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Winners and Losers - Hungary

27 Jul 2015

A Ferrari and two Red Bulls on the Budapest podium was a result no-one had predicted. In fact it was race of surprises all round. Lewis Hamilton extended his championship lead despite finishing sixth; Daniil Kvyat secured a career-best second place, even with a 10s-time penalty late on; and McLaren landed their best points haul of the year, with both cars in the top ten. We take a team-by-team look at Sunday's action...


Sebastian Vettel, P1
Kimi Raikkonen, Retired lap 56, ERS

Ferrari’s victory owed much to the excellent starts that Vettel and Raikkonen made. Vettel not only broke his duck at the Hungaroring, but also equalled Ayrton Senna’s long-standing tally of 41 Grand Prix victories. In doing so he reminded everyone of his ability to keep his head and to lap consistently while everyone around him seemed to be tripping over one another in his wake. It’s debatable whether the Ferrari was the fastest car, but in clean air he made the most of it, and when his big lead was wiped out by the safety car intervention, he just did enough to keep himself out of harm’s way. Textbook stuff.

Ferrari could feel aggrieved not to get second, too. Raikkonen was riding shotgun comfortably in the early stages, but gradually dropped back and eventually retired as his MGU-K energy recovery device stopped working.

Red Bull

Daniil Kvyat, P2
Daniel Ricciardo, P3

Red Bull hoped for a strong result, but could actually justifiably feel disappointed with ‘only’ second and third places. Considering all the adventures he had - brushes with both Mercedes, one of which caused him to pit for a new nose - Ricciardo was in with a chance of victory until the closing stages and more of a threat to Vettel than Rosberg was. In the end his collision with the German handed second place to team mate Kvyat, who survived an early flat-spotted tyre, and thanks to Ricciardo’s late misfortune a 10-second penalty for exceeding track limits had no effect on his final result. All in all, Red Bull’s best race of the season without question.

Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen, P4
Carlos Sainz, Retired lap 61, engine

Toro Rosso seemed likely to garner some really good points with Verstappen and Sainz running strongly in the early running. Verstappen kept going to take an excellent fourth place - his best result so far - but Sainz’s progress was halted when his engine gradually began losing power, most likely because of an ERS problem. Nevertheless, it was a great race for the team as the STR10 realised its potential.


Fernando Alonso, P5
Jenson Button, P9

Twelve points were a huge haul for McLaren by the standards of their troubled 2015 season, and Alonso said that fifth place was ‘unbelievable’. It owed much to various rivals’ penalties, but was proof that the Honda-powered MP4-30 is at last becoming race reliable. The Spaniard suffered overheating brakes until a tear-off visor was removed from a brake duct, but otherwise had a trouble-free run. Button lost out having changed tyres just before the safety car was deployed, as they were finished late in the race when others had fresher rubber. But ninth meant that for the first time this year both cars finished in the points.


Lewis Hamilton, P6
Nico Rosberg, P8

Who would ever have thought that Mercedes would finish only 6-8 after their domination of practice and qualifying? Their chance of setting a new record for double podiums evaporated quickly, when they lost out to the Ferraris at the start and Hamilton went off the road. Later the Briton made another error when he hit Ricciardo, damaging his nose and incurring a drive-through penalty. Meanwhile, Rosberg clashed with Ricciardo on lap 64 just when it seemed he had been given a second chance after a lacklustre first half, but that cost him dearly, too. Assuredly not the team’s greatest race of the season.


Romain Grosjean, P7
Pastor Maldonado, P14

Grosjean and Maldonado both had adventurous races which incurred penalties. The Frenchman got a five-second one for unsafe release, while the Venezuelan got a drive-through for knocking Perez into a spin in Turn 1 on lap 19, and two time penalties for speeding in the pit lane and overtaking behind the safety car. He dropped from 13th to 14th as a result. Grosjean, however, not only recovered strongly to take seventh but held off Rosberg all through the final lap.


Marcus Ericsson, P10
Felipe Nasr, P11

Sauber expected a tough race and got one, but at one stage both C34s were in the points until Hamilton and Rosberg made their recoveries. Ericsson made it home 10th, but Nasr had to be satisfied with 11th after a race-long fight with his team mate.


Felipe Massa, P12
Valtteri Bottas, P13

Williams looked like salvaging something as Bottas was in the mid-range points right through to the safety car intervention, even if he couldn’t hold a candle to the Ferraris, Red Bulls or Mercedes, but he sliced his right rear tyre in a collision with Verstappen in the restart melee around a slowing Hamilton. That dropped him behind Massa, who had caused the first start to be aborted when his car was out of position on the grid, then had a slow pit stop and struggled on the medium tyres in his middle stint. Things got better towards the end, but by then it was far too late.


Roberto Merhi, P15
Will Stevens, P16

This was an emotionally tough weekend for the Marussia team, but at least both cars were classified. Merhi lost time having his headrest replaced early on, while Stevens after a battle with him, stopped after 65 laps when his car developed a serious vibration.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, Retired lap 42, front wing
Sergio Perez, Retired lap 54, brakes

A bad race for Force India followed their bad Friday. This time it was the front wing on Hulkenberg’s car which didn’t like the forces generated by the kerbs, and it parted company with the VJM08 as the German headed into Turn 1 on the 42nd lap. Mercifully he was uninjured by the head-on shunt into the tyre wall, but the nose on Perez’s car was changed as a precaution. Compounding an unhappy day, the Mexican failed to finish because of brake problems.