Hungarian Grand Prix gets its highest-ever rating

2014 Hungarian Grand Prix

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The Hungarian Grand Prix has a reputation for sub-par races. But that was definitely not the case this year as F1 Fanatics hailed another thrilling grand prix.

This year’s race had a bit everything: skilful driving in slippery conditions in the opening stages, a couple of crashes and Safety Cars appearances to mix things up, a smattering of controversy, and different strategies producing a tense, three-way battle for the lead, the outcome of which was still in doubt with three laps to go.

With a little bit of luck and some great passing moves, Daniel Ricciardo secured his second career victory. Fernando Alonso couldn’t quite hold on for the win but second place well-deserved result in a Ferrari that’s rarely troubled the top three this year.

Underlining what a classic this race was the sole Mercedes on the podium belonged to Lewis Hamilton who produced a second great recovery drive in as many weekends having started from the pits.

The 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix was rated an impressive 9.1 by F1 Fanatics – the highest score it’s received since Rate the Race began six years ago. Some were even asking for the option to give it eleven out of ten…

Here’s what you had to say about the race.

Rising star Ricciardo

Following his second victory more praised was heaped on rising star Daniel Ricciardo:

Great race. Had a bit of everything including weather. Some great overtakes among the usual suspects again.

Great drives by many but I was again impressed by Ricciardo. He showed a lot of patience, maturity and timing. Yes, he got lucky, as did others with the timing of the Safety Car no doubt, but he took that advantage and never thought he wasn’t going to win. He drives respectfully yet doesn’t take any prisoners either. Reminds me of a young Lewis Hamilton actually. Also a good on-the-fly strategy by the team.

Great win by Ricciardo, he continues to show that racing wheel to wheel with world champions doesn’t faze him one little bit. He’ll fight as much as his car allows him to.

Alonso didn’t look all that happy. If his tyres weren’t beyond their life he might very well have won. As it was he was powerless to hold off the young Aussie.

Safety Car lottery

What little criticism there was of the race centred on how the Safety Car periods, particularly the first one, deprived the leaders of their advantage.

The two yellows and the rain just threw strategy up in the air. Vettel was lucky as was Hamilton with their mishaps.

Very unpredictable race with lots going on. Can see why people rate it high, but I’m just disappointed about the Safety Car lottery. Bottas could have landed his fourth straight podium here.

Entertaining but not memorable.

The first Safety Car was like the leaders were handed a random penalty for an offence they didn’t commit. They really need to look at the Safety Car regulations. The racing was top class but the result unfair.

Getting the balance right

While the sport continues to discuss ever more contentious ways of ‘improving the show’, including the standing restarts which have been added to the 2015 regulations, many feel they’ve got the balance right at the moment.

Trying to imagine this race with standing restarts I do not think it would have been as enjoyable, it sure would have been different!

There was everything – fast cars charging from the back and getting stuck mid-pack, a brilliant drive from Ricciardo, a deserving winner (maybe there was a bit of luck, but he made the most of it), a brilliant fight for the top positions at the end, a (partially) wet race, general unpredictability and excitement throughout… and most importantly, the DRS was just right – not to easy, but enough to create opportunities for overtaking.

Were they really racing in Hungary? Can’t have been. It was exciting, and I stayed awake watching it.
Maybe the best race they have held there since they joined the calendar.

My perspective is coloured by the fact that I was there, which is always more fun. But wow – best race I’ve been to (and I’m a Hulkenberg fan!).

Another race to remember

Not for the first time this year the feedback on the race was overwhelmingly positive, with many positive comments about the race and F1 in general. But are Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA paying attention?

It had drama, changing conditions, great overtakes, spectacular crashes and near-misses (without anyone getting hurt), a team orders controversy and an unexpected winner. The cars were clearly a handful in those conditions, and the variable grip and tail-happy nature of 2014′s F1 cars made it a real test for the drivers, and a great show for the fans.

That last few laps with Alonso, Hamilton and Ricciardo dicing line astern was epic – the cream rising to the top amidst the chaos. Three very different drivers, all fantastic talents. Three different cars, three different engines, three different strategies, all with a taste of the win and giving everything to achieve it. Then Rosberg chasing them down with some scorching laps and getting the door slammed in his face by his team-mate.

Completely absorbing from start to finish. For me, the best race of a year when there have been some great races.

For me that was I race to remember, great battles from start to the finish, it was probably the best race held in Hungary.

The last couple of races are outstanding, do you remember the start of the season and the discussions about engine noise?

For me this is Formula One, and this is the sport I’m watching every single race since 1998.

Previous rate the race results

2014 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

39 comments on “Hungarian Grand Prix gets its highest-ever rating”

  1. who would have thought after bahrain that we’d have not one, but two better* races??

    * statistically, anyone – i know it’s all subjective……

    1. I certainly didn’t. Its been a fantastic season so far, one of the best I can remember.

    2. @frood19 I remember everybody saying after the Bahrain ratings, that that will stay at the top for the rest of the season. How wrong were they?

  2. Seems about right. I guess it’s also worth pointing out that 2014 has become the first season to have more than 2 races rated 9.0 or above.

    1. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      4th August 2014, 23:07

      Which is crazy considering 2012 had a number of cracking races that were better than most this season.

    2. If ever there was an endorsement for the new rule set, it’s a 9 out of 10 at Hungary, and 3 cracking races this year.

  3. Would be interesting to know Rate the Race result for 2006 Hungarian GP.

    1. Goodness, what a race that was.

    2. True… That was a great race as well… Brilliant drives by Button and Alonso.. Alonso was so unlucky to have crashed out at the closing stages because of a loose wheelnut after a mega drive from near the back of the grid to lead the race

    3. Good Point. This year Hungaroring has scored 9.1 points as average. I would like to know, then what was the score of Hungaroring 2006. Or other incredible races in the history of F1.

      I’m afraid we forget to consider the hole F1 history when making the rating for current races. Give this race 9.1 is a joke considering great races in F1 History.

  4. The Hungarian Grand Prix has a reputation for sub-par races.

    Well, I always enjoy racing in Hungaroring, even if it’s boring, because it’s classic circuit, which is really distinctive from others. For me it stands alongside Interlagos, Melbourne, Hockenheim and Montmelo.

  5. “but are Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA paying attention?”

    Unfortunately even if they are they will inevitably come to the wrong conclusions. Bernie will probably use this race as an example to back up his ‘sprinkler racing’ idea. Or mandatory safety cars or some other nonesense (standing starts after safety car).

    Sorry to be cynical, maybe i should just be happy we had a great race ;)

    1. I am beginning to think Bernie’s idea to award Gold, Silver and bronze medals for GP wins is a good idea. Lewis would be winning with 5 gold. Would not have to worry about this double points for the final race, double gold maybe!

      1. I think it would be better if they start awarding standardized trophy designs. For example, Lewis was unhappy with the British GP trophy, so why not tell them to make a trophy that looks like a TROPHY?

        1. – rather than a lump of cheap plastic worth about a fiver. Am i right in thinking Rosberg also received the same type of trophy at Germany and it also broke like Hamilton’s?

  6. the safety car issue is very simple to fix,
    when there is an accident the pits are closed till the lead car has been picked up and the safety car comes around to near pit entrance, when the pits are reopened and anyone wanting to pit can,
    that is the fairest way possible,
    but then do we want it to be fair?
    very much like a lottery at the moment which can be a change in fortunes as we have seen, which in turn has given us some brilliant scraps.

    the other really crazy rule is the red flag at the moment,
    which is, you can change tires then take up your original position on the starting grid,
    now that peeves me off more than anything,
    reason is if you have not long pitted and the guy in front gets a free pit stop with out loosing any places…

    1. Yeah, but if they have got somebody they were racing, who then just pitted and fell behind by 20 seconds, the driver who didn’t pit is at an even bigger disadvantage than the other way round.

    2. pastaman (@)
      4th August 2014, 15:33

      They could take a page out of Indycar’s book where the pits are (usually) closed immediately following a full course caution and are only reopened when race control decides to open them. Coming in when they are closed results in a drive-through penalty

      1. Mark in Florida
        5th August 2014, 1:27

        People may think the race results are great for their driver, but what if it was your driver in the lead and the safety car screwed your team out of a win? I’m pretty sure you would have a different opinion of the safety car situation. IndyCar at least keeps the field together until race control opens the pits. There is still a lot of strategy during the pit stops and you can try to do what Dixon did and stay out to go from 22 to 1st . Personally I don’t like hard work arbitrarily erased by the F1 safety car seems very unorganized compared to IndyCar.

    3. The problem with closing the pit lane is that it disadvantages drivers who may have been planning to pit on that lap and may be on very worn tyres or perhaps innocently suffered damage because of the safety car incident.
      During the refuelling years we saw people prevented from pitting because a safety car came out just as they were going to pit and have had to try to do extra laps on fumes. Some drivers had top pit to refuel and were later penalized really though no fault of their own.

      Maybe what they could do is take the time advantage a driver had when a safety car was deployed and add it to their finishing time. Then all Rosberg would have had to do is make sure he finished less that 20 seconds behind the lead driver or at least who ever he was in front of before the safety car, no need to have to chase and try to pass Hamilton. And vice versa, Hamilton in Bahrain lost a similar lead and could have just let Rosberg past and all he would have had to do was keep close enough until the end.
      Wow that would make for some exciting races. Though i’d expect the final results of races to be a fair bit different than the physical finishing order. I guess it would be more of a time trial rather than a race then…..

      1. that would make it even more complicated if you start adding and deducting time,
        nah fairest way is close the pits…
        till safety car has gathered them all in, then open the pits,
        anyone one with worn tires is going to make it at the safety car speed…
        getting back to that red flag,
        they should not be able to replace tires until the race has restarted, that way its as if the race was to continue as per normal, unless of coarse its a downpour which has coursed the problem and the drivers are on slicks or something of that nature…

  7. Wow, three races so far this season ranked at 9/10 and two more nudging 8/10, can somebody forward this to Luca?

  8. The 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix was rated an impressive 9.1 by F1 Fanatics – the highest score it’s received since Rate the Race began six years ago.

    On a personal note, I’ve always felt bad for watching the 2011 Canadian GP in replay, so I’m very happy I saw this one live :)

    1. @andae23 i was supposed to go out last Sunday, but changed my mind last minute as I really wanted to see this one live. It didn’t go down well with the mrs, but I would have hated myself if I had missed this one!!

  9. The best race of this season was the Canadian GP followed by silverstone.

    Hungry was not that exciting at all ! The low point of the season was Austria and Monaco where the usual non race occurred due to poor F1 management.We are very sad the French GP was not on this year but look forward to the usually wet Spar circuit!

  10. I too rated this race highly, but I think it is a shame that sometimes it takes the kind of variety we saw in Hungary to do that. For me the rivalry between LH and NR and how it is playing out is enough for this to be an exciting season, and the potential each race holds exciting too, but not everyone is pulling for those two drivers or that team, so I can see why anything that puts someone other than a Merc driver on the top two rungs of the podium is seen as good.

    I would just much prefer the variety come from close racing less affected by dirty air, and have never understood the desire for wet races and see that as a symptom of too much unvarying racing over the years…always the same usual suspects on the usual top teams winning, often after a procession in many of the races over the last few decades.

    There’s a big problem if folks are willing to shoot down standing restarts because they’re dangerous and unfair, and willing to support on hour long break to fix armco in the name of safety, yet happily wish to bring on the rain and put these guys on the equivalent of ice, enjoy the resultant safety car lottery because of crashes, and call that a great day. So crashes, and drivers in perilous situations is fine all day long if it is due to wet or varying conditions, but don’t dare suggest standing restarts? Btw, if standing restarts were in play now, I suspect Whiting would not have used them due to the varying conditions, as he said he would use them only if and when appropriate.

    I’ll never understand why the overwhelming support for wet racing and the resultant danger, other than I guess people like their variety even more in a formula that lacks so much of it that they can look past the reasons a race was exciting as long as it was exciting and a crap shoot. And many have bemoaned slower cars than the previous iteration, even defending vehemently that the cars are not slower due to higher top speeds, when in fact the lap times are slower, yet it’s ok if the cars are 15 secs per lap slower as long as it is because they are in the wet and in danger.

    F1 needs to find safe, dry variety amongst the cars, drivers, and regs, with continued work reducing aero dependency, and with greater mechanical grip through the tires. And anything they can do to maintain the atmosphere that has a great rivalry going on in a dominant team, rather than top teams having one rooster, can only help too.

  11. That’s THREE races we have had in just over half a season rated at least 9.

    Clearly Formula One needs to ‘improve the show’ much more. *sarcasm*

  12. I gave this race a 9. In my opinion, Canada and Bahrain were a little bit more exciting but that is not the point as everyone expects different things from a race. The main thing is that F1 fanatics seem to be enjoying this season. Racing has been very good this year and the Hungarian Grand Prix was just another chapter of an intriguing story. It does not mean that F1 cannot be improved but if FOM, FIA, team bosses and organisers of races cannot sell this, then I do not believe that they are able to sell standing restarts, double points and similar gimmicks that “the customers” have never wanted to see.

  13. Standing restarts is a crazy idea. If it goes ahead what’s the point of a safety car, they should just red flag the race and the cars all head back to the start grid, nice a slow. That way we see a full race distance at race speed. Anyway next race up is one of my favourites….Spa, a real racers circuit!

  14. Imagine how much higher it would have been rated with double points!

    Oh right..

    1. 18.2?

      Double the points, double the action, right?

  15. For me, Bahrain was still the race of the season. Just the fact that it was no holes barred battle between the inevitable championship rivals, as well as thrilling racing throughout the field. But one thing is clear, we are experiencing an epic season! Can’t wait to see the new cars live for the first time at Spa, and can only hope we get another thriller!

  16. I really hope Bernie does not bring up his sprinkler idea to spice up the show. Much better when it happens naturally. F1 does not need “spicing up”.

    I have never liked the Hungaroring – it has hosted some very average races in the 2000s. But with some of the latest additions to the calender it is actually quite a nice, classic, race track.

  17. The Hungarian Grand Prix has a reputation for sub-par races.

    I could not disagree more, personally.

    1. the rating is usually around 6…

  18. well at long last the noise is not a issue,
    the speed is not a issue,
    the DRS is not a issue,
    tires are not a issue,

    funny how it has taken awhile for these to subside and now the racing has taken over and we can all get back to watching fantastic driving ability, passing on bends, fighting for positions on track everywhere,
    people have quickly forgotten or the little young campaigners have gone which ever it was we are now back on track as it should be “RACING FORMULA ONE RACING” as it was meant to be, “EXCITING”…

    1. I would argue that the tires are still a bit of an issue… they were just not an issue in Hungary because of the wet weather start. The drivers being able to push right to the end in this race was one of the reasons it was so good.

  19. I remember most all of the Hungarian races over the years – not so for many other tracks. Despite it being difficult to pass on and requiring high downforce, I always found it interesting that the order never really mirrored Barcelona much at all.

    Williams used to always nail this track, which made 1989 and 1990 particularly exciting. And then of course there were the strange tyre situations in 1997 (Arrows nearly winning on Bridgestone) and 2003 (Alonso and Michelin lapping Schumacher on Bridgestone).

    2014 will of course go down in history as a classic. My biggest complaint in 2014 so far has been lack of different teams battling for the win, but that was erased completely for this one at least!

    1. 2014 went down as the most boring season. You guessed wrong. Haha.

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