Photo Credit: 2012 Copyright All Rights Reserved Sutton Photography
Lewis Hamilton had a tough day at the Hungaroring circuit, but kept the Lotus team at bay to take the win for his 19th career victory and walked away happy of a job well done. Near perfect pit stops, good tire management, and a difficult course for passing all attributed to a victory for Hamilton.
Hamilton equaled Ayrton Senna’s record of three Budapest wins, received his trophy from Placido Domingo, and reaffirmed his position for the championship title. According to Hamilton, “…we all can sail off to a relaxing summer break without even thinking about racing – just to come back strong again in one month in Spa.”
Raikkonen finished a strong second ahead of his Lotus team-mate, Frenchman Romain Grosjean, and defending world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.
Current world championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari came in fifth, with Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate Jenson Button finishing sixth.
Hamilton took the lead at the start but could never break clear of Grosjean as team mate Jenson Button fended off Sebastian Vettel, Ferdinance Alonso, Kimi Räikkönen, and Mark Webber. However, Hamilton could never shake Raikkonen from his rear view mirrors for the first 20 laps.
When Grosjean switched to soft tires, with Hamilton still on mediums, the Frenchman got the gap down to 0.9 seconds by Lap 31. Raikkonen finally pitted and switched from soft to medium tires after 45 laps. When Raikkonen rejoined the race, he and Grosjean entered Turn One at the same time. This is where Raikkonen held his ground and forced his team mate into the dirt on the outside of the corner.
Raikkonen was roughly a second behind Hamilton for the final 17 laps of the race, but couldn’t find a way past on the tight and twisty Hungaroring circuit. It was his third second place finish of the season and Raikkonen is confident his first win with Lotus will come soon.
Michael Schumacher, who holds the lap record at Hungaroring set in 2004, failed to finish the race. Arguably not Schumacher’s best day, who received a drive through for speeding in pit lane, and then pit three more times before retiring with eleven laps to go.
Now the points situation is nicely poised, with Ferrari’s Alonso on 164, Red Bull’s Webber on 124, team mate Vettel on 122, Hamilton on 117 and Raikkonen on 116 with nine races to go. In the constructors’ stakes, Red Bull have 246 as McLaren move back into second with 193. Just to rub salt in Ferrari’s wound, Lotus now have 192 to the Scuderia’s 189. Mercedes are fading with 106 ahead of Sauber’s 80, Williams’s 53 and Force India’s 46.
Hungarian Grand Prix 2012 Results
|1||LC Hamilton (GBR)||McLaren||25|
|2||KM Räikkönen (FIN)||Lotus||18|
|3||R Grosjean (FRA)||Lotus||15|
|4||S Vettel (GER)||Red Bull||12|
|5||F Alonso (ESP)||Ferrari||10|
|6||J Button (GBR)||McLaren||8|
|7||B Senna (BRA)||Williams||6|
|8||M Webber (AUS)||Red Bull||4|
|9||F Massa (BRA)||Ferrari||2|
|10||N Rosberg (GER)||Mercedes||1|
|01||Red Bull Racing-Renault||246|