Category Archives: Caterham

F1: Lewis Hamilton wins the 2014 World Championship in Abu Dhabi thriller

Abu Dhabi – From the chequered flag in Sâo Paulo, the world knew that the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship would end with a bang. With double points on the line, and a mere 17 point gap between them, the fight was on between Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg once again proved himself as the fastest in qualifying, beating Hamilton out for pole by a mere 0.386 of a second. Close behind the Mercedes were the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who played a major factor in Sunday’s season ending race at Yas Marina. Meanwhile, the starting grid was shaken up after the FIA disqualified the qualifying times of the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo due to a pair of illegal front wings.

The race began with Hamilton getting an amazing start over his teammate, rushing up the left-hand side of the track and never looking back. Rosberg held his own against Massa, while Bottas was swamped by the pack, falling back considerably from his 3rd place start.

Rosberg’s troubles began on Lap 23, when his car suffered an ERS failure, crippling the German’s Mercedes and leaving Hamilton wary to push his own car too hard. In part because of this, Hamilton laid off for a good portion of the race, letting Massa take the lead, and have a decent chance at his first Grand Prix win since that fateful day in Brazil in 2008 when Hamilton won his first World Championship, beating the Brazilian out by just a few seconds. Rosberg was able to stay in the race to the end, despite the recommendations from the team that he retire. He finished the race in 14th, having been lapped by Hamilton on the last couple of laps.

Red Bull was able to recover from their pit-lane start, with Daniel Ricciardo challenging Williams’ Valtteri Bottas for 3rd and Vettel taking the fight to his 2015 team Ferrari. Fernando Alonso finished his final race at the Scuderia in 9th, finishing the season in 6th with 161 points. The Spaniard has yet to conform where he will be in 2015, though the rumours of a return to McLaren are still circulating.

McLaren’s Jenson Button had a good finish in 5th, on what could be his last Formula 1 race. The Briton has been in the sport since 2000, winning the World Championship in 2009. His Danish rookie teammate, Kevin Magnussen, finished in 11th, having spent the race in a dogfight with the Ferraris, Toro Rossos, and Force Indias.

Sunday saw only one incident, with Pastor Maldonado’s tailpipe erupting in flame on Lap 26. Other retirements included Toro Rosso’s Russian rookie, and soon to be Red Bull driver, Daniil Kvyat on Lap 14, and Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi of Japan on Lap 42. Caterham’s No. 2 driver for the weekend, Will Stevens of Great Britain, finished in 17th.

The results of the 2014 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are as follows:

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Great Britain, Mercedes AMG Petronas, 1:39:02.61, 50 pts
  2. Felipe Massa, Brazil, Williams Martini Racing, +00:02.500, 36 pts
  3. Valtteri Bottas, Finland, Williams Martini Racing, +00:28.800, 30 pts
  4. Daniel Ricciardo, Australia, Infiniti Red Bull Racing, +00:37.200, 24 pts
  5. Jenson Button, Great Britain, McLaren-Mercedes, +01:00.300, 20 pts
  6. Nico Hülkenberg, Germany, Sahara Force India, +01:02.100, 16 pts
  7. Sergio Pérez, Mexico, Sahara Force India, +01:11.000, 12 pts
  8. Sebastian Vettel, Germany, Infiniti Red Bull Racing, +01:12.000, 8 pts
  9. Fernando Alonso, Spain, Scuderia Ferrari, +01:25.800, 4 pts
  10. Kimi Räikkönen, Finland, Scuderia Ferrari, +01:27.800, 2 pts
  11. Kevin Magnussen, Denmark, McLaren-Mercedes, +01:30.300, 0 pts
  12. Jean-Éric Vergne, France, Scuderia Toro Rosso, +01:31.900, 0 pts
  13. Romain Grosjean, France, Lotus, lapped, 0 pts
  14. Nico Rosberg, Germany, Mercedes AMG Petronas, lapped, 0 pts
  15. Esteban Gutierrez, Mexico, Sauber, lapped, 0 pts
  16. Adrian Sutil, Germany, Sauber, lapped, 0 pts
  17. Will Stevens, Great Britain, Caterham, lapped, 0 pts
  18. Kamui Kobayashi, Japan, Caterham, retired, 42 laps, 0 pts
  19. Pastor Maldonado, Venezuela, Lotus, retired, 26 laps, 0 pts
  20. Daniil Kvyat, Russia, Scuderia Toro Rosso, retired, 14 laps, 0 pts

There will be a season recap article coming your way in the next week or so, looking back at the key moments of 2014. Also, the 2015 Formula 1 season preview will be on its way come New Years’ under the banner of my new newspaper, The Tern.

Thanks so much for following the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship with me here at . I will be back in a week or so with a season recap article.

F1: US Grand Prix Qualifying & Other News From Austin

Austin – The 2014 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix weekend is in its second day, with Qualifying taking centre stage at Circuit of the Americas, which is located south of Downtown Austin a few miles further down the road from the local airport.

In general, qualifying was as expected considering the buildup to Sunday’s race: Vettel didn’t make it past Q1, as per plan, due to his starting from the pit lane on Sunday after having changed his engine unit. Likewise, with the reduced grid, the Lotuses of Grosjean, the Sauber of Gutierrez, and the Toro Rosso of Vergne failed to make it past Q1.

Q2 once again only saw 4 drivers eliminated, due to the absence of the Marussias and Caterhams from the field. Maldonado’s remaining Lotus qualified 11th, followed by the Force Indias of Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg, and the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat.

Q3 saw one big, and well deserved surprise, namely the 10th place that Sauber’s Adrian Sutil earned today. It is the Swiss team’s first Q3 appearance in 2014, and Sutil’s first since the 2012 British Grand Prix. Qualifying was headlined by the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, followed by the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa. Red Bull’s smiling Aussie, Daniel Ricciardo qualified 5th, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso coming in 6th. McLaren’s Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen qualified in 7th and 8th, though Button will face a penalty. Kimi Räikkönen’s Ferrari came in 9th.

In other major F1 news, following the financial troubles of Marussia and Caterham, other mid-level teams such as Sauber and Force India are likewise feeling the economic strain. A report released by The Independent this past week said that it costs 94.4 million EUR to run an Formula 1 team, according to Monisha Kaltenborn. The Sauber chief urged the FIA to undertake drastic changes within the sport to allow for smaller teams, such as Sauber, to receive equal amounts of money “that allows every team to at least live decently,” the BBC reported on Friday.

In a move that has further intensified the monetary situation here in Austin, Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley said on Saturday that the team may boycott Sunday’s grand prix in protest of what the team refers to as a financial crisis within the sport. This of course would leave the multitude of Mexican fans without one of their two countrymen, Sergio Pérez, to watch on Sunday. Despite the statements from Force India, Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director, said in an interview to the BBC, “It’s not real for us. It’s not even been thought about or discussed.”

Force India’s team principal Vijay Mallya countered Fernley’s statements, saying that no such boycott would take place and that all 18 cars would run in Austin on Sunday. Later on Saturday, Bernie Ecclestone said that he takes the blame for the financial troubles faced by the smaller teams in Formula 1, and even Max Mosley, former President of the FIA, argued in favour of finding some way of levelling out the playin gfield in regards to team finances.

Williams has also caused a bit of a stir this weekend in Austin, with the absence of Sir Frank and his daughter, Claire Williams. Sir Frank was admitted to hospital in the UK to treat a pressure sore on his back. Despite the absence of their team principal, the Williams team still qualified 3rd and 4th.

Sunday’s Formula 1 United States Grand Prix will be broadcasted live in the United States on NBC starting at 13.30 Austin (14.30 New York, 11.30 Los Angeles). The race will be televised in the UK on Sky Sports from 18.30, with the race starting at 20.00. It will also be broadcasted by BBC Radio 5 Live.

I will be tweeting any major developments live from Circuit of the Americas through my Twitter handle @sthosdkane.

Mercedes clinches Constructors’ Championship in Russian GP

Sochi – In an all-around unique race, Mercedes has once again come out on top, only this time they have done so in such a way that is invincible. In Formula 1’s first visit to Russia, the Mercedes Works team started 1,2 with Lewis Hamilton taking pole. Close behind the Silver Arrows was this weekend’s Flying Finn, Valtteri Bottas, who stood a decent chance at taking pole in qualifying. Unfortunately for Bottas, he veered slightly off track at the last moment, losing 0.7 seconds and qualifying in 3rd.

The race featured only 21 drivers, as Marussia decided to not race Bianchi’s car with a different driver. Rather, Bianchi’s car remained in the pit, ready for his wishful arrival at the circuit.

The first two laps showed off the resilience of the drivers and speed of the track, with Nico Rosberg making quick work of passing his teammate Hamilton, unfortunately though for the German, he lost 1st through locking up his front brakes and going off the track. This resulted in Rosberg having to change tyres on Lap 2.

Beyond the first few laps, the race itself was terribly uneventful. With only two retirements, Marussia’s Max Chilton retiring after 9 laps with car trouble, and Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi retiring after 21 laps with a strange case of “team orders.” There was one collision between Adrian Sutil and Romain Grosjean, however the incident did not garner much attention from the FOM television producers, who chose not to show it.

One unique feature of the Sochi Autodrom is the long corners, which frankly are quite beautiful with speeds reaching nearly 280 kph (173 mph.)

The weekend was capped off by the presentation of Mercedes’ 1st place and constructor’s trophy by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who made an appearance midway through the race at the side of F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Formula 1 returns next to the United States with the grand prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. I will be heading south some 800 miles from Kansas City to Austin to witness Free Practise 3, Qualifying, and the Grand Prix in person.  I will only be able to tweet out coverage of Free Practise 3, Qualifying, and the race from Turn 1. You can follow me @sthosdkane.

Final results for the 2014 F1 Russian Grand Prix are:

  1. Lewis Hamilton, GBR, Mercedes, 1:31:50.744, 25 pts
  2. Nico Rosberg, GER, Mercedes, +00:13.657, 18 pts
  3. Valtteri Bottas, FIN, Williams, +00:17.425, 15 pts
  4. Jenson Button, GBR, McLaren, +00:30.234, 12 pts
  5. Kevin Magnussen, DEN, McLaren, +00:53.616, 10 pts
  6. Fernando Alonso, ESP, Ferrari, +01:00.016, 8 pts
  7. Daniel Ricciardo, AUS, Red Bull, +01:01.812, 6 pts
  8. Sebastian Vettel, GER, Red Bull, +01:06.185, 4 pts
  9. Kimi Räikkönen, FIN, Ferrari, +01:18.877, 2 pts
  10. Sergio Pérez, MEX, Force India, +01:20.067, 1 pt
  11. Felipe Massa, BRZ, Williams, +01:20.877
  12. Nico Hülkenberg, GER, Force India, +01:21.309
  13. Jean-Éric Vergne, FRA, Toro Rosso, +01:37.295
  14. Daniil Kvyat, RUS, Toro Rosso, lapped
  15. Esteban Gutierrez, MEX, Sauber, lapped
  16. Adrian Sutil, GER, Sauber, lapped
  17. Romain Grosjean, FRA, Lotus, lapped
  18. Pastor Maldonado, VEN, Lotus, lapped
  19. Marcus Ericsson, SWE, Caterham, lapped
  20. Kamui Kobayashi, JPN, Caterham, retired, 21 laps
  21. Max Chilton, GBR, Marussia, retired, 9 laps

Bianchi critically injured in typhoon drenched Japanese GP

Suzuka – From the very start of Sunday’s Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix, the race was bound to be eventful. After having been delayed due to the extreme weather conditions, the race began behind the safety car, which stayed on track for the first 5 laps.

Thereafter, the Japanese Grand Prix was a bit of a free-for-all, leaving the two Mercedes in front, and Jenson Button and the Red Bulls floating between 3rd and 5th. Williams fared poorly Sunday, falling dramatically back behind the Red Bulls, and for the most part staying out of the picture for this year’s visit to Suzuka.

The race began with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson both retiring very early on, Alonso early enough to not be classified with a final position.

The impact of Typhoon Phanfone on Sunday’s race cannot be understated. Not only did it leave the event starting later than scheduled, but it also initiated the chain of events which led to the race’s premature conclusion at Lap 47.

At Lap 43, Sauber’s Adrian Sutil went off the track, crashing into the barriers at Dunlop, making this his seventh retirement this season. As the recovery crews rushed into position, things became quite chaotic on track. The safety and medical cars were deployed, the former escorting Jenson Button rather than race-leader Lewis Hamilton, the latter rushing to Dunlop, initially it seemed to tend to either Sutil or a Marshal that might have been injured.

By Lap 46, the television pylon began to show Marussia’s Jules Bianchi had retired, however it seemed as though that hadn’t yet been noticed by much of the field, save the worried Marussia pit team. Twitter was the first to make known what had actually happened. Bianchi’s car had gone off, perhaps by hydroplaning as Sutil had previously done at the same corner. The difference with the Frenchman was that the recovery crane was in place. According to what information I have thus far gathered, Bianchi seems to have hit the recovery crane, which seemingly shaved off the top part of the back half of his car.

Bianchi was pulled from his car unconscious, and taken by ambulance to hospital, where he underwent surgery. As of 14.00 Chicago (20.00 London, 04.00 Monday in Tokyo), Bianchi is out of surgery but still in critical condition.

As Bianchi recovers there is still the matter of Typhoon Phanfone to attend to. The F1 circus is due to race in Sochi, Russia next weekend, with the possibility of flights out of Tokyo on Monday appearing to be far from likely.

At the end of the race, Lewis Hamilton was in the lead, thus taking the win, followed by Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton wins Singapore and Championship Lead

Marina Bay – The 2014 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix was above all else, hot and gruelling. With the track temperature hardly going below 32ºC (90ºF,) the cars and drivers were in nearly unbearable conditions for the entirety of Sunday’s 2 hour event, leaving many of the drivers thoroughly dehydrated, and in some cases desperate for relief.

The day was not in Nico Rosberg’s favour from the start. With a hardware problem, the Mercedes driver was forced to start from the pit lane, only to retire after 14 laps. The other early retirement was Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi, whose car shut down on the formation lap.

Hamilton took the race lead from the beginning, only briefly losing it to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel after Hamilton’s final pit stop. In many respects, Hamilton’s triumphs were overshadowed by Rosberg’s tribulations, and by the fight that lasted all 2 hours behind him amongst the rest of the grid.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso did quite well, keeping close behind the two Red Bulls in 4th throughout the race. His Finnish teammate, Kimi Räikkönen likewise was a hard fighter further down the field, keeping pace with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, the McLarens, and Force Indias. Their stellar performance Sunday in Singapore is a great and marked improvement from the disaster that was Monza.

Red Bull kept their strengths in show, maintaining 2nd and 3rd for the majority of the race. Defending 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel held back his Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo, enabling for both Red Bulls to earn a finish on the podium. Ricciardo remarked that Singapore did feel like a home race for him, as the city-state is equidistant to his hometown of Perth, Western Australia, as is Melbourne, home to the Australian Grand Prix.

For Williams, Singapore could have gone better. Brazilian Felipe Massa was able to finish in 5th, but his Finnish teammate barely scraped out 11th place after suffering a flat tyre on the last lap. That being said, Bottas was able to hold off his fellow countryman Räikkönen for the majority of the race until the tyre in question gave way.

Kevin Magnussen did fairly well for himself on his first time racing in Singapore. His 10th place finish not only outdid his veteran teammate, Jenson Button, who retired near the end of the race, but he also was able to outdo the extremes in temperature and fatigue that are par for the course in Singapore. Force India likewise did well on Sunday, with Sergio Pérez finishing in 7th and Nico Hülkenberg in 9th.

All of the drivers in that section of the field were outdone by Frenchman Jean-Éric Vergne, who, after being penalised with a 5-second stop and go penalty for passing whilst over the track limits, roared past much of the field ahead of him, finishing in a solid 6th. His Russian teammate suffered the greatest in the Singaporean conditions, voicing his desperation over the team radio.

With Singapore completed, the Formula 1 circus heads north to return to Japan, where Nico Rosberg will give his all to restore his championship lead. At present, Lewis Hamilton holds 1st place in the Drivers’ Championship with 241 points, 3 points ahead of his German teammate and 60 ahead of Australia’s own, Daniel Ricciardo. Mercedes has a clear lead in the Constructors’ Championship with 479 points, ahead of Red Bull’s 305, and Williams’ 187.

Full results from the 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix are:

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2:00:04.795
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, +00:13.534
  3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +00:14.273
  4. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, +00:15.389
  5. Felipe Massa, Williams, +00:42.161
  6. Jean-Éric Vergne, Toro Rosso, +00:56.801
  7. Sergio Pérez, Force India, +00:59.038
  8. Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari, +01:00.641
  9. Nico Hülkenberg, Force India, +01:01.661
  10. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, +01:02.230
  11. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +01:05.065
  12. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, +01:06.915
  13. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, +01:08.029
  14. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, +02:20.037
  15. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, +01:34.188
  16. Jules Bianchi, Marussia, +01:34.543
  17. Max Chilton, Marussia, lapped
  18. Jenson Button, McLaren, retired, 52 laps
  19. Adrian Sutil, Sauber, retired, 40 laps
  20. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, retired, 17 laps
  21. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, retired, 13 laps
  22. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, retired 0 laps

Ricciardo takes Belgium as Mercedes suffers from internal troubles

Spa-Francochamps – Formula 1 returned this weekend from its Summer Break with a roar. The race in Belgium, which swiftly broke away from the plans set out by the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, was quick to be taken up by their rivals at Red Bull, leaving Australian Daniel Ricciardo to claim Sunday’s race victory.

After dominating both practise and qualifying, the two Mercedes drivers locked out the front row of the starting grid, leaving the possibility of yet another Mercedes 1-2 seemingly more of a probability. However, with the start of the race Red Bull shot into action, with 4-time champion Sebastian Vettel briefly taking 2nd on Lap 1, splitting the two Mercedes. However Vettel lost his place following an unfortunate loss of control, which led him off track for a moment too long.

Meanwhile, the Ferrari camp found themselves in serious trouble with the FIA following Fernando Alonso’s pit engineers staying out on the starting grid past the 15 second warning mark that began the pacing lap. Alonso would later be penalised with a 5-second stop-and-go penalty, which he served soon there after.

Perhaps the biggest incident of the race came quite early on at Lap 2, when the two Mercedes drivers made contact whilst German Nico Rosberg attempted a pass on Briton Lewis Hamilton at Les Combes, a chicane in the track. Rosberg’s front left wing made contact with Hamilton’s rear right tyre, resulting in the tyre going flat and Rosberg needing a new wing and nose. Unfortunately for Hamilton, his tyre damage also resulted in severe damage to the floor of his car, which caused the 2008 World Champion to retire on Lap 39.

As the race progressed, the problems for Ferrari’s Alonso kept coming, with the penalty bringing him back out onto the track behind rookie Danish driver Kevin Magnussen of McLaren, who kept the veteran Spaniard at bay for the majority of the race. In the last five laps, the Spaniard and Dane found themselves engulfed in a four way battle with Magnussen’s British teammate Jenson Button and German Sebastian Vettel. In the end Alonso suffered front wing damage, which left him finishing in 8th, with Vettel coming in 7th, Magnussen in 6th and Button in 5th. As a result of his blocking, Magnussen was handed a 20-second penalty and 2 driver penalty points by the FIA following Sunday’s race. These will come into effect on 7 September at Monza.

The race concluded with Ricciardo on top, with Rosberg in 2nd, and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas in 3rd. Off the podium, but scoring points were Ferrari’s Finnish veteran Kimi Räïkkönen (4), Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel (5), McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen (6) and Jenson Button (7), Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso (8), Force India’s Sergio Pérez (9), and Toro Rosso’s Russian Daniil Kvyat (10).

They were followed in the non-points scoring category by Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg (11), Toro Rosso’s Jean-Éric Vergne (12), Williams’ Felipe Massa (13), Sauber’s Adrian Sutil (14) and Esteban Gutierrez (15), Marussia’s Max Chilton (16), and Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson (17).

Sunday’s retirements were Marussia’s Jules Bianchi on Lap 39 (18), Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton on Lap 38 (19), Lotus’ Romain Grosjean on Lap 33 (20) and Pastor Maldonado on Lap 1 (21), and Caterham’s stand-in driver Andre Lotterer (22) whose Formula 1 debut ended on the first lap.

Formula 1 will return once again in 2 weeks time on 7 September, this time to the fast-paced circuit at Monza in Italy, possibly for the last time according to reports that came out earlier this year from Bernie Ecclestone’s office. Looking forward from Belgium, the championship is now open not just to two, Rosberg and Hamilton, but quite possibly to a third, Ricciardo. Will the Western Australian make his country proud and win a third straight on the 7th? We will just have to wait and see.

F1 leaves Hungary Full from a Fantastic Race

Budapest – Australians all let us rejoice, for Ricciardo has won! To say that the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix was anything less than racing at its finest would be criminal. The 70 lap grand prix began with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton far from his usual place in the first two rows, as he began the race from the pit lane after a disastrous fire brought his qualifying to a close early on Saturday. With him was the unlucky Dane, Kevin Magnussen, who slid off the rather wet track and into the barriers during Q3.

The grid was set as 1) Rosberg, 2) Vettel, 3) Bottas, 4) Ricciardo, 5) Alonso, 6) Massa, 7) Button, 8) Vergne, 9) Hülkenberg, 10) Kvyat, 11) Sutil, 12) Pérez, 13) Gutierrez, 14) Grosjean, 15) Bianchi, 16) Räikkönen, 17) Kobayashi, 18) Chilton, 19) Ericsson, 20) Maldonado.

All began well, save for Daniil Kvyat whose car shut down as the formation lap was just getting under way. In the first lap of the race, Rosberg was able to break away, holding his lead ahead of Bottas and Alonso, who were able to get around Vettel. Hamilton and Magnussen got their race off to a start from the pit lane, Magnussen quickly making up his unlucky starting place to come into 19th by Lap 4. Hamilton did not have quite as good of a starting lap, spinning off the track at Turn 2, just barely bending part of his front wing out of place.

By Lap 3, Jenson Button had made great pace, rising from 7th to 5th, while his former McLaren teammate at last began to move up the grid, who by Lap 8 had made it up to 13th. At Lap 9, Caterham’s Swedish rookie Marcus Ericsson hit the wall quite hard at Turn 3, leading to the first appearance of the safety car for the day. Thankfully, Ericsson was able to get out of his car and walk away.

The safety car period led to Button, Ricciardo, and Hamilton pitting, putting on dry weather tyres as the rain seemed to be clearing. They were soon followed on Lap 10 by Rosberg, Bottas, Vettel, and Alonso.

The safety car was forced to remain on track for a little while longer than expected, as Lotus’ Romain Grosjean crashed into the barriers at Lap 11 on Turn 3. With the safety car on track, the field was led this time by Ricciardo, Button, Massa, Rosberg, and Magnussen leading. Rosberg had some rear-break issues at this point, and there was some worry that they too might catch fire like his British teammate’s car had done on Saturday.

Thankfully, no such event occurred, and by Lap 14, the safety car was happily returned to the paddock. At that point, the racing recommenced, with Button passing Ricciardo to take the lead. Rosberg’s troubles continued, as he began to lose pace to Toro Rosso’s Jean-Éric Vergne, leaving the German down in 5th. Meanwhile, Hamilton continued to ascend, climbing up to 9th.

At Lap 16, Button pitted, his tyres worn beyond use. Ricciardo retook the lead, followed closely by Felipe Massa in 2nd. At Lap 17, the 10 race scoring streak of Nico Hülkenberg came to a sudden end after, as BBC Sport’s F1 team put it, the German was “punted out of the race by his team-mate Sergio Pérez.”

A collision between Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado and Marussia’s Jules Bianchi on Lap 20 led to both drivers returning to the pits for repairs. Likewise, Sergio Pérez found himself in close proximity with the wall just past the final corner, forcing his retirement from the race, resulting in the return of the safety car to our lives. At the same time, Ricciardo continued to lead the field, followed by Massa, Alonso, and unusually enough, Jean-Éric Vergne of Toro Rosso, who from 4th place continued to hold the Mercedes of drivers championship leader Nico Rosberg at bay in 5th.

The safety car remained on the course until Lap 27, at which point, following pit stops by Ricciardo and Massa, the race leaders were Alonso, Vergne, Rosberg, Vettel, and Hamilton. Rosberg and Hamilton continued to have trouble passing their respective Toro Rosso and Red Bull competitors for the next 6 laps. At Lap 33, Rosberg went into the pits, whilst Vettel caught the kerb on the start-finish straight, sending him hurtling into the wall, which due to amazing skill, and a fair amount of luck, the 4-time world champion missed hitting by a hair.

At Lap 34, Hamilton, finally past Vettel, also made a fantastic pass on Vergne, taking second just 5.4 seconds behind Spanish race leader Alonso. At Lap 38, Rosberg passed Valtteri Bottas for 9th, whilst Lewis Hamilton continued to cut Alonso’s lead down quite dramatically. Hamilton took a brief one lap lead from the pitting Alonso, until the Briton also went into the pits for a tyre change on Lap 40. This left the lead with Ricciardo, Massa, and Räikkönen, who also went in to pit, returning to the track to conduct a beautiful pass on Vettel at Lap 42.

At Lap 51, more fuel was added to the rivalry at Mercedes, when Rosberg began to ask the pit-wall why Hamilton wasn’t letting him through, despite the obvious distance between the two Mercedes cars. Soon there after, Hamilton responded to the pit over the radio, “I’m not slowing down for Nico – if he gets closer he can overtake.” At Lap 54, Ricciardo pitted from the lead, as his rear tyres had begun to give way. He rejoined the field in 4th just behind Rosberg. This left Spainard Fernando Alonso once again in the lead at the Hungaroring, with a 2.1 second gap between him and Hamilton in 2nd place. At Lap 56, Hamilton pitted, rejoining the field in 7th with 3 seconds between him and Räikkönen in 6th place.

Rosberg continued to work on getting onto the podium, climbing to 4th with a pass on Massa at Lap 61. At the same time, his teammate was fast being caught by Ricciardo, as the young driver from Western Australia was running only 0.9 seconds behind the Briton. At Lap 62, with 8 laps remaining, the lead was very much still up in the air, as Alonso was only 0.4 seconds ahead of Hamilton, who in turn was only 0.4 seconds ahead of Ricciardo. At Lap 65, Ricciardo attempted a pass on Hamilton at Turn 2, which did not go the Aussie’s way. At the same time, Rosberg continued to press on the top three, with the pace to catch the leaders by the final lap.

At Lap 67, Ricciardo made the pass, and a brilliant one at that, on Hamilton at Turn 2. One lap later he made a similar move on Alonso at Turn 1, taking the lead of the race. To quote David Coulthard, “There’s just one word for that. Brilliant.” With Ricciardo ahead, Alonso and Hamilton now found themselves with another determined driver on their tails, this time in the form of Hamilton’s German teammate, Nico Rosberg. On Turn 2 of the Lap 70, the final lap, Rosberg attempted a pass on his teammate, but to no avail for the German who had to settle for a 4th place finish.

The results for Hungary stand as follows:

1) Daniel Ricciardo, 2) Fernando Alonso, 3) Lewis Hamilton, 4) Nico Rosberg, 5) Felipe Massa, 6) Kimi Räikkönen, 7) Sebastian Vettel, 8) Valtteri Bottas, 9) Jean-Éric Vergne, 10) Jenson Button

11) Adrian Sutil, 12) Kevin Magnussen, 13) Pastor Maldonado, 14) Daniil Kvyat, 15) Jules Bianchi, 16) Max Chilton.

The following did not finish the race: Esteban Gutierrez, Sergio Pérez, Nico Hülkenberg, Romain Grosjean, and Marcus Ericssson.

Formula 1 is heading into its mid summer break, which will last for 3 weeks. I will be back with more on the world’s greatest motor sport in 3 weeks time with the beautiful Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.