It was all smiles for the popular Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing as he clinched the second victory of his career in what had to be the most unpredictable race of the year at Hungary. Fernando Alonso managed to hold off Lewis Hamilton for second place, with the Briton completing the podium. Interestingly, none of the podium holders qualified in the top three, with pole holder, Nico Rosberg, completing the race in fourth.
The race started in soaking wet conditions, prompting every racer to use intermediate tyres during the start of the race. Hamilton’s disastrous qualifying had placed him to start the race in the pitlane, spun off during the opening lap as the result from lack of heat on his tyres and brakes. Chaos emerged when Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson (below) went off track and slammed into the trackside barriers.
This prompted a safety car period where all except the top four (Rosberg, Bottas, Vettel and Massa) dove into the pits for slicks when the track conditions improved. Leader Rosberg continued to fall back. With Rosberg’s misfortune, Hamilton continued to surge by overtaking the majority of the competitors and made it into top five, with Alonso at the highest front of the pack. Hamilton went ahead of Rosberg after making his last pitstop and was told by his team to allow Rosberg to pass him since Rosberg will need to go for pits later on. The Briton ignored this.
A few racing accidents took place, with Force India’s Sergio Perez (above) crashing on the exit of the last turn on lap 22 that prompted another safety car session. Deja vu almost hit Sebastian Vettel as he also lost control at the same section Perez did, but Vettel (below) managed to drive away out of the wall.
The race later drove spectators on the edge of their seats in the closing stages when Alonso, Hamilton and Ricciardo were fighting for the lead. The Australian had the better advantage of having fresher tyres, while Hamilton and Alonso were battling lack of grip and pace due to the older tyres. Ricciardo overtook Hamilton on the tight circuit of the Hungaroring, before eventually passing Alonso for the lead.
After Rosberg had made his final pitstop, he managed to catch up behind Hamilton, but it was too late for the German to snatch the final podium position from his archrival. With that, the driver’s championship is well alive with Rosberg holding an 11-point advantage over rival Hamilton, with Ricciardo now third with a distance of 60 points over the Briton.
The F1 2014 season has now reached the mid-point where we saw thrilling races from Bahrain, Monaco, Canada, Austria, Germany and the recently concluded Hungary. The F1 circus takes a summer break and will return on 24th of August for the Belgium Grand Prix at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps.
1. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault 70 laps 1hr 53m 05.058s
2. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 05.2s
3. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 05.8s
4. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 06.3s
5. Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes +00m 29.8s
6. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 31.4s
7. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault +00m 40.9s
8. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes +00m 41.3s
9. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault +00m 58.5s
10. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes +01m 07.2s
11. Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari +01m 08.1s
12. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes +01m 18.4s
13. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault +01m 24.0s
14. Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap
15. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Ferrari +1 lap
16. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Ferrari +1 lap
Rtd Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 32 laps completed
Rtd Kamui Kobayashi Japan Caterham-Renault 24 laps completed
Rtd Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes 22 laps completed
Rtd Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 14 laps completed
Rtd Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 10 laps completed
Rtd Marcus Ericsson Sweden Caterham-Renault 7 laps completed
Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 25.724s lap 64
[Image Source: AMG Mercedes Petronas]