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Hungary analysis - Hamilton back in the title hunt 30 Jul 2012

Race winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates with the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27 ahead of Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 celebrates on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Bruno Senna (BRA) Williams FW34.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1, left, on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 (L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05 alongside Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Caterham CT01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Timo Glock (GER) Marussia F1 Team MR01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012 Pedro De La Rosa (ESP) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race Day, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 29 July 2012

After being shrouded by the changeable conditions of Hockenheim, McLaren’s 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 Hamilton’s charge and the Briton left Budapest with his - and McLaren’s - 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...

McLaren
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 Button’s 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.

Lotus
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 wouldn’t 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.

Red Bull
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 he’d 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 didn’t 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.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, P5
Felipe Massa, P9

The Ferrari just didn’t have the pace to compete for anything better than fifth place on Alonso’s 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. Massa’s clutch played up at the start and he lost places which he couldn’t make up, having to be content with ninth.

Williams
Bruno Senna, P7
Pastor Maldonado, P13

Senna drove the best race of his Formula One career to a strong seventh place, resisting Webber’s late-race attack, and was happy that changes to his Williams’s 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 India’s Paul di Resta off the road.

Mercedes
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. He’d lost full telemetry and rather than risk the engine, which was overheating, the team called him in.

Force India
Nico Hulkenberg, P11
Paul di Resta, P12

The Force Indias lacked pace. Hulkenberg suffered poor balance and heavy rear-tyre degradation, while Di Resta’s car bogged down again at the start as it had in Germany, and he later got knocked off the road momentarily by Maldonado.

Sauber
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 team’s worst race of the season.

Toro Rosso
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.

Caterham
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.

Marussia
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 car’s nervous handling prompted a spin in Turn 12 on the third lap.

HRT
Pedro de la Rosa, P22
Narain Karthikeyan, Retired Lap 61, broken suspension

De la Rosa’s car took him to a reliable last place, after he’d run ahead of Glock for a while after the German’s third-lap spin, but Karthikeyan pulled off just past Turn Four on the 61st lap with a broken left-front suspension.

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