Sebastian Vettel Wins Hungarian Grand Prix in Ferrari One-two
Sebastian Vettel went against Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari F1 teammate Raikkonen to score a victory in a very unique Hungarian Grand Prix, as the Ferrary drivers collided at the start. Vettel will step into F1's mid-season break with a comfortable 14-point break with closest rival Hamilton back in 4th place after a sporting gesture.
Sebastial Vettel managed a flawless race to secure his 4th victory of the seson, with Kimi Raikkonen managing to take the 2nd place at the Hungaroring. However, it was far from straightforward for the German Formula One contender, whose Ferrari suffered from serious steering problems which saw his very early advantage disapperaring as Kimi Raikkonen kept station behind him.
Vettel crossed the race 0.9 seconds ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, securing Ferrari's 2nd one-two of the season. Hamilton ceded 3rd to Bottas after his teammate let him go ahead under Mercedes orders to attack the Ferraris. The British driver is now 14 points behind Vettel in the Formula One World Championship and ceding the place cost him three. Since the title fight might go the write it might prove to have been quite the sportsmanlike gesture that could actually deny him a 4th drivers' title this year.
Key Moments During The Race
This was Sebastian Vettel's 4h victory of 2017, his first one since Monaco Grand Prix in May and the 46th of his entire career. Vettel stayed one-to with Raikkonen aftet the start, and the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo swarmed the Mercedes of Hamilton and Bottas.
Max Verstappen tried a bold move into Turn One, getting around on the outside of Lewis Hamilton, but he actually ran really wide on the exit and then came under pressure from Ricciardo. He actually went powerfully into Turn Two and quickly ran into Daniel Ricciardo, causing a big damage to the left part of his teammate's Red Bull, yet escaped unharmed.
Ricciardo was furious with Max Verstappen and dropped down the field and spun at Turn Four, as his car leaked fluid. He pulled over and retired the car. After the stewards investigated that incident, Verstappen was deemed to be at fauly, receiving a 10-second penalty.
The sterring issues begin started while Sebastian Vettel was leading comfortably from Kimi Raikkonen. Approaching the 1st round of stops, he felt something was not right. Bottas was the first to pit (of the frontrunners), with Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen following suit shortly afterwards. At this point, Verstappen was leading. Sebastian Vettel ultimately moved back in front when Max Verstapped pitted, and Raikkonen called on Ferrari to ask his teammate to cede position. Vettel was really struggling to turn in, and the Mercedes team was closing. The request was actually not accepted.
On the other side, Hamilton asked his team to get his teammate Bottas to move over. Although he felt quicker and Mercedes agreed, he hd to give the position to Bottas if he could not pass Kimi Raikkonen. Hamilton pushed really hard and ultimately he was very close to Raikkonen, but he did not find a way to go through in five laps and Mercedes extended the deadline to let him put more pressure on.
Hamilton did not make it and allowed Bottas to take 3rd, with Verstappen just 0.3 seconds adrift in third.
What Did Other Teams Do
Fernando Alonso managed to score the best finish of 2017 for McLaren (6th), and Vandoorne was 10th. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) was 7th, and Sergio Perez (Force India) was 8th. Esteban Ocon (Force India) was 9th.
Conclusion: Is Ferrari Ready to Dominate?
Ferrari has not won the Constructor's Championship since 2008 and have not taken the incredible Drivers' Title since Kimi Raikkonen did in 2007. They could end that drought provided that they win one of the titles this season, and this step forward, going head-to-head with Mercedes, is really great overall.
One of the key moments of the race was when Raikkonen ceded his place. He might have actually been passed by Hamilton, which would have cost Ferrari constructor points, yet they gambled on the British champion being unable to do so.
One can understand that they were actually willing to risk the team championship just to back Vettel. After that moment, Ferrari's team principal - Sergio Marchionne - praised Kimi Raikkonen for being "a magnific team player". Vettel now holds the lead just when the summer break came in, but Hamilton also held a very honourable line at the Hungarian Grand Prix, so he can also rest easy.