F1 “MyDriver” goes out on a high

After 8 enthralling seasons, “MyDriver” a YouTube series created by YouTuber aarava ended in dramatic fashion as the Brit bet season-long rivals Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly and Audi’s Carlos Sainz Jr to pick up his 4th Drivers Championship.

15/08/18

“MyDriver” originally started out as a career mode in which aarava, who partnered Jenson Button at McLaren, had just graduated from GP2 to F1 after winning the junior series. The idea behind the concept was would could of happened if the Honda engine was good and McLaren were able to compete at the top. “MyDriver” is all about the whole package of a season of racing at the highest level, the race weekend itself and most importantly, the story behind it.

Taking place on the official F1 games, 2015, 2016 and 2017, it involves a high amount of modding in which aarava does himself.

But after 8 seasons, the series came to a close in Japan where both championships were decided.

Before the Season Finale

It’s 2022, aarava has joined Ferrari alongside Charles Leclerc in his final season of racing in F1 before his retirement. The cars are nothing anyone has seen before with double the amount of downforce and with more power thanks to the V10 Hybrid engines. The introduction of 3 sprint races have been a great addition to the calendar and has thrown up some interesting results. After finishing in 2nd in Australia, aarava comes in the final round 2 points behind Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly with the Audi of Carlos Sainz 7 points behind aarava in 3rd. The Constructors Championship can also be decided in Japan. Leclerc claimed his first win of the season in Australia and that helped Ferrari’s chances but the Scuderia are only one point ahead of Red Bull. In typical fashion, it all comes down to the final race.

The Finale

Gasly, Sainz and aarava have all been title rivals throughout the 8 seasons but never at the same time. Initially it was a poor qualifying for aarava with the Brit the last of the championship rivals down in 7th. Sainz kept his hopes up by taking Pole Position while Gasly lined up in 4th. After a great start, aarava found himself in 3rd after decisive overtakes on Renault’s Jack Aitken, team-mate Leclerc, Mercedes’s Max Verstappen and the other Renault of Esteban Ocon.

Gasly was the first one to blink as the Frenchman dived into the pits with aarava following the next lap. aarava came out just behind Gasly as the Red Bull driver was held up in traffic. Sainz came out as aarava approached turn 1 with both side-by-side through turns 3 and 4 with Sainz getting ahead. Before the lap ends, aarava manages to overtake Sainz and sets about catching Gasly. What is evidently clear is that it is starting to rain. Everyone dives into the pits for the Intermediate tyre.

Leclerc stayed out one extra lap and was able to jump Sainz effectively ending the Spaniard’s hopes of a second world championship. Gasly and aarava do battle over 4th and 5th with the former Red Bull team-mates going toe-to-toe. Ahead of the battling duo, Jaguar’s Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren’s Lando Norris and Mercedes’s Mick Schumacher occupied the top 3 places as thanks to strategy they didn’t have to pit until the rain fell gaining a whole load of “free” positions.

Everyone pits once again on the Intermediate tyre as it looks like the rain is here to stay. On lap 22, aarava finally overtakes Gasly for 4th and the pair begin to catch the top 3. After making a slight mistake, Sainz overtakes Leclerc for 6th but that won’t be enough for Sainz at the moment to take the championship. The track is drying and the field pit for the dry tyres. aarava is able to unleash the full potential of the Ferrari and after a mistake by Vandoorne, aarava occupies 3rd with Gasly in 5th. Time has run out for Gasly as Vandoorne keeps ahead until the chequered flag and it’s enough for aarava to take his 4th Driver’s Championship by 2 points head of Gasly. McLaren’s Norris takes his maiden F1 win and with Leclerc in 7th, it’s enough for Ferrari to take home the Constructors Championship.

 

Alonso not racing in F1 in 2019

Two time world champion, Fernando Alonso, has announced that he will not be competing in Formula One in 2019. The McLaren driver is likely to compete in either Indycar or the World Endurance Championship but hints his F1 career isn’t over as he suggests he could return to the sport.

15/08/18

McLaren and Alonso announced on Tuesday that the Spaniard will not be racing in F1 in 2019, saying that he had made his mind up earlier in the year, but is leaving the door open to a potential return to the sport if some circumstances improve.

At 37 years old and 17 F1 seasons, Alonso has taken 32 Victories, 23 Pole Positions, 22 Fastest Laps, 97 Podiums and 2 World Drivers Championships.

Alonso made his F1 debut in 2001 with backmarkers Minardi and impressed all season to secure a race seat with Renault for 2003. Alonso would take his first podium at the Malaysian GP and then his first win at the Hungarian GP later on in the season.

With the new regulations introduced in 2005, Alonso and Renault would end the dominance of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari to take both World Championships. Although, the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen gave Alonso a tough fight throughout the season with Alonso hanging on to claim his first World Championship at just 24 years old. Alonso and Renault would repeat the success and claim both World Championships again in 2006 with Alonso battling against Schumacher for the title.

Alonso then moved to McLaren for 2007 partnering rookie Lewis Hamilton. The relationship between McLaren and Alonso and Hamilton turned sour with Alonso missing out on the championship by a single point.

Alonso returned to Renault to compete with them in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. For 2010, Alonso signed with Ferrari to partner Felipe Massa. Alonso was in contention for the 2010 and 2012 championships but on both times lost out to the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.

After a poor season in 2014 in which Ferrari found the new engine regulations tough to get where they wanted to, Alonso made the decision to return to McLaren who had signed with F1 returnees Honda to be their engine suppliers.

What followed for McLaren and Alonso would be 3 embarrassing, unreliable and tough years as Honda struggled with the engine regulations yielding little to no success. McLaren ditched Honda in 2017 and signed with Renault for 2018 in the hope of being able to challenge the top 3 and lead the mid-field.

So far, that hasn’t happened with McLaren being out-paced by the works Renault team and by Red Bull, who run the Renault engine. With 12 races and yielding 44 points, which leaves himself in 9th, Alonso made the decision to leave the sport. For now at-least.

“I want to thank everyone at McLaren. My heart is with the team forever. I know they will come back stronger and better in the future and it could be the right moment for me to be back in the series; that would make me really happy.

Alonso hints a possible return could be on the cards if results for McLaren improve over the next couple of years.

Who replaces Alonso at McLaren

With Alonso departing, McLaren are left in a bit of a difficult situation with a number of options regarding their driver line-up for 2019.

Stoffel Vandoorne’s current seat in under threat with the Belgian struggling to match Alonso in Qualifying and in the Race.

Fellow Spaniard and current Renault driver, Carlos Sainz Jr, has been linked to McLaren and is a very good option. Sainz is being replaced by Daniel Ricciardo for 2019 and could move to McLaren if Red Bull do not renew his contract.

Test Driver Lando Norris currently lies 2nd in the F2 Championship and is heavily linked to a race seat for 2019.

F1 summer break – who’s hot and who’s not heading into the rest of 2018

In Motorsport, there’s always drivers who are punching above their weight either by dragging an underperforming car to very lofty heights, by out-qualifying their team-mates or by impressing race in race out. So who is performing well and who needs to do a bit more as F1 heads into the second half of the season.

11/08/18

Who’s impressed?

Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) 7th: 52pts

Nico Hulkenberg is having a very good season for Renault having only made one big mistake at Baku. His consistent performances are helping Renault stay ahead of the chasing mid-field in the battle for “best of the rest”. He’s reached Q3 6 times and at the times where he has not reached Q3, he’s bounced back in the race to score points. Hulkenberg is staying for next year and there’s no reason why Renault wouldn’t want to keep the German driver.

Kevin Magnussen (Haas) 8th: 45pts

Kevin Magnussen is arguably having his best season of F1. The Dane is in 8th with 45 points – 24 points ahead of team-mate Romain Grosjean. Also helped by the fact that Haas are comfortably a mid-field and on most weekends, the 4th quickest behind the top 3, Magnussen is enjoying his time at Haas. This is the first time that Magnussen has spent a second year with a team. His one-lap pace has been very impressive having appeared in Q3 8 times in 12 races.

Charles Leclerc (Sauber) 15th: 13pts

Impressive. For a rookie driver in his first year in F1, Charles Leclerc is in for a shout for a seat at Ferrari for 2019. In a car which was expected to struggle, it was looking to be a tough year for the Monegasque driver. Helped by the fact that Sauber are now comfortably a mid-field team, Leclerc has amassed 13 points and a best finish of 6th in Azerbaijan. He has reached the final part of Q3 3 times already. If he’s not at Ferrari next year, he’ll be staying put at Sauber or moving to Haas.

Who needs a good second half?

Romain Grosjean (Haas) 14th: 21pts

We have seen glimpses of the very best of what Romain Grosjean can do but we’ve also seen the mistakes that he can make as well. His qualifying pace has definitely improved as the Haas driver has been able to reach Q3 8 times this year but converting that one-lap pace into several laps is proving difficult. He’s become more mature this season with the moaning and whinging has most certainly stopped. Haas are losing patience with the amount of mistakes he is making – with the 4 retirements not helping his case. He’s under pressure to perform and is likely to lose his seat at the American team if things don’t improve.

Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) 16th: 8pts

Stoffel Vandoorne is not having the season he should be having. The Belgian has yet to out-qualify team-mate Fernando Alonso and is struggling with the MCL33. He has yet to reach Q3 and has been knocked out in Q1 5 times so far this year. His last points finish, 9th in Azerbaijan and before that 8th in Bahrain and 9th in Australia. Although, Vandoorne was going very well in Hungary and was set fro points until a gearbox issue forced the Belgian to retire. Any driver going up against Alonso is always going to get a hard time but hopefully Vandoorne can turn his season around or he may find himself out of a seat at McLaren.

Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso) 19th: 2pts

The New Zealander has had a tough season so far. A combination of bad luck and inexperience has put a lot of pressure on the Toro Rosso driver. Up against the highly rated Pierre Gasly, Hartley’s seat at Toro Rosso has been under threat for a majority of the season although he is expected to at least finish the season at Toro Rosso. He has scored 2 points so far with 10th in Azerbaijan and Germany. His points finish was Germany was impressive as he survived the rain and held off quicker cars to finish in the points.

F1 2018 in the old points system – Part 3

After winning the Hungarian GP, Mercedes Lewis Hamilton’s lead has grown to 10 points over chief rival Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Meanwhile, Mercedes lead in the Constructors Championship has shrunk to 4 points over Ferrari.

05/08/18

The points system Formula One currently uses has been used since 2010 allows for the top 10 finishers to claim points and as follows: 1st – 25pts, 2nd – 18pts, 3rd – 15pts, 4th – 12pts, 5th – 10pts, 6th – 8pts, 7th – 6pts, 8th – 4pts, 9th – 2pts and 10th – 1pt.

The points system used in Formula One between 2003 to 2009 was as follows: 1st – 10pts, 2nd – 8pts, 3rd – 6pts, 4th – 5pts, 5th – 4pts, 6th – 3pts, 7th – 2pts and 8th – 1pt.

Hungarian GP Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 10pts
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 8pts
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 6pts
  4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 5pts
  5. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 4pts
  6. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, 3pts
  7. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, 2pts
  8. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1pt

Carlos Sainz Jr and Romain Grosjean who finished in 9th and 10th are not awarded points

Hamilton strikes back with two stand-out drives

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton heads into the Summer break with a 10 point lead, something the Brit wouldn’t have imagined a few races ago. Breaking down in Qualifying in Germany and then battling through to win while Sebastian Vettel crashed out, put Hamilton right back in contention. Then a dominant drive at one of his most successful tracks in Hungary to win with Vettel 2nd has given the Mercedes driver a slight lead in the championship.

Reverting back to 2018, Hamilton’s lead increased to 24 points over Vettel.

Championship over for Red Bull?

There has only been two times that Red Bull have out-scored Mercedes and Ferrari so far this year. Accumulating 14 points in China and then 13 in France, Red Bull are sitting in 3rd with 90 points but 53 points behind Mercedes who are on 143 points. In Bahrain and Baku, they scored 0 points. Including the British GP, Red Bull have scored 14 points compared to 45 by Mercedes and 36 by Ferrari. If Red Bull do not start to out-score Mercedes and Ferrari, there hunt for the Championship could end pretty soon.

Reverting back to 2018, Red Bull are 3rd with 223 points but 122 points behind leader Mercedes.

Hulkenberg retakes “best of the rest” spot

By scoring 7 points over the past 3 races, including the British GP, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg now reclaims 7th place in the Championship. Haas’s Kevin Magnussen remains 2 points back in 8th with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso holding onto the pair in 9th with 14 points.

Reverting back to 2018, Hulkenberg is in 7th, 7 points ahead of Magnussen in 8th and 8 points ahead of Alonso in 9th.

F1’s 2nd tier championship to close to call

While Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull are way ahead, the battle to be the 4th best is tightly fought. Renault and Haas are tied on 24 points each with Force India in 6th with 19 points and McLaren in 7th with 15 points. That means that 4 teams are covered by just 9 points. On average, Renault and Haas are collecting 2 points per race, Force India 1.6 points per race and McLaren on 1.3 points per race.

Reverting back to 2018, Renault occupy 4th on 82 points, Haas in 5th on 66 points, Force India in 6th on 59 points and McLaren in 7th on 52 points.

Drivers Championship

After Hungary D

Hamilton’s gap is now a race win – 10 points

Constructors Championship

After Hungary T

Mercedes 8 point gap after Britain has shrunk to 4 points after Hungary

Ricciardo signs 2 year deal with Renault

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo is to leave Red Bull at the end of 2018 and will join Renault on a two year deal.

03/08/18

After several reports suggesting that Ricciardo would be staying and that a deal would be announced before the Belgian GP, Ricciardo has announced that he will be leaving after this current season of F1.

Ricciardo has been part of the Red Bull family since 2008 and made his debut with HRT in 2011. Ricciardo joined Toro Rosso, the junior team of Red Bull, and competed with them through 2012 and 2013. When Mark Webber announced his retirement from the sport in 2013, Red Bull promoted Ricciardo to a race seat alongside Sebastian Vettel for 2014.

Ricciardo, in his first year, took his first F1 podium at the Spanish GP, then his first GP win at Canada and then followed that up with wins in Belgium and Hungary to end the 3rd in the Drivers Championship only behind the two Mercedes drivers of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

In total, Ricciardo has taken 7 GP wins, 29 podium finishes and two pole positions with Red Bull. (Stats accurate at the end of the 2018 Hungarian GP)

The future with Renault

Daniel Ricciardo’s move has shocked the F1 paddock. The deal with Red Bull looked to be needing a couple more signatures, well that is what we were led to believe.

The deal has been struck and confirmed with Renault confirming the move.

Moving to Renault may actually be a very good move. The move suggests that Ricciardo is looking ahead towards the new regulations that are coming into force in 2021. This move mimics Lewis Hamilton’s decision to leave McLaren at the end of 2012 and join Mercedes in preparation of the introduction of the hybrid engines in 2014.

Where does this leave the driver market?

For quite a while, Lewis Hamilton held the key to the whole driver market when Mercedes and himself were still deciding the Brit’s contract. Then, it was Ricciardo who held the key and has turned the key unlocking the driver market to erupt for next year.

He will be partnering Nico Hulkenberg for next year as the German locked down in a contract with the French team. This means that Carlos Sainz would leave Renault.

Sainz’s situation is kinda tricky. Technically, Red Bull own his contract after being loaned out to Renault at the end of 2017. Red Bull have up until September to decide what they want to do will Sainz’s contract. This means that Sainz could either end up at Red Bull, taking Ricciardo’s seat or back at Toro Rosso. Or Red Bull could not renew his contract and Sainz could do whatever he wants for next year. A move to McLaren?

Ricciardo’s move to Renault shuts the door for Esteban Ocon. Renault have been heavily interested with the Frenchman and current Force India driver and a deal had looked to be signed for next year.

Confirmed 2019 Driver-Line-ups

  • Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas
  • Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel
  • Red Bull: Max Verstappen
  • Renault: Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg

 

What happened in July – F1 News #13

The calendar month of July was a important month for a few teams in Formula One – with many news stories circulating around Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren. Also, one of the most popular drivers on the grid reveals what could of happened to him. 

02/08/18

July 4th – Boullier resigns amid McLaren reshuffle

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier has left the team amid a wider restructure of their leadership. McLaren had high hopes of making inroads up the pecking order this year after making the switch to Renault engines after ditching Honda after 3 poor years. Boullier joined McLaren in 2014 after leaving his post as Team Principal for the Lotus F1 Team.

Former Indycar champion Gil De Ferran has been appointed sporting director while Andrea Stella has been appointed performance director, responsible for trackside operations. McLaren chief executive Zak Brown said that he had consulted closely with double world champion, Fernando Alonso, on the appointments and also said that the Spaniard had been “a part of the process.”

July 11th – Kubica had signed 2012 Ferrari deal

2008 Canadian GP winner and Williams reserve driver Robert Kubica has revealed that he had signed to drive alongside Fernando Alonso at Ferrari in 2012 before the Polish driver had suffered life-changing injuries in a rally accident in 2011. In episode 2 of F1’s official podcast Beyond the Grid, Kubica revealed that he had signed to drive for Ferrari in 2012 and that the rally that he would be competing in 2011 would have been his last due to a clause in his Ferrari contract that did not let him race outside of F1.

Before his rally crash, Kubica drove for the Lotus Renault team in 2010 where he had finished on the podium twice ending the season in 8th with 136 points. Kubica suffered severe injuries to his right arm and had to undergo numerous surgeries to regain limited mobility in his wrist. Kubica had competed in two Friday practice sessions with Williams so far this year in Spain and Austria.

July 12th – Mercedes announce 2019 technical shake-up

Mercedes have announced that there will be changes their technical department after the news that two key figures will be leaving their roles. Engineering Director Aldo Costa, who joined Mercedes in 2011, step into a consultancy role from next season onwards so he can spend more time with his family. Chief Designer John Owen will take over this role.

Performance Director Mark Ellis, joined Mercedes in 2014 after being with Red Bull through their title-winning era of 2010-13, will retire from his role and take a sabbatical next season. Chief vehicle dynamicist Loic Serra will take over this role.

July 23rd – F1 abandons 2019 Miami race

Formula One has abandoned plans for F1 to race in Miami for 2019 instead delaying the race in America until 2020. Talks between the race officials and Liberty Media have been going on for quite a few months with Liberty wanting to expand to expand more into the US.  F1 commercial boss Sean Bratches said time had run out “to deliver the best possible wheel-to-wheel racing experience” in 2019. The current USA GP at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, has been held since 2012.

July 25th  – Sergio Marchionne, 1952-2018

Former Chairman and CEO of Ferrari, Sergio Marchionne, has passed away at the age of 66. The news comes after the Scuderia announced that Marchionne was unable to return to work. John Elkann was named as Chairman with Louis C. Camilleri named as CEO. Marchionne was unable to return after complications from surgery on his right shoulder. Marchionne was a key figure in F1 and was mainly responsible for turning Ferrari back into a winning team after the disappointment of the 2014 season.

Hamilton increases championship lead with dominant Hungarian GP win

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton heads into the F1 summer break with a 24 point lead as he wins the Hungarian GP ahead of the Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen as Valterri Bottas finishes 5th after making contact with Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.

29/07/18

Grid Formation

1.Hamilton  2.Bottas  3.Raikkonen  4.Vettel  5.Sainz  6.Gasly  7.Verstappen  8.Hartley  9.Magnussen  10.Grosjean 11.Alonso  12.Ricciardo  13.Hulkenberg  14.Ericsson  15.Vandoorne  16.Leclerc  17.Ocon  18.Perez  19.Sirotkin  20.Stroll*

Stroll* will start from the pit-lane after Williams had to change his front wing after it was damaged in Qualifying.

Race

How will today’s race fold out? Can Ferrari challenge Mercedes for the win? Where can Daniel Ricciardo finish from 12th and where can Fernando Alonso finish on his 37th birthday?

Lewis Hamilton, Valterri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean, Brendon Hartley, Kevin Magnussen and Pierre Gasly will start on the Ultrasoft tyre. Lance Stroll will start on the Medium tyre with the rest of the drivers starting on the Soft tyre.

The lights go out and it’s a good start by Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas as they led into turn 1. Kimi Raikkonen behind hassles the Mercedes drivers as Sebastian Vettel goes round the out-side of his team-mate through turn 2 to take 3rd. Max Verstappen is now 5th with Pierre Gasly holding down 6th. Kevin Magnussen has jumped up to 8th with Carlos Sainz back in 8th.

Lap 2, Charles Leclerc has pulled over on the pit-straight and is out. Daniel Ricciardo reports minor damage to his front wing and tyre. The replay of the start shows that Sebastian Vettel did not get the best of starts and was even challenged by Carlos Sainz. Onboard with Ricciardo at the start shows that Marcus Ericsson hit the left front tyre as the Swede braked a tad to late. Lap 5, Lewis Hamilton’s gap has grown to 3.4 seconds ahead of team-mate Valterri Bottas. Vettel in 3rd is now 4.8 seconds behind Hamilton. Lap 6, Ricciardo overtakes Stoffel Vandoorne for 13th into turn 1 as Max Verstappen slows. The Dutchman pulls over just before turn 7 and is furious. The VSC is called out.

Lap 7, the VSC ends and racing returns to normal. Lap 9, Lewis Hamilton’s gap has grown to 4 seconds over Valterri Bottas as Daniel Ricciardo overtakes Fernando Alonso for 11th down into turn 1. The Spaniard fights back but Ricciardo holds 11th. Lap 11, Kimi Raikkonen radio’s his Ferrari team to tell them if he can drink. Oops, Ferrari forgot to connect the drinks bottle so Raikkonen won’t be able to drink for the full 70 laps.

Behind the top 4, Pierre Gasly is holding down 5th, 7 seconds ahead of Kevin Magnussen in 6th who is 4.5 seconds ahead of Carlos Sainz in 7th. Brendon Hartley is in 8th with Daniel Ricciardo now in 9th after overtaking Nico Hulkenberg. Lap 13, Lewis Hamilton’s gap has grown to 5.6 seconds over Valterri Bottas with Sebastian Vettel under 2 seconds behind the Finn in 3rd. Lap 14, Ricciardo overtakes Hartley for 8th into turn 1. The target for Ricciardo today is to finish in 5th.

Lap 15, Kimi Raikkonen pits. The slow stop for the Ferrari team releases the Finnish driver in 6th on the Soft tyre. Lap 16, Valterri Bottas pits. The Mercedes driver rejoins on the Soft tyre and in 4th as Daniel Ricciardo overtakes Carlos Sainz for 7th into turn 1. Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly. All three haven’t pitted as Raikkonen overtakes Kevin Magnussen for 5th into turn 1. Lap 18, Bottas overtakes Gasly for 3rd down into turn 1. Lap 21, Ricciardo lunges again down the inside of Magnussen. The Dane holds on so Ricciardo goes round the outside of turn 2 to get the move completed. He is now 6th.

Lap 22, Ferrari tell Sebastian Vettel that they have moved to “Plan C as Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Pierre Gasly for 4th down into turn 1. Lewis Hamilton’s Ultrasoft tyres are starting to fade away and now the advantage swings to Vettel who is on the more durable Soft tyre. Although, a mistake by the German driver into turn 12 lets Hamilton increase his lead by 1 second. Lap 25, Nico Hulkenberg pits. The Renault driver goes onto the Medium tyre and rejoins in 14th.

Lap 26, Lewis Hamilton pits from the lead. He goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 3rd. Sebastian Vettel inherits the lead albeit not having pitted yet. Lap 28, Mercedes tell Valterri Bottas in 3rd that Vettel will be going a bit longer and will emerge around him after his pit-stop. Lap 33, Kimi Raikkonen is closing in on Bottas. The gap between the Finn’s is just over a second. Daniel Ricciardo holds 5th having not stopped with Pierre Gasly in 6th who has pitted. Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne who are on the Soft tyre haven’t pitted yet and are in 7th and 8th.

Lap 36, Sebastian Vettel is now encountering traffic and that has not helped the German’s pace. The Gap was around 13 seconds and now it is just under 10 seconds. Lap 39, Kimi Raikkonen pits confirming that his is on a two-stop. The Finn goes onto a set of Soft tyres and is back out in 5th. Lap 40, Vettel pits. Again, it’s a slow pit-stop by Ferrari. He is on the Ultrasoft tyre and rejoins in 3rd and behind Valterri Bottas. Lap 41, Fernando Alonso pits and rejoins in 8th. Lap 42, Stoffel Vandoorne follows Alonso into the pits and rejoins in 9th. Good showing by the McLaren pair.

If Sebastian Vettel wants to challenge Lewis Hamilton for the win, he has to overtake Valterri Bottas as soon as possible. Only Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll are yet to make their pit-stops with 44 laps completed. Lap 45, Ricciardo pits. The Australian goes onto a set of Ultrasoft tyres and rejoins in 5th, the position Red Bull expected him to finish in. Lap 51, Stoffel Vandoorne is going slowly. It looks like a gearbox failure. The Belgian is out and gutted. What rotten luck as he was on to score his first points since Baku. The VSC is out.

The VSC ends and racing returns to normal. Under the VSC, Nico Hulkenberg pitted with the Renault driver going onto the Ultrasoft tyre. He is in 14th and not far behind the Force India’s of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez. Lap 57, Sebastian Vettel has gotten the gap down to Valterri Bottas to just over a second. The German has struggled to catch up with the Finn with the twisty nature of the Hungaroring not helping the Ferrari driver. Kimi Raikkonen is gaining on the pair in 4th and is just 2 seconds behind. Bottas should start to struggled soon as his Soft tyres have been on since lap 15.

Lap 61, Valterri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen are covered by just 1.6 seconds. Will Ferrari allow Raikkonen through to challenge Bottas? Lap 65, Vettel challenges Bottas round the outside of turn 1. Vettel gets better traction and beats Bottas to turn 2. Bottas hits the rear of Vettel after trying to get back at the Ferrari driver. Vettel is now 2nd with Raikkonen 3rd. Bottas has front wing damage and if he pits, he will drop behind Daniel Ricciardo.

Lap 68, Daniel Ricciardo and Valterri Bottas go side-by-side down into turn 1 but with the understeer that Bottas has with the front wing damage, contact is made. Ricciardo has dropped back as the Stewards have noted the incident between  Bottas and Ricciardo. Mercedes tell Bottas to give back the position to Ricciardo. Lap 70, Ricciardo overtakes Bottas on the exit of turn 1 for 4th. Lewis Hamilton wins the Hungarian GP ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

After the race, Bottas was given a 10 second time penalty and 2 penalty points added to his license by the Stewards after the Ricciardo incident.

Race Result

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 70 Laps
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +17.123s
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +20.101s
  4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +46.419s (Fans Driver of the Day & DHL Fastest Lap Award)
  5. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, +60.000s
  6. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, +73.273s
  7. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, + 1 Lap
  8. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, + 1 Lap
  9. Carlos Sainz Jr, Renault, + 1 Lap
  10. Romain Grosjean, Haas, + 1 Lap
  11. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso, + 1 Lap
  12. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, + 1 Lap
  13. Esteban Ocon, Force India, + 1 Lap
  14. Sergio Perez, Force India, + 1 Lap
  15. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, + 2 Laps
  16. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams, + 2 Laps
  17. Lance Stroll, Williams, + 2 Laps
  • Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, DNF
  • Charles Leclerc, Sauber, DNF
  • Max Verstappen, Red Bull, DNF