HAMILTON HAT-TRICK AT THE HUNGARORING

31 Jul

The Michael Report- FORMULA 1 ENI MAGYAR NAGYDIJ 2012

McLAREN have dominated the weekend at the Hungaroring with a superbly fast car that clearly had the edge over the other teams in Budapest- Lewis Hamilton was fastest in all sessions bar one practice, in which he was second, and he managed to see off the competition to win the race, careful tyre management strategy and almost perfect pit stopping gave McLaren the win they’ve so desperately needed. This is Hamilton’s third Hungarian victory. His twenty five points were much deserved and McLaren need them as they go into the summer break.

It was enthralling from the start- Michael Schumacher’s 300th GP start was ruined when he accidentally switched off the engine and forced an aborted start and an extra formation lap and had to start from the pits, and to add insult to injury he had a drive through penalty for pit lane speeding, and did eventually retire from the race.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber had an – uncharacteristically – astonishingly quick start and jumped from 11th to 7th in the opening lap; Jenson Button made sure he overtook Vettel and took 3rd place, meaning that McLaren looked on course to have two drivers on the podium. However, Bruno Senna thwarted this because he got in front of Button on his pit stop out lap, and held him back until it was too late, and Alonso took over from Senna and prevented a double McLaren podium today, though he did finish a respectable sixth place, and got eight points.

Team Lotus were superb- Romain Grosjean endured the disintegrating tyres right up until the end, finishing in third, narrowly ahead of Vettel. The young Frenchman demonstrated the consistency of the Lotus car, though had a near miss with Kimi Raikkönen, his team-mate when exiting the pit lane; Raikkönen chased down Hamilton, but ran out of laps to take second place and eighteen points, but he and Grosjean should be impressed with the Lotus performance- thirty three points is a huge haul prior to the break.

Ferrari were left straggling in the midfield throughout the duration of this race, in which it is incredibly difficult to overtake; Fernando Alonso finished fifth with ten points, and Felipe Massa, whose Ferrari career is looking evermore precarious, did nothing to prove his worthiness today and finished ninth, picking up only two points.

Bruno Senna finished seventh and received six points for Williams; Mark Webber finished eighth with four points, and Mercedes need to up their game after the summer- all Nico Rosberg got was a single point for finishing tenth.

It was surprising to see that neither Sauber nor Force India secured points this weekend- they too will be looking for an improvement in Belgium.

The weekend was dominated by McLaren and Lewis Hamilton, but Lotus deserve credit for their consistent and impressive performance with two podium places- hopefully “God Save The Queen” though will continue to ring out at the Olympics whilst Formula 1 heads off for it’s month long summer holiday, and Lewis Hamilton is looking to keep it up to challenge for the Championship title in the remaining races this year.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS UPDATE

Fernando Alonso has extended his lead to a forty point advantage- his 164 points is miles ahead of Mark Webber with 124 points, and Sebastian Vettel is creeping very closely behind with 122 points; Lewis Hamilton is only a single point ahead of Kimi Raikkönen, who have 117 and 116 points respectively, but this can easily change following the next race in Spa. Sixth, seventh and eighth place are separated by one point; Nico Rosberg has 77 points, and Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean are tied on 76 points and their nearest competitor is Sergio Perez who has 47 points.

McLaren are back in second place in the Constructors Championships, with 193 points, but they still trail Red Bull who have 246 points. Lotus are just one point behind McLaren with 192 points, slightly ahead of Ferrari’s 186 points. Mercedes remain fifth with 106 points, and Sauber are sixth with 80 points. Going into the summer break, Williams’ 53 points see them in seventh place, marginally ahead of Force India, who have 46 points. Toro Rosso have a meagre 6 points and then Caterham, Marussia and HRT are still yet to receive points.

I’ll be back after the summer break for another update following the Belgian Grand Prix in the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit deep in the heart of the forest.

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