Rate the Race and Driver of the Weekend – Round 11, Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary
Mean Reader score : 4.77
This year’s score of 4.77 was marginally higher than last year’s 4.36 and is currently ranked as 9th out of the 11 races so far this season. Well, it was ‘better’ than last year in that there was SOME uncertainty as to who would cross the finish line first. Added to that was the mere one point lead Vettel had over Hamilton in the Driver Standings, so whoever crossed the line first of these two would be leading the championship heading into the summer break. Last year’s race was a procession and in many ways so was this year’s BUT this year we had team orders from Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari (in that Ferrari completely ignored Kimi’s requests for the team to get Vettel to move over.) Added to that we had Vettel’s damaged steering column (or whatever,) Max taking out his team mate at the start and of course and the ‘race-long’ battle between countrymen Alonso and Sainz. Talking of which……..
Driver of the Weekend: Fernando Alonso. 40.48% of Reader Vote
McLaren did say they were hoping for both drivers to score points this race, as the narrow, twisty track played to their strengths (i.e. away from the power dependency of the under powered/unreliable Honda engine) and how right they were too. Alonso finished in 6th place (highest of the season so far) AND won the fastest lap award (yes, you did read that correctly.) He was pretty consistent in the free practice sessions coming in P7,8,9 respectively: qualified in P8 (promoted to P7 due to Hulkenberg’s gear box penalty) and finished in P6. He kept us entertained with his spat with Sainz, which started when Alonso was ran wide (lap6) trying to ovetake Sainz for P6 continued on lap36 with a scramble in the pit lane, out into lap 37 where Alonso cut the chicane, went off tack and just missed Sainz on re-entry. Alonso then made a lunge down the inside of turn 1, briefly taking the lead before Sainz took it back again on the exit before Alonso made it stick on turn 2 of lap 38. He then stole the show at the podium (even though he was under it rather than on it) when he appeared sitting on a deckchair on a picture of himself sitting on a deckchair. You couldn’t make it up. Well done Alonso, and happy summer break everyone!