Vettel takes surprise win in frantic Hungarian GP

2015 Hungarian Grand Prix summary

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Sebastian Vettel won the Hungarian Grand Prix for the first time as both Mercedes drivers slipped up in an incident-filled race.

Ferrari could have had a one-two finish had Kimi Raikkonen not suffered an MGU-K failure which ultimately led to his retirement. The two red cars hit the front at the start, passing the Mercedes drivers, while pole-sitter Hamilton went off and slipped to tenth place.

Nico Rosberg pursued the Ferraris for much of the race, but a late tangle with Daniel Ricciardo dropped him to eighth at the flag. Ricciardo salvaged the final podium position behind team mate Daniil Kvyat.

Ricciardo was hit by the other Mercedes earlier in the race. Despite stopping for a new front wing and receive a drive-through penalty, Hamilton was able to increase his points lead by coming home second behind Max Verstappen at Fernando Alonso. He passed Romain Grosjean with two laps to go, leaving the Lotus driver to finish seventh.

Jenson Button and Marcus Ericsson completed the points scorers. Both Williams drivers finished outside the points after penalties, and neither Force India scored either, after Nico Hulkenberg crashed out when his front wing collapsed.

2015 Hungarian Grand Prix

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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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111 comments on “Vettel takes surprise win in frantic Hungarian GP”

  1. Vettel takes a surprise win but the entire top ten consits of surprise stories, apart from P10 for Marcus perhaps. What a race, we needed one of these and who had ever thought it would happen on the Hungaroring.

    1. I dont think i saw anyone that predicted Marcus taking points.

    2. Just which drivers finished the race and didn’t make any mistakes today?
      Vettel, Alonso, Button.
      Grosjean? Ericsson? Nasr? Merhi?
      It was a weird weird race.

  2. What a heart-banging mind-blowing race that was! Seriously.
    What a great way to commemorate Jules, with a race to remember.

  3. I’ll bite:

    Hamilton understeers on cold hard tyres and cold brakes on a restart, makes relative minor contact with the side of a car, breaks his end-plate, and has minor effect on other car. Gets drive through penalty.

    Riccardo has enormous lunge for a position from way back, both on warm tyres and warm brake, bigger contact is made between 2 cars, completely wiping out ones wing, destroying ones tyre and race. No penalty for either.

    Some things never change.

    1. Both racing incidents for me.
      Hamilton did EXACT the same thing with Raikkonen on Germany last year and didn’t receive a penalty.

      Go figure….

      1. Michael Brown
        26th July 2015, 18:02

        I recall him being praised for his aggressiveness too.

    2. Agree – was VERY surprised at a driver through for Lewis there. Considering (I think) the lock up started before Ricciardo turned in, at worst a 5s penalty would have been appropriate there.

      1. Another piece of double-standard stewarding, but then it was the same driver steward as Spa last year… enough said

    3. Riccardo coming from a long way back is irrelevant. If you heard his podium interview, he was absolutely spot on in saying that at that point, he got ahead of Nico cleanly. Now, the problem only happens when Rosberg cuts back..he left too much room to begin with, but then none in the end. If anything, Rosberg ought to have been penalized, but in the context of the situation, I think no penalties for either was fair.

      1. I agree with your analysis, Hamilton basically T-boned Ricciardo while Rosberg misjudged the gap slightly.

        1. An unintentional t-bone, but a t-bone none the less. A drive through still seems a bit excessive considering neither of their races were really compromised.

    4. I was ticked off when Ricciardo mentioned Kvyat getting 2nd because he was at the right place at the right time, especially considering he himself was anywhere near Vettel because of the safety car.

      1. I really didn’t like this from Ricciardo:
        “We gifted the young Russian his first podium – but obviously he was there to take it so congrats to him and, I mean, we pitted for a front wing and fortunately we still ended up on the podium.”

        1. ResultantAsteroid
          27th July 2015, 1:29


    5. Firstly, “cold hard tyres and cold brakes” are not an excuse for any collision. The drivers should know how suitable the car is for overtaking at any moment.

      Secondly, Hamilton whacked the side of the other car and could have easily caused a serious problem.

      Finally, the other incident was not caused by the “enormous lunge from way back”, which was a piece of aggressive racing – something which most people are complaining we don’t have enough of – but rather by Rosberg not altering his line to avoid swiping another car!

      1. “Firstly, “cold hard tyres and cold brakes” are not an excuse for any collision.”

        Yes, they are. That’s why the stewards are more lieniant towards start/first corner incidents.

  4. I forgot to do my predictions championship, pretty sure I’d have scored close to zero anyway!

    1. I would think getting one right guy in the right position would make you one of the leading scorers this round. I got 4 points this round. Lol

    2. I had the perfect score after qualifying. Happy to “trade” it for an awesome race!

  5. Why was Rosberg on hard tyres at the end?!

    1. That is the question we all want answered!

      1. @sihrtogg @williamjones On the radio before the Safety Car came out Mercedes were telling him he needed to do more laps so the soft tyre would last. When the Safety Car came out they had to take advantage of the chance to pit, but it stands to reason they opted for mediums because they thought the softs wouldn’t last.

        1. Thanks Keith!

    2. Also very interested to hear reasons for that.

    3. It’s what he asked for. We have one radio broadcast where he asked for it and he may have made further requests. Also, since it was a long way off from the end when the safety car came out, it probably seemed like a reasonable idea since only one of the top 5 had a different plan at the time.

    4. Neil (@neilosjames)
      26th July 2015, 15:47

      I got the impression he was thinking too much about what Hamilton was doing. Was a radio message at about half distance… he was told Hamilton’s next tyre switch, and he straight away said he wanted the same.

      Cost him the win.

    5. @sihrtogg
      Because he is risk averse and was more interested in covering Hamilton rather than winning the race.

      1. 100%

    6. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
      26th July 2015, 16:31

      Toto had an odd explanation for it, seems like Mercedes under pressure make odd pit choices.

    7. Toto said “When the Virtual Safety Car came out, it was close for him to get into the pits – but he managed it. However, the default set of tyres was the prime, as we still had around 30 laps to go in the race under normal conditions – and that was the only set we were able to fit to the car in time. In hindsight, the option tyre would have been ideal to attack Sebastian, who was forced to run the prime – but hindsight is a wonderful thing. “

    8. Nico race was with Hamilton; he wanted the medium and was right to ask for them; he preferred to pit first, to stay ahead of Lewis on the track, on the same tire.
      From his point of view, he needed track position on Hamilton; should he have gone for the softs in the last stint, he needed to stay more laps on the medium otherwise the softs would not last the rest of the race; and hamilton would have stopped first and undercut him. He would have been on the faster tire but behind.
      In the end with all the incidents it would have been better to chose the softs but at the time it was the right decision.

  6. Woohaa, the best race of the season, by far!

  7. we sure had a lot of perfect predictions this weekend…:Ρ What a race!

  8. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 40 victories!!! (@)
    26th July 2015, 15:23

    So Ferrari has know achieved the first goal they set. As a fan, I hope they keep pushing even harder to get into terms with Mercedes next year, in order to have this kind of battles as the usual and not as a surprise or as a result of a bunch of punctures. I am so happy now, and I agree with a previous comment that this race was a good tribute to Jules, seeing all that thrilling racing going on.

    1. Yes, Ferrari’s ‘minimum’ of 2 race wins in 2015 has been achieved in the first half of the season. They have a chance of a couple more maybe; Vettel is usually very good on the Asian tracks and the Ferrari set-up seems to suit his driving style. If the team are able to close the raw speed gap to Mercedes during the mid-season break, it might set-up an interesting second half of the season.

  9. Someone needs to do a recap of all the penalties given this race. I couldn’t keep track.

    1. Robert McKay
      26th July 2015, 15:28

      Seconded – was here to ask for that very thing!

      Great race though, the sport needed that, it needed a surprise victory and an action-packed race and the Mercs having a bit of an off-day.

      1. @paeschli Will update the index within the next 24 hours as always:

    2. Maldonado wins, I lost it too but I think he collected 4 or 5!

  10. Maldonado. What a driver

    1. @ridzki Maldonado is superb, he wins so many penalties for his team.

    2. World Penalty Champion.. hands down.

      While Madonado might have the skill to justify his presence in the sport, he just doesn’t have the right amount of grey matter, discipline or maturity to belong in any motorsport.

      I think the sooner he leaves the sport the better. It’s only a matter of time before another driver gets a career ending injury at the hands of Pastor.

  11. A heart wringing race.. Too good.. And good to see all non-merc racers in the podium..

  12. for sure Mercedes shot their foot, but Vettel capitalized it at maximum. I didn’t see this kind of consistency and performance since 2012 Alonso. He’s still in range of WDC. If Ferrari really makes gain in the second part of the season…

  13. Great race from Vettel, Verstappen and the Red Bulls. Terrible race for Hamilton. Rosberg once again showing why he will never win a world championship. He should have capitalized today on Hamilton’s bad race but was way off the pace and gave himself a puncture by cutting off Ricciardo.

    1. Verstappen and the Bulls did good, but they all made mistakes. Verstappen speeding during the SC, Kvyat overtaking Hamilton off track and Ricciardo caused a collision (it was up to him to take avoiding action on the exit of turn 1).

      Vettel for DOTW seems a given, but who will snatch the rest of the votes? Hulkenberg maybe? No other drivers did above average this race: most of the grid was racing to GP2 standards.

      1. Alonso?

        1. Yup, completely forgot about him.

      2. Vettel, Alonso and Button might have been the only drivers not to have made any mistakes and finished the race. I don’t know about Ericsson? So, probably between Vettel and Alonso.

        1. Close call indeed, I’ll go for Alonso.

          1. I don’t think Alonso would be finishing so well into the points without all the drama from the front runners. He was not faster than Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Rosberg etc. Not to say that he didn’t fully deserve the great result as he was faultless. But, things that propelled him into 5th were mostly out of his hands.
            So, hands down Sebastian Vettel for me!

          2. @xylon
            well, I guess nobody expects this year McLaren to come on top of a Ferrari or a Mercedes on a fair fight. that being said, to drag this dog of car to 5th, ALO must, at the very least, not only have driven an impressively clean race, but also taken every chance he got to move up the grid. his performance was impressive and very reminiscent of his Minardi days…

            as most people said, though, it’s a very close call [made even harder because we didn’t get to see much of Alonso’s race] and I’m still on the fence about his one…

    2. In my opinion He was perfectly capitalizing even on a bad weekend for him and he only didn’t through no fault of its own. RIC cannot seriously believe he gets to launch himself inside breaking as late as that and not back off on crossover on the exit.

  14. If Rosberg had just chosen the soft tyres for his last stint (or what was supposed to be his last stint), he would have been tied at the top of the championship. But instead, he is 21 points adrift. I have no idea why he went onto the mediums. He was awfully slow on them.

    1. Maybe he used all the new sets in quali

      1. Used set of softs > New medium tyres

        1. Not if you are going to hit the cliff before the end of race.

    2. “I have no idea why he went onto the mediums. He was awfully slow on them.”

      Because he was busy looking backwards at Lewis instead of looking forwards at the race win, which is why hes a loser.

      1. Nice assumptions, who told you that?

      2. Blake Merriam
        26th July 2015, 22:45

        My thoughts are similar. It was looking to me as if NICO was backing off on attaching Vettel, just to bag the points. Had he been attaching Vettel the indecent with Riccardo might not have happened.

        1. Blake Merriam
          26th July 2015, 22:45


          1. If I may quote Keith Collantine: Rosberg admitted he was “gutted” about the outcome of the race after he had spent most of it ahead of team mate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton.

            “It was going very well,” he said. “I was very pleased with the race until lap 64.”

            Says everything about Rosberg’s strategy for the race. He was indeed looking back at Hamilton and not forwards to Vettel.

        2. “attaching Vettel the indecent” What are you trying to say? LOL

  15. Alonso beat both Mercedes cars, with no retirements involved.

    Mind = Blown

    1. Didn’t he finish in his favorite place?

      1. @neiana I don’t think it’s his favorite place (obviously). But I think he’s 5th places’ favorite driver!

      2. Thats his favourite grid position to start a race. He usually finishes a couple of places higher

  16. Jean (@jeansilva02)
    26th July 2015, 15:33

    Verstapen got a drive trought no ….. For speeding in the Pit-lane or something like that? I did not see him fulfill it … is he gonna losing P4 or something?

    Overall awesome performance of alonso …. P15 > P4!!

    1. no for speeding during sc and he took it straight after he got it issued. Otherwise he would ended third.

      1. Jean (@jeansilva02)
        26th July 2015, 16:21

        Thank you … really miss that one.

    2. Verstappen originally was a lapped car but as Vettel took his pitstop under the virtual SC, Max unlapped himself and then took his stop under the real SC. This allowed him to stay on the same lap as the leaders. Under the safetycar the others were then allowed to unlap themselves which gave Max a big enough buffer for his drive through penalty.

      Without that penalty he might have gotten on the podium… but I guess that’s a little to much to ask from lady luck haha

  17. The Merc is the car of the season – in fact it may well be the best car ever to race in F1 – both neither Merc driver looks better than average. If you had a “Driver of the first half of the season” award it would have to be Vettel.

    1. You’ve said that many times in the past.
      Don’t need to be repeating that all the time mate.

      1. why not?? It merits repeating.

    2. No, it’s not the best car to ever race in F1.
      Vettel is the driver of the season so far.

      1. @edmarques Statistically it is I think, or is it still the 2014 Merc?

        1. Someone better versed in this kind of things might know better, but I think that title still goes to the McLaren of 1988. Higher ratio of wins, higher ratio of one-twos, lapped the whole field twice, slowest McLaren was on average more than 30s ahead of the fastest non-McLaren.

    3. Sure. All Lewis does is win poles at a historic rate and win races. But keep thinking Vettel is the “driver of the year”. Lewis will be happy to take the championship. Again.

      1. I think Hamilton is not doing his pole/win ratio any favors.
        9 poles, 5 wins this season. It’s already past halfway point.
        Also, I don’t think Hamilton’s rate of winning races/getting poles is still any higher than Vettel’s?

    4. +10000000

  18. absolutely thrilling race!!

  19. I think McLaren-Honda should get a special mention. McLaren-Honda the Mercs and both in the points.
    Great to see a duo with such history finally do well!

    1. Agreed – only 5 points behind Sauber now too. I think they will finish eighth at worst in the championship now, the two Saubers were behind the McLarens in qualifying and at the end of the race. I fully expected at least one of the two cars to retire and was pleased they both got to the finish (I don’t enjoy seeing two WDCs be restricted so badly).

      Of course, ‘eighth at worst’ is not exactly what McLaren-Honda would have hoped for at the start of the season. Still plenty of work for them to do yet to get near where they want to be although this result certainly makes a good start.

  20. Carlos Furtado Neves
    26th July 2015, 15:43

    Vettel knew that if he was first after lap 1 he had big chances of winning the race. With kimi behind him that was almost certain. Then the force india dismantled itself, kimi lost mgu and the safety car put the pack together. After that a New race was on our sights. Vettel managed the gap masterfully and kept the lead. Behind him everybody made mistakes that helped Vettel in his task. Surprising Kvyat after complaining that his car was undrivable was able to grab second place. Rosberg paceless to catch the Ferrari cars and Hamilton with a handfull of errors that could have hurt him badly in the wdc should ricciardo have been more carefull in that impossible overtaking manouvre. But 30 years ago an impossible overtaking was there for us to see… Piquet over senna with the williams drifting all over the track. Master!

  21. I’m not sure how Ricciardo failed to get penalized for that contact with Rosberg.

    1. Simples, it was the same driver steward as spa last year, Pirro. If he penalised Ricciardo he knows it would be about 10 seconds before someone picked him up on last years equally awful decision.

      1. Sorry but that’s complete nonsense. Rosberg misjudged the manoevre and cut across Ric hitting his front wing. However, it wasn’t blatant and at best a 50/50 penalty. Absolutely nothing to do with last year and there are five Stewards with Pirro being the Driver Consultant, so impossible for him to make the sole decision…

        1. “Rosberg misjudged the manoeuvre”, you cannot be serious. Rosberg had to stay wide to avoid Ricciardo with fronts locked, sliding into him, did he then have to also give room to the driver who wildly tried to overtake him? No, he took the racing line and Ricciardo clipped him on the exit having full vision of the Mercedes and refusing to lift or steer to avoid him.

          Ironically similar to Spa last year and probably why Rosberg never complained, but still rubbish stewarding that should penalise an overtaking attempt that would always end in tears.

    2. Because it was Rosbergs fault. Quite simple.

    3. Ricciardo was not penalized because it was Rosberg’s fault for cutting him off and should have given more room to Ricciardo.

  22. I wonder if Alonso’s fifth position today has ‘un-disilusioned’ him a bit.

  23. That was Vettel’s 41st victory, tying him with Ayrton Senna.

  24. I know everybody will be pasting Maldo after today, but let’s stop to think. Could he have been affected by the events that transpired the week before? Both he and Massa seemed deeply saddened by the Bianchi’s death, and it’s very logical, as the three all have had the same managerial stable (Nico Todt’s All Road Management) for many years. Massa too didn’t have a good weekend today, and Maldo exceeded his level today. Maybe it could be a reason? These two, including Merhi, seemed visibly disturbed during the minute’s silence before the race start.

    1. @wsrgo I don’t think he (or any of the drivers) can use it as an excuse. If they so distraught by the thought of Bianchi then they should not participate in the race. This is not about disrespecting Bianchi, but when you are controlling a machine like F1, if you not focused then you become dangerous to the others.

    2. @wsrgo I don’t think so, because as Massa himself said, once the visor is down it’s racetime.

      1. I’ll be honest and say I felt a little sorry for him after the race, but he seemed to show up at almost every incident with his tyres on fire.. Eddie Jordan reckons he might need a bit of a cuddle from Lotus and I don’t think that’s too
        far wide of the mark..
        I don’t think we’ll be seeing him next year…

  25. i wonder if anybody predicted alonso in top 5 lol

    1. Lolol not even Alonso himself.

      Predictions out for a toss, but I feel I’ve not done all that shabbily, lol

  26. What a day it was for Helmut Marko !!! Top 4 being from the race are his prodigies. The whole paddock must be envying him now.

    Sebastian Vettel
    Daniil Kvyat
    Daniel Ricciardo
    Max Verstappen

  27. Can’t say I enjoyed the race as much as some did. It was a bit of a carbon fiber fest, and as much of the excitement resulted from clumsy or overambitious maneuvers as it did from stunning driving. A great race for fans of carbon debris, but not a clean wheel-to-wheel contest by any means, so in my eyes it fails to be the “modern classic” many will dub it.

  28. First time since Brazil 2013 where Mercedes failed to score a podium

  29. @KeithCollantine I’m pretty sure you won’t be expecting anything close to perfect scores on prediction entries, lol

  30. @keithcollantine typo! Hamilton finished 6th, not 2nd!!!

    1. I wish he came second behind Alonso… still waiting for the day.

      1. Like Malaysia, Monaco and Monza 2007?

  31. If you said a few years ago that a podium consisting of two Red Bulls and a Ferrari was a surprise, I would have laughed…
    Oh how times change ^_^

    1. Or that it would consist of Vettel and 2 Red Bull drivers :P

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