Rate the Race and Driver of the Day results for Hungarian GP 2016 by TJ13 contributor @F1Theaj
Reader Score: 4.36
The score sums up the race – not the best we’ve seen this year by a long way. I’d stop short of calling it boring (please feel free to disagree!) as it did have its moments, albeit they were few and far between. With the uncharacteristic downpour on Saturday bringing four red flags in Q1 alone, and then the controversy over Rosberg’s ‘big lift’ in Q3, I’m afraid Hungeroring used up its aliquot of excitement before the race had even begun. Let’s be honest, with the short straights and narrow twisty track (‘Monaco without the houses,’ according to Martin Brundle) were we really expecting anything more? With the few overtaking opportunities (i.e. Turns 1 and 2) a good start was paramount, which wasn’t lost on any of the front runners. Hamilton finally managed to get his act together off the grid and from P2 got his nose in front before the first corner and there he stayed for the rest of the race. In the top 10 ALO got ahead of SAI, VET got the undercut on VES on L15 and that was pretty much it for the rest of the race. One sharp intake of breath was taken when PAL, who seemed to be on for his first point of the season (who got out of the pits ahead of PER in what seemed to be a fantastic pit stop by Lotus but turned out to be a bit of a cock up by Force India) spun of the track and dropped from P10 to P13. There were not many overtaking maneuvers to speak of, but the last 15 laps would have been much more entertaining if we’d had a split screen option, as there were (apparently) three spats going on: HAM and ROS for P1&2, RIC and VET for P3&4 and VES and RAI for P5&6. The TV cameras focused on the latter of these three, which probably explains the outcome of the next poll………
DRIVER OF THE WEEKEND – KIMI RAIKONNEN, 34.69% of the reader vote
Kimi won, but when there are awards to be had, you can bet VES is not far away (he came second.) These two drivers got most of the TV air time as they were having a jolly good fight for P5. Try as he might (and he did) RAI just couldn’t get past and he lost part of his front wing in the process. Did VES play fair or was he bending the rules to maintain position? RAI complained (several times) that VES was changing direction more than once or too late in the braking zone. VES said he was just racing. RAI said others have been penalized for less….. at the time of writing no penalties had been doled out so RAI will just have to grin and bear it. However, this award is for driver of the weekend, not just the race and having announced a contract extension with Ferrari for 2017 RAI seemed to have got his mojo back. With the drying track in qualifying, the timing of the final lap was paramount in determining grid position, Kimi put in what looked like a blistering lap in the final seconds of Q3 and took poll position. He was first to see the chequered flag and then had to watch helplessly as each successive driver pushed him further down and then off the top ten leader board, so he didn’t even get through to Q3 and started the race from P14. The advantage (such as it was) was that RAI started on Softs and could go deeper into the race before having to pit for fresh tyres, so gaining track position on those who had to pit earlier. This along with one of the few overtakes in T1, saw him move into P6, where he had the spat with VES and won the much coveted Driver of the Weekend award.
On a more positive note, Budapest is a fantastic holiday destination. The city is beautiful and the atmosphere at the GP track is amazing and, even if it’s not the most scintillating race on the F1 calendar, it’s well worth a visit.