Hungary analysis - Hamilton back in the title hunt 30 Jul 2012
After being shrouded by the changeable conditions of Hockenheim, McLarens updated MP4-27 finally got to stretch its legs in Hungary on Sunday as Lewis Hamilton secured his second win of the season. Dominant throughout the weekend, not even the swift Lotuses of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean could halt Hamiltons charge and the Briton left Budapest with his - and McLarens - title challenge well and truly revitalised. As the paddock heads off for a four-week summer break, we take a team-by-team look at the race...
Lewis Hamilton, P1
Jenson Button, P6
Hamilton owned the Hungaroring, and withstood massive pressure from both Lotuses throughout a race he controlled brilliantly. His victory and Buttons sixth place put McLaren back to second in the constructors stakes and pointed their way forward for the second half of the season. Button ran third initially, lacked the pace to sustain that, then lost his chance of fourth when the team switched him to Plan B which involved a third stop that dropped him for too long behind Williams Bruno Senna.
Kimi Raikkonen, P2
Romain Grosjean, P3
Lotus had superb pace - Hamilton called them absolutely rapid - but the layout of the Hungaroring denied them the victory that they probably would have scored anywhere else. Raikkonen was a slow-burning fuse after sorting out a problem with his KERS in the opening laps when it wouldnt work beyond 50 percent. Grosjean thus made the early running and survived several small but costly mistakes before he was delayed in traffic after his second stop and then got shoved wide in Turn One as Raikkonen rejoined. Both put Hamilton under huge pressure, without ever looking like they might overtake. Nevertheless, their points took Lotus ahead of Ferrari in the constructors stakes.
Sebastian Vettel, P4
Mark Webber, P8
Vettel thought Red Bull had more pace than they showed, but lost time behind Button initially and lost out to Raikkonen for a podium place once hed jumped the McLaren in the second stops. Later the team gambled on third stops for both cars, and it nearly paid off for Vettel as he all but caught Grosjean at the flag. It didnt work for Webber, though, who threw away fifth place and had to be content with another eighth, half a second off Senna. Many observers outside the team wondered how much effect losing the Hockenheim engine map had exerted.
Fernando Alonso, P5
Felipe Massa, P9
The Ferrari just didnt have the pace to compete for anything better than fifth place on Alonsos 31st birthday, but as usual he made the most of it and was happy to split the Red Bulls and increase his points lead over Webber. Massas clutch played up at the start and he lost places which he couldnt make up, having to be content with ninth.
Bruno Senna, P7
Pastor Maldonado, P13
Senna drove the best race of his Formula One career to a strong seventh place, resisting Webbers late-race attack, and was happy that changes to his Williamss front brake ducts had helped to generate better front tyre temperatures. Maldonado never got near him, and got a drive-through penalty after pushing Force Indias Paul di Resta off the road.
Nico Rosberg, P10
Michael Schumacher, Retired Lap 59, overheating
Rosberg drove unobtrusively to 10th after a strong start, but Schumacher first lined up in the wrong grid slot - 19th instead of 17th - then mistakenly turned off his engine believing the race would be stopped and restarted. He was pushed away for a pit-lane start and the race was shortened by a lap as everyone else did another grid formation lap. Later, after failing to feature, he retired as a precaution. Hed lost full telemetry and rather than risk the engine, which was overheating, the team called him in.
Nico Hulkenberg, P11
Paul di Resta, P12
The Force Indias lacked pace. Hulkenberg suffered poor balance and heavy rear-tyre degradation, while Di Restas car bogged down again at the start as it had in Germany, and he later got knocked off the road momentarily by Maldonado.
Sergio Perez, P14
Kamui Kobayashi, P18
Sauber never really got on top of the Hungaroring, with Perez finishing only 14th in an ill-handling car and Kobayashi being classified 18th after stopping near the end with a hydraulic leak. This was the teams worst race of the season.
Daniel Ricciardo, P15
Jean-Eric Vergne, P16
Another race in which the STR7s lacked sheer pace. Ricciardo ran trouble free, but Vergne had an up and down race after a great start and then getting pushed off the track by one of the Force Indias. He planned to make three stops but had to make a fourth after debris in a sidepod caused overheating.
Heikki Kovalainen, P17
Vitaly Petrov, P19
The Caterhams finished in their usual positions, but the team were buoyed when both Kovalainen and Petrov showed similar pace at times to the Saubers and Toro Rossos.
Charles Pic, P20
Timo Glock, P21
Not a great race for Marussia, though both cars finished. Pic did a handy job to take 20th, with Glock moving up to the place behind him after his cars nervous handling prompted a spin in Turn 12 on the third lap.
Pedro de la Rosa, P22
Narain Karthikeyan, Retired Lap 61, broken suspension
De la Rosas car took him to a reliable last place, after hed run ahead of Glock for a while after the Germans third-lap spin, but Karthikeyan pulled off just past Turn Four on the 61st lap with a broken left-front suspension.
For tickets and travel to 2012 Formula One races, click here.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.