If someone told you one Friday evening that the weekend would end with no Mercedes powered cars in the top five, a seventeen year old kid would finish fourth and McLaren Honda would score a double points finish you’d most likely have thought they are completely mad. However sometimes madness makes sense and for the second year in a row the Hungaroring provided us with a truck load of surprises in what was the race of the year so far.
Perez Goes Flipping Crazy
The weekend kicked off with a spectacular accident involving Force India’s Sergio Perez. The Mexican charger was coming into the right hand Turn 11 when he lost control of the rear of the car and spun into the barrier. The impact knocked his left front wheel askew which caused the car to flip over and leave Perez upside down on the track.
Checo thankfully walked away from the scary looking crash completely unharmed but it left Force India worried that the sister car of Nico Hulkenberg may also have the same problem. As a precaution the team pulled out of FP2 and made changes to both cars suspension parts in order to ensure a repeat wasn’t on the cards.
Keep Pushing Fernando…
Fernando Alonso pushed his McLaren Honda as hard as he could all weekend, but on Saturday during qualifying he took the term quite literally. McLaren had looked in much better shape during the practice sessions so spirits were high for qualifying. Unfortunately for the team first Button had ERS issues and then Alonso ground to a halt just outside the pit lane entrance at the start of Q2.
The fired up Spaniard hopped out of his MP4-30 and decided that he’d be quicker pushing the thing himself as he proceeded to make his way into the pit lane. It was all for nothing since the rules say the car has to come back to it’s pit box under it’s own steam. We’re sure the incident gained Alonso a few more fans to add to his Samurai army.
This Kid Is Alright…
He didn’t quite make it on the podium in the race but seventeen year old, in case you didn’t know already, Max Verstappen came into Hungary in a bullish mood having declared his Toro Rosso the second best chassis on the grid. His hopes were high but even he couldn’t have predicted where he would end up finishing on Sunday afternoon.
The nippy young Dutchman qualified in a fantastic 9th place and got off to a decent start in the race. He did get himself into trouble on a couple of occasions, once for speeding in the pits and the other a collision with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas that left the Finnish driver with a puncture. However the rapid youngster kept a cool head around it all and locked off fourth place towards the end of the race after everyone around him went a bit berserk.
Double Bubble For Red Bull…
In 2015 Red Bull podiums have been like London buses, none come along for ages then two show up at once. Coming into Hungary they knew this would be their best shot at stopping themselves from a quit threat or two for a few weeks and they were nibbling at the Ferraris for pace all weekend. Both Bulls even lapped faster than the dominant Mercedes during the Friday long runs.
As it was they had to settle for second and third, Kvyat leading home Ricciardo. The Honey Badger could have won had he not clashed with Nico Rosberg a few laps from the end of the race while his Russian clocked in a rather standard race staying out of trouble yet claiming his first ever podium and best F1 result to date. The vodkas are on Dany over the summer break!
They Did It For Jules…
Scuderia Ferrari had a tough week leading into Hungary yet they knew the weekend could be one of their best shots at another win in 2015. They didn’t let themselves down. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were split by the Red Bull of Ricciardo but lightening starts from the pair saw them not only jump the Australian but BOTH Mercedes as well!
Raikkonen suffered an MGU-K failure around half way through the race and eventually had to retire so sadly for the Italians there was no fairytale 1-2. Vettel led the race from T1 until the chequered flag after which he uttered the following message, in French, over the radio;
“Merci, Jules. Cette victoire est pour toi.”
It simply reads ‘Thank you Jules, this victory is for you’.
Pastor Maldonado was back to his brilliantly awful best at the Hungaroring scoring more penalties than the England football team. During the race he managed a feat probably not seen in F1 before; Three separate in race penalties. Two of which were drive-through penalties and the third a 10 second time penalty applied to his overall race time. He grabbed the first drive-through thanks to a collision, don’t fall over in shock, with Force India’s Sergio Perez. His second was due to speeding in the pits in comically ironic fashion while serving the first drive-through and his time penalty due to overtaking a Manor under Safety Car conditions. Thanks for the laughs Pastor.