The Hungarian Grand Prix was the final race of the 2018 Formula One season. Esteban Ocon won a thrilling race after Lewis Hamilton fought back from a pit stop penalty to finish second.
Esteban Ocon won the thrilling Hungarian Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton fought back from a poor start to take second place.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon won his first Formula One race in a wild and crazy Hungarian Grand Prix.
After battling back to finish third after being last five laps into the race, Lewis Hamilton reclaimed the world championship lead for the first time since May.
Max Verstappen, his championship challenger, had an incident-plagued wet start but was able to rescue a point for tenth place in a severely damaged Red Bull.
As the sport enters its three-week summer vacation, Hamilton leads Verstappen by eight points after a race that featured one of the most spectacular first few laps in Formula One history.
Hamilton came in third behind Ocon and Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin, but Vettel was subsequently disqualified for a fuel irregularity, allowing Hamilton to move up to second.
On the opening lap, a pile-up at the first turn on a slick track gave Hamilton a short lead over Ocon and Vettel before the race was red-flagged to clean up the wreckage.
When the race resumed, Hamilton was the sole vehicle on the grid for a second start, as all of the other drivers pitted for dry-weather slick tyres since the sun had come out and the track was almost dry.
Hamilton was forced to pit at the end of the following lap, relegating Ocon to fight off Vettel for the remainder of the race.
Vettel made many attempts to overtake Ocon, but the former Mercedes young driver hung on for the full 70 laps to earn his maiden victory.
Fernando Alonso, Ocon’s teammate, was instrumental in clinching the victory for the Frenchman, fighting heroically against Hamilton for the last 10 laps.
With 23 laps to go, Hamilton pitted to replace his tyres and make a daring push for victory, having battled his way back up to fourth from last.
The Mercedes driver had the speed to make it happen, and he may have if Alonso hadn’t held him off lap after lap with a performance of harsh racecraft that was on the verge of being acceptable at moments.
After passing Alonso with five circuits to go, Hamilton overtook Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz two laps later and pushed his way into the top two, finishing only 0.8 seconds behind Vettel, with Sainz fourth and Alonso fifth.
Hamilton went to the Mercedes doctor after the race because he was experiencing tiredness and dizziness. After acquiring Covid-19 last December, he stated later in the press conference that he had been suffering with his fitness all year.
The first-lap collision created havoc.
What occurred in the beginning?
A race that will go down in history as one of the most amazing ever seen was riveting from start to finish, and the action was sparked by rain that began approximately half an hour before the race.
On a wet track, Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton’s teammate, missed his braking position and collided with Lando Norris of McLaren, who was forced into Verstappen. Sergio Perez’s second Red Bull was likewise taken out by Bottas.
The Finn will start from the back of the grid in the next race, which will be held in Belgium on the final weekend of August.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was in contention for eighth position behind Hamilton until Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll made a mistake, braked too late, skidded into the grass, and collided with the Ferrari, sending McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo spinning.
The red flag was thrown, and the cars were forced to return to the pits, where Red Bull began attempting to fix Verstappen’s vehicle.
The damage was severe, with sections of the floor missing and his whole right-hand barge-board gone, resulting in significant downforce loss.
Verstappen started the race in 13th position and faced a difficult day of fighting a vehicle that lacked balance and grip. But he battled hard and, in the closing stages, managed to distance Ricciardo from the last points position.
As the remainder of the race stopped for dry tyres, Lewis Hamilton lined up alone on the grid for the restart.
How did Hamilton end up in last place after leading for so long?
The rain had stopped and the sun had come out by the time the race resumed, but all of the drivers were on intermediate tyres as they began the formation lap for another standing start.
Hamilton told his crew that the track was suitable for slicks, but he did not follow through, despite the fact that everyone else did. As a result, the sight of just one vehicle on the starting grid for the race was strange.
Because of the additional speed the slick tyres provided the rest of the field, Hamilton was relegated to 14th position when six cars retired when he pitted for his own slicks the following time around. On a circuit where overtaking is notoriously tough, the issue became how much distance he could make up.
When he stopped on lap 19 for new tyres, he had gained three positions, the plan being to drive in clean air and then make up ground on those in front of him who were running on older tyres.
When Hamilton stopped for new tyres on lap 46, he was up to fourth position behind Ocon, Vettel, and Sainz.
He fell even farther behind Alonso as a result of the maneuver, but the aim was that he could overtake all of the cars ahead of him and win an improbable race.
But Alonso, who was putting in strong lap times and had closed the gap on Sainz, had other ideas, and in one of the greatest defensive driving displays in recent memory, he held off the much faster Mercedes for ten nail-biting laps before running a little too deep into Turn One with five laps to go, allowing Hamilton to pass into Turn Two.
Bottas was to blame for the accident, with many drivers complaining about his late braking.
So, who is the victor?
From Hamilton’s first pit stop, Ocon and Vettel were able to establish a 15-second lead over the field, while the rest of the field was held back for the opening 22 laps by Williams’ Nicholas Latifi in third.
Vettel had the faster car, but Ocon managed to hold off the German throughout the whole race.
A delayed pit stop by Vettel and Aston Martin in the middle of the race allowed Ocon breathing room to come in without too much pressure the following time around and keep the lead.
Vettel came close a number of times in the final laps, but Ocon was always just out of reach and hung on for his maiden victory.
It was the team’s first win under the Alpine banner, and the first since Kimi Raikkonen won the Australian Grand Prix in 2013, when the team was known as Lotus.
Latifi and George Russell, a British driver, earned their first points for the Williams team in eighth and ninth positions, respectively, which became seventh and eighth after Vettel’s disqualification.
Today’s driver is
This prize goes to Alonso for a fantastic drive, which included a defensive masterclass versus Hamilton.
So, what’s next?
After a three-week hiatus, the season resumes with the Belgian Grand Prix at the beautiful Spa-Francorchamps track.
- f1 news
- 2018 f1 standings
- formula 1 2019 standings