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Paddock Postcard from the Hungaroring 26 Jul 2009

Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso Third Driver STR4 wears a tribute to Henry Surtees (GBR) on his helmet.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Race winner Nico Hulkenberg (GER) ART Grand Prix on the podium. GP2 Series, Rd 6, Race 1, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday 25 July 2009. Michael Christensen (DEN) Muecke Motorsport. Formula BMW Europe, Rd 5, Budapest, Hungary, 24-26 July 2009.

Even before Felipe Massa’s accident in the second qualifying session, the paddock was concerned deeply about debris-inflicted injuries after Henry Surtees’ death in a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch the previous Sunday.

There was much evidence of allegiance to Henry and the Surtees family, for motorsport is one big family in such circumstances, and Formula One rookie Jamie Alguersuari bore allegiance on his helmet to his former team mate.

In Formula BMW Europe, which commemorated Surtees’ participation in 2007, the weekend’s first clash was dominated by Denmark’s Michael Christensen who took his fourth win of the year for Mucke Motorsport ahead of title rival Felipe Nasr. The Brazilian was over seven seconds adrift for Eurointernational. France’s Jim Pla claimed his first-ever podium in the category for DAMS but had to fight for the position all the way in a superb scrap with Dutchman Robin Frijns of Josef Kaufman Racing.

In a dramatic GP2 encounter Germany’s man-of-the-moment Nico Hulkenberg repeated his dominant form from the Nurburgring for ART Grand Prix to claim a third victory in a row over fast-starting Lucas di Grassi (Fat Burner Racing Eng) and Javier Villa (Super Nova Racing), stretching his lead in the championship as his rivals Romain Grosjean and Vitaly Petrov (both Barwa Addax Team) ran into trouble.

Hulkenberg made a strong start to move to third as di Grassi initially sped away. After the mandatory pit stops, Hulkenberg passed di Grassi in a bold lunge round the outside in Turn Two and never looked back. He was 15 seconds ahead by the flag and extended his points tally to 57, 15 ahead of Grosjean and 16 ahead of Petrov.