Following the last Grand Prix in Britain, many expected more fireworks this week in Hungary. And that is exactly what happened. Like Silverstone, there was a major incident on the first lap. Unlike the British Grand Prix though, a new driver was crowed race winner in Hungary.
Valtteri Bottas Breaks Late; Takes Out Several Cars
It was raining at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix. For drivers this means slippery conditions and low visibility. More incidents are generally expected at races in the wet, but there really was no anticipating what happened on Sunday. Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes did not get off the line right away as the race began. Most likely trying to maintain his position, he broke late going into turn one and created a massive incident.
Bottas collided with back of McLaren’s Lando Norris which put an end to both of their races. But also involved in the incident were McLaren’s Daniel Riccardo, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll. Five drivers involved in the incident had their races ended there. As a result of the crash, the race was halted in order to clear debris from the track. Valtteri Bottas was also subsequently handed a 5-grid place penalty for the next Grand Prix for causing the incident.
Lewis Hamilton Again Does Some Magic
The pause to clean the track allowed for the rain to move away and the track to dry. All but one driver decided to then switch off their wet weather tires. That one driver was Lewis Hamilton who had to pit next lap allowing most of the remaining cars on track to all pass him. Following his pit stop, Hamilton was in third-to-last place.
What followed next was another masterclass drive and strategy execution from both Hamilton and his team. Coming from almost he back of the grid, Hamilton secured a 3rd place finish. The only driver that prevented him from making it further was Alpine’s Fernando Alonso who was defending against Hamilton in the weighing laps. With this finish, Hamilton and Mercedes took back the top spots in the driver’s and constructor’s championship.
Esteban Ocon Gets His First Win In Formula 1
Hamilton’s comeback was not the main story of this Grand Prix though. After making through the carnage on lap one, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon gained the lead of the Grand Prix and did not let it go. The young Frenchman has been racing with Alpine (then called Renault) since he entered F1. Alpine had not exactly been considered a race winning team during Ocon’s time there, but Ocon proved that they indeed are one.
It was not easy for Ocon. The French driver spent much of the race defending against Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel. Vettel himself claimed the second spot on the podium, marking his second podium with Aston Martin. The happiest man after the race though was Ocon. For the French driver, winning his first Grand Prix in France’s Formula 1 was undoubtedly a dream come true.
Update: Latter in the day on Sunday, the FIA disqualified Sebastian Vettel from the Hungarian Grand Prix. The stewards award this penalty since Aston Martin was unable to provide a fuel sample for examination.
‘From our Haus to yours’