Hungarian Frustration – Hungarian GP 2018
Compared to a few past seasons, this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix was disappointingly dull. The race once again turned into a chess-match of tyre-strategies where one driver pulled off the best result.
- Lewis Hamilton – Though not the oddest strategy, it was enough to make the difference and put Hamilton in the lead. Great drive.
- Sebastian Vettel – Vettel went for a single-stop strategy which was enough to secure him the second place after he also beat Bottas in one-on-one driving.
- Kimi Räikkönen – The iceman would have had to have settled for fourth place were it not for Bottas’s lapse in judgement.
- Daniel Ricciardo – The definite man of the day, Ricciardo fought his way up from grid-12 and even survived a sizable contact from Bottas. With Red Bull’s other car forced to retire, this was at least a small consolation.
- Valtteri Bottas – Another disappointing outcome after a promising start. Bottas was losing ground to Vettel and hit his rear wheels after Vettel overtook Bottas. The Finn’s front-wing was damaged but Bottas powered through to the end. Unfortunately, a few laps down he also rammed into Daniel Ricciardo when the Red Bull made its overtake. Bottas was penalised for the Vettel crash, but the penalty didn’t affect his standing.
- Pierre Gasly – The Toro Rosso driver scored his first points since the Monaco round. The Toro Rossos performed excellently in the rain-swept qualifying and their race pace wasn’t shabby either. It’s a bit of a shame though how after the promising start to the season, the team hasn’t managed to gain any ground.
- Kevin Magnussen – Haas managed to put both cars on points for the first time since Austria. Another solid drive from the Dane.
- Fernando Alonso – The McLarens tried the risky single-stop strategy and it definitely paid off for Alonso. The team remains within striking distance of the Top-5, just a shame they couldn’t get both cars on points.
- Carlos Sainz – Sainz continued on his slightly under-whelming track, by dropping from grid-5 at the start to 9th in the finish. However, these are his first points in five races, so in that regard, Renault must be happy.
- Romain Grosjean – Would have been our pineapple man of the day were it not for one retirement.
Golden Pineapple Award: Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso
As mentioned above, Toro Rosso performed excellently in the rainy qualifying, so Brendon dropping from grid-8 to 11th was a disappointment. Hartley’s future remains uncertain despite his good showings in the past few races. Better luck next time…
Drop-out count: 3
All three retirements were due to technical reasons. A bleak day for Sauber, as Charles LeClerc retired once again after a pit-stop. Max Verstappen engine died early on.
The most disappointing retirement however was that of Stoffel Vandoorne. I’ve been quite hard on the Belgian whose race performances have been abysmal this season. Today however, the McLarens made excellent progress up the field thanks to their risky pit strategy. Unfortunately, Stoffel’s gear-box gave out and he was forced to retire.
Back of the Lot News:
Nico Hülkenberg performed uncharacteristically badly this round and was only 12th.
It was also a dire performance from Force India as Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez finished back-to-back on a paltry 13th and 14th. This is not what the team needed especially as the constructor is under administration right now. The team was still in the top-5 of the constructors’ championship before this race. Now they’re 7th.
Marcus Ericsson, whose been finally showing some fight this season, can’t be blamed for his paltry result at 15th, as he was forced off the track early on in the race.
Sergey Sirotkin was 16th and second-to-last leaving…
Dead Last: Lance Stroll – A Williams car has been the last one on track six times this season. Three times it has been Sirotkin and this round it was finally Stroll. Despite starting from the pit-lane, Stroll made some progress early on but clearly his performance teetered off. Williams are in serious trouble. I would wish the team better luck, but I doubt they’ll be able to do much at this point in the season.