Ocon wins at Hungary after first lap carnage

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Esteban Ocon secured a surprise win at the Hungarian Grand Prix after the usual contenders eliminated one another in the first corner at the start. Sebastian Vettel finished second, Lewis Hamilton salvaged with third after ending up at the back early on.

A damp track and a prospect of slightly more rain in the first 20 minutes greeted the Formula One drivers at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix. The scene triggered every driver to start on intermediate drivers, except for Giovinazzi who turned into the pitlane at the end of the warm-up lap to change to intermediates and start from the grid, behind everybody else.

Hamilton made a strong start, but Bottas had incredible difficulty getting off the line. He got swamped left and right, but once at the first corner, so many went in too quickly and slid off, thereby also pushing Verstappen off the track, even though the latter looked fine to take the corner. Norris however was bumped into by Bottas and then bumped into Verstappen.

The events also saw Leclerc incur damage, resulting in a DNF for Leclerc, Bottas. Stroll also badly judged grip into the first corner and want hard into Leclerc, knocking them both out of the race before they even turned in to Turn 1.

The safety car was brought out on track and Verstappen, Mazepin, Norris, Giovinazzi all pitted. They all returned to the track, only to go back to the pits one lap later as the race was stopped to allow marshalls to clean all the debris that was left out on track.

As Hamilton stayed far ahead of the trouble, Ocon was lucky to be on the very inside into Turn 1, happily ending up in second place. Vettel followed up in third, ahead of Sainz, Tsunoda, Latifii, Alonso, Russell, Raikkonen and Schumacher. Gasly ended up 11th, followed by Ricciardo, Verstappen, Mazepin, Norris and Giovinazzi.

During the stoppage, Norris was added to the list of DNFs as McLaren judged there was too much damage.

Meanwhile, the Red Bull mechanics were hard at work trying to mitigate the damage on Verstappen's right barge board. In fact, mechanics focused of course to sort small bits and pieces, as the right hand barge board was completely gone on Verstappen's car, surely causing a considerable reduction of downforce.

32 minutes after the initial start, the cars left the pits again to to a warm-up lap and take their places for the start. But, as they arrived to the pit entry, Hamilton was the only one to take his spot in the grid, as everybody else moved into the pitlane to change to dry weather tyres.

Hamilton's stop one lap later resulting in Ocon leading the race, ahead of Vettel, Latifi, Tsunoda, Sainz, Alonso, Russell, Raikkonen, Ricciardo and Schumacher. Hamilton returned to the track dead last, but after just one lap already right behind Giovinazzi in 13th.

By that time, Mazepin retired after an released car clipped his right front as he turned right to take his spot for the tyre change. The incident broke the steering rod on his Haas, so there was nothing more to be done. Raikkonen was later given a 10s time penalty for this unsafe release.

By lap 7, with the track virtually dry everywhere, Ocon led the race with 1.8s in hand over Vettel. Latifi followed 6s down the froad, with Tsunoda and Sainz closely behind him.

By lap 16, only two cars managed to make a pass. Hamilton on Giovinazzi and then Verstappen passed Schumacher in a muscled move through Turn 3. Schumacher subsequently lost positions to Gasly and Hamilton in the next two laps and was left in 13th, only ahead of Giovinazzi who was earlier given a 10s stop-and-go penalty for speeding in the pitlane.

On lap 20, Hamilton pitted and changed to hard tyres, trying to benefit from some clean air and the fresh tyres. Verstappen and Ricciardo reacted the lap after, but as they returned to the track, Hamilton breezed past both of them and set fastest lap right away.

One lap later, Tsunoda pitted and rejoined in 6th. Latifi pitted another lap later and had a poor stop, returning to the track 2s behind Latifi, and 4.5s ahead of Hamilton who had just passed Schumacher for 8th.

With Latifi gone, Sainz and Alonso upped their pace and slowly started to cut into the 12s gap to Vettel up in front.

On lap 31, Gasly pitted from 5th and returned to the track in 8th. A single lap later, Hamilton passed Tsunoda for 5th, triggering Sainz to pit to cover Hamilton's charge. The Spanish Ferrari driver came back out on track in 4th, 3 seconds ahead of Hamilton.

When Mick Schumacher pitted from 12th position, the only drivers yet to pit since the start were Ocon, Vettel and Alonso, the three drivers up ahead.

Vettel pitted on lap 36 and Ocon on lap 37, bringing Alonso in the lead, 5.7s ahead of Ocon. Vettel was right behind Ocon and eagerly looking for a place to pass as the German had a great out-lap to sort the 1.8s deficit he had to Ocon before the stop. Alonso pitted 2 laps later and returned to the track in 5th place, 8.5s behind Hamilton and 7.5s ahead of Tsunoda.

Having been stuck behind Sainz and complaining about tyres, Hamilton got pitted from 4th and returned to the track in 5th, 15s behind Alonso, but with fresh medium compound Pirellis on his Mercedes. Hamilton immediately set the timing screen alive, and with that in mind, Alonso pushed on to try to make it past Sainz.

By lap 54, Hamilton was all over the back of Alonso's Alpine, but time and time again Alonso defended well despite Hamilton's clear pace advantage. Sainz meanwhile only stayed out just ahead, but enough to keep Alonso out of DRS. Alonso defended fiercely to the point that Hamilton started complaining, but it was only on lap 64 that Hamilton eventually made it past the Spaniard.

The Mercedes was so much faster than he was immediately up behind Sainz's Ferrari and passed him on the second attempt.

Hamilton continued to fly and went on to seek the leading duo, who had a 6-second advantage. The Mercedes driver finished third nonetheless, but even less than a second behind Vettel.

Esteban Ocon won his first Formula One race of his career, basically leading the event from start to finish after navigating carefully through the events at the first corner, lucky he was on the inside and away from cars going too quickly.


131Esteban OconAlpine Renault702:04:43.19925
25Sebastian VettelAston Martin Mercedes70+1.859s18
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes70+2.736s15
455Carlos SainzFerrari70+15.018s12
514Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault70+15.651s10
610Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri Honda70+63.614s9
722Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri Honda70+75.803s6
86Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes70+77.910s4
963George RussellWilliams Mercedes70+79.094s2
1033Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda70+80.244s1
117Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari69+1 lap0
123Daniel RicciardoMcLaren Mercedes69+1 lap0
1347Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari69+1 lap0
1499Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari69+1 lap0
NC9Nikita MazepinHaas Ferrari3DNF0
NC4Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes2DNF0
NC77Valtteri BottasMercedes0DNF0
NC11Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda0DNF0
NC16Charles LeclercFerrari0DNF0
NC18Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes0DNF0