Lewis Hamilton has taken his first Grand Prix victory with Mercedes. It makes it the fourth time Hamilton has won at the Hungaroring, nearly fifteen seconds clear of Kimi Raikkonen in second and Sebastian Vettel in third. Mark Webber fought from tenth to fourth for Red Bull while Adrian Sutil retired from his 100th Grand Prix. Romain Grosjean, who showed a strong early pace lost out on a possible podium when he was handed a penalty for overtaking off track limits.
Lights out and twenty-two cars shot forward. Lewis Hamilton maintained his lead from pole while Sebastian Vettel pushed Romain Grosjean towards the track limits as he defended second from the Frenchman. This allowed Nico Rosberg to try to sneak past Vettel but eventually stayed in fourth. Then Fernando Alonso charged at the Mercedes and pushed Rosberg wide at the exit of turn 3 while Felipe Massa and Rosberg came together at turn 5 and the German went off track once again. He rejoined down in twelfth, having started fourth.
Hamilton’s first lap lead of 1.1 seconds was reduced to .5 by Vettel on the second lap which put the Red Bull in the DRS zone of the Mercedes ahead albeit to no avail as it only helped Vettel equal Hamilton’s straight line pace. Soon Vettel had dropped from the DRS zone and slowly fell towards the clutches of a menacing looking Grosjean.
After his disappointing Qualifying session, Mark Webber opted to start the race on the harder Pirelli compounds and was running as fast as Kimi Raikkonen ahead of him on track – although the Finn was held up behind Massa who was nursing a front wing injury. Back at the front, Hamilton was the first man to venture into the pitlane on lap 10 and he emerged behind Jenson Button in eighth.
The other Mercedes was brought into the pits from twelfth and given a fresh pair of boots while his team-mate passed Button which critically gave him free air to try to maintain the lead when the pit stops were over. Vettel was the next man to pit which left Grosjean inheriting the lead of the race. The German took on a new set of the hard compound Pirellis and came out behind Button who provided Hamilton will some all-important breathing space. Alonso also boxed from fourth and rejoined seventh ahead of Perez.
Grosjean finally pitted on lap 14 and ‘double-stacked’ with team-mate Raikkonen. Grosjean had dropped incredibly far, falling behind Hamilton and Vettel while Raikkonen slotted into tenth behind Massa. Up front, Webber was running 1.27.8s while leading the race on the hard tyres. It was an impressive effort by the Aussie who was fifteen laps into the race on the same tyre.
Vettel was getting frustrated behind the McLaren and attempted a few all-or-nothing dives up the inside Button into turn 3 but got nothing except a slightly damaged front wing. Grosjean was incredibly close behind and soon Vettel was radioed from the Red Bull pit wall and told he was running with technical gremlins meaning he had to slow down during the middle sector, leaving him an open target in the DRS zone. Grosjean came quite close to making it past the German but had to back out of the manoeuvres as Vettel slipped and slid across the track.
It was a disappointing day for Force India’s Adrian Sutil who was celebrating his 100th Grand Prix when forced to retire. The German was in the pits and had just suffered a dreadfully long pit stop as mechanics failed to change his rear left tyre before being told he had suffered a hydraulics issue which left him unable to change gears. And so he rolled back into his garage and became the day’s first retirement. It wasn’t long before Esteban Gutierrez also pitted and climbed from the cockpit of his Sauber with a gearbox failure to blame for his premature retirement.
Vettel continued to lurk behind Button but decided enough was enough. Ignoring calls to back off in the middle sector, he put his foot down and made it past Button. Grosjean tried to follow suit into the chicane but when he moved back in front of Button to take the corner, he made contact with the McLaren and left Button pitting for a new set of boots. This left both drivers under investigation while Grosjean earned himself another investigation for overtaking Felipe Massa off track limits at turn 4. Stewards eventually ruled that Grosjean had exceeded track limits during the overtake and awarded him a drive-through penalty. He rejoined in sixth, while Nico Hulkenberg was also given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane.
Mark Webber pitted from second and took on a fresh set of Pirellis on Lap 44 and imeadietly became the fastest man on the circuit, trading fastest laps with race leader Lewis. Hamilton took to the pitlane himself and when he rejoined, it was right behind Webber. Instead of waiting for a DRS zone, Hamilton showed some initiative and simply ran Webber wide into turn 4, which is probably the easiest way to make an overtake. Valtteri Bottas, on the other hand, was off the track for a different reason as his Williams ground to a halt just on the exit of the final corner. The threat of a Safety Car subsided when marshalls quickly took the car out of the danger zone and the racing continued.
Nothing could touch Lewis Hamilton as he made it to his fourth win at the Hungaroring, while Kimi Raikkonen narrowly fended second place from Sebastian Vettel before pulling over at the end of the pit lane. Mark Webber was an impressive fourth from tenth on the grid while Alonso, Grosjean and Massa finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Pastor Maldonado took the final points finish for Williams.
- Lewis Hamilton
- Kimi Raikkonen
- Sebastian Vettel
- Mark Webber
- Fernando Alonso
- Romain Grosjean
- Jenson Button
- Felipe Massa
- Sergio Perez
- Pastor Maldonado
- Nico Hulkenberg
- Jean-Eric Vergne
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Giedo van der Garde
- Charles Pic
- Jules Bianchi
- Max Chilton
- Paul di Resta – Gearbox
- Nico Rosberg – Engine
- Valtteri Bottas – Engine
- Esteban Gutierrez – Gearbox
- Adrian Sutil – Hydraulics