Hungarian GP: Ocon beats Vettel for first win; Hamilton P3, Verstappen P10
The carnage on first lap changed the course of the grand prix.
Alpine's Esteban Ocon wins F1 Hungarian GP after a chaotic start with Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel in second from Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
The rain already created dramas ahead of the F1 Hungarian GP, it did more after it started with everyone on the intermediate compound. Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi took a gamble to pit and switch on to dry tyres, but it didn't matter as much.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton made a clean start along with Red Bull's Max Verstappen, but the other Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas had a horror show. Not only he had a slow start, but he lost at the braking zone and clouted the back of McLaren's Lando Norris.
In turn, Norris hit Verstappen in the right-hander at Turn 1, while Bottas hit Red Bull's Sergio Perez behind - taking out both the Red Bull cars in the process. The race ended for both the Finn and the Mexican, with one Mercedes and one Red Bull out.
It also caught out AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly, who dropped down the order, while behind him Aston Martin's Lance Stroll went too quick in Turn 1 on the inside but straight on hit Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who then spun McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo out.
Before the safety car period and a red flag, Verstappen, Norris and Haas' Nikita Mazepin, pitted for parts change. There was an unsafe release with the Brit when a Alfa Romeo car was coming through, while the Russian had a puncture which forced him to pit.
The order under red flag was Hamilton leading F1 Hungarian GP from Alpine's Esteban Ocon, with Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel in the Top 3 - the duo having moved up from the fag end of the Top 10, from where they started the grand prix.
Ferrari's Carlos Sainz was fourth from 15th, while AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda was fifth from 16th, with Williams' Nicholas Latifi sixth from 18th. The other Alpine of Fernando Alonso was seventh, whereas the other Williams of George Russell was eighth.
The Top 10 was rounded out by Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen and Haas' Mick Schumacher, with Gasly in 11th, Ricciardo 12th, Verstappen 13th, Mazepin 14th, Norris 15th and Giovinazzi 16th. However, McLaren noted a retirement for Norris with too much damage.
Post red flag:
It was only Hamilton who stayed out of on the intermediate tyres to take the standing start in a bizarre scene in F1 Hungarian GP, when everyone else pitted for slick tyres. For a brief moment, Russell was second after he jumped the cars in pitlane.
But he was asked to give the places back as he dropped to seventh. After Hamilton pitted to drop down to last, Ocon took the F1 Hungarian GP lead from Vettel and Latifi in the Top 3. Behind them, Tsunoda was fourth from Sainz, Alonso in the Top 6.
Behind Russell, Raikkonen was eighth from Ricciardo and Schumacher in the Top 10. Verstappen was 11th from Gasly, Giovinazzi and Hamilton. It was another retirement for Mazepin after he was hit by Raikkonen in the pitlane.
The unsafe release from Alfa Romeo was put under investigation, but the damage was already done. There was a 10s stop/go penalty for Giovinazzi, meanwhile, for speeding in the pitlane. The Finn had a 10s time penalty as well for unsafe release.
While the pack steadied ahead, Verstappen pushed hard to get by Schumacher for 10th in the Turn 1-2-3-4 sequence. The two even touched when the Dutchman finally got his nose ahead in a aggressive move in a damaged Red Bull machine.
Schumacher then lost to Gasly and Hamilton soon enough, with the Brit chasing on the Frenchman hard. There was a slow stop for Raikkonen after the mechanics removed some debris from the front-left of the brake duct area.
The first of the in-race pit stop saw Hamilton do it first on Lap 20, which helped him to undercut both Ricciardo and Verstappen, who pitted a lap later. While few others also decided to pit, but leaders Ocon and Vettel stayed out to extend their stint.
Hamilton started to pick up places after a solid pass on Tsunoda at Turn 4 around the outside to be fifth, which is when Sainz stopped to keep track position. It made the Brit's life tricky on a two-stop, with the Spaniard on a fresher tyre.
Behind him, Russell made a good move on Schumacher for ninth at Turn 2. The German then lost to Ricciardo and Verstappen in quick succession on the next lap, with the Dutchman trying as much to regain places with half a car at his disposal.
It was a crucial pit stop for the leaders but for Aston Martin, it was a bit slow on the left-rear, which made the difference in the end, whereby Ocon managed to stay ahead despite pitting a lap later. It was close but the Frenchman kept track position.
Ocon led Vettel with Sainz in third from Hamilton, Alonso, Tsunoda, Gasly, Latifi, Russell and Ricciardo in the Top 10 after their in-race pit stop. Verstappen, meanwhile, stopped again amid struggles in the damage Red Bull car with no bargeboard.
It was getting tasty towards the end with Hamilton again to drop behind Alonso, but catching not only the Spaniard but the leaders at a raring pace. The Alpine driver caught the back of third-placed Sainz too, making it a three-way battle for third.
Team orders saw Gasly pass Tsunoda for sixth as Latifi was a lonely eighth with Russell long way off from the Canadian. The Brit had Ricciardo and Verstappen on his tail, with the Dutchman chasing for a points finish in the later part of the grand prix.
The fight between Alonso and Hamilton rose up with the Brit chasing the Spaniard crazy. He tried to pass him for couple of laps, going wheel-to-wheel, but the Alpine driver stayed ahead. Verstappen, meanwhile, passed Ricciardo for 10th to get into the points.
The defence from Alonso was supreme as no matter how hard Hamilton tried going around the outside, the Spaniard kept him at bay. A lock-up from the Alpine driver at Turn 1 allowed the Mercedes driver to pass him finally for fourth, in the chase for Sainz.
He made it eventually on the main straight with Hamilton moving into third, leaving Sainz in the hands of Alonso. At front, it was sedate from Ocon to eventually register his first-ever F1 win in Hungarian GP as he kept Vettel at bay handsomely.
The German almost lost second to Hamilton, who ended up only 0.887s behind him in third. Sainz held off Alonso for fourth, with Gasly in sixth - taking away the fastest lap away from Hamilton right at the end of the grand prix.
Tsunoda was seventh ahead of two Williams drivers with Latifi ahead of Russell, as Verstappen managed to salvage the one point in 10th. A late pace drop from Ricciardo saw him only 12th with Raikkonen passing him for 11th.
Behind them, Schumacher and Giovinazzi rounded out the 14 finishers, with everyone from Raikkonen onward ended up a lap down. The stewards handed a 5 place grid penalty for both Bottas and Stroll for the Belgium GP for causing a collision.
DNF: Mazepin, Norris, Perez, Stroll, Leclerc, Bottas.
UPDATE: Post-race, Bottas, Sainz, Stroll and Vettel were called in for not adhering to the FIA Race Directors' note on pre-race of not wearing the We Race As One t-shirt during national anthem. The German, though, had his LGBTQ+ shirt on. They were all handed a non-driving reprimand, where they noted the drivers did not take it off because of the rain.
Race winner Ocon too was summoned for his post-race procedure of not entering the pitlane after the end of the race. He then stopped at the pit exit, for which the stewards handed him a non-driving reprimand - same as above.
"Race Director’s Note for the post-race procedure (Doc. 38) requires drivers who finish the race in the top three positions to return to pit lane and stop at the boards showing their positions located in front of the Race Control tower," said the statement. "OCO, who finished in 1st place, failed to do so and parked his car on the track near the end of the pit lane.
"During the hearing OCO explained that he missed the pit entry and figured that the best place to stop would be close to the pit exit. He apologized and confirmed to be more careful next time. The Stewards do not assess this as a breach of parc ferme regulations. OCO did not follow the RD’s instructions however and therefor a penalty as stated above is appropriate."
[Image courtesy: Alpine F1 Team] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]