Tough recovery runs for Hamilton and Raikkonen

2014 Hungarian Grand Prix pre-race analysis

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Lewis Hamilton can at least console himself that his predicament is a familiar one.

For the second weekend running he has a starting position in the twenties while championship leading team mate Nico Rosberg is at the head of the field.

But this setback is likely to have more serious consequences at the Hungaroring than the Hockenheimring, simply because overtaking opportunities are fewer and farther between at this track.

The start

Hamilton’s chance to gain places at the start are likely to be further compromised if, as seems likely, he ends up starting the race from the pit lane.

And when he does get stuck into the midfield he will quickly find himself up another top driver who is ‘out of position’ – Kimi Raikkonen, who starts a disappointing 17th after a tactical error by Ferrari in qualifying.

Meanwhile Rosberg should enjoy an untroubled run to turn one, enjoying the advantage of starting from the cleaner side of the grid. Arguably he should be more concerned about the fast-starting Valtteri Bottas who lines up directly behind him in third than Sebastian Vettel’s second-placed Red Bull alongside him on the front row.

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Hamilton’s best hope is that the rain makes a return – something which is not out of the question. Further storms at the track remains a possibility, though as in Germany two weeks ago the precise time they may strike will make all the difference.

Assuming a dry race, the poor performance of the medium compound tyre relative to the soft will force runners to avoid it as far as they can. In Hamilton’s case, ditching it as early as possible will leave him in the best possible position to benefit from a Safety Car deployment.

However if the race were then to be run in wet conditions he would have used the slower tyre unnecessarily. From where he is starting, however, some degree of gambling is going to be necessary.

Though it would be a surprise to see the Red Bulls able to challenge Rosberg over a stint, they are looking strong as expected this weekend and both must fancy their chances of seeing off Hamilton for podium finishes. However the continually impressive Valtteri Bottas also looks like being in the mix, defying expectations that Williams would find the Hungaroring a challenging venue for their car.

Qualifying times in full


Q2 (vs Q1)

Q3 (vs Q2)
1Nico RosbergMercedes1’25.2271’23.310 (-1.917)1’22.715 (-0.595)
2Sebastian VettelRed Bull1’25.6621’23.606 (-2.056)1’23.201 (-0.405)
3Valtteri BottasWilliams1’25.6901’23.776 (-1.914)1’23.354 (-0.422)
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’25.4951’23.676 (-1.819)1’23.391 (-0.285)
5Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’26.0871’24.249 (-1.838)1’23.909 (-0.340)
6Felipe MassaWilliams1’26.5921’24.030 (-2.562)1’24.223 (+0.193)
7Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’26.6121’24.502 (-2.110)1’24.294 (-0.208)
8Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso1’24.9411’24.637 (-0.304)1’24.720 (+0.083)
9Nico HulkenbergForce India1’26.1491’24.647 (-1.502)1’24.775 (+0.128)
10Kevin MagnussenMcLaren1’26.5781’24.585 (-1.993)
11Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1’25.3611’24.706 (-0.655)
12Adrian SutilSauber1’26.0271’25.136 (-0.891)
13Sergio PerezForce India1’25.9101’25.211 (-0.699)
14Esteban GutierrezSauber1’25.7091’25.260 (-0.449)
15Romain GrosjeanLotus1’26.1361’25.337 (-0.799)
16Jules BianchiMarussia1’26.7281’27.419 (+0.691)
17Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’26.792
18Kamui KobayashiCaterham1’27.139
19Max ChiltonMarussia1’27.819
20Marcus EricssonCaterham1’28.643
21Lewis HamiltonMercedes22Pastor MaldonadoLotus

Sector times

DriverSector 1Sector 2Sector 3
Nico Rosberg29.197 (1)30.036 (1)23.482 (1)
Sebastian Vettel29.367 (3)30.109 (2)23.681 (3)
Valtteri Bottas29.277 (2)30.484 (4)23.570 (2)
Daniel Ricciardo29.402 (5)30.225 (3)23.706 (4)
Fernando Alonso29.467 (6)30.579 (6)23.747 (5)
Felipe Massa29.398 (4)30.710 (8)23.902 (8)
Jenson Button29.688 (10)30.695 (7)23.819 (6)
Jean-Eric Vergne29.738 (12)30.551 (5)24.007 (9)
Nico Hulkenberg29.547 (9)30.869 (10)24.016 (10)
Kevin Magnussen29.475 (7)31.087 (12)23.870 (7)
Daniil Kvyat29.531 (8)30.767 (9)24.105 (12)
Adrian Sutil29.705 (11)31.210 (14)24.073 (11)
Sergio Perez29.764 (13)31.196 (13)24.251 (14)
Esteban Gutierrez29.848 (14)31.240 (15)24.126 (13)
Romain Grosjean30.102 (16)30.932 (11)24.284 (15)
Jules Bianchi30.346 (18)31.656 (16)24.591 (17)
Kimi Raikkonen30.327 (17)31.749 (17)24.477 (16)
Kamui Kobayashi30.429 (19)32.016 (19)24.687 (18)
Max Chilton30.617 (20)31.944 (18)24.874 (19)
Marcus Ericsson30.816 (21)32.484 (20)25.185 (20)

Speed trap

PosDriverCarEngineSpeed (kph/mph)Gap
1Felipe MassaWilliamsMercedes315.8 (196.2)
2Valtteri BottasWilliamsMercedes314.8 (195.6)-1.0
3Nico RosbergMercedesMercedes311.6 (193.6)-4.2
4Sergio PerezForce IndiaMercedes308.2 (191.5)-7.6
5Nico HulkenbergForce IndiaMercedes308.2 (191.5)-7.6
6Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes307.9 (191.3)-7.9
7Kevin MagnussenMcLarenMercedes306.9 (190.7)-8.9
8Jean-Eric VergneToro RossoRenault306.7 (190.6)-9.1
9Daniel RicciardoRed BullRenault306.3 (190.3)-9.5
10Adrian SutilSauberFerrari305.6 (189.9)-10.2
11Jenson ButtonMcLarenMercedes305.6 (189.9)-10.2
12Daniil KvyatToro RossoRenault305.6 (189.9)-10.2
13Romain GrosjeanLotusRenault305.2 (189.6)-10.6
14Esteban GutierrezSauberFerrari304.8 (189.4)-11.0
15Fernando AlonsoFerrariFerrari304.8 (189.4)-11.0
16Sebastian VettelRed BullRenault304.6 (189.3)-11.2
17Marcus EricssonCaterhamRenault302.6 (188.0)-13.2
18Jules BianchiMarussiaFerrari302.6 (188.0)-13.2
19Kamui KobayashiCaterhamRenault302.4 (187.9)-13.4
20Max ChiltonMarussiaFerrari300.9 (187.0)-14.9
21Kimi RaikkonenFerrariFerrari299.5 (186.1)-16.3

Over to you

Is Rosberg on course for another win – and where will Hamilton finish after his latest setback?

Share your views on the Hungarian Grand Prix in the comments.

2014 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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34 comments on “Tough recovery runs for Hamilton and Raikkonen”

  1. I believe and hope that Sebastian will make it this time.
    And praying to God to turn things in favor of Lewis.

  2. Magnussen too, isn’t he starting from pit lane?

    1. Kevin starts from the pitlane.

    2. yes he is, was suprised he wasnt included in the headline

  3. Who starts ahead, Maldonado or Hamilton? Neither completed a lap in Q1.

    1. I think whoever lines up first.

    2. Hamilton had faster practice times so I believe he starts ahead.

    3. Hamiltons in pit lane

    4. Maldonado will start from the grid, and Hamilton and Magnussen will start from the pit lane. So the question is who lines up ahead in the pit lane: Magnussen or Hamilton.

    5. Maldanado isnt starting from pit lane, so Hamilton will start last behind Kevin

  4. I suppose that rain could help Hamilton’s race tomorrow, but not if it’s wet from the start. From the rear of the grid, that wouldn’t do him any good at all. A mid race shower though, along with a well timed pit stop or two, might see him make his way up to the pointy end. Lewis definitely has his work cut out for him, and if he manages a podium this time, it will have been an epic drive.

  5. If it rains anything could happen. IIRC Button won at this track from 14th on the grid in 2004 with the help of rain, and he didn’t have a car like the W05.

    It could be a lot worse for Hamilton – he could have caught fire in the race itself rather than in qualifying. Then he’d definitely get zero points.

    1. 2006?

  6. So Alonso will probably make it 11-0 on Raikkonen? Not even Massa was that bad, was he? I can see Massa and Alonso pushing each other at the start, hopefully Massa has left the Maldonado card home this time.

    1. Well, should be 9-2 at least. Monaco and Spain Kimi should have finished ahead. What you don’t understand is Ferrari are giving every privilege and effort to Alonso. Strategy both in qualifying (when do the lap, whether to do another run etc…, kimi gets sent out in the middle of q3 to do his lap, everyone else the last few minutes) and race (who gets to pit first even if behind kimi), upgrades, direction of car handling. Alonso never has problems with his car as well, so clearly mechanics are making sure his car is bullet proof while putting half effort in kimi’s (germany, Kimi had problems 2 out of 3 FP sessions).

      Kimis races have been ruined a few times by having to stack behind Alonso in a safety car as well. Also, maybe you’re forgetting the time ferrari turned up the ERS on alonsos car to get more power and kimis was left at default, so much so the FIA made them turn it down. So clearly alonso is getting quite the advantages.

  7. With a car that’s half a second faster than the fastest redbull I expect HAM to be second by half distance at the latest.

    1. I don’t, not at this track. It’s far harder to overtake here than at Hockenheim, and he only managed third (even starting on the grid in 16th and not the pit lane).

      1. He actually started 20th in Hockenheim. Therefore in both occasions one car behind him. The only difference is that he cant make any places at the start this time.

        1. There’s the Mclaren In .front of him as well. Meaning getting past even the slowest cars will be very tricky. He will be dead last and some 5 seconds off the back of the pack at the start. The track is extremely hard to overtake on. He’s in for a long afternoon. Getting p5 will be a great result.

      2. Didn’t Hamilton start in 20th at Hockenheim?

  8. Hamilton should do alright. He just needs to engage that afterburner they were testing in qualy 1.

  9. I expect a similair race as last week. A huge battle between the two Redbulls, the two Williams and Alonso. While all that is going on, Hamilton will probably recover to P5, but i can’t really see how he would get a podium finish. With the safety car and weather as joker cards, we could be in for another great race.

  10. I am continuing on predicting that the next two races won’t be won by one the Mercedes works drivers. Was actually expecting Ricciardo to win today and Bottas in Spa but will change that to Bottas for both races. Hungary has a thing for first-time-winners and Bottas is very hungry. He might possibly pull a Damon and win his first 3 races in a row.

  11. Vettel very slow again in the speed trap. I guess he is planning to use his old strategy of running in clean air and having superior lap time. Except it will bee for second place now and not first.

    1. They always go for this strategy, but in my opinion it’s a bit risky. He will probably be stuck behind someone. Either Bottas (I think that it’s almost certain that Bottas will overtake Vettel at the start) or just someone who is running a different strategy.

  12. At least HAM has the car to make a great recovery, but for RAI this will be another forgetable and w/o points race. I don’t think even a SC period could help him much if it doesn’t occur right after his tyres change. Not to mention that he’ll lose a place to HAM for sure. Yeah, mostly it looks like a bad race for RAI.

  13. I am more worried about the amount of rebuild Hamilton will have done, and he will have no time to shake it down or re-set up the car. He must be “beyond” praying for rain as the pit lane start would allow him to go for a wet set up. But Rosberg’s comments that they are always at max downforce this year was interesting in that respect, so maybe there is much more to add?

  14. I think Hamilton should start with the mediums then after lap 1 change to the soft so he can have clean air in front of him and finally jump the others when they are heading to the pits.

  15. My God, look at the Merc’s insane advantage! That the second and third qualifiers are wary of the last starting mercedes! Its funny..
    Why do the mercs qualify even? They can claim their usual places from almost anywhere… 😀

  16. What if Rosberg retires (from whatever problem ham had yesterday) and Hamilton salvages top 5…

  17. I think it will probably be a boring race unless we have rain.

    Hamilton requires everything to go his way: luck, reliability, pit stops, strategy, tyres, overtakes etc, which would be a monumental turnaround based on recent form.

    Rosberg will drive what will be seen as a flawless race to the win, but will in fact be a simple cruise home.

    Bottas may shine and good luck to him.

  18. Here’s hoping that Nico will spin at the first corner and then see if how well he can follow Lewis through the field!

Comments are closed.