I love Hungary. It’s practically my second home, thanks to having some great friends living in Budapest. I’ve been lucky enough to go to the Grand Prix twice and would love to have witnessed this weekend’s race. From the deluge and drama of qualifying to the tension and intrigue of race day, the Hungaroring put on a damn good show. Heck, there was even some decent overtaking! Having spent so much time in the country, I’ve picked up a few words over the years. Useful stuff like ‘butterfly’, ‘surprise’ and ‘foot massage’ (don’t ask!). Fortunately, I also know ‘dog’. So without further ado, which mutt created Magyar magic? Well folks, the Nagykutya for Hungary is…
Say what?! Not Danny Ric for his magnificent charge from 12th to 4th? Not ‘Mr Consistency’ Kimi? Not six time winner Hamilton for his dominant display of wet weather skill? Not birthday boy, Alonso? Has the heatwave messed with my head? All the aforementioned would have been worthy winners, but I do believe Magnussen is due some serious credit for his tenacity and consistency this season. The midfield is so tight. I am relishing the close competition between the mid-ranking teams and drivers this season. K-Mag is one of many contenders who’s been sniffing around the kennel door for a while. Well, his performance in Hungary has finally bagged him that Top Dog bone.
The Time Haas Come
Here’s why. He got a cracking start, gaining two places right off the bat. He stayed out of trouble when others were bish-bashing wheels all around him. He had some good battles with his midfield muckers. His best skirmish was with the hard charging Danny Ric. Ricciardo was picking off drivers with relative ease as he battled from his lowly 12th place grid slot. But Kevin wasn’t going down without a proper fight. And what a ding-dong it was. Dan chucked everything at the Haas man and Kevin defended brilliantly as the two went wheel-to-wheel for several corners. Inevitably, Ricciardo got the job done in the end, but it was fun watching Kevin make life tricky for one of the best racers on the grid.
Our Danish friend hasn’t always been the cleanest of racers. He’s often found himself in the goulash, with fellow drivers accusing him of downright dangerous driving. His rivals would be wary when planning an overtaking manoeuvre in case hot-headed Kev threw a wobbler. Sometimes he seemed like he didn’t even want to be there. But since joining Haas, Kevin has found a new lease of life. He may not always be spectacular, but he’s been grafting hard all season, improving his race craft and consistently bringing home the (ahem) bacon.
In days gone by, Kevin was a frequent offender of the bleepy radio rant. (Yesterday’s sweary prize goes to Verstappen, hand’s down!). But he has definitely matured in how he goes about his business, on and off the track. Yesterday’s tardy pit-stop might have got him flustered, but he remained calm, got back out there and delivered another strong race to finish a creditable 7th. What’s more, he has sneaked ahead of Alonso to 8th in the drivers’ championship, and is only seven points adrift of Nico Hulkenberg (another frequent Top Dog contender – I’m sure it won’t be long). I can’t wait to see how the midfield action pans out in the second half of the season. But for now, I’m delighted that our Great Dane has finally made it to Top Dog. Gratulalunk, Kevin!
So the summer break is upon is. Don’t be sad. The racing will be back before you know it. Hope you’ve enjoyed Badger’s Top Dog choices so far. Here’s to more surprise picks in the second half of the season. Thanks for reading, folks. Szia!