Possibly the most insane race of this season has just eventuated in Hungary with Frenchman Esteban Ocon clinching an excellent maiden victory for himself and the Alpine F1 team.
Sebastian followed closely behind Ocon to finish an impressive 2nd with Hamilton climbing up to 3rd after being last on lap 5 of the race!
Here is how it went down:
A surprise group of storm clouds passed over the Hungaroring to bring a wet low grip start to the Hungarian GP.
All tyres from Q2 were changed to intermediates due to the slippery conditions. The rain was coming down slowly but it definitely caught all the teams off guard.
Antonio Giovinazzi gambled by starting from pit lane and changing his tyres to slicks but ended up not benefitting in the long run.
Shortly after the lights went green F1 turned into a carnival game of bumper cars. A huge incident as many drivers collided on turn one after Bottas loses control under braking smashing into the back of Norris and taking out both RedBulls in the process.
Lance Stroll tried to avoid the chaos by moving to the inside of turn one but ended up copying Bottas and locking up his front tyres sending him directly into the side of Charles Leclerc.
Hamilton powers away into the lead while Max Verstappen moved down to 9th and eventually dropping even further down the order with substantial aero damage.
Evidently the race was red flagged on lap 3 of 70 due to excessive debris littering the circuit.
As the red flag came into place 4 drivers had their race weekend cut short. The following drivers would not continue due to damage:
- Bottas out
- Leclerc DNF
- Stroll DNF
- Perez DNF
During the red flag the affected teams rushed to repair any damage sustained after the dramatic lap one collisions.
Lando Norris unfortunately had to retire his care after damaged gained from his collision with Bottas.
That ended a fantastic run for Norris being the only driver to earn points in every race this season until Hungary.
Here is how it looked as the cars parked up in the pits during the red flag after the multiple first lap crashes.
After a roughly 20 minute break the sun had started to creep through the storm clouds onto the wet tarmac.
The race would restart from a standing start. But due to the rapid change in conditions many drivers decided to preemptively change to slicks.
What followed could only be described as extremely bizzare as Hamilton was the only car on the grid to start the restart while the remaining 15 cars restarted from pit lane.
Russell moved temporarily into second but slowed down and dropped to 7th after being told by the FIA to give his gained places back after illegally undercutting in the pitlane.
Hamilton pitted on lap 5 one lap after the restart to make a change for slicks and moved into 14th (last) and Esteban Ocon sped happily into 1st place!
Nikita Mazepin and Kimi Raikkonen collided in the pit lane causing major front suspension damage to Mazepin and ending his weekend early. Meaning the race was down to 14 drivers!
Into lap 11 the track conditions were back to normal after the early rain spells. Although, still 20 degrees below the temperatures on Friday when the teams practiced their race trim.
Lewis Hamilton pitted on lap 20/70 changing from medium to hard compound tyres and trying an ambitious one stop strategy.
Ricciardo and Verstappen followed Hamilton’s suit a lap later and switched to hard tyres. Hamilton benefitted from this by ending a net 10th.
15 laps to go:
Ocon holds onto the lead with Vettel in 2nd hoping to attack at first place but struggling with the dirty air behind the Alpine. Hamilton is in 5th lapping at god speed in hopes to grab at the podium places.
Max Verstappen finally made it into the points on lap 60/70 after passing Daniel Ricciardo for 10th place.
Hamilton finally made it past Fernando Alonso on lap 65/70 following some excellent defensive driving from the 40 year old Spaniard. Hamilton’s pace was eventually too much for the Alpine and Hamilton moved up into 4th place.
Hamilton then made quick work of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz to move up into 3rd grabbing a hard earned podium.
Williams also finally scored their first points of the season with Latifi finishing an impressive 8th and Russell in 9th which earned them 6 points!
But the story of the day was obviously Esteban Ocon who kept a cool head for 70 laps and eventually won his first ever F1 race!
Here is how the classification ended:
Featured image source: twitter/alpineF1