Vet­tel wins Hun­gar­ian GP in Fer­rari one-two

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Se­bas­tian Vet­tel in­creased his driv­ers’ world cham­pi­onship lead to 14 points yes­ter­day when he led Kimi Raikko­nen home in a dom­i­nant Fer­rari one-two at the Hun­gar­ian Grand Prix. In his 50th race for Fer­rari, the four-time cham­pion Ger­man con­trolled the con­test from pole po­si­tion in sti­fling heat to reel off his first win in five races since the Monaco Grand Prix.

His main ti­tle ri­val Lewis Hamil­ton of Mercedes fin­ished fourth, af­ter hand­ing a podium fin­ish back to his team-mate Valt­teri Bot­tas on the fi­nal lap fol­low­ing a late switch to en­able the Bri­ton to at­tack the two Fer­raris. Dutch­man Max Ver­stap­pen fin­ished fifth for Red Bull af­ter sur­viv­ing an open­ing lap col­li­sion with his team-mate Daniel Ric­cia­rdo that saw the an­gry Aus­tralian forced into an early re­tire­ment, forc­ing the de­ploy­ment of the Safety Car.

Two-time cham­pion Spa­niard Fer­nando Alonso came home sixth and recorded the fastest lap of the race for McLaren-Honda af­ter a stir­ring and of­ten re­mark­able drive. Vet­tel, who started the day just a point ahead of Hamil­ton, in­creased his lead by another 13 af­ter 11 of this year’s 20 races as the cir­cus takes a now-tra­di­tional three-week Euro­pean sum­mer hol­i­day be­fore the Bel­gian Grand Prix.

It was Fer­rari’s first one-two in Hun­gary since 2004, when seven-time cham­pion Ger­man Michael Schu­macher tri­umphed ahead of Brazil­ian Rubens Bar­richello, the last sea­son in which the race win­ner in Hun­gary went on to win the driv­ers’ ti­tle. “I’m over the moon,” said Vet­tel. “It was re­ally dif­fi­cult. I had my hands full from three, four laps af­ter the safety car. The steer­ing started to go side­ways.

“I stayed off the kerbs, tried to save the car. I didn’t do any favours to Kimi, who could go faster and I re­ally had to stay fo­cused the whole race. “I was hop­ing for a cou­ple of laps to breathe, but they didn’t come. I don’t know what hap­pened. We’ll have a look-but it doesn’t mat­ter now be­cause we won the race!”

Raikko­nen, cheered by a huge fol­low­ing of Finns in a sell-out crowd at the swel­ter­ing Hun­garor­ing, said: “Un­for­tu­nately, I couldn’t give them the win. I had a good start, but didn’t want to force the is­sue. “Af­ter that I just kept fol­low­ing. Not ideal, I want to win, but it’s great for the team.”

Bot­tas, who was also given a re­sound­ing re­cep­tion, said: “I was get­ting a lit­tle bit wor­ried as the gap was in­creas­ing, but re­ally, thanks to Lewis to keep the prom­ise and let me by.”

MAY­HEM

On a very hot af­ter­noon with a track tem­per­a­ture of 55 de­grees Cel­sius, and the air at 30, the two Fer­raris made a clean start to lead ahead of Bot­tas while, be­hind them, the first lap fea­tured may­hem and a Safety Car intervention. At Turn One, French­man Ro­main Gros­jean’s Haas col­lided with Ger­man Nico Hulken­berg’s Re­nault be­fore, at Turn Two, the two Red Bulls col­lided when Ver­stap­pen over­steered into his team-mate.

Af­ter spin­ning and sur­viv­ing, Aus­tralian Ric­cia­rdo im­me­di­ately had to park his dam­aged car with fluid pour­ing. And he had some harsh words for his young team-mate. “It was what it was,” he said. “It’s not on. It was am­a­teur to say the least.

“He doesn’t like it when a team-mate gets in front of him... A very poor mis­take.” Ver­stap­pen was given a 10-sec­ond penalty. As the race re­sumed, Hamil­ton at­tacked but Ver­stap­pen de­fended ro­bustly. Ver­stap­pen led the race dur­ing the pit-stops be­fore he fi­nally pit­ted af­ter 42 laps and, af­ter serv­ing his penalty, re­joined in fifth. Un­der team or­ders, Bot­tas let Hamil­ton through on lap 47 to launch a charge at the Fer­raris, re­as­sured that he would be given back third if the Bri­ton did not pass a Fer­rari.

By lap 56, Hamil­ton was within a sec­ond of Raikko­nen, but un­able to close in the tur­bu­lent air with­out los­ing grip. As promised, on the fi­nal lap, he let Bot­tas through to take third. “I am a man of my word,” said Hamil­ton. — AFP

BU­DAPEST: Win­ner Fer­rari’s Ger­man driver Se­bas­tian Vet­tel (C) is flanked by sec­ond-placed Fer­rari’s Fin­nish driver Kimi Raikko­nen (L) and third­placed Mercedes’ Fin­nish driver Valt­teri Bot­tas (R) as he cel­e­brates on the podium af­ter the For­mula One Hun­gar­ian Grand Prix at the Hun­garor­ing rac­ing cir­cuit in Bu­dapest yes­ter­day. — AFP

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