Well, we learned (if we didn’t know already) that the Mercedes drivers Hamilton and Rosberg are not the best of mates, with Hamilton publicly slagging off Rosberg’s pole position at the post race press conference. This left the final podium place winner Ricciardo with his head in his hands all but shaking it in disbelief. As well as a swollen head, Hamilton is showing his true colors and becoming a loose cannon? His employers will not be pleased.
However, come race day Hamilton outdrove Rosberg with a confident and near faultless display of Grand Prix driving after winning the start. With the Hungaroring’s tight layout making passing difficult (but not impossible as Kimi Raikkonen showed going from 14th to 6th) the Grand Prix was a procession as predicted. A high speed procession, but a procession none the less.
Re-establishing himself as the Number 1 Red Bull driver, Ricciardo drove one of his usual gutsy drives to finish 3rd. while his team mate and 20 seconds behind, the rising star Max Verstappen found himself defending from Ferrari’s Raikkonen to finish 5th.
Ferrari are not on a roll, with Vettel becoming more vociferous if any driver dares to hold him up. Perhaps this type of thinking comes with being a world champion. It would appear that humility is being bred out of the current crop of “top” drivers. Eventually, 4th was as good as the Ferrari driver was going to get.
Not only did McLaren manage to get its Honda powered drivers into the top 10 in Qualifying, but Alonso managed to get his one across the finishing line in 7th. A red letter day for McLaren, but before the team started shaking hands with themselves, there was the question of track limit violations. Another new FIA rule was brought into play, where if you strayed past the designated track limits, then you received up to three warnings, and if this was exceeded, some diabolical punishment would be meted out. The FIA is currently considering punishments last used during the Spanish Inquisition.
However, his McLaren team mate, Jenson Button was not so lucky. He reported a brake problem to his pit and was given certain instructions, but these were considered an unauthorized radio communication, for which Button received a drive through penalty. Button felt that the brake pedal falling to the floor was a safety issue, and therefore did not fall under the ‘unauthorized’ category, but the FIA disagreed and gave the car running last, at that time, a drive through, to make sure he was last?
One driver who did impress was Carlos Sainz (Jnr) who brought his Toro Rosso through to 8th, a lap in front of the unhappy Russian Kvyat, who must know that he’s going to get a DCM at the end of the season.
Final drivers in the top 10 were Bottas in the Williams, who has certainly lost the fire he had at the beginning of the season and Hulkenberg (FIndia) who needs to be in a better car, or be relegated to the scrap heap 2017.
Another driver facing obscurity or Formula E, is Felipe Massa in the second Williams. Another happy dwarf who won’t be happy next year. Sorry Felipe, but that time has come.
Point score finishers:
1 L Hamilton Mercedes
2 N Rosberg Mercedes
3 D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 S Vettel Ferrari
5 M Verstappen Red Bull
6 K Raikkonen Ferrari
7 F Alonso McLaren
8 C Sainz Toro Rosso
9 V Bottas Williams
10 N Hulkenberg Force India
The next GP is this weekend at Hockenheim. Let us hope for a better race, that is what the spectators want – racing, not follow the leader.