McLaren's Lewis Hamilton collected his second grand prix win of the season with a brilliant drive in Hungary
Matt Burt
29 July 2012

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton picked up his second victory on the season with a dominant performance in the Hungarian Grand Prix today (Sunday).

The 2008 world champion dominated qualifying on Saturday to secure pole position – McLaren’s 150th – and made a peach of a start to grab the lead.

His getaway was so good that he had time to run very wide into the right-handed Turn One and still emerged in front. Behind him, Sebastian Vettel attacked Romain Grosjean, but as the reigning world champion got edged wide by the Frenchman, Jenson Button pulled a great opportunist move to nip past Vettel into third place.

Grosjean, whose Lotus is traditionally easy on Pirelli’s tyre compounds, kept leader Hamilton in check during the early stages of the race.

Button’s tenure of third lasted 15 laps, at which point he began to lose grip and peeled into the pits for a fresh set of medium-compound tyres. But when Vettel and Fernando Alonso came in for their first stops two laps later, Button regained the position.

Hamilton came in at the end of lap 18, and the stop wasn’t up to McLaren’s usual mega-swift standards due to a problem with one of the wheel guns. He lost more than a second, but when Grosjean came in a lap later, he made a slow getaway, meaning the Briton maintained his lead.

Grosjean switched to a used set of soft tyres, which proved competitive and enabled him to briefly edge closer to medium-shod Hamilton during the next stint. But the Briton’s more durable tyres enabled him to keep his rival at bay.

Vettel also chose the soft tyre for the second stint of the race, and closed in on third-placed Button, who was on medium rubber like his McLaren team-mate.

Button popped in for his second stop on lap 34 and his race took a turn for the worst. He came out behind seventh-placed Bruno Senna, which cost him a vital few seconds, and the team also switched him onto a three-stop strategy, a decision that would cost him a potential podium.

With Button out of the way, Vettel put in some stunningly fast laps in a bid to leapfrog the Englishman. The German came in at the end of lap 38, and successfully jumped Button, who was still stuck behind Senna’s Williams.

Grosjean came in on lap 39 for medium tyres, with the gap at less than a second between him and the leader. Hamilton came in a lap later and successfully retained his lead, and edged away from his rival.

But as the challenge from one Lotus faded, the other one picked up the slack. Kimi Räikkönen – who had made a slow start and grappled with a malfunctioning KERS - set some stunningly fast laps during a long stint in the middle of the race to leapfrog Vettel, Alonso and emerged from the pits alongside Grosjean as they charged into Turn One.

Räikkönen had the inside line and forcefully edged his team-mate on the kerbs and seized second place. It was Kimi at his inspired best, and he wasn’t done yet. When he emerged from the pits he was just 4.4secs behind Hamilton, with tyres that were five laps fresher. He sliced huge chunks from the McLaren driver’s advantage over the next few laps.

But as soon as Räikkönen got in the dirty air behind Hamilton’s car, he was unable to make enough headway to mount an attack on the leader.

His only chance of victory was if Hamilton chewed up his tyres, but the Briton drove smoothly and duly notched up his 19th career victory and his third at the Hungaroring circuit.

Vettel dived in for another new set of soft tyres with ten laps to go, but emerged still in fourth, just ahead of Alonso and Button. He tore huge chunks of time out of Grosjean’s 17sec advantage, but wasn’t quite able to get on terms with the Frenchman.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished fifth, a result that means he continues to lead the world championship as F1 heads into its summer break. The Spaniard is 20 points ahead of Mark Webber, with Vettel a further two points back and Hamilton now up to fourth in the standings.

Provisional results

Hungarian Grand Prix, round 11/20, 29 July

1 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)

2 Kimi Räikkönen (Lotus)

3 Romain Grosjean (Lotus)

4 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

5 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

6 Jenson Button (McLaren)

7 Bruno Senna (Williams)

8 Mark Webber (Red Bull)

9 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)

10 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

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Comments
12

29 July 2012

- Lewis Hamilton hangs on for Hungarian Grand Prix Victory

- Lewis Hamilton harried all the way in Hungarian Grand Prix Victory

- Lewis Hamilton holds off Lotus challenge Hungarian Grand Prix Victory

Matt Burt wrote:

Lewis Hamilton storms to Hungarian Grand Prix Victory

- probably the most inaccurate and disingenuous headline I've seen in a long time.

 

29 July 2012

 Yes, I think so.

 

 

29 July 2012

Disagree. Hamilton dominated the weekend, qualifying on pole by a significant margin by this year's standards. He led every lap that he could, disregarding shuffles caused by pitstops.

 

He effectively managed his rear tyres in a car that has, in other races this year, been harsh on its rubber. He used his pace in sector three to stay clear of his rivals, and neither Grosjean nor Raikkonen could get close enough to mount an proper attack on Lewis, despite having a clear pace advantage at many stages of the race and the benefit of DRS.

 

If the headline said Lewis 'hung on', to me that implies a certain degree of lack of control over the situation, but even Kimi admitted with a handful of laps to go that he was unlikely to get close enough to mount a challenge.

 

'Harried' or 'holds off' are good alternatives, mind you, but I feel both belittle what was a perfect tactical performance in terms of what is asked of the drivers by this year's rules and technical equipment.

 

Would have loved to have seen Kimi throw one up the inside of Turn One from a long way back, but his time will come this year...

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 July 2012

He knew exactly what he was doing. Considering he spent a large part the race on mediums when everyone else was on soft says a lot for his ability and he ran the end out of the race with a carefully controlled 1 second gap, not too much, not too little.

enough of the sour grapes!

 

29 July 2012

 

The Apprentice wrote:

He knew exactly what he was doing. Considering he spent a large part the race on mediums when everyone else was on soft says a lot for his ability and he ran the end out of the race with a carefully controlled 1 second gap, not too much, not too little.

enough of the sour grapes!

 

Don't waste your breath. This is Lewis Hamilton we're talking about. Even if he won the race on roller skates people would still be complaining.

30 July 2012

Reakky wanted Kimi to get on the top step - but the Hampster did enough controlled driving to never allow it. Grosjean only wet his pants once on a wide, and probably the other end when Kimi held him off exiting the pits. Schuey needs to retire. And once more disappointed in Button. Something wrong with his car for sure. He likes it up front and I expected a 1=2 finish....:-( Also getting sadder every race with PdR who seems to get points but going backwards. Kimi in that car would do way better. Talking of which - rumbles are that Kimi is going to Ferrari for his swan song (probably 2 year contract) That could be interesting as his team mate will be about his equal in ability

what's life without imagination

30 July 2012

Luck of the God's maybe,as usual it came down to whose tyres didn't 'fall of the Cliff' ,went past there sell buy date,he didn't exactly run away from them all,infact he was lucky at the very first corner, stormed away?......what nonsense.

Peter Cavellini.

30 July 2012

Peter Cavellini wrote:

.....infact he was lucky at the very first corner,.

Luck had nothing to do with it, he went wide but had such a good start he still held onto the lead.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

30 July 2012

It was a superbly-judged drive from Lewis (although maybe not storming. Dominant, definitely), but it was without a doubt the most boring race of 2012. 

The Michael Schumacher Comedy Hour at the beginning was the only genuinely interesting action, after which it settled down into the normal Hungaroring snoozefest.  Hardly attracting viewers when there is a smorgasboard of sporting excellence going on right here in London at the moment. 

Here we see the conundrum of Pirelli's position: make the tyres durable and nothing happens; make the tyres degrade and the drivers end up tiptoeing around on eggshells, unable to control their 650hp cars. F1 2012 is still yet to find the happy medium of solid racing without any randomness.

Hopefully when everybody reassembles in 5 weeks' time in Spa, we'll be back to exciting racing.  Place your bets on who Maldonado will hit next time round.

30 July 2012

disco.stu wrote:

 Place your bets on who Maldonado will hit next time round.

In a move so crass that it defies all known laws of physics, he will hit himself.

 

 

.

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