Tag Archives: Hungarian GP

Vettel still leads in Hungarian FP2

Sebastian Vettel topped Friday Practice 2 in Hungary, by almost half a second to Fernando Alonso. Mark Webber was just behind the Ferrari in 3rd position. There were concerns about the kerbs on the track, after Fernando Alonso tore up a chunk of the kerb at Turn 11 near the end of the session.

Sebastian Vettel retained his pace in FP2 in Hungary today

Sebastian Vettel retained his pace in FP2 in Hungary today

Behind the top 3, Felipe Massa was the only driver who was able to set a 1.20’s lap. He was 4th, and leading Vitaly Petrov (who had Renault’s new front wing) and Lewis Hamilton. Robert Kubica was 7th, Nico Hulkenberg 8th, Jenson Button 9th and Michael Schumacher 10th.

Pedro de la Rosa was 11th, ahead of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Rosberg. Kamui Kobayashi was 14th, Jaime Alguersuari 15th, with Sebastien Buemi splitting the two Force Indias of Sutil and Liuzzi.

Jarno Trulli was comprehensively the fastest driver of the new teams, 4.4 seconds off Vettel’s time.  Behind him, the Virgins of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi were 20th and 21st. Bruno Senna was 22nd, and Sakon Yamamoto was 23rd, amazingly only 1 tenth slower than Senna. Heikki Kovalainen suffered a hydraulic problem after 5 laps, and therefore was well off the pace in last place.

Times from FP2:

Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1′20.087 33
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1′20.584 0.497 34
3 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1′20.597 0.510 36
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1′20.986 0.899 33
5 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1′21.195 1.108 33
6 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1′21.308 1.221 30
7 Robert Kubica Renault 1′21.375 1.288 37
8 Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1′21.623 1.536 41
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1′21.730 1.643 33
10 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1′21.773 1.686 31
11 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1′21.809 1.722 38
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1′21.844 1.757 36
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1′22.039 1.952 28
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1′22.212 2.125 37
15 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1′22.469 2.382 43
16 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1′22.507 2.420 22
17 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1′22.602 2.515 38
18 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1′23.138 3.051 36
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1′24.553 4.466 37
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1′25.376 5.289 35
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1′25.669 5.582 32
22 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1′26.745 6.658 33
23 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1′26.798 6.711 32
24 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1′27.705 7.618 5

Vettel and Webber dominate Hungarian FP1

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber completely dominated Friday Practice 1 in Hungary today, beating all of their rivals by more than an entire second. Robert Kubica was third, but nowhere near the Red Bulls. Lewis Hamilton suffered several problems in this session.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber completely dominated FP1 in Hungary today

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber completely dominated FP1 in Hungary today

Vettel’s fastest lap was a 1.20.976, which was 0.13 seconds faster than Webber. However, Kubica was an entire second slower, leading many to speculate about the Red Bulls running light on fuel. Jenson Button was 4th, but another 4 tenths off Kubica’s time. Rubens Barrichello did yet another good performance in the Williams to get 5th, while Pedro de la Rosa was impressive in 6th. Fernando Alonso was testing their new blown rear wing, and came 7th. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were 8th and 9th, followed by Nico Hulkenberg.

Adrian Sutil was half a second faster than team-mate Paul di Resta, and Felipe Massa was12th on his return to the Hungaroring. He was the first out on track, although he was lapping the track slowly at first. Vitaly Petrov was 13th, Kamui Kobayashi 14th, while Paul di Resta was 15th. Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari were 16th and 17th, while Lewis Hamilton struggled with the balance of the car, as well as suffering a technical glitch, and was 18th.

The two Lotus cars were miles faster than the Virgin or Hispania cars. Jarno Trulli was 19th, and an entire second faster than the fastest Virgin. Heikki Kovalainen was 20th, followed by Timo Glock, Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna. Sakon Yamamoto was last, 7 seconds slower than Vettel, and an entire second slower than his team-mate Senna.

Driver Car Best lap Gap # of Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1′20.976 29
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1′21.106 0.130 27
3 Robert Kubica Renault 1′22.072 1.096 21
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1′22.444 1.468 17
5 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1′22.601 1.625 25
6 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1′22.764 1.788 24
7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1′22.772 1.796 25
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1′22.777 1.801 25
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1′22.792 1.816 26
10 Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1′22.966 1.990 25
11 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1′23.003 2.027 19
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1′23.007 2.031 26
13 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1′23.249 2.273 24
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1′23.327 2.351 23
15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1′23.520 2.544 19
16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1′23.780 2.804 22
17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1′23.868 2.892 28
18 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1′24.075 3.099 15
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1′25.032 4.056 22
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1′25.210 4.234 23
21 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1′25.990 5.014 21
22 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1′26.868 5.892 17
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1′26.990 6.014 34
24 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1′28.157 7.181 24

Hungary 2009 flashback: Massa injured while Hamilton bounces back

Entering the Hungarian Grand Prix, Mark Webber had just taken his first ever career victory, and had entered the title fight. Red Bull were only 19.5 points behind Brawn, while Ferrari were very close to Toyota.

The Hungarian Grand Prix also saw a new F1 driver in the paddock, as Jaime Alguersuari was brought in to replace Sebastien Bourdais, who was struggling against rookie team-mate Buemi. While he was the youngest F1 driver ever at 19 years and 125 days, he was unfazed by criticism claiming he was too inexperienced.

Felipe Massa had just taken the first podium position for Ferrari in 2009. However, all hopes for this race were shot when Massa suffered a horrible accident in qualifying. An errant spring had broken off Rubens Barrichello’s car, and was bouncing right on the racing line. Felipe, who had just qualified into Q3 and was on his in-lap, drove straight into the spring, hitting him just above his right eye at 270km/h. The car went straight on, with Massa unable to stop it, and smashed into the barriers.

Having seen the death of Henry Surtees in F2 only a week before, the paddock held its breath, before hearing the news that Felipe was in a critical but stable condition, with a head cut, bone damage to the skull (possibly fractured) and a serious concussion. He underwent successful surgery after the weekend, and remained in intensive care in an induced coma for 3 days after the accident.

"Strength, Felipe, we are with you". A message for Felipe Massa from the Ferrari team

"Strength, Felipe, we are with you". A message for Felipe Massa from the Ferrari team

Once Felipe was taken away, the car removed and the track cleared, qualifying resumed. In Q3, most of the drivers had set their final times, and were heading into the pits to end the session, when the timing screens went blank. The FIA and LG later identified the problem as a broken cable, but nobody had any idea who had taken pole position, with drivers chatting in parc ferme about their respective times, although they did not know each others’. Eventually, the timing screens went to the backup, and a light-fuelled Fernando Alonso was revealed as the pole position winner, while Jenson Button was down in 8th. The reason he was slower was because most of his Q3 was spent repairing the same suspension piece that had broken on Barrichello’s car, as a precaution.

Alonso leads at the start, while Hamilton and Raikkonen make excellent KERS-assisted starts

Alonso leads at the start, while Hamilton and Raikkonen make excellent KERS-assisted starts

At the start, Webber and Hamilton made fantastic getaways, while Sebastian Vettel collided with Kimi Raikkonen, dragging him down to 7th. On Lap 4, Hamilton made further progress, making an excellent move on Mark Webber for 2nd place, using his KERS to the max.

After the fuel weights were released, it was clear that Alonso was 3-stopping, and Renault didn’t disappoint, by bringing him on Lap 11 (out of 70), with a 6.6 second stop. However, there was a communications error, as the car was released while the mechanics were still working on the left front wheel. The spinner, or extended wheel cover, was not properly fixed, and was moving around with the wheel. Fernando asked to immediately pit again, but didn’t make it back unscathed. His wheel detached on the way back, and he three-wheeled his car back to the pits. He changed tyres and went out again, miles behind anyone else, but retired soon after.

This left Lewis Hamilton free, and leading the race. He put his foot down to lap up to half a second faster than anyone else on track, and extended his lead from Webber. The Red Bull was struggling for pace, and was being caught by the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. At the first set of pit stops, a slight delay meant that Webber was released alongside Raikkonen, and lost his position. His team was later given a reprimand for an unsafe release.

There were worse problems for team-mate Vettel. After his first-lap tangle with Kimi, he complained on Lap 21 that his car was undriveable, and there was something broken on the car. With signs of smoke at the back of the car, the team opted to stop him, and sent him out with a new front wing and tyres. However, it didn’t fix the problem, and Sebastian soon retired.

From here on, Timo Glock made the most progress, using 2 long stints to leap up from 13th on the grid. He would have got even higher than 6th if he hadn’t been held up by Kimi Raikkonen after the Finn’s first stop, and Glock was low on fuel.

Jaime Alguersuari did well in his first ever Formula 1 race

Jaime Alguersuari did well in his first ever Formula 1 race

Jaime Alguersuari, despite all the rumours that a 19-year-old F1 driver would cause the apocalypse, drove very well in the heat of Hungary. He received a little present near the end when team-mate Sebastien Buemi spun twice, allowing Jaime through, and finished the race ahead of Buemi in his first ever race.

Lewis Hamilton desevedly takes the chequered flag for the Hungarian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton desevedly takes the chequered flag for the Hungarian Grand Prix

However, the focus was on Hamilton, as he drove fantastically to take the win in dominant fashion, more than 11 seconds ahead of Raikkonen, who led Mark Webber. Nico Rosberg was an impressive 4th, keeping up his string of points finishes in a row for Williams, and he held off Heikki Kovalainen and Timo Glock. Jenson Button didn’t make any more progress after Lap 1, and remained 7th ahead of Jarno Trulli.

This meant that Mark Webber was now 2nd in the championship, and now a serious contender to unseat Jenson Button at the top. Jenson said during the race: “How can the car be so bad at the moment?”, which was a clear indicator of his frustration with the car, which was not being developed in the way he would have liked. Vettel and Webber were right behind Webber, while Hamilton doubled his points tally in one go, going from 9 to 19 points, although he was still 8th overall.

It was a very quiet last race for Nelson Piquet Jr, who finished yet another race out of the points for Renault. It was announced after the race that he would be replaced for the rest of the season by Romain Grosjean. However, there was one more incident to be dealt with regarding Piquet, which would be revealed later on in the year.

Next up was the European Grand Prix. The main concern was regarding Felipe Massa, who was later declared recovering, and his replacement for the rest of the season. While Michael Schumacher was initially suggested as the replacement, a neck injury ruled him out. So, a face not seen in the paddock for 10 years was about to take everyone by surprise…