Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel hangs onto a tense Hungarian GP ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes Valterri Bottas as both McLaren cars finish in the points for the first time this season.
Daniil Kvyat and Paul Di Resta will start on the Soft tyre while everyone else will start on the Supersoft tyre.
The lights go out and the top 4 slot into position with Sebastian Vettel leading down into turn 1. Both Red Bulls get involved with Max Verstappen forced wide at turn 1 and falling back behind Daniel Ricciardo. The pair go side-by-side into turn 2 when Verstappen locks-up and slide into Ricciardo! Ricciardo can’t keep control of his car and spins during turn 3. Everyone behind does well to avoided the spinning Red Bull. He parks his Red Bull up and knows it was Verstappen who hit him. The Safety car is called out with Vettel leading Kimi Raikkonen, Valterri Bottas, Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
Under the Safety car, both Sauber drivers of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson pit, swapping to the Soft tyre. The turn 2 collision is under investigation by the Stewards. Lap 5, the Safety car is in and racing continues on lap 6. Verstappen defends heavily from Lewis Hamilton behind while Carlos Sainz defends 6th place from Fernando Alonso. Lap 7, Verstappen has been awarded a 10 second time penalty by the Stewards for the incident with Daniel Ricciardo. Lap 9, Sebastian Vettel extends his lead over Kimi Raikkonen by 2.6 seconds.
Lap 18, Sebastian Vettel has a 3 second gap to Kimi Raikkonen in 2nd while Valterri Bottas falls to 9.1 seconds and Max Verstappen 11.3 seconds behind the race leader. Lap 19, after countless laps behind his Renault teammate, Jolyon Palmer, Nico Hulkenberg is allowed through into 11th place at turn 1. Lap 21, Romain Grosjean is told by team radio that he has a slow puncture. He pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. The Frenchman is slowing, he stops out of the way at turn 11. Lap 25, race leader, Vettel is having problems with his steering wheel. It’s straight as it should be but not in line, turning right. Vettel has a cushion of 1.9 seconds back to Raikkonen in 2nd.
Sebastian Vettel is not the only one with problems, it seem that both Mercedes drivers of Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton are struggling with radio communications back to the team. Lap 31, Bottas pits, its a slow stop as the left-front tyre took longer than it should. He appears back out in 5th on the Soft tyre. Lap 32, Hamilton pits, going onto the Soft tyre, its a better pit-stop for the Brit. Bottas emerges ahead but only just. Lap 33, Vettel pits, going onto the Soft tyre and dropping from 1st to 3rd. At the end of lap 33, Raikkonen pits after a good lap. He goes onto the Soft tyre but Vettel emerges just ahead of the Finn.
Lap 36, the battle for 6th position takes to the pits with Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso going onto the Soft tyre. Sainz emerges ahead as Lewis Hamilton continues to make inroads into Valterri Bottas. Lap 43, Max Verstappen pits from the lead. He takes his 10 second penalty and rejoins in 5th on the Soft tyre. Lap 45, Bottas is order by Mercedes to let Hamilton past and to see what he can do about the Ferrari’s ahead. Hamilton is instantly quicker and sets about catching the Ferrari’s. Lap 50, Alonso has managed to overtakes Sainz for 6th with Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Stoffel Vandoorne in 7th to 10th place. Tense times at Ferrari, Vettel lead by less than a second with Raikkonen only 1.6 ahead of Hamilton.
Lap 54, The race leader are catching Daniil Kvyat, Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, who run outside of the points. They clear them with Sebastian Vettel’s gap extended to 1.5 seconds and Lewis Hamilton’s gap to Kimi Raikkonen down to half a second. Lap 66, the original plan by Mercedes was to let Hamilton past and to see what he could do about the Ferrari’s. But to keep it fair, if Hamilton didn’t make any inroads/overtake them, he would let Bottas back past. The problem now is that Bottas is 5 second behind Hamilton with Max Verstappen 2 seconds behind the Finn.
Lap 69, Nico Hulkenberg has been told to retire the car. Lap 70, Kevin Magnussen has been given a 5 second time penalty for forcing another driver off the track which was Hulkenberg earlier on. Sebastian Vettel comes round to win ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. But where is Lewis Hamilton? Hamilton slows down in the last sector and by the last corner, allows Valterri Bottas through to take 3rd. Hamilton keeps his word and the part of “team player”, great stuff!
1.Vettel 2.Raikkonen 3.Bottas 4.Hamilton 5.Verstappen 6.Alonso 7.Sainz 8.Perez 9.Ocon 10.Vandoorne 11.Kvyat 12.Palmer 13.Magnussen 14.Stroll 15.Wehrlein 16.Ericsson DNF Hulkenberg, Di Resta, Grosjean and Ricciardo
- Sebastian Vettel secured his 2nd victory in Hungary and his 46th overall GP win. It was the first 1-2 for Ferrari in Hungary since 2004.
- Fernando Alonso secured his and McLaren’s best finish of the season in 6th. Alonso also picked up the Fastest Lap Award and the 23rd of his career. Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finished 10th and secured his first points finish of the year and a double points finish for McLaren.
- Sebastian Vettel 202pts
- Lewis Hamilton 188pts
- Valterri Bottas 169pts
- Daniel Ricciardo 117pts
- Kimi Raikkonen 116pts
- Max Verstappen 67pts
- Sergio Perez 56pts
- Esteban Ocon 45pts
- Carlos Sainz 35pts
- Nico Hulkenberg 26pts
- Mercedes 357pts
- Ferrari 318pts
- Red Bull 184pts
- Force India 101pts
- Williams 41pts
- Toro Rosso 39pts
- Haas 29pts
- Renault 26pts
- McLaren 11pts
- Sauber 5pts