It was not expected that the Hungaroring Tourniquet would give pride to Mercedes this weekend. The first free practice had given the trend in favor of the Red Bull and especially the Ferrari, and we could then imagine Sebastian Vettel back on Lewis Hamilton in the race for the world championship.
Lost, the British took full advantage of the only day that really matters in Hungary: Saturday, the qualifying. The four-time world champion led from start to finish.
The rain of the day had even allowed him to benefit from his teammate Valtteri Bottas with him on the front line. In a traditionally tactical race in Hungary, after the quick dropouts of Charles Leclerc or Max Verstappen, the Mercedes double has long held. The virtual safety car, caused by Stoffel Vandoorne 20 laps to go, did not change things. He just had to wait until Vettel came back naturally to Bottas and the double to 10 laps of the end, just to save the furniture.
Vettel: “Not really what we hoped for”
“We knew that Ferrari would be very strong, these points are really bonus, savored Lewis Hamilton on Canal +, I sweated a lot, for sure, it was so hot .
The last meters to get out of the car finished me (smile).” Vettel has no choice but to accept his fate: “We were stuck behind, it was difficult, I started with harder tires, I was rather pleasantly surprised, then it was a bit It was difficult to find the right moment to come back to the pits, we had a little problem, I relaxed my effort and I gave everything on the last 10 laps.This second place is not really what we hoped, but it was the maximum for this race. ”
Especially since Bottas almost sent everything in the air. Overheating on the end, he speared without too much damage with Vettel, while it was passed to the regular.
Enough to allow Kimi Räikkönen, on the watch, to accompany his German partner on the podium. And let Bottas harpoon with even more violence Daniel Ricciardo, a few laps later. Again, not too much damage, and the Finn wisely let the Australian go to not receive a penalty.
Behind this top 5, congratulations to Pierre Gasly who signs a magnificent sixth place (Romain Grosjean is 10th, Esteban Ocon 13th). Place in the holiday month and go to Spa, where Lewis Hamilton will enter the final stretch of the season – nine Grands Prix – 24 points ahead of Vettel