The Hungarian Grand Prix had not seen a race this calculated since Y 2012, when Lewis Hamilton, driving for McLaren, led from pole position to the Checkered Flag.
Ferrari’s dominance in Y 2015 made us hope for more on-track commotion this year. Did not happen.
Mr. Hamilton in his MercedesAMG was 2nd on the grid, and took the lead through Turn 1 and never looked back.
Teammate Nico Rosberg came in behind him in 2nd place, getting into DRS range a few times but never close enough to pass.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo did not put genuine fear Hamilton or Rosberg and finished 3rd. This is the third year in a row for Mr. Ricciardo on the Hungary podium.
This year The Scuderia had to make do with 4th and 6th, with both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen held at bay by the Red Bulls.
So what did team principal Maurizio Arrivabene make of the team’s performance in Budapest, and the growing threat to his team from behind?
Below is a post race Q&A, as follows:
Q: Maurizio, what’s your opinion about the Kimi (Raikkonen) and Max (Verstappen) battle?
A: Maurizio Arrivabene: Ha, now that the race is over I am all calm! During the battle I was going ballistic on the pit wall! (laughs) The rules are clear that you can change the side one time – make one move – but we believe that he has made two. We were told that they will look very carefully at the images. So let’s see. But due to this situation we need to win the races on the track – you can’t win races with paper! Is that clear to everybody?
Q: The 1st half of the season is over, and Ferrari have come under huge pressure from Red Bull Racing. What’s the plan for the 2nd half? Still trying to attack MercedesAMG or defending against Red Bull?
A: From my side it is completely clear: you have to look ahead and not behind. But in the end we must not get distracted by what is going on around us.
Q: When you look to the race today: how satisfied were you with your pace? Your strategy didn’t seem to work…
A: I will give you my job next time! Believe me you will come to me for rescue! (laughs) And coming back to the pace: it was fantastic and confirmed by the fastest lap of Kimi. But of course we can’t be happy if we stay off the podium not on it.
Q: So are you surprised about the job Kimi has done lately?
A: Why should I be? It’s not for nothing he is the last champion Ferrari has had. So he deserved his confirmation big time.
Q: Lately the rumor mill is again working when it comes to Ferrari: James Allison is leaving, Sebastian (Vettel) is no longer happy at Ferrari – and so on. Sebastian is blaming the media for all these irritations. What about you?
A: That is the ‘charm’ of Ferrari! Some weeks ago the rumors were on Kimi, then on Allison, then on Seb. The good news is: nobody would write about something boring, so we must be considered super interesting!
Q: You just said that nobody wants to win races ‘on paper’. But right now there are so many things only on paper, whether it is yellow flags or one move or not one move. Do you think it is necessary to clean up some rules?
A: Yes, we have to clean up and make rules very clear and simple. All we want is racing and not staring at all kinds of paper.
We can’t be happy if we stay off the podium, Maurizio Arrivabene said on Ferrari’s performance in Hungary.
Mr. Hamilton’s 5th Hungarian Grand Prix victory not only makes him the winningest man at the Hungaroring, he now leads the Driver’s Championship for the 1st time this season, jumping to 192 points, teammate Nico Rosberg sits at 186. Mr. Ricciardo to 3rd with 115 points, ahead of Mr. Räikkönen with 114, Mr. Vettel with 110, and Mr. Verstappen with 100.
On the Constructor’s side MercedesAMG has 378 points, way ahead of Ferrari with 224. Red Bull, in 3rd place, closed the gap to the Italians to one point.
We expect fireworks at next weekend’s final Grand Prix before the Summer break, see you then.
Have a terrific week.
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