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Hamilton holds off hard charging Lotus pair to claim important Hungary victory
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Posted By: James Allen  |  29 Jul 2012   |  3:42 pm GMT  |  282 comments

Lewis Hamilton won his second Grand Prix of the season after a sustained challenge from the Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, who joined him on the podium.

It was his 19th career victory and one of the most important as it gets him back in the game in the championship, taking 15 points out of Alonso’s lead over him and cutting it to 47 points. Webber remains second in the table with Vettel third after a mixed day for Red Bull with both cars forced to stop three times.

Hamilton dominated the qualifying session on Saturday and led most of the race today, but he had to soak up huge pressure from Raikkonen in the closing stages in particular, after the Lotus team played a blinder on strategy to get the Finn into clear air in the middle stint on soft tyres, which allowed him to jump Vettel and Grosjean for second place.

On fresher tyres but with an erratic KERS, he hounded Hamilton in the closing stages, but the British driver managed to hold on to his tyres without needed the extra stop taken by Button, Vettel and Webber.


It was brilliant from Raikkonen, but it was another great showing by Lotus, with both drivers on the podium; they have been saying for some time that they just needed a strong qualifying session to get their first win, as their race pace is so strong and today they almost got it. With their second double podium of the year they are now just one point behind 2nd place McLaren in the constructors’ championship.

Grosjean and Raikkonen both went for soft tyres in the middle stint, which was an attacking strategy, while McLaren were touch and go on tyre wear with Jenson Button forced to adopt “Plan B” and stop three times.

McLaren’s Woking based strategy team, under the management of sporting director Sam Michael at the track, made the call for Hamilton to stay out and try to win the race and the driver did the rest, a very impressive, measured performance by the 2008 champion.

“It’s always good to come away with a win.” said Hamilton. “I am 100% focussed and I’ve been on it all year. Hungary has been good to me. We always have such a great turn out here. There are a lot of Finns here and it’s great to see Kimi up here. I used to play computer games as him.

“This weekend shows that the championship is all to play for still. but by but if we can continue with this ind of performance we can close up. We need consistency. Today I got the best start I’ve had all year. This is a good stepping stone for us after the tough races we’ve had.”

The first half of the race saw Hamilton having to contain Grosjean as the Lotus driver opted for a second set of the option tyres following his first stop to try and snatch the lead from the Briton. However, Hamilton was able to keep him at bay on his prime tyres and maintain his lead after the second and final stops.

Jenson Button made a good start to snatch third place from Sebastian Vettel after the German was forced wide whilst attacking Grosjean. And he maintained the position during the middle period of the Grand Prix on the medium tyre as Vettel hassled him constantly on the soft compound. When Button pitted he exited from his stop behind Bruno Senna and was crucially held up enough to allow Vettel to take third place when he re-emerged from his stop.

Later in the race both Vettel and Button had to make a third stop as their tyres could not complete the final 30 laps and they finished in 4th and 6th respectively with the two-stopping Ferrari of Alonso in 5th.

Alonso had a fairly quite race, but kept ahead of his main title contender Mark Webber to increase his championship lead and make it 23 consecutive points scoring finishes. Webber finished in 8th, behind Bruno Senna who had another good Sunday after showing impressive pace all weekend.

Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg completed the top ten of an uneventful Grand Prix. Rosberg made a good start from 13th but today’s result is another disappointing one for Mercedes, compounded by Michael Schumacher retiring for the sixth time in eleven races.

The majority of the grid began the race on the soft tyre compound with Webber the only car in the top 20 to opt for the medium tyre. And his quest for a two stop race was helped by a tremendous start which saw him move up to 7th from his 11th place qualifying position.

Hamilton pulled away from the line well and managed to open up a comfortable gap in the opening laps. Grosjean maintained his second place after holding off Vettel into Turn 1, with Vettel losing time and dropping to fourth place behind Button.

As the cars approached their first stops Hamilton led Grosjean by 2.5 seconds and the duo began to pull further ahead of the Button-Vettel battle.

Button was the first of the leaders to pit on lap 16 for the medium tyre and crucially exited the pits just ahead of a battle between Sergio Perez and Paul Di Resta. When Vettel pitted for another set of soft tyres he returned to the track just behind Button and went about setting the fastest laps of the race to close the Briton down.

As Hamilton pitted from the lead Grosjean briefly led the GP before pitting for a set of used soft tyres. He immediately began to claw Hamilton in during the second phase of the race as he consistently set fastest laps.

As the race neared the second pit stop phase Vettel began to hassle Button for third place, becoming very aggravated in the process. But as Button pitted the German was able to put in two very fast laps and take third place after being helped by Senna holding up Button.

Vettel now found himself on the tail of Grosjean who was held up by a longer running Alonso but it was Raikkonen that quickly became a candidate for the race win as he managed to make his scrubbed soft tyres last much longer than anyone else and put in fastest laps which were consistently around 1.5 seconds faster than the leading cars. He then made use of his much fresher tyres to to reel in Hamilton in the final 20 laps of the race.

The Sauber pairing of Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi struggled to make any ground on their poor low qualifying performances. Kobayashi pitted early in the race to gain some clean air, however he didn’t gain any time on his rivals and completed the race in 18th. Whilst Perez had a very long stint on the soft tyres but found himself stuck behind Ricciardo when he exited the pits on much fresher tyres. On a track that is notoriously difficult to pass he finished the race in 14th.

Ricciardo had an uneventful race but made up for qualifying 18th by keeping Perez behind and matching the pace of the Saubers. His team mate Jean-Eric Vergne followed the Australian home in 17th position after a poor race in which he spent the middles phase battling with the Caterham cars.

Williams had another mixed Sunday with Senna once again keeping his nose clean and gaining another points finish in 8th place, whilst Pastor Maldonado will find himself in front of the race stewards after making contact with paul Di Resta and receiving a drive-through penalty. Maldonado is still yet to score a Championship point since his race win at Spain in May.


HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX, Budapest, 70 laps
1. Hamilton McLaren 1h41:05.503
2. Raikkonen Lotus + 1.032
3. Grosjean Lotus + 10.518
4. Vettel Red Bull + 11.614
5. Alonso Ferrari + 26.653
6. Button McLaren + 30.243
7. Senna Williams + 33.899
8. Webber Red Bull + 34.458
9. Massa Ferrari + 38.300
10. Rosberg Mercedes + 51.200
11. Hulkenberg Force India + 57.200
12. Di Resta Force India + 1:02.800
13. Maldonado Williams + 1:03.600
14. Perez Sauber + 1:04.400
15. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 1 lap
16. Vergne Toro Rosso + 1 lap
17. Kovalainen Caterham + 1 lap
18. Kobayashi Sauber + 2 laps
19. Petrov Caterham + 2 laps
20. Pic Marussia + 2 laps
21. Glock Marussia + 3 laps
22. De la Rosa HRT + 3 laps

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282 Comments
  1. Sebee says:

    Holy shiitake mushrooms!  A win for the other team GB in a road race!  And with full grandstands!

    Beautiful color coded trophies. Fantastic idea to interview at the podium. Great fun.

    And now FIVE weeks of….fishing?? 

    Kimi for president!

    1. RN says:

      Really!?? I hated the last two podium interviews! Get the real journo’s back with some real questions. The last two interviews were pathetic!

      1. Sebee says:

        You don’t think those questions usually get P.C. answers anyway? These guys are P.R. experts.

        I think the format of interview in front of a crowd and right then and there is better. But I agree that someone like James or D.C. should be asking the questions.

      2. andrew says:

        Podium questions has turned out to be cheesy and not at all classy. Appears a bit bumbling. Guess its just another way for some celeb to get their mug in the media spotlight.

    2. KRB says:

      Not a fan of the podium interviews, or at least having that as the exclusive interview of the drivers. Domingo might be a fan of F1, but he won’t ask the same questions JA, Croft, or Buxton would. The unilateral after qualifying is rarely as meaty as the one after the race (the 2010 British GP quali interview was a good one, but so was the race).

      Happy for LH today, things went his way today … goes some way to making up for the horrible luck of last week.

      Why oh why did McLaren bring Button in when he was frustrating Vettel? Get Vettel to pit first in that position ALWAYS. I don’t understand Vettel’s petulance at his team … “do something!” … the only thing they can do is pit him. That’s the most disdain I’ve heard from Rocky ever, over the radio (the ones we’re allowed to hear, that is). “What do you want me to do Seb? Make Button evaporate?”

      Anyways, McLaren ruined Button’s race, and hurt themselves in the process (in both championships). Alonso again, wily cat he is, did what he needed to do, picking up double-digit points when it looked at points like seventh was the best he could do. It’s going to be hard to dislodge Alonso from the top now … he’s very good at protecting a lead (see ’05 and ’06). A DNF or no-score is going to be needed to let the others get their noses in again.

      Glad it was a dry race.

      LH keeps up his stat as the only driver to win multiple races in each season entered, I think the only one to win at least one race in each season entered as well (though could have an asterisk beside Vettel’s name there, as 2007 was a half-season for him).

      LH’s now won 3x at Hungary; the only other GP he’s won 3x being Canada.

      Senna with six point-finishes now, compared to two by Maldonado. If Pastor doesn’t knuckle down, Senna will pass him on points shortly, even while his best finish is a sixth.

      That move by Raikkonen on Grosjean was quite “robust”! I thought for sure they were going to come together. I wouldn’t be too happy about that if I were Grosjean. Not as bad as Perez on Kobayashi in China, but close.

      Hungaroring again the graveyard of overtakes. How many were there today, not including the first lap? I would guess fifteen at most. Not very exciting to watch.

      Stats to date
      =============

      Wins: FA3,MW2,LH2,SV1,NR1,JB1,PM1

      Podiums:
      FA6,LH5,KR5,SV3,JB3,RG3,MW2,NR2,SP2,PM1,MS1

      T5 Finishes (2+):
      FA9,SV8,MW7,KR7,LH6,RG4,NR3,JB3,SP2,KK2

      Pts Finishes (5+):
      FA11,MW10,KR10,SV9,LH9,NR8,JB7,
      RG6,BS6,SP5,KK5,MS5,PdR5,FM5,NH5

      Longest podium streaks (2+):
      FA3,LH3,FA2,KR2(2x)

      Current podium streak: KR2,LH1,RG1

      Longest T5 streaks (2+):
      FA7,MW4,KR4,SV3,LH3,FA2,MW2,
      SV2(2x),LH2,KR2,NR2,RG2

      Current T5 streak:
      FA7,KR4,SV3,LH1,RG1

      Longest pts finish streaks (3+):
      FA11,KR8,LH7,MW6,NR6,SV5,MW4,JB4,SV3,RG3,MS3

      Current pts finish streak:
      FA11,KR8,MW6,JB4,SV3,NR2,LH1,RG1,FM1,BS1

      Retirements (not classified)(3+):
      MS6,RG4,KK3,CP3,NK3

      1. Mitchel says:

        Love the stats! Keep them coming….

      2. Rubinho's Keyfob says:

        Hi KRB. I appreciate the effort you put into your stats update on this forum and I enjoy reading them … but I have some (constructive) criticism:

        I tend to get part way through the summary at the end and I just move on – the reason is because I have to mentally translate from your “drivers initials” notation and I quickly get bored doing so ;) We’ve just spent a couple of hours reading the official driver “tags” on our TV screens, so I think your summaries would be more digestible if you switched to that.

        For example:

        RG6,BS6,SP5,KK5,MS5,PdR5,FM5,NH5

        … becomes …

        GRO6,SEN6,PER5,KOB5,MSC5,DLR5,MAS5,HUL5

        … and I personally find that much more understandable at a quick glance.

        Of course, it’s your post and you can do what you want, but perhaps bear that in mind. Keep it up.

      3. Mike from Colombia says:

        Podiums:
        ALO6,HAM5,RAI5,VET3,BUT3,GRO3,WEB2,ROS2,PER2,PM1,MSC1
        T5 Finishes (2+):
        ALO9,VET8,WEB7,RAI7,HAM6,GRO4,ROS3,BUT3,PER2,KOB2
        Pts Finishes (5+):
        ALO11,WEB10,RAI10,VET9,HAM9,ROS8,BUT7,
        GRO6,SEN6,PER5,KOB5,MSC5,DIR5,MAS5,HUL5
        Longest podium streaks (2+):
        ALO3,HAM3,ALO2,RAI2(2x)
        Current podium streak: RAI2,HAM1,GRO1
        Longest T5 streaks (2+):
        ALO7,WEB4,RAI4,VET3,HAM3,ALO2,WEB2,
        VET2(2x),HAM2,RAI2,ROS2,GRO2
        Current T5 streak:
        ALO7,RAI4,VET3,HAM1,GRO1
        Longest pts finish streaks (3+):
        ALO11,RAI8,HAM7,WEB6,ROS6,VET5,WEB4,BUT4,VET3,GRO3,MSC3
        Current pts finish streak:
        ALO11,RAI8,WEB6,BUT4,VET3,ROS2,HAM1,GRO1,MAS1,SEN1
        Retirements (not classified)(3+):
        MSC6,GRO4,KOB3,PIC3,KAR3

      4. KRB says:

        Mike fixed it, but you had De La Rosa in there with 5 points finishes at first! Surely all the “who’s the best driver?” arguments would’ve been settled if that was the case, driving an HRT!

        I wanted to show as much “at a glance” info in as small a space as possible. So two letters over three makes sense that way. But it is getting too big as is. My thought was that I would move the floor for Points Finish’s using =FLOOR(RACES/2) as the Excel formula. So it’ll be 6+ after Spa.

      5. Trent says:

        I would disagree about this not being an exiting race. A race can be exciting without overtaking. There was still an authentic, hard fought battle for the lead – a pleasure to watch.

        In a strange way I took pleasure from the fact that there WASN’T that pass for the lead, given that one of the criticism of the DRS era is that overtaking is too easy.

        An interesting and enjoyable race to watch.

      6. hero_was_senna says:

        Just one point regarding Hamilton. He has driven for one of the best F1 teams from his debut. He has never had to serve any apprenticeship so him winning a race in every season isn’t as special as it sounds.

      7. Sebee says:

        But Lewis did beat Alonso on a tie-break for 2nd places on his debut season.

      8. KRB says:

        Hamilton could’ve fast-tracked his way into F1 if he wanted to, but he didn’t. He won F3 in a romp, won GP2 at the first try, and really it was his race at Turkey in GP2 that probably propelled him into the race seat for 2007.

        Were McLaren feeling generous and charitable in handing him the race seat in 2007? Of course not, and it’s silly to suggest as much. There were no emotions in that decision, just reasoned calculation that Lewis was up to snuff. And of course he showed he was in 2007.

        I mean, really, Grosjean is getting lots of plaudits for a good season so far (and it’s not really a true rookie season, is it?), and yet he trails by 40 pts his 1DWC teammate who’s been out of F1 for two years!

        So I just say, give credit where credit’s due. It will free you.

        Jacques Villeneuve entered F1 with Williams, winning 4 races in his rookie year, then winning 7 the next year for his DWC. Moved to BAR, and that was that for wins.

        Schumi could only manage 1 win in 2005 with Ferrari.

        Alonso could only manage 1 win in 2011 with Ferrari.

        Kimi spent 5 seasons with McLaren (one of the best F1 teams, as you’ve said), and had two winless seasons, and two others with only one win.

        Winning at least two races each season is quite a feat, especially in years like 2009, when the car starts off a dog.

      9. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Nice stats thanks!

        But how do yo interpret the stats?

        LH seems to be good in wins and podiums, however he is still 4th in the WDC, maybe this year is also important to be in the Top5 consistently, and there LH and McLaren are not so good…

        And Top10 seems not to be important at all for the final result.

      10. KRB says:

        Agreed, that’s why I thought the T5′s were important. For example SV is doing well T5-wise, but not podium wise, so the T5′s explain his DWC position better.

        Agreed re: LH and McLaren.

      11. Sebee says:

        Mr. KRB Stats-man. Is Lewis’ rookie year the only time Alonso has been beaten by his team mate?

      12. KRB says:

        If we just look at F1, then no, it’s not. Fernando was beaten on countback by Tarso Marques while at Minardi in 2001. And with three less starts to boot!

        Marques had two 9th’s in 14 starts, while Alonso’s best finish of that season was a 10th (from 17 starts).

  2. LD says:

    Well done Lewis.

    Bit of a boring race until the last 15 laps really. Lotus looking very strong, but McLaren’s have the package it seems.

    Poor from Button though. Fastest package but fell back to 6th after being gifted 3rd off the start.

    Alonso was anonymous but it looks like the Ferrari was nowhere so perhaps it was good damage limitation.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      I think part of Buttons problem was the ‘plan b’ strategy call. There was so little overtaking it seemed mad to switch him into needing to make multiple overtakes to retain the same position.

      When they announced plan b for Lewis as well I thought the strategy crew had all been drinking heavily but after they saw buttons struggles Sam Michael clearly suggested sticking with plan A was the right move.

      You could see Button was annoyed in the post race interviews. I’m just glad they realised they needed to just hold off their attackers with Lewis and not force him into multiple overtakes to win.

      1. KRB says:

        Does anyone think that Button might’ve been a bit of a guinea pig for Lewis today? I don’t understand why they would pit Button while Vettel was still behind him, even if he was starting to struggle with tire wear. As soon as Vettel passes, sure, but Button was ruining Vettel’s tires at that point, and Vettel couldn’t get anywhere near to pass. He would’ve had to launch a banzai move, which like Maldonado’s move would likely have been penalized.

        Instead, McLaren puts him out behind Senna, who proceeded to ruin Button’s soft tires!

      2. Flashman says:

        If Button could learn how to set up his car and consistently outqualify Lewis then perhaps he wouldn’t be used as a test case for the ‘leader’. He’s second rate.

      3. James Clayton says:

        Well it makes sense to use Jenson as a guinea pig in this situation, especially considering his deficit in the championship. What’s worse? Loosing 3rd to 6th? Or loosing 1st to 3rd?

      4. Jim Dee says:

        Does anyone think that Button might’ve been a bit of a decoy for Lewis today?

        fixed and yes

      5. Michael says:

        Vettel was making time on L Hamilton so they had to slow him down somehow. If that’s how it worked then it was a good strategy for McLaren! Button has been struggling and Hamilton has not…

      6. KRB says:

        Michael, when was Vettel making time on Hamilton? Vettel was never a threat for the win, and he can only blame himself for getting passed by Button out of turn 1 on the first lap.

        McLaren should’ve kept Button out there until either a) Vettel passed him, or b) Vettel pitted. By pitting themselves they freed him up to use his softs to good effect. Horrible race strategy by McLaren there.

    2. Bring Back Muarray says:

      “Poor from Button though”.

      Wasn’t it the teams fault that Button came out right behind Senna after his pit stop and mucked up his race?

      Surely McClaren should have had the foresight to see that all he needed to do was to stay out for a couple more laps before pitting right into taffic?

      He was doing quite well in 3rd before that blunder wasn’t he?

      You’re right about damage limitation with regards to Alonso. Still got a nice heftly WDC lead hasn’t he. We need someone to go on a serious run during the second part of the season to challenge him. And I hope its Hamilton!

      1. KRB says:

        Totally the team’s fault to pit him at that point. I don’t know what his lap times were like vis-a-vis Senna at that point, but his race was with Vettel. Who knows whether Button could’ve held on longer, but if he’s struggling for tire wear on the hards, with 30+ laps to go, why would you switch him to the softs?!

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Pit stops might be world records, but if you’re dropping behind cars you cannot overtake, then something is wrong somewhere

    3. Nick James says:

      @LD

      And how exactly was Button gifted 3rd off the start? Was it cause he made a great start and got to 3rd on merrit? Plonker.

      And the terrible strategy call was the reason for his bad race. Not a track to be trying to overtake on!

      1. LD says:

        Vettel was forced wide (not by Jenson), left the door open. Jenson didn’t have to do anything. It would have taken more effort to keep behind Vettel at that point.

        I thought Jenson was one of the few drivers that made his own calls. That’s what’s often reported. Can’t just blame the team for bad strategy.

    4. Serrated_Edge says:

      You can’t blame Jenson for such a duff strategy call by his team! He even asked if they were sure it was the right thing to do!

      Mission Control at MTC blunder again!

    5. Craig D says:

      Did you not follow the strategy? No driver who went to 3 stops better than those they were competing with who make 2 stops.

      Button would have been 3rd or 4th if they stuck with ‘plan a’ (even with other drivers like Kimi and Vettel being faster) since it was incredibly tough to overtake. Button said his tyres were holding up ok so I think he’d have made it ok to the end, just like Lewis was able to.

      1. Craig D says:

        Jesus, terrible grammar there: should proof read more! I’ll repost!

        Did you not follow the strategy? No driver who went to 3 stops did better than those they were competing with who made 2.

        Button would have been 3rd or 4th if they’d stuck with ‘plan a’ (even with other drivers like Kimi and Vettel being faster) since it was incredibly tough to overtake. Button said his tyres were holding up so I think he’d have made it ok to the end, just like Lewis was able to.

  3. ronmon says:

    It seems that not being able to change ride height between qualifying and the race has hurt quite a lot.

    1. James Clayton says:

      They seemed fast enough in the race to me…

  4. Serrated_Edge says:

    What were Mclaren playing at switching to a 3 stop that cost Jenson a podium?

    Jenson rightly not ammused with another Mclaren stratergy cock up.

    1. James Allen says:

      High tyre wear. Hamilton did well to avoid it. Webber and Vettel both needed 3rd stops too

      1. Vinola says:

        So, why does Button have a higher tyre wear than Lewis?. If the difference is set up now, why was it “Lewis is hard on tyres” narrative earlier on( even though the differential isn’t as great then as it is now??

      2. Craig D says:

        I don’t think he necessarily did (he just wasn’t as fast as Lewis and Grosjean). The McLaren wasn’t as good as the Lotus say on tyre wear and I think they feared they could run out of grip say 5 laps from the end.

        But car behaviour and the success of their setups vary form race to race. There isn’t a fixed trend of, this driver is type a, this one type b. For example, sometimes Hamilton has had races where his car has struggled to make the tyres last, and other races where they’ve worked really well. Same for all the drivers, within reason.

      3. James Clayton says:

        To be fair, Button was in dirty air all race, while Hamilton was in clean air. That does make a big old difference to tyre wear.

      4. Wayne says:

        Part of it would have been the fact that Lewis outqualified Butyon and so was at the front of the field wioth a clear track ahead of his. He spent no time at all following other cars in their dirty air and was, therefore, better able to preserve his tyres.

      5. AuraF1 says:

        It sounded more like they called Lewis to go to plan B (3 stopper) saw Jenson was not going to overtake on a track with virtually no overtaking and thought better of it. I seriously doubt it was simply Lewis holding his tyres together that much better than jenson. Jensons plan b call was an error and they learnt from it fast.

      6. Ben m says:

        James, is there any suggestion that Red Bull would have been fine with two stops with the old engine map, or were they just being overly cautious with webber in particular?

        Jenson in his interview said his tyres were fine in the first stint and stopped too early which seemed to make 2 stops marginal perhaps.

      7. Nigel says:

        Button actually said that he had no choice but to stop early in the first stint. His complaint was about the timing of the second and third stops, as he had good speed prior to both, and could have continued for several more laps.

        Had McLaren got the timing right, he ought to have finished one or two places higher.

      8. Nigel says:

        Timing was awful, though – the team really ought to have done a little better to navigate some clear air for him.

      9. Mitchel says:

        +1

      10. Peter C says:

        I agree, specially with a Mission Control full of strategists & mainframe computer back at Woking.

        The number-crunching definitely did JB a mis-service.

        Maybe he ought to argue more when he knows his tyres are OK for a few more laps & the nerds call him in.

        When people say “He should have overtaken Senna”, on that circuit the Williams wasn’t slow as proved in Practice.

        Hungaroring more suited to Touring cars IMO.

      11. Nigel says:

        Hi, Peter.

        I think in this particular situation, the driver has to rely on his pit team to make the call.
        There’s no way he can know whether he’ll emerge from a pit stop in clear air or not; the team have that information – it was their mistake.

      12. KRB says:

        A mole back in Woking throwing wrenches into race strategy?

      13. Bring Back Muarray says:

        James, did Jenson not have the pace at that point to get a couple more seconds on Senna? Surely he only needed a couple more laps and he would have cleared him.

      14. KRB says:

        The Williams was the fastest down the start-finish straight over the weekend … that’s the only point where Button would’ve had a shot, but that top-speed disadvantage sealed it. Like LH behind MS at Monza last year.

  5. Rodger says:

    My word that was a boring race. Could’ve been so much better on a circuit which actually allows passing.

    But even worse than the race was the post-race interviews. Please ‘powers-that-be’they don’t work! Bring back the old post-race interviews so we can actually get some decent insight!!

    1. Robie says:

      +1
      need JA or Crofty asking the questions…..please!

    2. Dan says:

      I’ll second that. The podium interview at Germany was awful and this one was little better. I hope from Spa, it returns to normal.

    3. Grayzee (Australia) says:

      + 1. PLEEEEEAAASSSE!
      At least the first two were conducted by ex champion drivers…….but Domingo?
      No insight, no depth…..

  6. Kushal says:

    Had it not been for hungaroring,kimi would’ve won …tracks where overtaking is almost impossible should not be allowed in the F1 calender imho

    1. KRB says:

      As a Hamilton fan, I’m glad for him that today’s race was at the Hungaroring, as surely Kimi or Grosjean would’ve passed him at most any other circuit.

      But as an F1 fan, the lack of overtaking was quite shocking. My wife (only watching b/c she has part Hungarian ancestry, even though the bits of the track you see could be in any locale in the world) jumped on the they-shouldn’t-allow-tracks-where-you-can’t-overtake bandwagon pretty fast. For the casual fan, processional races are extremely boring.

    2. Jean-Christophe says:

      Had it not been for Hungaroring, McLaren would have probably gone for a more aggressive strategy.

  7. Mr Squiggle says:

    Congrats to Lewis and McL. A much needed reminder of how good they can be.

    Now…may a be permitted a gripe?

    Mark Webber finished the first lap in 7th place. He started on whites, ostensibly to run longer in the first stint and gain a strategy advantage.

    Until RedBull messed it up, and called him in just one lap after the front runners

    Why?? Are they deliberately being obtuse? What was the point of taking the gamble on whites only to neutralise it just when it looked like it was going to pay off?

    KR has now scored more points in the last four races than Webber or Vettel.

    Anyway, congrats to Lewis [tries to focus on the positive again, grumbles quietly].

    1. vic says:

      Im with you. Quite strange… maybe they realized that the gamble was too good and Webber could pass Vettel and fight for the win. It looks that for RB a strategy to get Webber from 11º to 4º-5º is fine, but not to get higher.

    2. Sebastian says:

      Webber had a differential problem causing increased degradation on rear tyres. Hence three stopper.

      1. drama queen says:

        That’s Rubbish. Horner takes us for fools.
        He knew stopping Mark and Sebastian would put Sebastian ahead of Mark.

        Tyred now of RB’s bias and here it comes again, anytime Mark looks like being a threat.

    3. AD says:

      That’s exactly right. The pit stop call for Webber on lap 20 was unbelievably stupid. He was doing laps around 1:28.3 which was very competitive on the prime tyre but was then pitted and put behind Alonso who held him up.

      Then on lap 39 they call Mark in again for another pit stop too early even though he was actually GAINING on race leaders Hamilton and Grosjean.

      Finally on lap 55, he was pitted again and put behind Senna where he was stuck for the rest of the race.

      Whoever is making these pit-stop calls needs to have his head examined. Mark deserved so much more after a fantastic start and opening stint.

      1. Satish says:

        It’s interesting though that after pit stops, Vettel mostly emerges on a clear track.

      2. Greg (Aus) says:

        Not only was he gaining on the leaders, he had also closed the gap to Vettel from 9 seconds down to 5 and was closing at around .5 – 1.0 secs a lap…

    4. Satish says:

      With Kimi scoring like that and with the Lotus not really having any flaws ATM, maybe Kimi would be most likely to take the fight to Alonso in the second half of the season.

  8. PopsTwitTar says:

    It was interesting to see Kimi catch up to Hamilton so easily…and then basically get stuck about 1 second behind him for the last 15 laps or so. After a few laps of this, there was a hard-to-understand radio message from Kimi – something to the effect of trying to get by him. I wonder if the pit wall was telling him to sit behind Hamilton and bide his time, hoping that his tires would be fresher at the end than Hamilton’s? The general rule seems to be that the tires of the trailing car suffer more than the leading car, so this seems like it would be a bad decision. [Again, I'm just guessing this occurred]

    1. Ral says:

      Kimi told the pitwall that he the only chance for him to get by Hamilton, was if Hamilton’s tyres went off.

      1. PopsTwitTar says:

        ah, that explains it. (but is much less fun
        than my guess ;)

      2. John says:

        nicely done, iceman, just ran outta laps, your time will come :)

      3. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        90 laps next time!

  9. Vinola says:

    Lewis drove a brilliant race, Kimi was fantastically aggressive and Romain was solid. I thought Jenson missed out by his inability to get past Senna on fresher tires. He could and should have done better. Maldonado continues to be a menace; he needs a big slap down before someone gets hurt.
    Dull race otherwise, unless you are (like me) a Lewis fan

    1. Nick James says:

      @Vinola

      ” I thought Jenson missed out by his inability to get past Senna on fresher tires. He could and should have done better”

      Umm…how’s that?

      Tell me which of the other front runners were able to overtake today?

      1. Vinola says:

        Senna in a Williams a front runner?

        BTW, did you not see Alonso overtake today?

      2. JR says:

        Alonso on Perez

      3. Satish says:

        Perez’ tires were shot by then.

      4. r0ssj says:

        Alonso got by Perez with his fresh tyres, didn’t he?

        But yeah, the were was virtually no overtaking around the Hungaroring today. I’d blame McLaren more than Button, for releasing him into traffic.

      5. hero_was_senna says:

        Alonso passing Perez??

  10. Dmitry says:

    At last a great race for Lewis’ fans.

    It was tense, hard, but clean and very exciting despite a lack of overtakings.
    I am not sure if it was not for this particular track if Lewis could have won, regardless he did it with a brilliant drive and a measured approach to tyre wear.

    I can only hope, that his (and McLaren’s) stripe of bad luck is finally over.

    It’s still a month to go, but I already can’t wait for one of my favourite races – Spa!

    BTW, anybody knows why Lewis’ first pit stop was about 4.2 seconds? (I am already getting used to their sub 3s stops)

    1. AuraF1 says:

      There was apparently a problem with the wheelnut on one of the removed set which caused a delay.

    2. KRB says:

      Can’t wait for Spa, the best GP on the calendar! (why Bernie is thinking of alternating it, I’ll never know).

      LH runs well at Spa, and of course Kimi’s known as the King of Spa. Schumi’s pretty handy there too.

      Maybe the spot where Lotus’ passive-DRS system comes into its own? I would think after today that Lewis and Kimi would be the odds-on favourites there.

      1. John says:

        yeah, can’t wait for spa, the iceman’s playground ;)

      2. Arron says:

        Because Bernie asks for so much money host a GP they need an extra year to save up :)

      3. James Clayton says:

        Isn’t SPA now confirmed until 2016? No rotation?

  11. D@X says:

    Very measured and controlled race from Lewis, Jenson looked as if the strategy compromised his race today. Looking at the Lotus, im well impressed with the race pace and consistency in the race. I was almost certain Lewis would hit the cliff and Kimi to take the lead and the last 10 laps were tense but no joy. Overall a race full of undercuts and whichever way you look at it, Lewis dominated the race…even when he was not the fastest. A pattern I have seen from Alonso the magician.

    1. D17MO.D says:

      +1

      Just wanted to add my little piece by saying that I genuinely believe Lewis when he says he’s been ‘on it’ all year!

      IMO he has looked supreme all year, definitely on par with Alonso but due to team mis-haps, genuine bad luck (puncture in thelast race and feeling the full force of the tasmanian devil they call Maldonado in Valencia) and a slight lack of development, it has meant he could not show off his 2012 from.

      Now it appears that McLaren are back on track in terms of car performance and also operationally, in my view, Hamilton has just added the final piece to the puzzle of a ‘perfect weekend’ and demonstrated how good he has actually been all season.

      I mean, fastest in all practice sessions but one (still ended up 2nd), fastest in all quali sessions (even when the whole field took to the soft compound) and then controlled the race beautifully with not particularly the fastest car (Lotus).

      … I don’t even recall that happening during the previous two Vettel / RB6 & 7 domination!!

      1. D@X says:

        Well as with Motor Sport one needs luck but also the patience for things to start going your way. Yes Mcalren have had a poor start as they showed a lot or promise since the start of the season.

        As for Lewis, he has been on it for a while but a few blunders by the team cost him a lot of points. He seems to be acting very mature on how he is approaching the race as a whole. Also it seems there is less pressure for him as he is the one hunting, its those in front that should start thinking on how to keep him behind.

        Alonso knows he has homework to do as he can’t really do anymore than what he is currently doing, but after seeing the Lotus today, I feel everybody should be concerned cause that car is quick. For now I hope Jensons Luck can change also so they can take more points off the leaders.

      2. KRB says:

        It’s hard to know how the Lotus will go in the races ahead. After Rosberg & Mercedes destroyed all before them in China, I feared that they would go on to blitz the rest of the season. Not b/c Rosberg suddenly became a better driver than FA or LH, but b/c I thought Mercedes had figured out something with the Pirelli’s that the others hadn’t – and wouldn’t – for some time. That’s all it takes in F1 to steal a march on everyone else, better drivers be damned. When a car is or becomes dominant like that (RB7, RB6, BGP001, FW14B, MP4/4, 312T), then everyone else is bringing a knife to a gunfight.

  12. Marc Aubry says:

    entertaining race to be sure. Lotus came close again to winning a race, but Lewis did what he had to do to hold on to first place. Still Kimi was very impressive and my driver of the day. Spa won’t come fast enough for me as I look forward to an even tighter second half of the season. Marc

    1. D@X says:

      Im with you on that one, Lotus came close but no cigar. Spa is going to be an interesting one. It’s very hard to predict these days but I feel teams will be working flat out on upgrades cause you cant afford not to bring any at every race. Redhill is fast on this circuit but maybe with the recent changes to the regs we will see another close battle….

      1. Peter C says:

        Who Redhill? Does he live in Surrey?

  13. Andy says:

    Interesting observation on the podium, Grosjean playing with World Champions all around him. P1, P2, P4, P5, P6- all World Champions and he held his own! Classic.

    1. KRB says:

      He drove a very good race today, and just reward for his bad luck last week.

  14. Andy says:

    James, do you think Mclaren would have certainly lost the win had they gone for S-S-M like the Lotus’s?

    1. James Allen says:

      I’ll analyse and it will be in Tuesday’s Strategy Report

      1. Jordan says:

        Would be great if it also includes a look at where Webber could have ended up had the team done a longer middle stint (that both the tyres and driver were clearly capable of!).

        I don’t buy the diff excuse, sounds like they’re trying to not take responsibility for poor strategy.

      2. Greg (Aus) says:

        Poor or deliberate? The strategy report graph will make interesting reading. Webber was closing on Vettel rapidly when he was pulled in.

      3. Toleman fan says:

        James, did you notice Cyril Dumont’s post race comments? : “Of course we would have preferred to have finished higher at this last race of the first half of the season. It was tough today; I think the race win for Seb was more or less over after the first corner when he got stuck behind Button…”

        That seemed a bit odd to me, given that Seb was still two places ahead of Kimi at that point in the race…
        … and anyway, what happened to the normal “a good day for our customer teams, with 3 of the top 4 cars powered by Renault today”, and the roundup of Williams’ and Caterham’s results? A sign of pressure, tension between Lotus and Renault, or just me reading too much into it?

  15. DK says:

    “On a track that is notoriously difficult to pass” … This basically sums up the race. DRS is pretty much useless here. Most of the position gained were through pit lane.

    Lewis has driven a well measured race to win, but the driver of the day has to be Kimi! His second stint was absolutely fantastic. He really wanted that win badly from his reaction during he podium ceremony. Bring it on Spa!

    1. KRB says:

      Agreed, that stint was impressive, but the car is impressive. Not much to choose between LH and KR today.

      One would be hard pressed to nominate a “pass of the day”, like say Kimi’s pass on Nico H last week in Germany (following Schumi thru). Maybe Button’s pass on Vettel at the start? Alonso’s pass on Perez? Those are seriously the only ones that spring to mind.

      1. Peter C says:

        Any sort of pass would be a candidate for ‘Pass of the Day’.

        Except the ones when a car makes a pit stop, now called the new buzz-word – Undercut.

  16. Peter says:

    Great drive again from Kimi, the guy starting to be comparable of his best from his 2003 – 2006 years. He is always there, very fast, great overtakes, no mistakes. If quali would go a bit better he could be a real challenger. I still think Lotus have good race pace, but overall far from the best car. “There are a lot of Finns here and it’s great to see Kimi up here. I used to play computer games as him.” – nice line from Lewis.

    1. Sebastian says:

      Enjoyed that line too. Lewis really comes off as an awesome guy. Love his personal touch in interviews.

  17. Lisa Thomas says:

    Did not having kers cost Kimi 0.2 secs per lap?

    1. James Allen says:

      It was only some of the race

    2. Sebastian says:

      The KERS issue lost his place to Alonso during the first lap. Otherwise he could probably have come out in the lead after the second pit stop.

  18. Jagan says:

    What a race from Kimi, shame about his qualifying yesterday, if he had gotten it together in Q3, he would’ve started higher and had more options. Anyway, it bodes well for the next race, which is always a special track for him.

    Awesome work by Lewis too. It now looks like a 4 way battle for 2nd in the championship and if Ferrari were to somehow stumble, one of these could reel in Alonso rather quickly.

  19. Irish con says:

    Kimi and Lewis proving as always that they are class acts today. Kimi for spa anyone? Fernando again picking up points on the worst race for them since Bahrain.

    On the downside the coverage by sky after the race today was totally rubbish. You would of thought it was Mclaren tv today. Briefly talked to Eric but never heard a thing from Christian Horner or a word about Ferrari at all. Not good enough. The f1 forum on the bbc was miles better last year. Really disappointed in the after race coverages this year from sky.

    1. James Allen says:

      Especially with the Double DRS rear wing for qualifying….

      1. Toleman fan says:

        Do you expect Lotus to go live with it for that race?

      2. James Allen says:

        Yes. Will be a big gain in quail

    2. goferet says:

      @ Irish Con

      Kimi for spa anyone?
      ——————————-

      Am afraid not!

      Why???

      Because his favourite overtaking short cut route was shut off by the FIA for good!

      1. Irish con says:

        What a rediculous thing to say. Kimi has always been awesome at spa and has overtaken people all around the track.

      2. Dean says:

        Kimi historically passes just after eau rouge/raidillon. They haven’t changed that part of the track…It’s the best part!

      3. Sri says:

        He is known as “King of Spa” for a reason – 4 victories. All you remember is one off track incident in these 4 victories? Very petty.

      4. Peter says:

        ..I think 4 out of 5…which is even more impressive.

      5. Ahmed says:

        That’s exactly what happens when you have been watching F1 for just the last 3 years :\

    3. AuraF1 says:

      Sky seemed to decide today that viewers would be watching the Olympics and so they wouldn’t bother. It was their worst coverage so far. Even down to having adverts every 10 minutes or so which they normally stop during the build up and post race hour.

      That said Skys coverage has improved over the season from a really poor start to a solid few shows, though today’s was really lacklustre.

      I do miss the BBC forum though. The Sky team seem determined to stay put and hope they can grab a few guests. The BBC team (at least in 2009/10) really got into the habit of inviting themselves into a new place, and got rows of guests lined up. Considering Sky took half the old BBC crew with them it seems odd they are replicating the duller BBC shows and not the fan favourites. And it’s not like they’ve been saddled with a boring 2011 style season dominated and foregone already. It’s a close one with multiple winners.

      1. Skinny says:

        Sky coverage was bad? At least you got it live. The BBC seem to have decided that we need 3 normal channels + 10 in the upper ranges of the digital spectrum, to cover swimming and track & field..

        So much for my licence, eh?

      2. Arron says:

        The ‘Only’ reason BBC used to get those interviews was EJ,Sky don’t really have anyone like that at the moment

      3. Peter C says:

        Neither do the BBC. EJ hasn’t been around for the last two races, so I haven’t had as much to laugh at.
        He must be topping up his amazing sun-tan.

    4. Leckie says:

      I hate the fact the commentators and presenters believe we are all fans of mclaren… I am a fan of Caterham but am annoyed when they never mention the team; Heikki was not mentioned once during the race… They only talk about the main teams and this really frustrates me as we British are notorious for liking our underdogs!

      1. KRB says:

        When are Caterham gonna snag a point? One would think they should be able to manage it before the year’s out. 99% chance that it’s Heikki.

      2. Peter C says:

        I agree. Only the top half-dozen teams are mentioned most of the time. You have to rely on on-screen graphics to have any knowledge of where Caterham, or others, are.

        The TV companies just cater for the lowest common denominator (Ferrari fan, McL fan, Red Bull fan etc.), rather than motor racing enthusiasts in general.

        BBC are good on their ‘live’ weekends, because they then have P1&2 on Friday & P3 on Sat. a.m. That’s when you hear more of the lesser Teams, usually with info. from the superb Gary Anderson.

      3. KRB says:

        Yeah, Gary is great. Able to distill complex tech for the regular F1 fan.

    5. Rach says:

      Don’t agree about your view on sky’s coverage. Sky have been incredible and many have commented that it is too much. Today was about a mclaren victory as they won! Also ted kravitz is simply brilliant and his piece today was spot on maybe you missed it!

      1. Irish con says:

        If you think that it was a balanced f1 show today after the race there’s something wrong. There is fans of more than Mclaren fans watching the coverage. Not a mention about Ferrari, Williams, caterham, sauber, Mercedes etc. I watch f1 because of all the teams. Not just Mclaren. Sky can do much better.

      2. Rach says:

        I think you can’t win if your sky. Did you see the build up to qualifying where they did a half term report and interviewed a member from every team?

        This week there will be a weekend in words programme. Then there will be the f1 show on Friday night. Also go check out there website there are interviews there with senna, schumacher, kimi etc

        I think sky have done a terrific job and yesterday was about Hamilton winning. Just imagine if they hadn’t concentrated on them then everyone would have been complaining the other way! Also, it’s not like they forgot about lotus who were the other story!

      3. W Johnson says:

        SKY is a British Broadcasting outfit and so catering for a Britsh audience so that is going to inevitably result in more coverage for McLaren, a British team. I’m pretty sure Italian broadcasters concentrate on Ferrari!

        Is that so hard to understand???

  20. Elie says:

    That was a great race and as predicted Lewis, with a good start was not to be beaten. Kimi did not answer the question on the podium- whether he thought he could pass Lewis with another 2-3 laps- I dont think he could have. Fantastic strategy by Lotus to go to Softs on first stop non-the-less – and Kimis drive in the middle was sensational especially the in/ out laps. I hate the Podium questions format cause all the top 3 want to do is celebrate ! We also don’t see post race press conference anymore which would answer some questions people here might have!

    Cannot understand Red Bulls tyre strategy- surely they had something left on that 3rd set of rubber and they had margin to Alonso/ button. I’m curious whether the FIA have discovered something with ride height that has taken their speed/ tyre wear advantage since Valencia ?. I can’t see their pace & tyres going off like that, I guess they don’t like heat also ! Would be interesting to understand this more if possible James.

    1. Quattro_T says:

      RB was one of the very few to adapt a three stop strategy for both cars. Not even Hamilton needed 3 stops (did not run in dirty air though…). A (vague) sign of suffering from removed illegal traction control?

  21. AlexD says:

    It was a super dull race, just like Monaco. I do not remember whether there was a single important overtaking..maybe Kimi on Romain.

    But theseason is the best ih history, I guess.

    Ferrari seem to be back to where thery started the season and they looked extremely off the pace. Maybe this is only this race, this track, these conditions, however it doesn’t look too promissing for Alonso for the remaining 9 races.

    What a shame we did not see Kimi overtaking Lewis. It just shows that the is nothing you can do here in Hungary. I was thinking that this moment alone would be a good pay off for spending 1,5 hrs watching a dull race, but it did not materialize sadly.

    Who is going to be strong in Spa?

    1. FerrariFan says:

      I agree it was much worse than Monaco

    2. Ryan Eckford says:

      McLaren and Lotus will be strong at Spa.

  22. Nick says:

    Time for Mclaren to put everything behind Lewis if they want a realistic shot at the championship.
    Sorry Jenson, but you are the best part of 4 wins behind Alonso, and its not going to happen this year.

    1. KRB says:

      Would they ask Jenson to swap places if JB-LH were running 1-2? I agree that JB is far out of contention, but it would sting nonetheless. Plus if JB’s winning, that means FA isn’t. But then again, that extra 7 pts could be mighty important. The gap in pts between the next positions drops off significantly.

      McLaren still have a lot of work to do to make that 1-2 scenario a good possibility.

      I also have my concerns that Button, even when mathematically eliminated, wouldn’t be the most helpful teammate for Hamilton’s championship.

    2. Rach says:

      I agree. Doing this could be crucial if the red bulls continue to take points off each other.

  23. Tm says:

    Mclaren shouldn’t be celebrating, they completely ruined jenson’s race…

    1. Luke Robbins says:

      Completely agree. Just lucky they didn’t act and do the same with LH!!

      mclaren are one of the worst teams on the grid on strategy, certainly the worst of the top runners. Embarrassing.

    2. Anand R says:

      No, remember Jenson was in traffic always. That alone ruins tyres. Maybe and hopefully, Mclaren take cue and address the issue. Next time, Lewis if not on pole, or if by a slip up lands up behind someone even his tyres would go off faster than it did today..

      1. Nigel says:

        “remember Jenson was in traffic always”

        From Button’s track position it ought to have been possible to find times to stop and find some clean air.
        That is something for which the driver has to rely on his team.

    3. LuvinF1 says:

      I think Jenson ruined Jenson’s race. He locked up his brakes several times in that first stint. I know the track is “almost” impossible to pass on, but I kept expecting him to give Senna a go while his tires were still fresh. Didn’t happen.

      1. Elie says:

        Completely agree!. Jenson was behind Kimi early on. But unlike Kimi he could not look after his tyres or pull off fast in & out laps ( setting fastest laps up to that point). Also he slightly over shot his pit spot which cost him half a second.
        Mclaren had no choice because Kimi was much faster ahead and also Webber was close by and going fast so it’s not like they had a choice…. He had to go quicker to give them options but he was destroying his tyres anyway. I like Jenson but he is not in the same league as Lewis and I bet Mclaren will be rueing having extending his contract !

      2. Peter C says:

        So why was he behind Senna?

        Because the Team put him there.

      3. Luke Robbins says:

        Exactly, vettel did 3 stops and it worked because the team pitted at the right time…

        how hard it is to look at timing gaps and realise you are bringing in your man in 3rd behind a williams lapping ‘slowly’ (cf front guys)???

        JB has been poor but in this case mclaren dropped the ball. Ted Kravitz reported before they actually made the switch from 2 to 3 button had asked ‘are you sure’ and the team then changed their mind… only to insist to button that ‘plan b’ was the way to go. all they had to do was wait a few more laps until JB was far enough ahead of Senna to fit into the gap behind massa (5-7 seconds of free air).

        mclaren always over complicate things and they arent half as clever as they think they are.

        another season with no constructors title.

    4. Vinola says:

      Half a second slower than your team mate in a quick car and not being able to overtake a mid field car with fresh soft rubber ruined Jenson’s race. When will people start making JB accountable for his poor performance?..cant get heat in the tyres, set up “issues”, cant find balance, smooth driving style, etc, etc

      1. Iain says:

        Absolute rubbish. In the second stint Lewis and Jenson were lapping with almost identical times. Nobody passed anyone today, after the start with the exception of Schumacher passing slow cars, following his penalty. I agree that Jenson’s performance has not been a good as Lewis’s this season. But please construct your argument with the backing of appropriate facts

      2. Vinola says:

        Yes, half a second per lap in the race would be outlandish, wouldn’t it?..ofcourse I meant in qualifying. Sorry you mis-understood. If JB had been within 4 tenths of Lewis in qualifying, he would have started second on the grid.

      3. wings on wheels says:

        ‘Nobody passed anyone today, after the start with the exception of Schumacher passing slow cars’
        FALSE! Guess who did?
        Alonso on Perez.

      4. Peter C says:

        wings on wheels

        Alonso on Perez? Could that have anything to do with tyres at that time?

        Wait for the Strategy Report.

  24. Luke Potter says:

    I’m all for this new idea of having interviews on the podium, but I don’t think that we should start having celebrities doing it. Either an ex-driver or a respected journalist. Not just a fan who happens to be well known because he was successful in something totally irrelevant to F1.

    Can you imagine Lewis coming on to interview the tenor after a performance at Sydney Opera House?

    1. Robie says:

      At least Placido asked better questions than The Rat – Lauda did in Germany! Bring back the normal post race interviews.

    2. nathan says:

      hahha that comment made my day!

      Lewis interviews placido!

  25. Avro says:

    Congratulations Lewis. Speedo, Mark.

  26. FerrariFan says:

    Great race from Lewis. The race itself was very boring and except for the first few laps, I didn’t see any overtaking. Even DRS, KERS and old tires did not help in this circuit. Strange strategy by RBR. If Alonso had pushed a bit more during Vettel’s third stop and got ahead of him, he could have easily defended in this circuit. That should be considered a missed opportunity. But he has a healthy 40 point advantage. However, I expect a strong challenge coming from Hamilton and Raikonen in the coming races. Daring move by Raikonen against Grosjean. But it could have easily ended in disaster for both. But great to see the smiling face of Grosjean. Vettel would have been extremely unhappy if Webber pulled off something like that. Finally, I am getting tired of the grumpiness of Kimi. He should enjoy his podiums a bit. He is in a good championship position after all.

    1. Satish says:

      You’re looking for more emotion from Kimi “mumbles inaudibly” Raikonnen?

      Kimi fans must be fans of pure racing alone, as that is all they get from Kimi.

  27. Malcolm says:

    After today results, Fernando now will definitely be keeping an eye out on Lewis!

    1. James Clayton says:

      And Kimi!

  28. FerrariFan says:

    BTW whats wrong with Merc. I have never seen a stalled car in a while (in fact not after the nienties). Even the Marussias and HRTs never stall. Was it a driver error of some sort? They could bounce back at least in qualy in Spa and Monza. But I see Lotus introducing their form of super DRS for these two races and doing great. I guess we might see Kimi emerge as a serious title contender after these two races.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      In fact if Merc can’t get their act together, they are fast becoming an embarrassment for the brand. They were doing well supporting Mclaren all these years.

      1. Andrew says:

        I have to agree FerrariFan. Mercedes f1 team are a embarrassment to there brand atm. They havent signed the new concorde agreement yet!

        I just get that feeling that the people in the board rooms at Mercedes are losing there interest in this whole F1 project. The team is going backwards and the development of the car is not good enough

    2. LuvinF1 says:

      Schu’s car didn’t stall – he turned it off. In hind sight it was a bad decision, but in his post-race interview didn’t he state that the lights lured him into believing a re-start was in the cards and he didn’t want the engine to overheat?

      1. FerrariFan says:

        Read that now. Interesting.

    3. Methusalem says:

      Mercedes probably is planning to quit the F1 as a team.

    4. Ryan Eckford says:

      The problem with the Mercedes car at the moment is that they are trying to sort out their tyre wear issues by changing the weight balance of the car, yet they are even worse now than at the start of the season. Should have learnt about the car with the balance they had at the start of the season. Mercedes have underachieved, and have failed Schumacher nearly all season long. Rosberg is proving that he is not a ‘real’ top class driver in the mould of Alonso and others at that level.

  29. TheGreatTeflonso says:

    My god this race was dull. It was obvious after the first few laps, to me at least, that DRS zone was too short because it wasn’t adding to the excitement at all. I found myself playing words with friends on my iPad during most of the race… And I’ve watched every single race in the last 17 years. Probably because we were spoiled with exciting GPs lately it seemed worse than normal. DRS should have been more effective here, at least letting a driver get nose to tail, instead it didn’t even do that.

    I was certain Ferrari haven’t had the fastest car at all despite the recent form, which is mainly due to their driver and other teams mistakes. Proven today, Ferrari just got to grips with the tires better, but now the other teams are as well and their true pace, or lack thereof, is apparent. Hamilton did well, I do think he had more pace if he needed it. Kimi loves Spa… He has to have a definite chance of winning. It’s going to be a long, long 5 weeks. I think all of the fans already know which tracks tend to be processional… Why don’t they just extend the DRS zone at those particular tracks to offer a hint of excitement or the odd overtaking manouver James?

  30. Methusalem says:

    Great win for Lewis! Beautiful Overtaking Manoeuvre from Jenson on Vettel at the start. I think the best cars the last 5 to 6 races have been Lotus. I think neither Raikkonen nor Grosjean were able to perform accordingly. Kubica and Heidfeld could have handled this great car a lot better, methinks.

    1. Elie says:

      Bahahaha…Heidfeld ! !-You got to be kidding! Robert Kubica – maybe ,but everyone in the pits knows Kimi & Romain are doing a fantastic job !

    2. KRB says:

      Heidfeld better than Kimi? You must be smokin’ something!

    3. Alexander says:

      What a biased comment, Kimi’s second stint pace was blistering. Lotus problem is qualifying, once they solve it they will begin to win, Watch out Kimi at Spa

      1. Megan says:

        Or you can think of it in a different way. Lotus didn’t exactly have a great pick of drivers last year, they are pretty lucky that Kimi came along. If they were still using any combination of Petrov, Grosjean or Senna they would have been 5th in championship right now, and they certainly would not have been in contention for the WDC. Kimi’s results and consistency is the thing that is keeping them in contention.

  31. FerrariFan says:

    James,
    What do you make of these Kimi to Ferrari rumors ? I feel Kimi is simply milking it to improve his hand at lotus negotiations.

    1. James Allen says:

      I don’t see it. He’s doing well where he is. I don’t see Ferrari wanting him that badly

    2. Elie says:

      Ferrari would never sign Kimi again. Kimi would never go back to Ferrari. Lotus are rising whereas others are holding ground or falling. He has a 2 year deal with them which is just perfect at this stage.

      1. Nathan says:

        How do you know kimi wouldn’t go back to ferrari

      2. Elie says:

        Yr right.. No sooner had a wrote that then Kimi was quoted as saying post Hungaroring ” he never had any bad feelings to Ferrari and given the chance he would consider driving..” Oops bites me tongue ! ..I guess times do change & he was just more bored of the politics than of the team.

      3. Davexxx says:

        Agree with James: things and times change and Ferrari might get better (with their car) and still be an attractive proposition. And if Kimi was as good as Alonso with ‘taming’ a ragged car ad doing well, it must be very satisfying for a driver.
        On the other side of the coin it could go wrong: sadly Schumi seems to be struggling, despite his earlier (previous F1 life) abilities, and I wonder if he now has to consider quitting; Mercedes must be running out of patience now. Did I read correctly the last race non-start was also down to Schumi, being out of grid position, AND then switching off his engine,and then speeding… Rookie mistakes! Blimey, Bad Day At The Office there!

      4. Elie says:

        Yep just looked it up.
        http://formula-one.speedtv.com/article/f1-bad-day-for-michael-schumacher/

        No fear for Kim-i he has brought a forth or fifth paced team right back to the top of the time sheets already. I wouldn’t trade him for any driver on the grid including Fernando-Kimi / Fernando at Lotus look out world !

    3. Lynn says:

      Kimi didn’t start the rumour. If anything its Ferrari milking it in negotiation for other drivers to replace Massa.

      @James, same, Kimi doesn’t seem to want Ferrari that badlly either. He is doing fine at Lotus. After 2 years he can return to rally for fun or whatever.

      Stefano should have been making those statements before not now…too little too late creating unnecessary rumours.

  32. goferet says:

    Meanwhile was consoled to see Sam Michael not too happy up there on the podium for if it wasn’t for Lotus’ mistake in Grosjean’s first stop, Lewis would have surely got jumped and he wouldn’t have seen Grosjean till parc ferme

    Yes, Mclaren still have some work to do with their pit stops and strategy but having said that, Sam Michael deserves lots of credit for taking the brave decision to keep Lewis out there on a two stop.

    Should that strategy have gone wrong, I swear the backlash would have seen a number of Mclaren employees clear their desks.

    Merci Sam Michael, we’re slowly but surely becoming fans for at least we now have a quick car to play with.

    1. dzolve says:

      No you’re wrong.

      Even with a perfect stop Grosjean would not have come out in front of Hamilton.

      And, as for the strategy, keeping Lewis on a two stopper was a no brainer. On that track there was no way the Lotuses were ever going to get past him, especially, as I suspect Lewis could have pushed harder if he had needed to.

    2. Luke Clements says:

      Agreed Go Feret, With all the Mclaren fans on this site, I’m so surprised someone hasn’t mentioned Sam Michael on the podium earlier. They’ve slammed him all year, and then he gets into the drivers room and looks like a vegetarian at Ranchers convention.

      I thought the body language between him and LH was particularly interesting. Best mates..they clearly ain’t. Looked like LH has very little respect for SM, and SM knows it. He tried, but LH wasn’t giving him anything back, if anything Lewis seemed slightly aggressive towards SM & clearly annoyed he was there. Don’t think he was too impressed with him chatting to Kimi either.

      That was my reading anyway, could be totally wrong.

      1. Craig in Manila says:

        Agree with your reading/perception : looked very uncomfortable and LH even but then LH went and did the champagne-on-the-head routine and my perception changed (slightly).

    3. Elie says:

      Sam Michael doesn’t design or build the cars so no need to thank him. Ain’t it funny how as soon as he leaves Williams everything in the pit garage seemed to improve for them.

    4. Oliver says:

      Rather I believe it was Hamilton who didn’t agree with the decision, and that was why he was telling him after the race that they should have trusted him. When the radio message was delivered during the race, Lewis comment was I hear yah, which sounded to me as being very cynical of the idea.

  33. goferet says:

    *Edited*

    Fabulous win from Lewis today and boy did we need it.

    Have to say, the track characteristics of the Hungary track really helped here for Lewis was all but a sitting duck from those Lotus boys but still well done to Lewis for he sure did sock up lots of pressure.

    Good attacking drive from Kimi too but as Grosjean showed on Saturday, the Lotus cars can qualify well, it’s just that Kimi lost some of his A game when it comes to qualifying.

    Regards Grosjean, he’s still lacks experience when it comes to racing for we saw a number of errors from him

    As for Ferrari, they were not pretty quick here, I suspect just like Mercedes & Mclaren, their cars must prefer the cooler conditions but hey good work by Alonso for 5th is still some decent points.

    Anyway all in all, happy with today’s
    goings-on though only rain can save the show at Hungary but thanks to the Lotuses for making today’s race not that bad.

    1. Irish con says:

      Probably the hardest thing to pick back up after a 2 year break is one lap low fuel pace. Something kimi hasn’t done for a long long time.

    2. Hezla says:

      I think Kimi setup the car for the race and for not for quali, it cost him in Q3 but he is faster than Grosjean in the race because of this. When Lotus are able to give him a car that can qualify well without compromise the race pace, he will win.

      1. Megan says:

        This is Lotus’s first front row start for the whole season, they have definitively had some trouble with qualifying. I do think Kimi and Lotus has improved their qualifying, Kimi just hasn’t been able to show it in last 3 races for different reasons. In Silverstone Kimi’s KERS wasn’t working in qualifying, and in Germany Kimi was very fast until the rain started,but Lotus was dead slow on full wets. This weekend again Kimi was very fast throughout qualifying but he just messed up the most crucial lap in Q3.

      2. Ahmed says:

        You are right Hezla, he mentioned that in the post race press-con

  34. Bernardo says:

    Great drive from Lewis and a fascinating head to head with Kimi and Grossjean, not only did Kimi win, but he stamped a bit of authority on the inconsistent youngster too.

    But the best news all day was the poor race for alonso, and that he is deluding himself repeatedly only referring to Webber as his only challenger ! His advantage was slashed by a quarter in one race by Lewis, no doubt by more soon :)

    Happy summer break all, Lewis especially !

    1. Kev says:

      You can’t win all the races in a season with a car that is not the best of the field. That is when you play it strategically and make sure you nearest competitor doesn’t out score you. He will focus on Hamilton once he is a threat to his position.

      Right now it is Webber and Vettel. Hamilton isn’t even in the radar. Kimi is ahead of him if you check the points table:)

      1. Kev says:

        OK. Just checked that the points table wasn’t updated. Lewis leads Kimi by 1.

        Still his main rivals currently are the Red Bulls. Ferrari will also try to improve the car over the next few races and seeing the way the car was performing today, it is great that Alonso is on top of the standings with a 40 point lead.

      2. KRB says:

        I’m sure Alonso will keep an eye out; he’d be stupid not to. As Alonso said at the start of the year, he just wants to be in the game at the end (the quote was actually “we just want to be close to Hamilton near the end”, back early doors of the season when McLaren looked the class of the field). He’s assured himself of that, barring some bizarre results.

        Alonso will drive to maximise points, to whittle the title race down to four, then three, then two drivers, always making sure he’s in that fight. That’s why he had no problem with Webber passing him at Silverstone. Sure, he was going to lose 7 pts to Webber that day, but he was gaining on everyone else.

        Alonso’s biggest deficit in the DWC? 15 pts, after the very first race. His biggest lead is now, at 40, having increased it at the last two races. He’s led the standings after six of the eleven rounds so far, and most importantly for the last four rounds.

        40 pts sounds like a lot, and it is. But it’s less of a lead than the 17 pts Raikkonen made up on Hamilton in the last two races of 2007, which was effectively a 1st and 2nd place finish difference. Alonso’s 40 pt advantage is a 1st and 3rd place finish difference.

        Still, every driver would rather be in Alonso’s position than vice versa.

      3. KRB says:

        “Isn’t even on the radar”??? If you were talking about Rosberg or Button, this would make sense. But there’s only 8 pts difference between Webber in 2nd, and Kimi in 5th! All should be on FA’s “radar”.

      4. Kev says:

        Hamilton’s form at Hungary is more like Vettel at Valencia. More like the track absolutely suited to the driver and then the car.

        The more consistent ones in the points are the RBs. Hence I think Ferrari will be working on getting their car faster and finishing ahead of RBs before Hamilton comes into the picture.

      5. KRB says:

        One thing I like about Alonso is that he’s very straight-forward and “tells it like it is” when he talks about the championship. So it’s no surprise to see him say (yesterday, Aug 17th) that his main rivals for the championship are LH and SV (listed in that order).

        Kev, hard to say about Hungary. McLaren’s done well there recently, and Lewis especially. But Jenson qualified 4th and was having a very decent race until his 2nd stop. Then both Button and Hamilton had good pace the week before in Germany, even though Hamilton was out of it b/c of the early puncture. When was the last time you saw someone unlap themselves (I guess he never did get back on the lead lap, but he unlapped himself from behind the 2nd placed car)? I would think it was awhile back now, but always happy to be shown to be mistaken.

        Hockenheim and Hungaroring are very different tracks, and both Mac’s ran well there. Spa is a high-speed track, but also has some tight sections where you can make a lot of time. It will be interesting to see how the McLaren runs there. The team thought Silverstone would play to their supposed strengths (high-speed corners), but they were off the pace there. We won’t find out until Aug 31st, and really, not ’til the lights go out.

    2. Quattro_T says:

      I am sure Fernando will mention hamilton more often, when/if he leaves 4th and manages to beat Webber to the 2nd place in the standings. With a car half a sec faster than the Ferrari I am sure he could manage catching even El Magico, even if recent statistics suggest otherwise…

    3. Sebastian says:

      Alonso is smart, but yeah, reminds us of the mistake of covering Webber in Abu Dhabi. Ultimately loosing him the championship to Vettel.

      1. Quattro_T says:

        That was hardly a misstake of his though, rather a (very) bad call by the team.

    4. Methusalem says:

      Or, Happy B-Day, Alonso! He turned 31, and was expecting a precious present today, his 31st win.

  35. Bring Back Muarray says:

    Please let this be the result that finally kick starts Hamilton’s season.

    With Spa coming up next, that should suit his attacking driving style rather nicely.

    OK so the race wasn’t as exciting as others this season but at least the top drivers were relatively close together, unlike the last couple of seasons where Vettel was storming off into the distance right from the start.

    All it would have taken was for Hamilton’s tyres to go off slightly more at the end and we’d have had a major fight for the lead on our hands.

  36. Michael says:

    Just one thing I noticed. Vettel did a fastest lap at the end of the race. However, there was a yellow flag. How can you do a fastest lap while there is a yellow flag?

    1. KRB says:

      The cars will get faster every lap by virtue of burning fuel. The yellow was a sector yellow … just meant that you couldn’t pass there, not that it was a prime passing place anyways.

      1. Michael says:

        According to the rules you have to demonstrate that you are aware of the yellow flag, not only by not passing, but also by not doing a fast sector time.

      2. Oliver says:

        The marshals had been redrawn from the yellow zone, hence there was only a reminder to the drivers of a potential hazard, off the racing tangent.

  37. ChrisJ says:

    I don’t recall Jenson moaning about his tyres so why bring him in when Seb was getting rattled behind him! Mclaren did a good job of helping Vettel to get in front of Jenson. Don’t agree with the drive through for Maldonado, no wonder drivers were reluctant to try overtaking moves. This was the most boring race in a long while. Kimi easily driver of the day!

    1. KRB says:

      He pushed Di Resta off the track! You can’t force other cars off the track and not be penalized. If you say that he lost control of the car somewhat and had to open up his steering, and thru that ran into Di Resta, that’s neither here nor there. It was a reckless pass, and I’m baffled that he tried the pass there.

      I am totally with you in regards to stewards needing to punish drivers in front that turn in early or weave, relying on the “responsibility of the passer to ensure a clean pass” maxim to disguise their misdeeds. Anyone can do a few crazy weaves and make sure that no one will attempt a pass. That’s not racing.

      1. ChrisJ says:

        Did not Kimi do similar to Romain to a slightly lesser extent?

      2. KRB says:

        Totally different … Kimi was ahead, inviting Grosjean to drive into a closing wedge. That’s always been a part of racing. Maldonado was behind Di Resta, couldn’t control the car with the speed he went into the corner with, and pushed Di Resta off the track. Di Resta did well to avoid big contact in that incident.

  38. Mee says:

    James, wasn’t it obvious Vettel didn’t pit because his tyres were shot, but that his only chance on making up positions was pitting and trying to close the gap fast enough?

    A couple of laps before he pitted for the 3rd time he had 19 seconds ahead of Alonso and was at that point a bit faster than Grosjean. If he continued this way he would have finished 4th, passing Grosjean was near on impossible. So, RB took the calculated risk to pit for softs (they had the -albeit narrow- pit window to Alonso), and offered Vettel the opportunity to close the gap to Grosjean by setting fastest lap after fastest lap. The only problem was they pitted him too late: I was monitoring the gap to Alonso since I had this idea a couple of laps earlier and they could have pitted earlier. Would he have pitted 2 laps earlier, in my opinion he would have passed Grosjean for 3rd (with 2 secs/lap difference I think he should have managed it).

    They tried and failed, but otherwise he would have finished 4th anyway. But I dare say his tyres weren’t finished at that point.

  39. hal says:

    Great race from Lewis. Kept it together in a slower (race pace car). One mistake and he would have lost the lead. So very well done. It was also very well thought out too as he lost little to no time in the all important final sector.

  40. Michael S says:

    Great race by Lewis but I would not say he “held of the pair of Lotus drivers” as no one was abel to pass today. Alonso did well on the much slower Sauber but other than that it was a long train of nothing when it came to passing.

    If Kimi had not let Alonso by at the beginning when he lacked KERS he most likely would have won, but he didn’t so he didn’t

    1. Ahmed says:

      Kimi didnt have his KERS operational on the first couple of laps, that’s when ALO got through.

  41. Lisa Thomas says:

    James, did you take that photo of the table with three helmets?

    I thought Placido Domingo did really well on the podium and was very nice to everyone concerned, but I prefer the old procedure and the press conf as before

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, while Domingo was doing his thing on th podium. I interviewed Kimi and Romain afterwards in cool down room

      1. Methusalem says:

        James, it’s kind of sad that no one was willing/interested to interview Karthikeyan, the Indian — I saw his standing alone and waiting for journalists to approach him after the qualifying.

      2. Trent says:

        The helmets (and the cars generally) seem so pristine post-race nowdays. Why is that? Compare to this shot from 1992.

        http://www.formula1.com/results/season/1992/189/

  42. Rach says:

    Don’t understand button’s strategy. Even when they put him on the soft tyre I think they should have considered leaving him out till the end. They could see that the soft tyre was lasting longer than expected – firstly they saw that on full tanks on a green track that they went 19 laps. Button also said he had life left in them. Then kimi did an incredible middle stint on them.

    My feeling is surely it was worth keeping track position than just pitting and getting stuck behind alonso?

    Mclaren also still have dodgy pitstops and they only won today because on his day Hamilton is the best driver out there. Ron should remember this when it comes to negotiations!

    Alonso only confirmed today that he will be champion. Great clean drive.

    1. Oliver says:

      Button did 15 laps on his first stint, but was 9seconds behind the leader. If they had made him go further before his first stop, Button would have slowed the others down so much that he would feed out in maybe 13th or 14th place and it would be game over by then. So the team saw some space and got him out in it, hoping to use the undercut to propel him forward relative to the front runners.

  43. Andy j says:

    James, pls we need more insight into the conversation after the race between lh and Sam m. Lewis saying to sm you can trust me. With sm saying we know we were not sure we could do it.
    This has been mentioned elsewhere that Lewis may have vetoed the call to go plan b. . Perhaps it was not sm decision. Would be interesting to know, as I t would give some insight into Lewis trust in mclarens strategy decisions that appear to us looking in seem to get it wrong a lot.

    1. hal says:

      I heard this too and would love clarification.

    2. D17MO.D says:

      +1

      I also picked up on this conversation. I’m sure it ended with Hamilton saying in a jokey (but potentially ‘gritted teeth’ way):

      “what, you guys don’t trust me?”

      I may have misheard but nonetheless it was a very interesting conversation that was quite audible at the time and gave a quite interesting insight.

      1. Craig in Manila says:

        My hearing was that SM said something like “we weren’t sure that the tyres would make it”. It seemed he was saying it to both Kimi and LH. LH then replied with “what, you guys don’t trust me”. Looked like SM wasn’t sure how to handle that reply, tt all looked very awkward indeed !

      2. D17MO.D says:

        That’s it!

        So, what I take from that is SM and the pit wall (as with Jenson) wanted to go to ‘plan b’ (3 stop strategy) but Lewis was telling them that ‘plan a’ was the right option because he knew that he was looking after his tyres in such a way that was allowing him to keep the Lotuses at bay.

        What I don’t understand is – I distinctly remember a team radio during the race where Hamilton asked the team how his 1st set of tyres looked after using them and pitting for his 2nd set of primes to which the team replied: “from looking at your tyres, we will be able to go to the end of the race”. If that was the case, why all of a sudden did the team get so worried? So much so that Hamilton was telling them that his tyres were OK but by the sounds of it SM / the team didn’t want to believe him?

        My next question would be; with both JB and LH – who ultimately made the decision to go to a two stop or three? Did JB give in to the team? Did LH say no and refuse it? Did the team ultimately make both decisions?

        … Im rambling a bit but yeah, as the original post pointed out, it was a v. interesting interlude between them.

        Would love to see if you could dig anything up on this James?

        My next question

      3. Oliver says:

        I think Hamilton was reluctant to switch to a 3 stopper. Button on the other hand is used to the team doing their best to move him forward after qualifying poorly. Look at all the races where he has made progress from a lower qualifying position, the team had always strategy to get him ahead by either using the undercut or delaying his stop and stopping his team mate earlier.

  44. Paul says:

    Who got quickest put stop today placed bet but don’t no I’ve won or not

  45. Paul says:

    I mean pit stop lol

  46. Richard says:

    So much for Button being easier on tyres than Hamilton. Actually that’s a bit unfair because it’s the relationship between the tyres and the car set up and balance that’s the issue here. – Other than the ridiculous tyre lottery we are forced to watch. That said it was a very controlled race from Lewis and a thoroughly deserved win. McLaren need to make another sizeable step if they are to remain properly in front. The Lotus car as well as Red Bull and Ferrari are going to be even harder to beat at the next race at Spa.

  47. Yo says:

    Win for McLaren, but to me it looked as if Lotus and Red Bull were faster than them, and not just a couple of tenths but by a larger margin.

    This shows how important qualifying is, specially in this circuit.

    Vettel pitted a third time because he had nothing to lose, except hoping that Grosjean would suffer from tyre degradation in the last few laps…

  48. Lawrence says:

    I thought this race was interesting. A great drive from Lewis and the two Lotus drivers. Shame about MS and PM. Sky’s coverage was really dull. I feel for them though, the BBC’s coverage was always going to be hard to equal never mind beat. Simon Lazenby has definitely settled in but Damon and Johnny are just boring. David Croft and MB are excellent though. Another nine races to go! Woohoo!

    1. Truth or Lies says:

      I strongly disagree, Crofts ok but Brundle is a complete pain in the neck. He’s so smug it’s unbelievable, his comment after the race about ‘texting Charlie’ about the problem with the start sequence was so pretentious. I simply hate having to pay so much for a second rate service. Compared to the BBC Sky’s coverage is a joke.

      1. James Clayton says:

        I strongly disagree. I think Brundle’s insight, though getting dated somewhat, is invaluable to the process. He also knows *when* to get excited and when to just talk, a opposed to Croft who is irritating and loutish.

        Sky Better pairing that Legard & Brundle, for sure. But they’re not as good as James & Brundle were, and not a patch on Brundle and Coulthard.

      2. Oliver says:

        I agree with truth or lies, Brundle most of the time is a pain to listen to, sometimes you get the impression he was a multiple champion, unlike the also ran that he is. There is too much analysis in his commentary. The irony of it is, of all the driver analyst in recent times on either sky or BBC, the one who has given the best insight while also having respect for the drivers, has been Heimi Alguersuari.

  49. mjsib says:

    James, when all these rumours start about who will replace Massa, as someone with a real insight into F1, who starts these rumours and are any true?

    1. James Allen says:

      Various managers with an axe to grind, sometimes teams put out smokescreens, sometimes planting stories to throw people off a scent.

      Varies, but it makes it challenging to get at the truth

      1. David says:

        Fascinating! Can you categorize any of the rumours we’re hearing now as axes, smokescreens, or plants?

    2. Arron says:

      I think Schuey is just taking up a place now, it hasn’t worked out,time for a young gun to get a chance.

      1. Oliver says:

        Wasn’t that an April fools prank? Ferrari will not drop Massa and then take on someone who is even slower, yet comes with a press entourage that has a very mighty ego.

    3. Davexxx says:

      I’m not trying to start a rumour but wouldn’t it be interesting if, behind the scenes and on the quiet, LEWIS went to Ferrari?! He clearly wants to negotiate with a McLaren, who want to lower his salary, while Ferrai need a good driver to replace Massa!

  50. charlie says:

    I noticed above that someone regarded this as a great race for Romain Grosjean. However, while I agree that out-qualifying your teammate by three places and finishing on the podium is a good result by anyone’s standards, ultimately this was not a positive result for the Frenchman. In fact, after the first few races of the season in which Grosjean’s qualifying pace was often better than Kimi Raikkonen’s (a statistic that never transferred to race pace) Grosjean is starting to look slower than Kimi, even in qualifying.

    Today Kimi started in 5th, to Grosjean’s 2nd, and finished ten seconds in front of him despite sitting in the dirty air of Lewis Hamilton for the last ten laps while Grosjean was in clean air. Kimi’s race was also compromised by a lack of Kers, a fact that was ostensible at the first turn and cost him a place to Fernando Alonso. This makes his subsequent comeback all the more remarkable.

    Grosjean cannot look to qualifying for reassurance. I paid careful attention to both Raikkonen and Grosjean in every qualifying session in Hungary and when both cars were setting laps under similar circumstances, Kimi’s times were on average 0.250 seconds a lap faster than Grosjean’s. That applied to every lap in every session until the final run in Q3 during which Kimi evidently made a mistake.

    The psychological impact of Lotus’ two cars’ races upon each of its drivers must be significant. Kimi will know that he had the better of Grosjean throughout the weekend at Silverstone and the Hungaroring. He will also know that his qualifying woes are definitely over after being faster than Grosjean for most of Saturday in Hungary. For Grosjean, he caught a lucky break when his teammate messed up in Q3 and then had to sit by on Sunday as he was reeled in, and then watch as his teammate disappeared ten seconds down the road. That must hurt.

    There has been a lot of negativity and out-right neglect, especially from the British media, of Kimi Raikkonen this season. However the reality is that he has been out of F1 for two years, he has finished every lap of every race, and in a car that doesn’t like the rain…in a season boasting an inordinate amount of rain…he is definitely in with a shout for the championship. His racecraft has been unbelievable this season…think passing Di Resta in Germany…and yet while his teammate has crashed out with regularity Raikkonen has been a secure set of hands on the wheel of the Lotus.

    My advice to Lotus would be to choose a Number 1 driver now, before it is too late to win the WDC…

    1. Oliver says:

      I think Grosjean did a fantastic race. If you understand race dynamics, you will appreciate that Grosjean never could run at his true pace for more than a very brief period, while Kimi had the potential to run at his true pace when it was critical that he did so hence the result. Vettel started 3rd finished 4th, Grosjean started 2nd and finished 4th, because at the critical moments they had a driver ahead who dictated their own pace at critical moments in the race.

      1. Charlie says:

        While it is amusing to see that misplaced condescension can be applied in F1 discussions, you actually raise a good point that emphasises mine, for which I am grateful. The reality is that Raikkonen’s qualifying performances have put him in situations in which he has often had to sit in traffic this season thereby sacrificing his race pace. The fact that he has ultimately still outpaced Grosjean in races despite this fact just emphasises his superiority. Moreover, it is worth noting that Raikkonen sat behind Alonso for 18 laps at the start of the Hungarian race and still managed to put in exceptionally fast in-laps.

      2. Chad says:

        Awesome response. It’s true, Kimi has now found a sweet spot on the Lotus. I fully expect him to come very close to challenging for the title. If the Ferrari has hit a peak in ability to turn what was initially a poor car into a front-runner then it will be a straight race between Red Bull, Mclaren and Hamilton.

        I expect to see Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Vettel finish top 4… What order will they finish? That is the question…

  51. F12012 says:

    Interesting race, kimi looks like he’s back to his old form

    Hope F1 go’s back to the old press conference’s after the race, don’t like the podium interviews at all

    Sky’s coverage average at best, bbc far more interesting, especially Gary Anderson

    1. mr sneff says:

      BBCs coverage has been so much better for the last 2 races without Jake Humphrey and especially without the ghastly Eddie Jordan.

      1. Peter C says:

        +1

  52. Rayz says:

    I thought it was a real teams race today, all about strategy. Lets face it, we knew overtaking was going to be difficult and so it proved to be. Raikkonen was absolutely blistering at the end of his second stint. He put in a couple of amazing laps in the 1m15s when the rest of leaders were running in the 27′s, many of whom were on fresh prime rubber.
    A very good race from Hamilton as well under the circumstances. He had to get a result here to keep his championship hopes alive and he certainly did that.
    Grosjean was solid, if unspectacular, as were Vettel and Alonso. Disappointing performance from Jenson. The strategy cost him dearly in the race but he was a good half second off Hamilton’s pace all weekend so he cant complain about his teams poor strategy calls during the race. Schumacher yet again failed to finish a Grand Prix, although Mercedes on the whole this weekend were way off the pace. I expect both they and the Saubers to be competitive at Spa however.

    So to sum up, driver of the day for me, and for the second week in a row has to be Raikkonen. Hamilton close behind. A good drive from Senna too.

    Driver of the day

    1. Raikkonen
    2. Hamilton
    3. Senna

    Flops of the Day

    1. Schumacher
    2. Webber
    3. Button/Maldonado

    Oh and James….. dont forget to do a mid term break scorecard for all the teams and drivers.
    Teams on the up, Lotus and Sauber.
    Mercedes on a dodgy D- for my money.

    1. Rayz says:

      that was meant to be 1m25 for Kimi.

      1.15 would be impressive

  53. tarun says:

    james, with what you have seen so far, do you think kimi can mount a title challenge this year?, his form this year reminds me of 2003 season when he was on the podium most of the races. I do feel with the form he’s in rightnow, KR should be one of the favorite for spa! and he usually comes off stronger in the 2nd half of season anyway!

    1. Toleman fan says:

      Same question. Mclaren, Ferrari and Red Bull all seem to agree that Lotus aren’t a contender, presumably either because they won’t be able to maintain their development rate, or because the former all think the E20 is too slow to worry about. Thoughts?

      1. KRB says:

        Everything I’ve seen are those teams saying that Lotus will be a threat in the second half of the season.

        Would it be consensus opinion though, that RB, McLaren & Ferrari would be more likely to push development for this season further than Lotus would before moving most of the resources onto next year’s car? I would think so, but could be wrong.

    2. James Clayton says:

      He’s only 1 point behind Hamilton in a car that seems just as quick. Trouble is if the McLaren and the Lotus remain competitive and take points off each other (not to mention what the Red Bulls can manage) then it’s going to be hard for any one driver to mount a challenge to the big A

  54. r0ssj says:

    Good drives from Lewis and Kimi (especially Kimi’s middle stint), but a really dull race.

    Alonso was in damage limitation mode, and came away with some usefull points. But if that’s Ferrari’s pace on a warm dry weekend, I’d be somewhat worried for Alonso’s championship challenge.

  55. Nick Hipkin says:

    James,

    Any thoughts on a v.sold weekend for Bruno Senna? It seems he is the one under pressure for 2013 but is far more consistent than his teammate

  56. Skinny says:

    Stuff LH, stuff lotus, stuff FA. Why the hell is Maldonado still allowed in a car? He, again, made deliberate contact. What the hell is he doing?

    1. Quattro_T says:

      For the same reason Hamilton still was last year. It is called racing.

  57. Arron says:

    Mclaren have been pretty poor since Ron Dennis stepped aside.

    1. James Clayton says:

      What has that got to do with anything in the article??

  58. JustGuessing says:

    Great drive from Lewis.

    Seams the rumours of devious doings at the Red Bulls (flexi wings, illegal engine mapping etc…) have finally pushed the FIA into greater scrutiny of the team. Certainly other teams were constantly questioning the legality of the RB’s for the last 2 years.

    Has a WDC ever been disqualified for cheating retrospectively?

    How the RB’s preform in future races will be very interesting to see.

  59. Nil says:

    Whoever thought the driver interviews on the podium are a good idea? The questions are not well thought. The personalities maybe celebrated and experienced racing drivers but that doesn’t make them good interviewers.

  60. Greg says:

    What was the point of starting Webber on the medium tyres only to pit him within a lap or 2 of the front runners especially after he had made such a great start and was holding place with those in front on the softs?
    Then they pitted him early again on the second set of mediums around half race distance to go onto the softs with 30 odd laps still to go.
    2 errors in my opinion then they bring him in again when he’s in 5th and gaining on Vettel as well as pulling away from Alonso, and drop him in behind Senna who had already showed how hard he was to pass after Button was held up behind him.
    Some very strange pit calls from RBR, as mentioned earlier seems they are happy to get Mark into the top 10 but not too close to Vettel if they can avoid it.

    1. Greg (Aus) says:

      Agreed, made no sense whatsoever. You really have to wonder about it.

      Maybe that was all the team could come up with to help him given they couldn’t do anything about Button. Vettel’s pleas to the pitwall to “do something!” were quite bizarre.

  61. Nismo + F1 says:

    I can not wait for Spa the best traditional f1 track that’s still active. I expect a Mclaren and Lotus battle. They do seem good with performance but you can never discount Ferrari or Redbull. It looks like Mclaren are starting to understand their car but did make a strategy blunder on the first stint with Jenson. Mclaren now need to get both cars on 1st & 2nd places. Mclaren should be confident with their future upgrades.

  62. F1 fanatic says:

    Senna wasn’t 8th as the article says, but 7th

  63. JohnO says:

    Boring GP to be honest, virtually no overtaking and little wheel to wheel action. DRS clearly didn’t work on the straight and they will have to extend the zone next year if it’s possible.
    I think Senna deserves a special mention, drove an excellent race and got the most out of the Williams.

    Merc are a huge disappointment in the last few races. Micheal to ferrari :)

  64. Paul rodriguez says:

    One day you people complain about overtaking being too easy, and the next about processional or ‘boring races’. I found the race quite entertaining, this is F1…

  65. Triangle says:

    Hamilton will definitely go on and win the championship now

  66. Ben says:

    Does anyone know why Lewis had his rainlight on for the second part of the race?

    I seem to remember that light was also linked to the rev limiter as some teams were using the limiter as a traction control device.

    Not saying McLaren was doing that, I’m really happy they won but it would be interesting to know why it was on and why it wasn’t turned off.

    1. JR says:

      I noticed that too, looked weird.

  67. Nick says:

    Great drive from Lewis, Kimi was outstanding as well. I think Lotus could be a major threat to anyone soon …

    James, btw:
    What’s your opinion about Mercedes as a team?
    Has they choosed not the right direction after China/Monaco or this is just a priority issue , tyres vs aerodynamic or?

    And why their one car always suffers?

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s strange they aren’t moving forward as I expected them too. They seem to have all kinds of problems getting the tyres to work.

      Can’t understand why Schuey was 2 x P3 in wet qualifying and Rosberg was nowhere. Then in Hungary they were all over the place in quail again.

      1. Andrew says:

        James

        Are Mercedes any closer to signing this new concorde agreement with Bernie?

        I juat get the feeling Mercedes wont be around that much longer in F1 as a team. in my view this whole project just is not working out.

      2. James Allen says:

        No sign of them pulling out. That said the project isn’t working out as you say.

        However they have won a race this year, don’t forget and Schumacher’s had a podium, so there is progress to show to a company board.

        Depends on the deal on offer though, I’m sure

  68. JohnBt says:

    Valencia will be axed for 2013, can Hungary be axed too?
    Only interesting part of the race was Kimi catching Lewis.
    But Valencia was a much better race then Hungaboring.

    1. James Allen says:

      The main man there Tamas Frank died recently and his daughter runs it now, I heard.

      But Bernie’s very loyal to this place and I’m sure it will stay on the calendar for some time

      1. BasilBeDemented says:

        Can we go to Portimao instead of Valencia?

  69. JR says:

    What happened with the start? Did Shumacher stalled as a result of the start being aborted or was it the other way around?

    1. BasilBeDemented says:

      From Martin Brundles twitter:

      1st aborted start when MSC stopped wrong grid slot. Then switched off engine by mistake. Collected puncture on drain when pushed in pit lane

      Then MSC gets pitlane speed penalty which apparently he shouldn’t have received as before race (should have been a fine).Then car broke down

    2. Davexxx says:

      Agreed, I’d like to see a report on this too. I’ve read elsewhere:
      FIA insist (a) Schumi didn’t stop correctly on his grid position, which is why The System didn’t allow the Red Lights start process, (b) then Schumi turned off his engine, assuming there was a long delay and possible restart! (Then he speeded on his pit lane start! What a Rookie!!)

  70. Peter C says:

    It’s a talking point.

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