

The race leaders make their first stop on lap 20. Rosberg was the first to enter the pits and he’s followed by Vettel. Ricciardo and Raikkonen also followed them into the pits moments later. On lap 23, Maldonado also made his first stop and served his five second penalty for the earlier incident with Perez.

On lap 25, the race leaders are as follows: Vettel, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Ricciardo and Hamilton. Vettel is continuing to secure his lead and is now six seconds ahead of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Hamilton continues his pursuit of Ricciardo and on lap 28 he was able to finally overtake the Australian. He is now on 4th place.

On lap 40, Vettel now has a ten second lead over Raikkonen. Hamilton who is still on fourth place now complains on some ‘understeer.’ On lap 41, Raikkonen told his team on radio that he’s losing power and his car is slowing down.

On lap 42, Hulkenberg’s front wings disintegrated on their own and he lost control on his car. He ran off the track and crashed into the barrier. Fortunately, he was unharmed and was able to left his car immediately after. The safety car is now out.

On lap 49, the race had a restart. Rosberg was able to get pass through Raikkonen while Ricciardo successfully warded off Hamilton. The Brit tries to get back his position ahead of Ricciardo and their cars got into a collision which damaged one of Hamilton’s front tyres. Meanwhile, Kyvat was able to get pass both Hamilton and Ricciardo during this incident.

Vettel still leads the race on lap 51 and he’s followed by Rosberg and Ricciardo. Raikkonen makes his second stop on lap 52 and this one took much longer than usual. He rejoins the race in 17th place. On lap 53, Hamilton was told that he’ll receive a drive through penalty because of the incident with Ricciardo during the restart.

On lap 56 Raikkonen became the second retiree of this race. Carlos Sainz followed him on lap 57. Meanwhile, Hamilton is now just on 12th place on lap 59 after serving his penalty. This has been a very eventful race so far. And while all this drama is going on, Vettel is just steady on the front.

On lap 63, Ricciardo had another collision with another Mercedes driver, Nico Rosberg. Ricciardo’s front wings got damaged while one of Rosberg’s front tyres got damaged. Meanwhile, Maldonado will receive another time penalty for speeding in the pits.

This race has been really the most unpredictable so far this year and after 69 laps, Sebastian Vettel was the first to greet the checquered flag. He is followed by Red Bull drivers Daniil Kyvat (this is the first podium finish of his F1 career) and Daniel Ricciardo. Max Verstappen (best finish of his career) followed in 4th and Alonso (best finish for him and McLaren this year) in 5th. The Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Rosberg ended in 6th and 8th respectively. Nobody expected this race to finish this way.

After Thoughts

The surprising results here in Hungary made the title race this year very interesting. Hamilton still leads with 202 points, Rosberg is behind him by 21 with 181 points, but Vettel is now also a contender with 160 points. The result of the race in Belgium about a month from now will truly have a big impact on the title race this season.