Hamilton and McLaren take shock win in Hungary 26 Jul 2009
Lewis Hamilton brought McLaren their first victory of the season after a surprise result in Hungary on Sunday afternoon, his dominant success also marking Martin Whitmarshs first as team principal and the first for a KERS-equipped car. Kimi Raikkonen was second for Ferrari, containing a challenge from Mark Webbers Red Bull.
Hamiltons hopes of snatching P1 at the start were thwarted as lightweight Fernando Alonso blasted off the line from pole and quickly opened a lead in his Renault, and Mark Webber slotted his Red Bull back inside the McLaren in Turn One to regain second.
Hamilton stayed close to Webber, however, and slipped ahead around the outside of Turn Two on the fourth lap. After the first round of pits stops he really got the hammer down to build a seven-second lead over similarly fast-starting Raikkonen, the pair benefiting from their KERS systems.
The Finn was put under investigation for first corner brushes with Hamilton and Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel, but was cleared by the race stewards and secured a strong second place ahead of Webber. Raikkonen overtook Webber in their first stops on the 19th lap after what the Australian described as a moment of confusion as his car was refuelled. Red Bull were later reprimanded for releasing the Australian unsafely, which almost led to a collision with the Ferrari.
It was a bad day for the other title contenders. Vettel went from second to seventh by the end of the first lap, lost time in traffic, and then slid a lap down after an unscheduled stop for a new nose proved the prelude to retirement with a suspected suspension problem.
Jenson Button was unable to make real use of a long-run opening stint strategy in his Brawn but seventh place earned him two crucial points. He now leads with 70 from Webber on 51.5, Vettel on 47 and Rubens Barrichello on 44. Brawn continue to lead the constructors championship on 114, with Red Bull closer still on 98.5s.
There was a strong fourth place finish for Nico Rosberg and Williams, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen whose points brought further joy to McLaren. Timo Glock was sixth for Toyota after a very long opening stint, then came Button and a long gap before Toyotas Jarno Trulli took the final point after holding off strong challenges from Williams Kazuki Nakajima and Barrichello to the flag.
Alonsos opening dash came to nought after he lost the right front wheel following his early pit stop on Lap 12 and then had to retire because of associated damage. Besides Vettel, the other non-finisher was Force India's Adrian Sutil, the victim of a first-lap brush.
The BMW Saubers of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kucica were 11th and 12th, sandwiching Nelson Piquets Renault, while Giancarlo Fisichella brought his Force India home a lapped 14th. Far from proving dangerous, as some had suggested, rookie Jaime Alguersuari did a great job to match lap times with Toro Rosso team mate Sebastian Buemi, and to lead him home after the Swiss twice spun. The Spaniard never put a wheel wrong.