With Mercedes AMG’s Nico Rosberg starting from pole in yesterday’s 2014 Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix, it looked like the German driver was set to bag yet another victory. It wasn’t to be, however, thanks to the strong performances of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Mercedes AMG’s other driver Lewis Hamilton, who finished the race in first, second and third positions, respectively. Incredibly, this was Hamilton’s second race in a row where he started at the back of the grid and still made the podium.
Though the race began in wet conditions nothing seemed out of the ordinary for the first few laps, with most teams using Pirelli’s medium tire. The big shake-up came on lap eight when Caterham's Marcus Ericsson lost control of his car in Turn Three and hit the barriers hard, bringing out the safety car. At the front, Rosberg, being chased by Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing, lost out on the immediate chance to pit for new tires, the trio having passed the pitlane entrance.
Many of the other drives, though, went to the pits during the safety car period and switched to Pirelli’s soft tire in anticipation of further improvements in conditions as the rain stayed away. And when the race leaders visited the pits on the following lap, those drivers that pitted earlier were catapulted to the front, with Ricciardo taking the lead. The Aussie was passed by Jenson Button on the restart, McLaren putting on fresh medium tires in the belief that more rain was due, but Button was soon back in the pits as the showers stayed away and he lost any advantage by being on the mediums.
Ricciardo was back in the pits on lap 23 as another accident brought out the safety car. This time it was Force India's Sergio Perez who made the mistake, the Mexican losing control of his car in the final turn and slamming into the pit wall. Once everyone had pitted, Ricciardo remained in the lead, but with Williams' Felipe Massa as well as Alonso and Hamilton right behind him.
Still the race was not over yet. Ricciardo needed to pit again for fresh tires as there were plenty of more laps to go. He pitted on lap 54 and dropped to fourth, behind new leader Alonso and then Hamilton and Ferrari’s other driver Kimi Räikkönen. The Finn needed to pit, pushing Ricciardo to third. Incredibly, the young Aussie would then muscle his way past the two world champion drivers ahead of him to secure victory, his second this season.
Alonso crossed the line second, after managing to hold off Hamilton and Rosberg in their much quicker Mercedes AMGs. Hamilton would be third and Rosberg fourth. Rounding out the top five was Massa.
In the 2014 Drivers’ Championship, Nico Rosberg remains in the lead with 202 points but thanks to his brilliant effort Lewis Hamilton is now just 11 points shy of his teammate’s tally. Ricciardo is a distant third with 131 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes AMG has 393 points versus the 219 points of Red Bull Racing and 142 points of Ferrari.
Teams now take a four-week summer break before the Belgium Grand Prix gets underway in late August.
Below are top ten results of the 2014 Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix:
1) Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
2) Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
3) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG
4) Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG
5) Felipe Massa, Williams
6) Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari
7) Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing
8) Valtteri Bottas, Williams
9) Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso
10) Jenson Button, McLaren