Open Battle
Baku 2018
Azerbaijan Grand Prix
Hungarian Grand Prix: Who was your driver of the day the Hungaroring?
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Aug 2011   |  8:37 am GMT  |  154 comments

Changeable conditions ensured a thrilling fight for victory with some standout performances all the way down the field at the Hungaroring.

So who did you think was the outstanding driver?

Jenson Button

Qualified third in one of his best performances of the season and made a clean getaway at the start to maintain position. As has been the case in other races with changeable conditions, Button looked after his tyres and made the right calls. Was faster on softs than Hamilton on suoersofts. Enjoyed a great wheel to wheel battle with his team-mate but his decision not to pit for intermediates late on, unlike Hamilton and Alonso, proved inspired and ensured a comfortable victory. It was his second win of the season and the perfect way to mark his 200th grand prix start.

Sebastian Vettel

Looked out of sorts in Friday practice, but bounced back to form with pole position – his eighth of the season – after his team used one of their four jokers to break the curfew and work through the night on Friday. Made a clean getaway but was no match for Hamilton who passed him on lap five. From then on drove a controlled race to finish second, his tenth top two finish this season, and extend his lead at the top of the championship to 85 points over teammate Webber.

Fernando Alonso

Was outqualified by team-mate Massa for the first time this season and started fifth. A poor start saw both Mercedes of Rosberg and Schumacher pass the Spaniard. He passed both of them, but mistakes saw him lose those places before getting them back. Decided on an aggressive strategy which saw him cross the line in third – his fourth straight podium finish. He is the driver who has scored the most points in July.

Lewis Hamilton

A couple of mistakes on his final flying lap in qualifying cost him pole but second was impressive nonetheless. Held off a challenge from team-mate Button at the start and then forced Vettel into a mistake to take the lead on lap five. Drove well at the front, but a decision to move onto the super soft tyres, rather than the softs like his rivals, meant he’d have to make an extra pit stop. Another bad decision to change to intermediates as the rain started to ease off, coupled with a drive-through penalty dropped him down the field, but he battled back impressively to finish fourth.

Paul di Resta

Scored points in the opening two races but has since failed to finish in the top 10 in the following eight races. Was outqualified by team-mate Sutil but drove well in the changeable conditions and won a tight midfield battle with the Toro Rossos, Kamui Kobayashi and Nico Rosberg to claim seventh – the best result of his career. Also did well to avoid Hamilton when the McLaren driver spun his car forcing di Resta to take to the grass.

Sebastien Buemi

A miserable qualifying, which saw him get knocked out of Q3, was made worse by a five-place grid penalty for his incident with Heidfeld in Germany. Starting one place from the back, the Toro Rosso driver fought through the field in arguably one of the best drives of his career. The team made changes to the car as the track started to dry out which alleviated his understeer and the Swiss driver went on to finish eighth in the team’s 100th grand prix.

Jaime Alguersuari

Qualified an unspectacular 16th but made a few positions at the start and managed his strategy in the changeable conditions. Enjoyed a good battle with Rosberg, Kobayashi and team-mate Buemi and clashed with Kobayashi late on which cost him a position or two. Nonetheless, scored his fourth points finish of the season to give the team a double points finish in their 100th grand prix.

Featured News
Editor's Picks
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

A True British Victory, when Jenson wins.. it always is 🙂


Got to give it to JB. Of course if Lewis had got the right tyres or it had carried on raining he would have won.

But Jenson wasn’t lucky, he’s just a solid plodder. Sure he’s never going to set the world on fire but he just keeps going, and he was there when it mattered to take Lewis’ points. Well done.


The other question of course that really it is a tyre conservation exercise rather than out and out racing. If we had more durable tyres then we would see precisely who is the fastest on the grid. True racing ability is actually stymied with these tyres.


Lewis Hamilton is a faster driver than Jenson Button. – He’s proven it time and time again. Strategy won the race for Jenson. The relative pace between them other than their own inate speed is dictated by tyre condition and temperature. Let’s not forget many of the top drivers had been off the circuit – Vettel, Button, Alonso, Webber, and of course Hamilton. Hamiltons tyre choice was a team decision coupled with poor communication lead to them following the weather with intermediates rather than softs. Some of the grid went one way, others the opposite. It’s all a bit of a lottery in those conditions, and it’s easy to be clever in hindsight. I’m just glad it was McLaren at the front, but pity it was not a McLaren 1-2.


Has to be Paul Di Resta for me.

Not only is he still in his rookie season with limited knowledge of the track before Friday, but he finished ‘best of the rest’ after McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari.

It’s good for the sport to see a small privateer team like Force India, with a fraction of the budget of the larger teams, doing so well and beating some of the big names like Renault and Mercedes along the way…


Well deserved victory by Jenson! And congrats to him!


Button, for keeping his cool.

Honourable mention: Hamilton, for driving his wheels off. And Martin Whitmarsch for letting his drivers RACE!


I don’t know word “contemporizar” in English (I think is temporize) but it’s the key to define Jenson and Lewis, one because he got it, and other hasn’t.

Speed without mental control is great and spectacular. No hesitation about consequences is very atractive if you throw your dices and they show them 7, but F1 is more than playing hard or fast. This is the line beetween good and the best. Jenson Button lost a lot of points in previous races (2 in a row). Not by their fault. We are seeing how English Media are talking about Hamilton that or what, but other guy, the non Schumacher or Senna inheritor deserves quite more than being n1 in a mere poll. From 50 points avalaible he scored 0 in two races thanks to Ron’s team but he is only 12 under his team mate. No doubt, Hamilton brings entertainment and their consequences in market: merchandising-marketing-sales-info, a golden share to protect, but when we are talking strictly of F1, JB is the package. Is F1 sport or business? I nominee Jenson for his interpretation in a supported role.


Vettel: managed to pick up good points with a slower car so a fantastic piece of damage management. Like last week, the race was Mclarens to lose, they have really picked it up and now have the fastest car in race trim by a fair margin.


Not a big fan of Button, but on Sunday he was superb. On a day when everybody else made mistakes, he kept his cool and drove a perfect race, hats off to him. He’s surely not the fastest driver around (not the slowest either, obviously), but he’s definitely one of the smartest. He’s come a long way since his early days, hasn’t he? (One wonders what could have been of many other drivers who were not given so many chances, but that’s another topic…).

Hamilton and even Alonso could definitely have won, but didn’t mainly because of their own mistakes. Being fast helps, and so does keeping the car between the lines!

As for Vettel… I think he’s doing the math already, and so he should be. We won’t see his real measure this year unless sombeody poses an unlikely threat to his title.

Finally, a suggestion. James, besides the Driver of the Day, how about a Team of the Day?


That’s a difficult one! I vote for JB since he was just mighty, and very controlled, when others around him were not. Also, Buemi had a great drive from the back of the field, shame we didn’t see much of it. Di Resta was also great once again, especially managing to avoid Kamikaze Hamilton by taking to the wet grass.

Great racing all round – I loved seeing those cars sliding around on the drying track! Great racing!


Jenson was the best, but plenty of good drives.

Ricciardo had a good result, a lap up on his team mate. Did Liuzzi have a problem?

Watched James interviewing Mark Webber on 1HD in AUS – all seems okay


Hello James, OT a bit – I wanted to send you my photographs from Hungarian GP. I used the email address that was suggested, however the email was not delivered. Would you know why?


We got them, thanks. Watch this space

Christopher Snowdon

James, is it impossible to design a car that will work well on all the different compounds of tyres, if so, I think its great 🙂


And my vote goes to Lewis =)

As I already told here (in some other article), if Lewis would have kept out of trouble on the first laps and remain cool from then, then he would have annihilated the field…

He nearly did that. I am a bit shocked by team’s decision to keep him on Super Softs, when everyone was going for Softs… but even from there he could have managed to win if his tires would last and keep him faster than everyone (as the first half of the race before that). Unfortunately they did not. And then he made a mistake, then the team “shot” him with inter tires bullet, then came the penalty…

Yes, I am a Lewis’ fan and as such might be a bit biased, and I am sure he is disappointed, but I also know, that he will bounce from that. He knows, that RBR is vulnerable now, that inherently he is again the fastest out there… and this will push him and the team further.

Bring it on, Belgium! (btw, my favorite track!)


Either evertone pro-Hamilton had a change of heart or James added a 10x vote multiplier factor for Button votes.

Can’t believe the results so far. Not that I lean one way or the other in the Lewis Jenson camps. I think this is the first time I didn’t fully expect this voting result.


Difficult one. Button had the complete race strategy wise, but he wasn’t as quick as Ham early on and even his super-softs seemed badly grained. Managed the conditions well and brought the quickest car home in first.

Disappointment for me was Alonso, too many mistakes early on putting on the backfoot he could of been pushing for a victory.

Hamilton may of been handicapped with the radio but the spin rules him out. Had some entertaining battles with Button, Vettel and Webber.


It’s interesting that on a day when Button comprehensively beats Hamilton, Hamilton makes mistakes and Hamilton himself says the better man won, there are still 16% of the voters giving DotD to Hamilton over Button…! That’s a loyal fan-base…


1. Button. Arguably best weekend of the season, best quali, good start and a flawless race in his 200th. The way he dealt with his car in this changeable conditions was a masterpiece, also proved that he is the best strategist among all the drivers out there.

2. Vettel. I’m not a vettelfan, but he drove very mature race, not pushing above his limits seeing that he can’t catch the McLarens. I would take a bet that if Hamilton would be put in his place he would rather end the race in the gravel or on the wall. The question still is about Vettel being a true racer or not. But I think that we won’t get the answer until he will be put into an underperforming car like Lewis in 2009.

3. Buemi. For me he always was a shadowdriver. Never seen, never shown on TV, but then you realise he finished the race on a pretty decent position, overtooking dozens of cars. He may only end as a craftsman rather than master of the art, but he can be a damn good one. Ones like Perez, Maldonado, also Kobayashi in his debut season – often remind their lack of experience in crucial moments of the race. I’ve forgotten that Buemi is a debutant after his first two races.

Mentions also for Di Resta who finally managed to outperform Sutil not only in British media but also on track, and for Ricciardo who actually finished on podium of his own league in just third race 🙂



He got to the finish and didn’t bin it. Not even a spin from what could be seen.

He finished in front of a couple of others including his team mate and looks to have improved from last race in regards to not losing too much time getting out of the way when being lapped.

Alright maybe not DoD, but still I thought it was pretty darn good.


McLaren must have a fight on their hands to keep Button, and rightly so!

Had Button not had two previous retirements – which I doubt Hamilton would have taken as elegantly, Jenson would be looking good for second in the championship.


Firstly, another great race. Really good to see Ferrari and McLaren are starting to reel in Redbull (although personally I think its much too late).

Secondly, excellent drive again from Jenson. Of course there are already a load of he was lucky statements being put down on the comments section. He cant possibly win all of these wet dry races on luck alone I’m afraid, so those thinking he can are just dellusional.


the one thing that intrigues me as a McLaren fan, is that it often seems to be Lewis on the wrong end of a strategy mistake.

Is it just that Jenson has better discussions with his engineer and is more involved? Is Lewis just unlucky? For me he appears impatient and sometimes makes the odd questionable decision. I just cant work it out.

That said I think Jenson proved once again what a fine driver he is.

Hopefully McLaren will have a strong finish to the season, and we’ll be seeing Rocket Red on the MTC sign soon enough.


Two possible answers:

1) Each driver has their own engineer. Perhaps Jenson’s engineer is simply better.

2) If McLaren gives equal advice to both, perhaps Lewis accepts it unquestioningly, whereas Jenson gives his opinion and they come to a quick conclusion. Take, for example, when they said “box” to Jenson, but he said he wasn’t going to pit anyway; he was planning to stay out no matter what the team said.

The best “team” is one that gets good information from the data AND the driver, processes it properly, and makes a good decision. I think McLaren tends to look more toward the data and less to the drivers when making a decision, but Jenson also compares his own judgement to theirs, and makes a more balanced decision in the end.


“his decision not to pit for intermediates late on, unlike Hamilton and Alonso, proved inspired…”

I’m pretty sure Alonso never pitted for intermediates, his race was: Intermediate-Supersoft-Supersoft-Supersoft-Soft.

Stuart Harrison

So many choices for DotD; another faultless driver from Button, Vettel made few mistakes and didn’t crack under pressure, Alonso was let down by strategy calls but otherwise drove an impressive race.

Even Massa warrants some attention IMO, it’s rare you see him overtaking in dry conditions, let alone in the wet. I must admit to being bowled over by how well he performed.

Hamilton is worthy of mention too – an exceptional first half, followed by a couple of mistakes and some bad judgement (by himself and his pit wall); can’t really fault him for that given the intense entertainment value he produced!

Excellent result for Di Resta as well, and Buemi.

How do you choose a winner from that lot? 😀

I’d have to vote for Hamilton. He’s just such an entertaining guy to watch – pure edge of seat stuff!


McLaren allowing both drivers to fight constantly are the real PR winners after Red Bulls nannyish behaviour recently. Though I did like Jensons claim that he ignored the pit call for inters.

As a McLaren fan, and a fan of both JB and LH, I sometimes wish they could engineer a hybrid of the two! If JB could sort his qualifying aggression out (as we say here) getting near the front regularly, he’d be winning a lot more. And if LH could sort his strategic thinking and ability to hold it together more like JB, he’d not throw away wins that he clearly deserves. Seriously, McLaren have some amazing technology, can’t they do partial personality swaps with these two? 🙂

Apart from the sad spectacle of the BBC/SKY debacle hanging a cloud over this, it was a genuinely exciting race and 70 laps seemed to fly by. I’d hate to have to cut that down to a 75min BBC highlights package as there was more or less some battle, incident, spin or exploding renault firework worth following on every lap.

And although not a fan (as he is the Enemy – capital E!) Vettel gets a lot of respect. This year he’s simply taken a great car, driven it fast in quali, made very few mistakes and getting a 4th place is considered him ‘falling apart’. Like many I’m not convinced he’s the ultimate passing racer, but then few are and as he’ll soon be a double WDC he earns respect.

Frankly there’s not many drivers it’s okay to dislike anymore! Even Schumi seems to be mellowed and happy to be around now…Someone needs to step up and be a pantomime villain when Sky take over. Bung Vettel some cash to grow a twirling moustache and laugh evilly whenever he romps home. Fact is, he mostly comes across as a very young and grounded individual. I suppose we have Helmut Marko to play the dark side.


Agreed, nice post for a change in paying compliments to an ‘enemy’. As a Webber supporter, there is a lot of ‘mischief’ written about all the leading drivers and it’s good to see a balanced opinion. Geez i wish old webber could scratch a few more ‘tenths’ out though.

Top Tags
JA ON F1 In association with...
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer

Sign up to receive the latest F1 News & Updates direct to your inbox

You have Successfully Subscribed!