Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari got back to winning ways at the Hungarian Grand Prix to open a 14 points lead in the drivers championship over closest rival Lewis Hamilton who gave up a podium place to his team mate Valterri Bottas after a failed to catch the red cars ahead. Kimi Raikkonen made it a perfect one-two finish for the Scuderia, the team’s first at Hungaroring since Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichelo in 2004.
McLaren scored double points for the first time this season and move from bottom of the Constructors standing with Fernando Alonso’s sixth place finish and setting the fastest lap of the race. Carlos Sainz lost out in a battle with his compatriot, bring home his Toro Rosso to seventh ahead of the two Force India’s Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon. Stoffel Vandoorne in the second McLaren, opened his account for the season by claiming the last point at stake.
The early collision in turn two involving the Red Bulls brought out the Safety Car for the first five laps. Afterwards, the two Ferrari’s with their blistering pace together moved ahead of the field. However, Vettel came on the radio halfway through the race complaining about having problem with steering in the straights.
The German was told by his engineer to avoid the kerbs and in doing so it not only brought Raikkonen much closer to him but also the two Mercedes drivers.
The Silver Arrows, having noticed the slowing pace of the race leader issued an order for Hamilton to pass his team mate on lap 46 to attack the Ferraris. The Briton getting decent exits in the corners came within 0.7s of Raikkonen but had to back off several times after being stuck in dirty air.
Raikkonen on other hand had the pace to overtake Vettel but fended off the Mercedes to achieve the team’s objective of a one-two finish. Hamilton as per team arrangement made way for Bottas who was being charged on by Verstappen, to reclaim third place.
Daniil Kvyat finished 11th ahead of Renault’s Jolyon Palmer and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen followed by Lance Stroll. The two Saubers of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson finished 15th and 16th respectively with Nico Hulkenberg the last to cross the finish line.
Williams’ reserve driver Paul di Resta, who replaced the unfit Felipe Massa had to retire with oil leak on lap 62. Romain Grosjean’s race was cut short after his front right tyre was not properly fitted in a pitstop.
Mercedes lead the constructor’s standings with 357 against Ferrari’s 318. Red Bull sit a lonely third place with 184, Force India on 101 and Williams stay fifth with 41 points. Toro Rosso are on 39, Haas 29 and Renault 26. McLaren increase their tally to 11 to jump Sauber on 5 points.
Formula One goes on a month-long summer break and return to action on August 27 in Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix.