#F1 Race Review: Red Bull’s Ricciardo pulls a rabbit out as Mercedes miss out on the Win

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55

2014 HungarianGP Podium

 

The Hungarian GP started under angry skies and turbulent weather. A massive downpour had turned the track into a river 40 minutes before the start of the race and the warmup laps featured anxious drivers and engineers on the radio in a desperate bid to nail the right starting tyre. With the field settling on inters and 3 starters from the pitlane, Kvyat having been stranded at the start of the formation lap, the Grand Prix of Hungary featured everything a proper race should: Safety cars, Spins, Shunts and Strategy, brilliant overtaking, a pitlane to podium drive and a non-Mercedes winner, with a massive dash of teammate controversy thrown in to boot. The best possible send off for the summer break.

The early laps featured a drying track with all the drivers trying to conserve their inters after the first few laps. Hamilton had an early spin with front wing damage and sounded anxious on the radio. Despite this, he recovered and began to carve through the field. Rosberg was not immune; he too had an off all by his lonesome, but without the accompanying damage. And thus it was till Marcus Ericsson decided to shave all the corners off his car, bringing out the safety car. Seizing the moment, with the leaders already past the pit lane, Ricciardo dived into the pits strapping on a pair of softs and making his race. The rest of the field was left to chase the new leader and at the end of the day, they just wouldn’t have enough.

PRELUDE

Massive clouds darkened the horizon at the Hungaroring as an epic but short-lived storm had soaked the track shortly before the start. With a whirlwind of activity, the field settled on inters for the start and wound up with 3 pit lane starters as Kvyat was unable to leave the grid for the formation lap. Temperature on the ground was 21◦C with a track temperature of 28◦C, much cooler than yesterday. Both Mercedes taped their brake ducts to help keep temperatures up and the pre-race featured shots of Merc trying to heat Hamilton’s brakes before the start.

ACT I

AS the lights went out, Rosberg managed a slow but steady start that saw him well clear by turn one. Vettel drifted back into his spray and Bottas, thinking clearly stayed wide and took the position from him. Alonso pounced a turn later as the Red Bull struggled on the wet track. Behind, Hamilton lived up to his dramatic reputation by immediately spinning his car as his brakes were cold as ice and still in passive mode according to race radio. He recovered rapidly with minor front wing damage and the next laps saw him anxiously on the radio making sure the car was copacetic.

Alonso booted turn one on the second lap which allowed Vettel back through and with his car up to temperature the leaders settled in to tiptoe round the rapidly drying track. Further back Lewis began to get it in gear and had managed to get up to P17 by the fifth lap. Rosberg decided to push hard and had opened a substantial gap but paid the price on lap six as he had quite the little off through turn one, which featured as the slipperiest on the track when wet.  The drying track began to take its toll as well as more and more drivers began heading off line to pick up water to cool the inters.

This was to be short lived as Marcus Ericsson continued to endear himself to the new Caterham owners by ripping all four corners off his car due to putting a wheel on to the wet AstroTurf. The resulting massive shunt immediately brought out the safety car, but after the leaders had passed the pitlane entry. Button was the first to react, but McLaren apparently had the wrong location dialed into their weather radar and kept Button on inters after a long and confusing stop.

Ricciardo chased Button into the pits and unlike McLaren, Red Bull strapped on a pair of softs without hesitation and thereby turned the race. Passing Button in the pits and emerging P1 made the race and having seized strategic control Red Bull would not relinquish it. Due to the reshuffling, Ricciardo led, followed by Button and Massa. Rosberg was into 5th with Vettel even further back and Bottas into 11th with Hamilton up to 13th.

Button meanwhile demanded certainty over the weather from his team, who were starting to sound less certain as they looked about and saw everyone else off the inters. The Safety Car was in lap 14 and the race was back on, with Button making the most of his inters and taking Ricciardo’s position, but not for long as the promised rain was looking less and less likely. Lewis made the most of his new tyres on the restart and rapidly advanced to 9th behind Vettel. Rosberg was struggling with an issue as there was visible smoke coming from his rear brakes during the safety car period, but he was assured that all was well as the car returned to racing speed.

Rosberg , taking advantage of the good news had an ill-advised go at Magnussen which wound up costing him a place to Vergne who came up the inside at turn 1. All the cars were sliding the rears through the turns as the track had yet to finish drying .

Hulkenberg mucked it up lap 16, collecting his teammate and parking it up out of the last turn, for his first DNF of the seaon and the end of his points scoring streak as well as bringing out the double yellows. DRS returned for lap 17 as Hamilton remained behind Vettel and Vergne was on fire, maintaining his 4th and seemingly keeping Rosberg at bay.  An understeery Pastor bounced off the back of Bianchi as Ricciardo continued to dance off down the track, making 5 seconds by lap 20.

Hamilton, seemingly out of patience was once again pressing Vettel, but just couldn’t seem to make it past as his teammate continued to cruise behind Vergne without really looking racy. Lewis continued pressure came at a price as the team warned him of marginal brake temperatures on the fronts. It wasn’t going to be a lasting issue as Sergio Perez was the next to bring out the safety car, with an epic impact into the pitwall following an excursion onto the AstroTurf down the start/finish straight.

ACT II

Once again Ricciardo was in the right place at the right time and he led the exodus into the pitlane for new tyres. The new order was Alonso Vergne, Rosberg, Vettel Hamilton and Ricciardo as ominous clouds graced the horizon. As the Safety Car prepared to come in, Kobayashi parked it up on lap 26 with an issue. Hamilton was told it was critical to get past Vettel and Vergne, ignoring his teammate entirely and at the restart he got right down to it. With a massive DRS train, it turned out to be no easy task and aside from occasional peeks up the inside, there was nothing in it for Hamilton as neither Mercedes was making headway.

Ricciardo hung back watching tyres as Hamilton continued to struggle with finding a way past. Rosberg opted for pit strategy and boxed on lap 33 and as he did so the gods of the race chose to frown on him. Under relentless pressure Vettel too had taken to the AstroTurf to maintain a gap down the straight and it finally caught him out. Spinning him into the wall and letting Lewis past. Not one to waste an opportunity he immediately chased down Vergne and executed the kind of multi-turn pass that should make even the haters stand up and cheer. Rosberg suffered an extra slow pitstop that was down to removing tape from the brake ducts as the lack of rain meant the brakes were on the temperature limit. This cost him dearly as he slotted back into 11th behind both Bottas and Magnussen as Hamilton drove off into clean air to eat massive chunks of time out of Alonso who was now the next driver up the road. This effort put Lewis in front of his teammate on strategy and a desperate Rosberg radioed for permission to push like crazy to make up the difference before Hamilton had to pit.

ACT III

Driving like a man possessed, Rosberg took after Bottas and ran him wide through the exit of turn one to get on with the job at hand. The clean air was benefiting Lewis and he continued to extract the maximum from his tyres as Alonso cleared the way by pitting and emerging in front of Rosberg, compounding Nico’s woes.  Hamilton finally brought it in on Lap 40, with Mercedes taking extra time to remove the tape from his brake ducts as well as adding a wing adjust as they had chosen to send him out on the Mediums, to try and run to the end of the race. He emerged in front of Rosberg and behind Alonso whose gearbox he would be intimately familiar with by the end of the race. Raikkonen, who had been in front of Alonso, cleared the way as Hamilton’s tyres came on by pitting. He emerged in 9th and was immediately set upon by Vettel, who was trying to atone for his earlier error whilst defending against Hamilton. Though he looked to have the edge, after a bit of a dice it was Kimi coming out ahead, starting to show a little of the form that has been sadly missing this season.

Rosberg was making the most if his tyres in the meanwhile and as Hamilton managed the gap to Alonso Rosberg clawed to DRS range on his teammate, and that’s where the fun truly began as Mercedes ordered Hamilton to let Rosberg by as he would be making an extra stop, Rosberg having made clear that it was Mercedes, and not he who made the request.

Hamilton, appearing to be in no particular hurry to respond and apparently not entirely convinced he would make the end without another stop himself, demanding clarification about tyre life from Bonnington, his race engineer. Displaying a race intelligence many thought he lacked, Hamilton rightly divined that letting Rosberg past would guarantee Nico finishing ahead of him. AS Mercedes continued to gently chivvy him, Hamilton continued to hold his ground, willing to let Nico go but not willing to slow his own pace to make it happen. AS for Rosberg, he continued to drift in and out of DRS for the next 8 laps, never once closing up on Lewis and forcing the issue. According to post race Sky analysis, Rosberg would have finished 2nd and Hamilton 4th if  Lewis had pulled over, but the larger question of why Hamilton was kept on the slower strategy once he passed his teammate is one that Mercedes should be looking at over the break.

Act IV

AS the Mercedes melodrama continued, Ricciardo’s tyres breathed their last and he came through the pits on lap 54 to be reshod. Ricciardo wasted no time coming after Lewis and in response Lewis upped his pace and began to reel in Alonso at a rate that guaranteed all three of them coming together at the same time. Rosberg played his final card for a used pair of softs lap 57 and the die was cast for a remarkable finale.

In short order Rosberg picked up two places as he took first Raikkonen and then one lap later Massa for 4th.  He set about chasing down the leading trio just as all three came into DRS on lap 61. Hamilton and Alonso beginning to struggle on their old tyres and Ricciardo’s claim of possible victory looked more and more likely with each passing lap as Rosberg was approaching at almost 2 seconds a lap.

Hamilton, unable to get to grips with Alonso on the softs, was told by his engineer to use revs not torques. Alonso under pressure went wide on turn one and then utterly missed the chicane. Acknowledging his error, he drifted back rather than pressing home the advantage thus avoiding the scrutiny of the stewards. Rosberg clearly had the pace and Ricciardo, looking to do the deed got past Hamilton but went wide on the exit giving Lewis another chance. But the end couldn’t come soon enough as he began locking up turn after turn as the mediums had been flogged down to the canvas at that point.

Alternately defending from Daniel and attacking Alonso, Hamilton eventually couldn’t maintain his position as the poorer characteristic s of the Mediums made themselves apparent on lap 68. Alonso locked it up getting round a backmarker, and in reaction so did Hamilton. Ricciardo finally drove home the advantage and in rapid succession passed both drivers to race off for the checkers. An increasingly desperate Hamilton, sensing his vulnerability to Rosberg was once again told to use revs instead of torques as the Mercedes driver was just unable to get past the wily Alonso with no tyres left.

Lap 69 finally saw the eagerly awaited showdown between the nonplussed Rosberg and Hamilton, but it was for 3rd rather than 1st.  Entering the DRS zone for the last time Hamilton made a mistake exiting turn one. Rosberg closed up down the inside but Lewis fought back, effectively taking Rosberg to the edge of the track as he wound up on the outside after having started his pass on the inside. It was a brutally effective shutting of the door, but in replay it was clear that Hamilton had left room for Rosberg and had not put him 4 wheels off. From there it was white knuckle ride for Hamilton but one that saw him cross the line ahead of his teammate and having taken a further 3 points out of Rosberg’s WDC lead. Alonso lifted the hearts of tifosi by cruising across in 2nd and no one would begrudge Ricciardo’s primal howl of joy as he took his second win of the year, his smile illuminating his helmet from the inside.

POSTLUDE

The best race of the season by far, today’s result should be a concern for the Brackley squad as creeping unreliability is beginning to eat into their unerring dominance. More importantly, their artificial equalization of strategy might be causing them more trouble than it’s saving them, as switching Lewis to an extra stop and covering Ricciardo would have left them dicing for the win rather than 2nd or 3rd.  Conversely both Ferrari and Red Bull have to be heartened as the relentless pace of development begins to open opportunities for them. Lastly, today’s race makes an utter mockery of the need to “spice up the show” and hopefully it will put paid to the effort to rehabilitate Briatore once and for all.

 

Final Results:

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Pits
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:29.140 1:53:05.058 3
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:29.602 5.200 2
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.723 5.800 2
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:29.653 6.300 3
5 Felipe Massa Williams 1:30.016 29.700 3
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:30.296 31.300 2
7 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:30.049 40.700 2
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:29.961 41.000 3
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:30.597 58.100 2
10 Jenson Button McLaren 1:32.125 66.800 3
11 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:31.977 67.600 2
12 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:32.910 77.800 2
13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:30.606 83.300 3
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:33.478 1 lap 2
15 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:32.125 1 lap 3
16 Max Chilton Marussia 1:31.933 1 lap 2
R Nico Hulkenberg Force India RETIRED 15 laps 1
R Esteban Gutierrez Sauber RETIRED 33 laps 2
R Sergio Perez Force India RETIRED 23 laps 1
R Kamui Kobayashi Caterham RETIRED 25 laps 1
R Marcus Ericsson Caterham RETIRED 8 laps 0
R Romain Grosjean Lotus RETIRED 11 laps 1

Drivers World Championship

2014 Drivers' Championship Graph Hungary

 

Constructors World Championship

2014 Constructors' Championship Graph Hungary

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50 responses to “#F1 Race Review: Red Bull’s Ricciardo pulls a rabbit out as Mercedes miss out on the Win

  1. Congrats to young Ricciardo, made his move at the right time to get his 2nd win of the season, drove a well executed race. Someone get Seb a blown diffuser please, guess this is one Aussie that wont roll over for finger boy….ha ha ha (watch out for flying bovine excrement)

    • Yep, no excuses for Mr. Seb today as he did himself in by taking to the AstroTurf once too often. He also lost out due to the timing of the first Safety Car, but so did Nico and the rest.

      • He was a very lucky boy, because he could’ve wrecked it like the FI of Perez. Lewis said it in his interview as well, that he was constantly running onto the astroturf, so we could say, it w inevitable.

  2. I’m puzzled as to why Mercedes sent Hamilton out for a long final stint on the prime – which was clearly a sub optimal strategy. Particularly as, unlike anyone else, he had two brand new sets of options.

    As far as I’m concerned, that cost him the win.

    Asking – then telling – him to pull over for Rosberg was pretty well an insult.

    They have secured the constructors championship. All that remains is the closely contested drivers title. Had he pulled over, that could well have cost hithe title at the end of the season.

    I am not one of the mildly delusional who believe that they are trying to fix the championship.
    But not cool, Mercedes.

    • Yeah, it was a real mistake by Merc, neither drivers fault. One of the Sky commentators thought they just got locked into strategy tracks and persisted, failing to reevaluate.

      But the truth is they were looking this same problem in the face at Silverstone, when Hamilton’s pace on the prime brought an alternative strategy into play. Of course, Nico’s gearbox fail saved them from having to deal with it during the race, but apparently they failed to think it through after. Another sign of missing Ross, perhaps.

  3. Nigel makes the key point. Had Lewis got the soft tyre we’d be looking at a merc 1-2. Is it Toto that makes the strategy calls because today they obviously favoured Nico

    • If and buts mate. Unfortunately we don’t know why the calls were made the way they were but Mercedes probably chose to split the strategy (what’s best for the team) and because Nico had his lead wiped out he had to adopt the different strategy.

      Just my guess but as I said in my reply to Tim, Lewis will have to be careful not to piss Merc off or he’ll be watching F1 with us…

      • When you say ‘piss Merc off’, are you sure you’re not talking about Toto?

        Why would Merc want to replace him?

        • Toto is a big stakeholder but ultimately Merc owns the team. Some problems are better getting rid of than managing.

          The Vettel rumour is there for a reason…

          • It´s clear Fortis, check the answers to today´s events:

            Nico (regarding Hamilton not allowing him to pass when asked by the team) – “We have to discuss that internally, it would not make sense to speak about that now. I don’t want to speak theoretically about that situation or ‘what if’ and what people were thinking. It’s better to discuss that in the team”.
            Lewis (regardind the same incident) – “I was very, very shocked that the team would ask me to do that. He didn’t get close enough to overtake, I was not going to lift off and lose ground to Fernando or Daniel, so it was a bit strange.
            I’m not quite sure what the situation was there. I’ll go and talk to everyone and give them the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure it was perhaps for the right reasons”.

            Yesterday Lewis said that his qualifying problems were “beyond bad luck”. Before he compared Mercedes to McLaren implying the latter worked better for him. He said in Monaco that his teammate was cheating and the team lying regarding that incident, etc.
            Mercedes is there to sell cars, they aren’t there to fulfill Lewis’ wishes to be champion. Now, if they win the championship they get exposure and sell those cars, but if all that exposure is annulled by the negative comments of the driver winning the championship about the brand… it’s all useless.
            That’s the reason why Mercedes, as a corporation, might find Lewis not convenient for them. He forgets that he is part of a team, Nico, in the other hand is a team player.
            Regarding the conspiracy theory, Toto´s opinion, or any individual opinion of a top manager, is not as important as it might seem because they won’t go and tell the mechanics to tamper with Lewis’ car. However, as I said before, all failures happening in Lewis’ car might not be a coincidence for a very simple reason: people does a better work when they are motivated. And people is more motivated when others members of team recognize their effort and they can trust each other. They probably do a better work on Nico’s car because they consider him one of them. Do they feel the same way about Lewis? I would say no, because they know that Lewis instead of supporting them compares them negatively to McLaren’s guys. Instead of talking to them he talks of them on their backs to the media. Instead of respecting the line those guys have been doing for years to get paddock passes for their children, spouse, or parents he uses his influences to get in front of the line to get passes for his dogs!!!
            Lewis is ensuring with his behavior that both, top management and the normal guys working in the car, think of him as a person who is there only to obtain personal benefits without contributing to the common goal for which he was hired.

          • It’s often the way that champions of this sport get criticised for being selfish. Today was a perfect demonstration of exactly why Merc will need LH next year, when the other teams have caught up a bit he will still be fighting for wins. Britney won’t.

          • At no point did he compared Mercedes to McLaren yesterday, had he done that, it would’ve been the topic of debate everywhere. So I’m sorry, that’s just a lie….
            he said….’this is beyond bad luck, we need to do better’

            Toto…(I’m really gutted for Lewis, ‘we’ need to do a better job’… so Toto shared the same sentiments as Lewis

            ‘ He said in Monaco that his teammate was cheating and the team lying regarding that incident, etc.’…. the whole paddock accused him of cheating and if you’re going to talk about the stewards ruling, let me cast your mind back to Singapore 2008. The stewards also said they didn’t find any evidence of wrong doing, ask Flavio, Pat Nelson jr what happened.

            “I was very, very shocked that the team would ask me to do that. He didn’t get close enough to overtake, I was not going to lift off and lose ground to Fernando or Daniel, so it was a bit strange.
            I’m not quite sure what the situation was there. I’ll go and talk to everyone and give them the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure it was perhaps for the right reasons”……. ‘I’m sure it was perhaps for the right reasons”……. that line, makes the rest of what you said, absolutely pointless.

            ‘Mercedes is there to sell cars, they aren’t there to fulfill Lewis’ wishes to be champion. Now, if they win the championship they get exposure and sell those cars, but if all that exposure is annulled by the negative comments of the driver winning the championship about the brand… it’s all useless.
            That’s the reason why Mercedes, as a corporation, might find Lewis not convenient for them. He forgets that he is part of a team, Nico, in the other hand is a team player.’….. So that means they’re not there to fulfil Nico’s ambitions to become champion as well, right? But somehow they made a call that would enhance his chances. They lost only 3 pts to Redbull, that’s going to cost them not to sell 1 car. Mercedes started to get more exposure from the moment Lewis joined the team last year an they’ve more than made back the money they’re paying him, probably twice over.

            ‘They probably do a better work on Nico’s car because they consider him one of them’…. Nico has been with the team since Merc returned as a works team, so obviously he will have a better understanding with his mechanic than Lewis does

            So the mechanics are deliberately neglecting their jobs, thus putting his life at risk? Lewis has only every compared the with McLaren once and that was at Monaco and his comments was about the strategy.

            I’m done with this conversation, because all that you’ve written, is just nonsense!!

          • @Fortis

            “At no point did he compared Mercedes to McLaren yesterday”
            Where in my sentence did I write “yesterday”?

            “‘I’m sure it was perhaps for the right reasons”……. that line, makes the rest of what you said, absolutely pointless.”
            I compared the answers of both drivers for others to see the difference in speaking for your team and speaking for the media. What did I say afterwards that isn´t logical to my argument?

            “(…) if you’re going to talk about the stewards ruling, let me cast your mind back to Singapore 2008. The stewards also said they didn’t find any evidence of wrong doing, ask Flavio, Pat Nelson jr what happened”
            Where in my sentence did I mentioned stewards’ ruling as the base of my argument that Lewis is putting himself in an inconvenient position within Mercedes?

            “So that means they’re not there to fulfil Nico’s ambitions to become champion as well, right?”
            No, they aren´t, as I clearly explained. Where did I say the opposite?

            “Mercedes started to get more exposure from the moment Lewis joined the team last year an they’ve more than made back the money they’re paying him, probably twice over.”
            Show me the evidence that support your numbers please.
            “ ‘They probably do a better work on Nico’s car because they consider him one of them’…. Nico has been with the team since Merc returned as a works team, so obviously he will have a better understanding with his mechanic than Lewis does”
            Where in my sentence did I mention the time Nico or Lewis had been with the team as the basis for a better understanding?

            “Lewis has only every compared the with McLaren once and that was at Monaco and his comments was about the strategy.”
            Monaco, or yesterday? Please clarify.

            “I’m done with this conversation, because all that you’ve written, is just nonsense!!”
            No, you are not done with this conversation because what I wrote was nonsense. You are done with the conversation because what I wrote makes sense and you are afraid if you continue with it –which I invite you to do- you might not find a logical argument to counteract my arguments.

            The problem Fortis is that everybody here has their own opinion and they do the best they can to intelligently support that opinion. Sometimes we disagree but we respect the arguments presented by others and we enjoy the exchange of ideas and intelligent discussions. Except you. For some reason you believe that you can be disrespectful to others’ ideas and arguments without presenting a logical argument to support your opposition to them. Every time somebody presents and idea that doesn´t match your own idea –and that is very often-, sometimes as an answer to a question you made, if you can´t support with an argument your idea you just present your subjective personal opinion as final word. Why do you think that only your personal opinion matters? And why do you think that you and only you can be disrespectful every time to the intelligence of the rest of us here?

          • Toto caught again, outside of Kansas. The guy threw Hamilton under the bus after the race when asked a ridiculous question by Ted Kravitz about whether apologizing to Hamilton last week had an effect on not forcing him to, effectively, finish 4th, by allowing Rosberg by, to which Toto answered in the affirmative.

            If it’s not obvious by now that Wolff never wanted Hamilton at Merc and that he forced Ross Brawn out, in part, for bringing Hamilton to Merc to rejuvenate their flagging F1 program, it never will be apparent.

      • The big issue is that Rosberg wound up with optimal strategy despite being behind in the race. That might not have cost them 1st, but they could easily have finished 2-3 instead of 3-4 if they’d been a bit more nimble in the strategy department.

        • I don’t buy into the conspiracy theory, but that message was very suspect to me. That seemed like they were trying to make up for him losing out because of the safety car. But I still believe he lost out on the win, because of the 15 laps he spent lolly gagging behind JeV. All he needed to do was to clear him and he didn’t do it, that’s what cost him.

        • If you look at it the other way they had a clear worry with both Nico showing he couldn’t get by the Torro Rosso and with Lewis also getting stuck behind Vettel until he spun.

          Lewis would have been faster on two new sets of options, if he still had them from not running quali, but could he have passed both Red Bulls twice to get to the front to challenge Alonso?

          • Not the first time they have struggled this year getting by drivers you’d think they would easily overtake. Don’t know if it’s down to set up or not, but I agree Rosberg not getting past JEV can’t make them feel too happy.

          • Yes. If I was the Merc strategist I would be dying to try to replicate the Braun/Shumi stop extra times and use the car advantage to set fastest lap after fastest lap. Where is their confidence in their driver’s ability to pass? Merc are playing it VERY conservative for the WCC this year.

  4. I have to admit that Merc are either incompetent, or let’s just say not very good at the strategy game, or were clearly favouring Rosberg. There’s no middle ground. The guy fights from the pitlane to 3rd and you then are audacious enough to ask him to move over for the other guy he’s fighting for the title with?

  5. At last, my love for F1 has just reignited. I’ve been dangerously close to turning off from the sport this year, despite some good races earlier on, but Hungary has given me the feeling that the second half of the season (and next year) is going to be a tad more competitive and racy than I’d thought. Of course, for this tifosa, seeing a Ferrari lead for a while and take a nice 2nd place in the end might have something to do with my current positivity 🙂

    …Ach. Just scrolled down and seen the article about Briatore. Please, someone tell me this was written in jest? When will they realise that the biggest threat to F1’s popularity is the meddling, stupid, manipulative decisions of senior figures. If anyone should be on a strategy board to improve the show it should be the people who are already providing the excitement, i.e. the drivers, and I’m pretty sure they’d quickly conclude that the best solution would just be to simply go out there and race!

    • Any race is special when you have two of the greatest drivers of all time (Alonso / Hamilton) up front.

  6. great article @Mattpt55 as always.

    an amazingly awesome edge-of-your-seat race!!! 10 of 10 for me.

    well, great at least if one has been a long term follower of top-tiered racing and can envision what will likely take place further down the road with all the twists and turns in conditions and strategy.

    the info needed for us mega fans is often fairly well documented while watching on TV broadcast in the comfort of our home. but IMHO it likely leaves the part time and new fans totally confused, bewildered, and possibly disenchanted…

    to farther aggrevate the problem, I can only feel sorry for the track fans unless they have their faces planted into a mobile device or 2 – and then, why even be bothered to attend???

    I understand this point of view is counter-intuitive to what most organizers/pundits/commenters would suggest is a great and entertaining auto race.

    but WE do not need to be corralled into the same sphere of new and future fans who will ultimately become the sustainable savior of F1 (as well as IndyCar, Nascar, WEC and other series)…

    am not saying I am right, but I do think (the current average Joe) needs to be consulted extensively to balance future decision making.

    no fan has a bank of super computers with 500+ gig feeds of multiple propietory info nor the skill or manpower to TRULY understand what is behind the decision-making process. I suggest nobody should need to know this. maybe take out the equations for pit stops altogether for F1. the fastest driver in the fastest car should win – but will he?? pretty much how it has been for many decades across the board. why is it necessary to be different now???

    thanx for the indulgence. fire away with your thoughts…

    Rich

    • I really like the track map during the pit stop coverage. Showing a dot for the stationary car while you can clearly see the other cars rounding the last corner.

      My strategy for watching the race in person is to locate a grandstand directly across from a large screen. That way you can see the order and you can see highlights if an overtake or crash happens on the far side of the track.

  7. If worked out what they, fia and bernie, must do in order to keep f1 exciting. They just need to hire the wheater gods to give us unpredictable weather. That always does the trick.

      • Yeah but the problem is that that is triggered by someone at a certain time so that some people will be crying that they are penalised by it. If they fia find a way round this than it might be ok 😂

        • How about just spraying down the run off areas and adding some wet astroturf around the outside of the curbs. Don’t want to get wet? Don’t go out there.

          • Nah, just put mandatory grass strips everywhere instead of astroturf. And unless they want to do a Kvyat in qualifying, no driver will dare taking it outside track limits.

            Mandatory 2m grass strips, followed by 3m asphalt, followed by gravel. Let drivers take their pick..

  8. I enjoyed the race, which is not a bad thing considering the current state of affairs with F1. Alonso being close to it may have helped, that I accept.

    To me, Rosberg underperformed today. Big, big difference between Rosberg and Ricciardo. What Ricciardo did (passing Hamilton and Alonso ruthlessly and efficiently) with an inferior car and new tires should have been done faster by Rosberg with the superior car an even newer tires. He did not.

    One of the things that make a great driver to me is the fact that they know when they have to deliver and just do it when it is the time. Rosberg did not.

  9. Great race and lots of evidence that a lot of the sporting rules are pointless. DRS did nothing but we still got overtakes even at Budapest. With push to pass and turbos DRS is pointless, get rid of it.

    Due to the wet start it wasn’t mandatory for the cars to run both compounds of tire and it didn’t make the strategy calls any less interesting. If anything it made it a LOT more interesting because you couldn’t predict what the teams were going to do in the last stint.

    So much talk of “the show” but in my opinion they should open up the rules, leave the race alone and make a better show of the other sessions like free practice. Every track should have an open house day on Thursday and let fans walk the track and visit the pit lane.

    Friday FP1 should be moved to 11am so the fans can have a nice leisurely coffee and breakfast before heading to the track. Every practice should start with an out lap and 5 red lights on the start finish line for a full practice start on the grid. No more practice starts in the pit lane. This way most practice sessions start with a bang rather than a whimper.

    Leave a nice gap to FP2 at 3pm so you can grab a nice lunch in between and hold another practice start in this session as well. Anyone who wants to get another practice start off the front of the grid better get out there early rather than sitting in the garage for half the session waiting for the Caterhams to clean up the track.

    FP3 should be all about quali setup and fast laps. Timing points and lighted signs should be added mid sector and also at the traditional timing points that count from 0 when a car on a flying lap starts the sector with a smaller display showing the fastest time. If a car improves it’s own time the sign flashes all green, if a car does a fastest time in the session the sign flashes all purple. The fans nearby would always know who’s on a good lap.

    Practice can be made somewhat artificial for more “show” and I wouldn’t mind. It’s often a hardcore fan dragging a newcomer to FP1 in the morning only to sit there for a half hour with no cars doing anything…

    • @j, you’re hired. Honestly, this site does a far better job of coming up with ideas than the so-called pros. completely brilliant, especially the practice starts. love it!

      • Thanks but it’s fairly simple. Get rid of the gimmicks in the race which will make the hardcore fans happy (and leave the points system alone to make stats comparison with the great drivers of the past easier). And throw as many gimmicks as you want into free practice to make it fun for new fans.

        Look at basketball. The rules haven’t changed much in 30 years, other than some hand check rules and 3 second violations to keep the game focussed on offence, so you can fairly easily compare Larry Bird’s playoff stats in ’84 to Kevin Durant this year if you want.

        But all the stuff outside of the game is totally transformed. Dancing girls, huge tv screens, sound effects, music, PA announcers, mascots dunking off of trampoline jumps, guys on BMX’s doing flips at halftime. You can bring a kid or a first time fan to a game and they will have a great time.

  10. Toto Wolff has said before (at Silverstone) that Merc F1 have fixed race strategies that the drivers are allocated at the beginning of the race, and that the strategy won’t be changed even if it could improve the chances of that driver beating his teammate.
    This was what Toto effectively said then: “Mercedes will restrict the race strategies that can be adopted by drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in their fight for the 2014 title.”

    At Hungaroring, Merc could have changed Lewis’s planned stategy and called in Lewis a lap after Rosberg’s final stop for an additional stop for a new set of tyres, and Lewis might then have had a chance to beat Alonso and fend off Riciardo. But Merc stood by the pre-race strategy:
    “Mercedes ran different strategies for Rosberg, who started from pole position, and Hamilton, whose raced began in the pit lane.

    “We put Nico on a three-stop strategy and Lewis on a two-stop,” said Paddy Lowe. “This caused an interaction which we explained as best we could to each driver.”

    • Yes, and this is the basic problem. The simple rule should be lead driver gets optimal strategy, 2nd driver gets alternate if they choose. If one overtakes the other, so be it, the choices go from there. Likewise, if alternate strategy is faster they should be willing to go with it and all the implications, not restrict it.

      But to keep Hamilton on his pre race dry alternate strategy is to deny Merc points, same for Nico in fact.

      I’m not understanding Merc’s unwillingness to revisit strategy based on real time race information, seems a bit silly, TBH.

      • @Merc’s unwillingness to adapt their strategy in real-time : that’s what Ross Brawn would have done, but obviously Paddy Lowe is nowhere near as good as Ross strategy-wise. I can understand that they’ll want to secure the WCC first and foremost but they could be a bit cleverer about their quest.

        Anyway, the weather randomized the field a bit and gave Lewis a chance to claw back some points to Nico. I’m sure he would bit your hand off if you had given him that chance before the race started. Would Lewis have won this race ? Frankly it would have been surreal but again : the weather and the safety cars randomized things a lot.

        I hope Mercedes (and Lewis) can learn from this race, strategy-wise.

        • If Merc now decide that for the remaining 8 races they can allow the drivers to race freely (because the Constructor’s trophy is virtually in he bag), then a problem still remains: they have just one person deciding the strategy calls for the two sides of the garage. They need to give each driver & his team the freedom to vary their strategy calls as they see fit.

          re. Paddy Lowe vs Ross Brawn: ” .. @Merc’s unwillingness to adapt their strategy in real-time : that’s what Ross Brawn would have done, but obviously Paddy Lowe is nowhere near as good as Ross strategy-wise. … ”

          I think the problem is that Merc use just one strategist for the two drivers; this is what Lewis is quoted as saying after Monaco 2014:

          “When I was at McLaren we had two strategists and the strategy from my strategist was to get the best overall result for me,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 afterwards.

          “Unfortunately [at Mercedes] we have one overall strategist, and he’s amazing, but unfortunately the role in the team is that he has to look out for the number one [driver in the race] and the guy in second has to come second. I knew from the get-go that I had a lesser opportunity to win the race and I needed a miracle to win at a track like this.

          “An opportunity occurred where I could have come in. When I was at McLaren, l would have been pulled in on that lap and that may have given me the smallest advantage to get the jump over the Safety Car.

          “But I’ll work it out with the team. In these races, you need to grab every opportunity you can. The start was gone, I was closing up and then the [first] Safety Car came out and really after that there was no opportunity.”

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