VET­TEL CLAIMS HUN­GARY WIN 16 SPORTS

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Bu­da­pest, Hun­gary - Se­bas­tian Vet­tel in­creased his driv­ers' world cham­pi­onship lead to 14 points on Sun­day 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 GP.

His main ti­tle ri­val Lewis Hamil­ton of Mercedes fin­ished fourth, af­ter hand­ing a podium fin­ish back to his team­mate Valt­teri Bot­tas on the fi­nal lap fol­low­ing a late switch to en­able the Bri­ton to at­tack the Fer­raris.

Dutch­man Max Ver­stap­pen fin­ished fifth for Red Bull af­ter sur­viv­ing an open­ing lap col­li­sion with his team­mate 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."

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.

Hun­gar­ian GP re­sults [Top ten]: 1 Se­bas­tian Vet­tel (1hr:39m:46.713s), 2 Kimi Raikko­nen (+0:00.908s), 3 Valt­teri Bot­tas (+0:12.462s), 4 Lewis Hamil­ton (+0:12.885s), 5 Max Ver­stap­pen (+0:13.276s), 6 Fer­nando Alonso (+1m:11.223s), 7 Car­los Sainz Jr (+1 lap), 8. Ser­gio Perez (+1 lap), 9 Este­ban Ocon (+1 lap), 10 Stof­fel Van­doorne (+1 lap).

F1 Driver stand­ings [Top ten]: 1 Vet­tel (202 points), 2 Hamil­ton (188), 3 Bot­tas (169), 4 Daniel Ric­cia­rdo (117), 5 Raikko­nen 116, 6 Ver­stap­pen (67), 7 Perez (56), 8 Ocon (45), 9 Sainz (35), 10, Nico Hulken­berg (26).

(AFP)

Fer­rari's Se­bas­tian Vet­tel lifts the tro­phy on the podium at the Hun­garor­ing cir­cuit in Bu­da­pest, Hun­gary on Sun­day

(AFP)

Fer­rari’s Se­bas­tian Vet­tel drives over the fin­ish line fol­lowed by his team­mate Kimi Raikko­nen at the Hun­gar­ian Grand Prix on Sun­day

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