Hamilton leads Lotus duo to Hungarian GP win
Lewis Hamilton has won the Hungarian GP at Budapest after fending off challenges from both Lotus cars. Kimi Räikkonen finished second, a mere second behind the winner while the second Lotus of Romain Grosjean completes the podium in third place.
The weather is sunny on race day. Ambient temperature is 30°C while the track is 46°C. This may change though as rain is expected, but at the start of the race it is not clear whether this rain will arrive before or after the end of the Grand Prix.
The top 10 are starting on option tyres as they qualified on that compound. These tyres have been approximately a full second a lap faster than the primes. Mark Webber in 11th starts on the harder tyre and could look at a longer first stint to attempt to move forward as others stop earlier.
After the warm-up lap and when everybody placed their cars on the starting grid, the normal starting procedure was aborted as Michael Schumacher stalled on the grid. This meant the beginning of another formation lap while Schumacher is being pulled into the pitlane to re-start his engine. The German noted the clutch acted strangely and the engine just cut off.
The next start is the good one. Hamilton launched perfectly and retained his first place. Grosjean was challenged by Vettel in the first corner, but he turned out wide, requiring Vettel to back out of it and eventually get passed by Button himself. Alonso moved up to 5th after passing Raikkonen. The Finn immediately after was on the radio asking why KERS was not working.
Mark Webber meanwhile made a great start and moved up from 11th to 7th. Senna is 8th, ahead of Massa, Hulkenberg, Rosberg, Maldonado, Pérez, Di Resta, Ricciardo, Vergne, Kovalainen, Petrov, Kobayashi, Pic, Glock, De La Rosa, Karthikeyan and then Schumacher. The latter already made a stop after completing the first lap, changing from options to a new set of prime tyres.
On lap 4 Schumacher is handed a drive through penalty for speeding in the pitlane. He may have been a little bit too enthousiast to get to the end of the pitlane after the Mercedes team restarted his car's engine.
On lap 5 Glock makes a spin and sees both HRT cars pass him.
By lap 9 it is clear that Grosjean is easily able to match Hamilton's pace. After creating a gap of about 2 to 3 seconds in the first few laps, Grosjean upped his pace and is setting consecutive fastest laps to slowly reduce the gap to the leader. Button is a distant 3 seconds behind, followed by Vettel another second further back. Alonso is again 2.5s down on Vettel but Kimi Raikkonen is clearly able to go faster than the Ferrari at this stage of the race.
Mark Webber, driving on the harder prime tyres is alrso able to match the pace of Alonso and Raikkonen.
On lap 15 Button goes a little wide through turn 4 and gets Vettel right on his tail. At the end of that lap, Button is in the pits and rejoins the track in 10th place, ahead of Pérez. The next lap Senna, Rosberg and Di Resta are in as well.
Another lap later, while Button is asked to push hard, Vettel pits and takes on another set of options. Alonso meanwhile takes on primes. Hamilton stops on lap later, along with Massa moments later.
While Alonso is losing time behind Pérez, Hamilton rejoined the track in 4th. One lap later Grosjean pits and takes on another set of option tyres.
On lap 21 Raikkonen pits from the lead, along with Webber. Alonso meanwhile passed Pérez on the run between turn 3 and 4 and therefore managed to stay just ahead of Webber who rejoined the track behind him.
Pérez pits on lap 21 to take on prime tyres after getting passed around the outside by Senna through turn 2.
On lap 23, Hamilton is still in the lead, but Grosjean is rapidly closing down the gap thanks to his option tyres. He is now just 1.3s behind the leader. Button in 3rd is 6s behind Grosjean and running on primes, still with Vettel right behind him (on options). Raikkonen is 5 seconds behind and has 5 seconds in hand over Alonso in 6th. The Ferrari is closely shadowed by Webber.
On lap 26 Grosjean made a mistake in sector 1 and lost more than a full second to Hamilton. Only by lap 31 the gap reduced to 1 second again.
Vettel meanwhile asks his team to fiddle with the strategy in order to get him ahead of Button. The Red Bull driver clearly knows he's quicker than the McLaren ahead of him.
On lap 35, Button returns to the pits to switch back to option tyres. Few laps earlier, his race engineer said they had to switch to plan B and change the primes for options soon. At the same time a similar message was passed to Hamilton. Button rejoined the track in 8th, closely behind Bruno Senna.
Button's pitstop unleashed Vettel who answered immediately with a fastest lap, a full second quicker than the two cars ahead of him.
By lap 38 Hamilton is still on his prime tyres and notes through the radio that the tyres are going away. Alonso is in similar trouble as he begins to have more and more trouble to keep Webber at bay.
At the end of that lap Vettel pits and changes from options to primes and rejoins in 6th, ahead of Senna and Button.
Grosjean pits the next lap and is on a similar strategy to Vettel. He rejoins the track in between Alonso and Vettel. Webber also pitted and gets back on track in 9th place.
Hamilton pitted a lap later and rejoins ahead of Alonso who still has to make a stop. The Ferrari however is being closely challenged by Grosjean and Vettel within 2 seconds behind him.
Raikkonen meanwhile is running a long second stint on options and is pushing hard to extend his lead before his own final stop.
Interestingly, on lap 44 the cars from P3 to P7 are all within a few seconds off of each other. There is only a big gap of 22 seconds between Senna and Rosberg in 10th.
Lap 45 is moneytime for Raikkonen as its his last lap on options before his final stop. The Finn has a good pitstop and rejoins the track aside of his teammate Grosjean. His fighting spirit paid off and he maanged to get out of turn 1 ahead of Grosjean. The fight was close but fair. Few moments later Button is also back in the pits for another change to prime tyres. He drops back to 7th.
Raikkonen obviously had a tremendous middle stint and after his stop is just 3.5 seconds behind the leading McLaren with still 20 laps to go.
Alonso meanwhile is in 6th after his final stop and just tenths ahead of Button. The Spaniard is moving backwards in this race, just like Massa. The Italian cars seem to have trouble switching the tyres on.
On lap 49 Maldonado attempts a pass on Di Resta and slides into the side of the Force India. Once again he seemed too eager to make a pass work, effectively bumping his front left wheel into the right sidepod of Di Resta. An investigation is immediately announced and another lap later a drive-through is handed to Maldonado.
By lap 53 Raikkonen has closed the gap down to 0.9 seconds. He is also told by his race engineer to increase KERS charge to 40 kilowatts in an attempt to ease a pass when the opportunity shows up.
On lap 56 Webber is in the pits again for another different set of option tyres. 3 laps later his teammate is also in again, changing from primes to options. Vettel stays 4th and rejoins the track just ahead of Alonso and Button.
On lap 60 Schumacher pits and abandons the race, allowing the team to change a gearbox without penalty for the next race, the Belgian GP at Spa-Francorchamps in 4 weeks time.
Raikkonen meanwhile is still within a second of Hamilton, and contrary to his team mate Grosjean, when he was behind Hamilton, the Finn does not make a single mistake.
On lap 65 Karthikeyan hits the barriers and abandons the race with a broken front left suspension.
The penultimate lap marks another fastest lap for Vettel who is on the ragged edge during his final short stint. He sets a 1:24.136 to return to just 3.4 seconds off of Grosjean.
This means Hamilton wins after dominating the weekend while Lotus does a great job to get both drivers on the podium.
|2||9||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus-Renault||69||+1.0 secs||5||18|
|3||10||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||69||+10.5 secs||2||15|
|4||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||69||+11.6 secs||3||12|
|5||5||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||69||+26.6 secs||6||10|
|6||3||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||69||+30.2 secs||4||8|
|7||19||Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||69||+33.8 secs||9||6|
|8||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||69||+34.4 secs||11||4|
|9||6||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||69||+38.3 secs||7||2|
|10||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||69||+51.2 secs||13||1|
|11||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||69||+57.2 secs||10|
|12||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||69||+62.8 secs||12|
|13||18||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Renault||69||+63.6 secs||8|
|14||15||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||69||+64.4 secs||14|
|15||16||Daniel Ricciardo||STR-Ferrari||68||+1 Lap||18|
|16||17||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Ferrari||68||+1 Lap||16|
|17||20||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham-Renault||68||+1 Lap||19|
|18||14||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||67||+2 Laps||15|
|19||21||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham-Renault||67||+2 Laps||20|
|20||25||Charles Pic||Marussia-Cosworth||67||+2 Laps||21|
|21||24||Timo Glock||Marussia-Cosworth||66||+3 Laps||22|
|22||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||66||+3 Laps||23|
|Ret||23||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT-Cosworth||60||+9 Laps||24|
|Ret||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG||58||+11 Laps||17|