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It Had To be Done ’ – And Dan The Man Does It Again

EVENT COUNTDOWN

ALBERT PARK

12-15 MARCH 2015

Riccardo

What?

The 2014 FORMULA 1 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX
Round 11 of 19

Where?

Hungaroring, Budapest

Who was on Pole?

Nico Rosberg • Mercedes • 1:22.715 = 190.674 km/h
Rosberg’s sixth pole of the season and his third in a row
10th pole in 11 races in 2014 for Mercedes-Benz

Who won?

Daniel Ricciardo • Red Bull Renault • 1hr 53m 05.058s = 162.690 km/h

Who took all the points?

  • 1st (25) Ricciardo • Red Bull Renault
  • 2nd (18) Alonso • Ferrari
  • 3rd (15) Hamilton • Mercedes
  • 4th (12) Rosberg • Mercedes
  • 5th (10) Massa • Williams
  • 6th (8) Raikkonen • Ferrari
  • 7th (6) Vettel • Red Bull Renault
  • 8th (4) Bottas • Williams Mercedes
  • 9th (2) Vergne • Toro Rosso Renault
  • 10th (1) Button • McLaren Mercedes

Who got Fastest Lap?

Rosberg • Mercedes • 1:25.724 = 183.981 on lap 64

Race Highlights

Rain immediately before the start throws the cat among the pigeons and means tyre choice more than ever is crucial on a wet but slowly drying track. Hamilton, already penalized by an engine fire in qualifying, starts at the rear and goes from bad to worse with a spin on the second lap.

Within four laps Roserg, from pole, is a country mile ahead – but a major ‘off’ for Ericsson’s Caterham brings the Safety Car out for only the third time in Budapest history after eight laps. The pit stops – Ricciardo first to dive in and rejoining in the lead as Rosberg completes another lap before pitting – will reshuffle the pack dramatically.

The Safety Car has to stay out when Grosjean’s Lotus goes off at almost the same spot, in Turn 3, as Ericsson after 11 laps. When it comes in two-time Hungaroring winner Button – resplendent in a pink helmet to mark what would have been his late father John’s 71st birthday – assumes the lead in his McLaren until he pits again after 15 laps.

The Safety Car comes out again after 24 laps following another huge accident, this time for Perez in the Force India out of Turn 1, where he catches the wet Astroturf and spears across the track into the pit wall. It caps a disastrous day for the team as Hulkenberg has already stopped, forfeiting his 100% points-scoring record this season.

As Mercedes tell the fast-moving Hamilton it is “mission critical” to dispense with Vettel and Vergne, Alonso sprints into the lead on the restart. While the Spaniard fires in a string of fastest laps, Ricciardo has already pitted for a second time and is beginning to think the day is going his way. When Alonso comes in after 38 laps it is Hamilton who briefly leads before pitting, leaving Ricciardo with an 11-second advantage and 30 laps to run.

As the two Mercedes drivers squabble over track position over the radio, Ricciardo calmly asks: “What’s the plan?” He pits for new Pirellis, rejoins in fourth – and executes the plan with a brilliant late-race sprint, first thrusting past Hamilton at Turn 3 for second place and then passing leader Alonso in Turn 1 with three laps to go to post the second victory of his career.

Alonso’s brave drive on wearing tyres costs him a Ferrari win but second is like a gift for the beleaguered Italian team. “It has been a tough weekend a tough season in general,” says the man who turns 33 this week, “so to get a podium is a nice surprise. We need some crazy races this year to get some podiums and today we took the opportunity.” Alonso is now the only man to have scored points in every race in 2014.

As Rosberg hurtles through to fourth, three seconds a lap faster than the front three, Hamilton hangs on for third. “Damage limitation again,” says the Englishman after cutting Rosberg’s lead to just 11 points going into the break. “The car is fantastic – when it’s going!”

Drive of the Day

It might have been Hamilton after dashing from pit lane to podium but how can we nominate anyone other than Ricciardo? Team principal Christian Horner summed it up: “How he made that work was incredible. His middle stint after the Safety Car was where he did the damage.” Late-race surges made in a calm, controlled but thrilling manner have earned Ricciardo two victories in the first half of his first Red Bull Racing season. “It feels as good as the first (in Montreal),” says the 25-year-old. “That was a lot of fun, the last few laps. Now I’ve got to keep building on what I’ve done in the first half of the season.”

Who’s leading?

  • 1 Rosberg 202 points
  • 2 Hamilton 191 points
  • 3 Ricciardo 131 points
  • 4 Alonso 115 points
  • 5 Bottas 95 points
  • 6 Vettel 88 points
  • 1 Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 393 points
  • 2 Infiniti Red Bull Racing 219 points
  • 3 Scuderia Ferrari 142 points

Quote of the weekend

“It had to be done.” Dan Ricciardo sums up his race-winning move, from a long way back, to take the race lead from Alonso with just three laps remaining.

Where do we go next?

To Belgium after the summer break for Round 12 at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, on August 24

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