Monday, July 30, 2012

Post Race Analysis : 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix

"Just like old times, Kimi..."

A brilliant drive from Lewis Hamilton saw McLaren find the pace it had at the start of the season , with Lewis Hamilton being lightning quick in all practice sessions and delivering in qualifying to put his car on pole position.

Although in Q1 and Q2 we saw signs that the Kimi Raikkonen had found his element and would challenge Hamilton for pole , sadly the flying fin disappointed in Q3 and ended up in 5th , his team-mate however showed that the Lotus had good pace and qualified on P2.With Lotus finally delivering a strong qualifying result , McLaren had a tough Sunday to look forward to.

The torque restriction drama had many pundits think Red Bull would struggle to find one lap pace and even more so with tyre degradation during the race , but Sebastian Vettel proved otherwise and looked on course to challenge Hamilton's time for pole position until an uncharacteristic mistake in the final sector.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso , echoed his team's regular claims that the Ferrari was still not fast enough in a dry session and by his standards a lowly qualified 6th.

Sunday, saw track temperatures soar in the mid 40's with fears of rain being eradicated as the sun shone brightly over the old-school style Hungaroring.

Would Hamilton dominate the race ? Would Lotus finally win ? Will Grosjean make it till turn 2 ? Speculations , questions , drama at its tipping point when the cars assembled after the formation lap......


As Schumacher's car was pushed into the pit-lane the grid took another formation lap and we finally had the 5 red lights illuminate.

Hamilton made a great start, Vettel and Grosjean fought into turn 1 and as they did Button sneakily overtook Vettel .

Mark Webber had made a great start to 8th from 11th and Felipe Massa went backwards.

The race seemed processional during the first two stints with the hard to overtake nature of the track being showcased nicely. Hamilton was storming in front, closely chased by Grosjean while Vettel crucially lost a lot of time behind Button and again the two time world champion was losing his cool and being visibly frustrated with his engineer.

The only fascinating point of the race was at the final stint when Raikkonen came out of the pits , outbraked his team-mate into turn 1 , going wheel to wheel on the exit and consolidating second place. He was now in the hunt to chase down race leader Lewis Hamilton , but again the Hungaroring would prove to be hard for someone to overtake despite DRS and KERS.

The ice-man just couldn't put on the power quick enough to match Hamilton into the braking zone for Turn 1 and had to settle for second yet again with Lewis Hamilton taking victory number 2 of the season .

The spark is certainly there , Raikkonen and Lotus are quick , they just need a bit more and victory will be theirs . Who would bet against a victory at next month's Belgium Grand Prix for the King of Spa ?

Hamilton's victory meant the closed down the gap to Alonso, yet still is quite a far way back.

Alonso despite finishing 5th , has now the biggest lead in the championship ever.

A month off from F1 seems long but the next double header will be a cracker with Spa and then Monza ! 

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