Vettel takes emotional Hungarian Grand Prix win

BY CHARL BOSCH - JULY 27, 2015

Former four times World Champion, Sebastian Vettel, scored the second victory of the season for Ferrari ahead of the Red Bull teammates Danill Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo, after an incident filled Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring yesterday.

In a race overshadowed by the death of former Marussia driver Jules Bianchi the previous week, Vettel produced a scintillating start from third on the grid, and never seemed challenged on route to equalling former three-times champion Ayrton Senna’s tally of 41 victories.

“It is an incredible day, but this victory is for Jules. It has been an incredibly tough week and for all of us it has been very difficult,” an emotional Vettel said on the podium after dedicating his victory to Bianchi, who died in a Nice hospital following massive head injuries sustained in a freak accident with a removal tractor at last year’s typhoon affected Japanese Grand Prix.

“For all of us who were on the grid in Suzuka last year and are on the grid this year, Jules will always remain a part of us when we jump in the car when we race,” Vettel said, having earlier finished his slowing down lap with the words, “Merci, Jules. Cette victoire est pour vous (This victory is for you). You will always be in our hearts. We know sooner or later you would have been in this team,” in reference to the Frenchman being part of the Scuderia’s young driver programme.

“We dedicate this victory to the memory of Jules Bianchi, a fantastic guy whom we all miss terribly,” Ferrari president, Sergio Marchionne, told the BBC after his predecessor, Luca Di Montezemolo, earlier revealed that Bianchi would have replaced Vettel’s current teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, when the 2007 champion’s contract expired.

Starting behind the Mercedes pair of championship leader Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, Vettel got the jump at the start and led going into the turn one, while a similarly fast starting Raikkonen rounded up the Silver Arrows by taking second from Rosberg at turn three.

Having dropped to fourth, Hamilton’s attempt to take third from his teammate on the turn to the turn seven chicane, backfired as he locked up and ran across to gravel, eventually coming back on in tenth place behind the Williams of Felipe Massa.

A storming drive saw the Brit working his way up back to fourth behind his teammate, who had started reeling in Raikkonen as the Ferrari began suffering powerunit problems.

Proceedings were then halted on lap 43 by the deployment of the safety car following a spectacular accident for Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg. Running within the top ten, a catastrophic front wing failure saw the part breaking off and becoming lodged underneath the car at some 300 km/h on the main straight.

Unable to steer and with all four wheels locked, the Le Mans 24 hours winner was sent over the turn one run-off area and into the tyre barrier, fortunately emerging with no harm done.

With the track covered in shards of carbon-fibre, the cars were led through the pits with many taking the opportunity the pit, the most noticeable being fourth placed Ricciardo who opted for the faster soft tyres instead of the hard compound on the Mercedes.

The decision saw the Australian getting a better drive out of the final corner at the restart, diving down the outside of the Mercedes to position him on the inside for turn two. Unable to slow down enough, Hamilton locked up and ran into the side of the Red Bull, damaging his front wing and under severe pressure from Kyvat, the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen.

Struggling due to a loss of downforce, Hamilton ran wide at turn five with Kvyat forced to take avoiding action. In the squabble, contact with Verstappen’s left front wing endplate left Bottas with an immediate right rear puncture and out of contention.

With Hamilton back out after a new nose and a latter drive through penalty for the incident, his chances of retaining the championship lead appeared over as Rosberg was now in second and Ricciardo third, despite the damage to the Red Bull. Having slipped down as his problems worsened, Raikkonen eventually retired with no electrical power on lap 55.

Taking advantage of his fresher tyres, Ricciardo came back from a distance on lap 64, diving passed Rosberg at turn one, but ran wide and clipped the Mercedes’ left rear tyre as the German came across. Forced to drive almost an entire lap with the puncture, Rosberg eventually recovered to finish eighth while Hamilton salvaged valuable points to come sixth, later taking full blame for the various dramas.

“I don't know if it was a lack of concentration or what. I was all over the place. I really don't have any words to describe what happened. It was a really bad performance from me,” he told the BBC afterwards.

Behind the top three, Verstappen scored his best finish of the season in fourth while more encouragement followed for McLaren Honda with Fernando Alonso fifth and Jenson Button ninth in the team’s first double finish of the season.

Sandwiched between the Mercedes pair, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean came home seventh while his teammate Pastor Maldonado crossed the line in 14th after picking penalties for a collision with the second Force India of Sergio Perez, speeding in the pitlane and overtaking under safety car conditions. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson took the final point for tenth place.

The Formula 1 circus now heads into its summer break before the second half starts at Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgium Grand Prix on August 23rd.

 

BRITISH GRAND PRIX RESULTS

Position Driver Team Gap
1. Sebatian Vettel Ferrari 1:46:09.985
2. Danill Kvyat Red Bull +15.748
3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +24.084
4. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso +44.251
5. Fernando Alonso McLaren +49.079
6. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +52.025
7. Romain Grosjean Lotus +58.578
8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +58.876
9. Jenson Button McLaren +01:07.028
10. Marcus Ericsson Sauber +01:09:130
11. Felipe Nasr Sauber +01:13.458
12. Felipe Massa Williams +01:14.278
13. Valtteri Bottas Williams +01:20.228
14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus +01:25.142
15. Roberto Mehri Manor +2 Laps
16. Will Stevens Manor +4 Laps
DNF Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 60 laps, mechanical
DNF Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 55 laps, powerunit
DNF Sergio Perez Force India 53 laps, brakes
DNF Nico Hulkenberg Force India 43 laps, accident

 

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Position Driver Team Points
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 202
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 181
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 160
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams 77
5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 76
6. Felipe Massa Williams 74
7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 51
8. Danill Kvyat Red Bull 45
9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 24
10. Romain Grosjean Lotus 23
11. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 22
12. Felipe Nasr Sauber 16
13. Sergio Perez Force India 15
14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 12
15. Fernando Alonso McLaren 11
16. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 9
17. Jenson Button McLaren 6
18. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 6
19. Roberto Mehri Manor 0
20. Will Stevens Manor 0
21. Kevin Magnussen McLaren 0

 

IMAGE sourced from www.autoblog.com