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Comprehensive review of the Hungarian GP 2013

After 9 long race weekends, the Formula 1 paddock arrived in the hot city of Budapest to compete in the 10th Grand Prix of the year at the Hungaroring. This race marks the halfway point in the season and after a three week long break, teams will get an additional four weeks off in the month of August. Lets take a look at how the race weekend panned out,

ANALYST
31 Jul 2013, 16:23 IST
937
F1 Grand Prix of Italy

Lewis Hamilton

After nine-long race weekends, the Formula 1 paddock arrived in  Budapest to compete in the 10th Grand Prix of the year at the Hungaroring.

This race marks the halfway point in the season and after a three week-long break, teams will get an additional four weeks off in the month of August. Lets take a look at how the race weekend panned out.

Practice

Free Practice 1 began with the Red Bull’s on top with Sebastian Vettel followed by Mark Webber. They showed really good pace from the beginning with Lotus and Ferrari right behind. Mercedes, meanwhile, were no where to be found. Both their drivers felt that the car just wasn’t there.

Later that day in Free Practice 2, it was Red Bull again who topped the session with a 1-2 with Vettel on top again. Again it was Lotus and Ferrari who looked better than the Mercedes team, who at this point where struggling to get the grips of the new tyres.

In Free Practice 3 it was Lotus’ Romain Grosjean who topped the session followed by Ferrari’s Alonso. The Bulls were a little way back and Mercedes began to show some pace. The surprise of this session was McLaren’s Sergio Perez putting in the third best time of the session.

Qualifying: 

Q1 saw the usual suspects in the form of Marussia and Caterham dropping out. Caterham’s Charles Pic put in a time which was almost eight-tenths faster than the fastest Marussia.

Caterham have surely stepped up their game this year against their rivals. The shock of the session was to see Force India’s Paul Di Resta drop out. The Scot complained about the lack of grip on his car. Sauber’s Gutierrez qualified in 17th.

Q2
 gave us a good battle. In the end, both Williams’ drivers along with Vergne, Hulkenburg, Sutil and Button failed to qualify for the final session. Button remained positive about his car’s performance.

Q3
 started and Mark Webber, who was suffering from a KERS issue, decided not to go out. Vettel, initially put his car on top by over eight-tenths. In the final minutes, it was Hamilton’s amazing lap that put him on top. He eventually stayed on top to take his third consecutive pole this year.

The Briton beat Vettel’s time by just 0.038s to take his 30th career pole. Grosjean put his car in third alongside Rosberg and ahead of Alonso and Raikkonen. Ricciardo impressed with eighth and Perez put his McLaren in ninth.

Hamilton surprised everybody with this pole and said he needed a miracle to win.

Race:

Lewis Hamilton drove amazingly from start to finish to claim his first victory for the Mercedes team and his 23rd career win. Hamilton had a great start and was able to hold of Vettel in the beginning.This was one part of his job done.

Hamilton made two important moves that proved successful – the first being his pass on McLaren’s Jenson Button soon after his pit stop and the next one on Mark Webber into Turn 3. Both these moves put him into clear air and helped him take the lead and eventually win the race.

Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen drove another great race, finishing second after starting in P6. Raikkonen was one of only four drivers to stop only twice. He had a great battle with Vettel in the closing stages. The Finn gave Vettel no room to overtake and took another second place finish at this circuit.

Vettel came here looking very strong but was beaten by Hamilton in qualifying. Everybody expected him to overtake Hamilton quickly but that wasn’t the case. The German was stuck behind Button for over 12 laps which cost him a lot of time. This in turn affected his charge for the win and eventually he could manage a third place finish.

Mark Webber, who had a disastrous qualifying because of a KERS issue, showed us his true form by pushing hard during the race. He finished fourth, 5.5 seconds behind his teammate Vettel. Webber was right behind Hamilton in second position before pitting for option tyres in the closing stages. Surely, the Australian will be happy with his performance.

Ferrari disappointed again. They desperately need to give Fernando Alonso a car he can win with. Alonso must be getting frustrated to watch his Championship rivals increase their lead. He could manage only fifth, which was probably the best his car could do. His teammate Felipe Massa finished eighth.

Romain Grosjean looked really quick in the beginning, but his aggressive driving style once again cost him a podium. Grosjean went over the white line while making his move on Button and this cost him a post-race 20-second penalty. He was also penalized during the race with a drive through penalty for his aggressive move on Massa into turn 4. He finished sixth even after the penalty.

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