Some of the best racing drivers in the world had to tackle tricky conditions during the first quarter of the Hungarian Grand Prix before making the best out of their strategy. Daniel Ricciardo ultimately come out on top, after executing some great moves during the last five laps of the race to record only his second Grand Prix victory. Fernando Alonso spent 32 laps on a single set of soft tyres to take second place while Lewis Hamilton rounded off the podium, having started from the pitlane.
Daniel Ricciardo’s RB10 might have been fitted with fresher tyres for the final 16 laps of the race, yet he had to pave his way to top glory. For this, he had to pass two world champions in form of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton who would never be ready to concede their place. But the Australian made a beautiful move around Hamilton and then passed Alonso on the following lap to take his second career victory. The last few laps were reminiscent of Canada where Ricciardo joined the list of Grand Prix winners.
Fernando Alonso received plaudits from the knowledgeable members of the F1 paddock and the fans alike when he completed nearly half of the 70 lap Hungarian Grand Prix on a single set of option tyres. While he wasn’t able to fend off a mounting challenge from three-stopping Ricciardo, he did manage to keep Hamilton at bay, whose last stint was equal in length to Alonso, but on the more durable prime tyre.
Having started from the pitlane after a fire during qualifying necessitated a change in chassis, Lewis Hamilton’s race looked set to end as soon as early as lap 1 when he kissed the barriers at turn 2. However, the Brit was lucky to carry on and at the end of lap 70, he was the third driver to cross the chequered flag. Between lights and out and the chequered flag, he made some great moves and used the safety car to his advantage to move up the order. It is arguable that his decision to not let Rosberg through cost Mercedes a race victory. What is clear is that the 29 year old will be ruthless when required - a characteristic that is not likely to win you a lot of fans, but one that will help you have make appearances in the annual FIA gala
Nico Rosberg did nothing wrong during the entire Hungarian GP weekend but was just unlucky to finish a distant fourth. Having taken pole position on Saturday, Rosberg built a 10 second gap over the rest of field in just eight laps, before an ill timed safety car put him out of position. During the second safety car period, Rosberg pitted for a second time and by then it was clear that Mercedes were splitting their strategies. It was during this third stint when Rosberg lost considerable time behind Hamilton which ultimately might have cost him the chance to record another Grand Victory victory and extend his lead at the top of the standings going into the summer break. Nevertheless, he was on the gearbox of third placed Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the race. Had the race been a lap or two longer, he would have gone on to finish second.
After being let down by his team in qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen was forced to start Sunday’s race from 16th on the grid. But the Finn showed sparks of his old talent come race day, gaining three places on the opening lap. As far as his strategy was concerned, he did two long stints on the faster but slightly less durable soft tyre to take sixth at the chequered - surprisingly his best result of the season.