2017 Hungarian Grand Prix Star Performers

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Paul di Resta and Sebastian Vettel were F1 Fanatic’s stars of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Here’s why.


Fernando Alonso

After three years in a McLaren-Honda it’s becoming difficult to find new ways of saying ‘think what he could do in a better car’. Alonso had to fight for his sixth place and produced one of the few genuine passes of the race by hanging onto the outside of Carlos Sainz Jnr at turn two.

For that alone he was already the star of the race. Nicking the fastest lap without needing a stop for fresh tyres was a bonus and no fluke: He was the fastest driver on track three times in the last ten laps.

Paul di Resta

Di Resta did well at short notice
How can a driver who qualifies and finishes behind his team mate be deserving of a ‘star’ accolade? Because he hadn’t turned a wheel in the Williams FW40 before he qualified it.

On his fifth lap of qualifying he was within eight-tenths of Lance Stroll – and he was actually quicker around the final corners. Di Resta’s race pace compared well with his team mate’s as well until he had to retire. In the context, this was an impressive performance.

Sebastian Vettel

It’s easy to point out Kimi Raikkonen would have beaten Vettel had Ferrari allowed him to run longer at the end of his first stint (or if Raikkonen had taken matters into his own hands). Vettel put himself in a position to win by out-pacing Raikkonen in qualifying, and even then had to cope with an ill-handling car from the very early stages of the race.

Putting up with a steering imbalance is one thing for a few laps at Monza but quite a different matter when it’s almost an entire race distance at the Hungaroring. Had Vettel put a wheel wrong Raikkonen would have been through, but he never did.

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Jolyon Palmer

Renault told Palmer to get out of Hulkenberg’s way
Damaged his car twice during practice and was seven-tenths off his team mate in qualifying.

During the race Palmer was ordered to let Hulkenberg pass. Renault told his team mate: “Jo is slower than you.” That said it all.

Daniil Kvyat

He increasingly has the Pastor Maldonado-like air of an overindulged driver who needs the slap of reality a race ban would bring. He’s now just two penalty points away from one thanks to his latest blunder in practice.

The fact he picked up four places in the race is flattered by the fact he started out of position anyway because of his penalty. Once again it was Carlos Sainz Jnr who demonstrated where the Toro Rosso should have finished.

Max Verstappen

It’s perhaps harsh to mark Verstappen down on the strength of one bad move, but it was a howler and it ruined his team’s race on what should have been a good weekend for them. As well as taking Daniel Ricciardo out he destroyed his own chances with a ten-second penalty which removed the team’s tactical advantage at a stroke.

At least he had the sense to apologise afterwards.

And the rest

Ricciardo was quick on Friday, then it all went wrong
Ricciardo set the practice pace on Friday but a breakdown on Saturday morning and his team mate’s assault on Sunday made this a wasted race. Hulkenberg had frustrations too: a gearbox change penalty cost him his ‘best of the rest’ qualifying position, then a slow tyre change dropped him behind Magnussen who pushed him off the track.

While Raikkonen had to settle for second the Mercedes drivers behind him found the W08 a bit of a handful at this track. An error in qualifying and an indifferent start made life difficult for Hamilton, while Bottas lacked pace on the soft tyres.

Tensions continue to simmer at Force India whose drivers collided again, Esteban Ocon blaming Sergio Perez, but at least both scored points this time. They were beaten by an on-form Sainz, however. Vandoorne’s strategy didn’t work out but at least he got a point.

Magnussen should have expected a penalty for his move on Hulkenberg. Romain Grosjean toiled away with the Haas on Friday as usual, made progress on Saturday, but was thwarted by tyre and wheel problems in the race.

Stroll wasn’t quicker than Felipe Massa in practice when his team mate was unwell. It was a very disappointing weekend for Sauber, who despite their new aerodynamic package struggled near the tail of the midfield. Ericsson flat-spotted his tyres.

Over to you

Vote for the driver who impressed you most last weekend and find out whether other F1 Fanatics share your view here:

2017 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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58 comments on “2017 Hungarian Grand Prix Star Performers”

  1. Max is brilliant but he manages more and more frequently to mess up someones race at the start, the guy need to chill out a little bit IMO, he reminds me of the “first lap maniac”.

    1. Harsh when Bottas wiped him and Raikkonen out in Spain. Was he at fault for Vettels front wing in Camada? I dont think so. Cant think of any other 1st corener issues from him this year.

      1. “Was he at fault for Vettels front wing in Canada?” So this is a mystery because I could swear I saw him run over Vettel’s front wing. Maybe you meant that he didn’t get a penalty for it?

        1. @BobW Vettel didn’t blame Max, didn’t accuse him of running over his wing, and he didn’t get a penalty because it was just good hard racing by Max.

    2. Lol he this is only the 1st time Max caused a DNF in over 50 races. That in itself is pretty impressive but he was also the youngest rookie ever and he is an aggressive racer.

      Imho it’s total nonsense to name him like that.

      He made a mistake that’s it. Sure it cost redbull and RIC, but that’s nothing in comparison to what the team cost him if you look at points.

      You win together and you lose together as a team.

      1. Yeah you can tell from his interviews that he felt really bad about it.

        He thought he could make the turn, locked up and hit Riccardo, well he ain’t gonna attempt such a thing again, that’s for sure !

    3. spafrancorchamps
      31st July 2017, 19:14

      I believe Monaco 2015 was the last time he caused someone a DNF. So, accusing him of frequently ending peoples race is unfair.

      1. No he didn’t….. only himself

        1. Well, he did destroy Grosjean’s race.

          1. No he didn’t.

    4. Unfair and untrue post @Understeer. And it is “first lap nutcase”

      1. People see what they want to see.

    5. Good callby Keith on Di resta, it was a great effort with very very short notice/ did a lot better than Mutton in Monaco.

    6. Unfair. It was a normal race accident and an error of judgement, nothing intentional there. The bad luck was that he hit RIC on probably the worst spot possible to damage a cooling tube and the wheel, had he hit the middle or the outside of the wheel maybe they could both finish the race. He does not do it often and he apologised afterwards, case closed.

    7. Hulkenburg slammed into the side of Grosjean on the first corner and received no penalty. Sainz also pushed Alonso wide (nose of Alonso was alongside Sainz prior to corner) and banged wheels on the restart, again no penalty.

      These incidents were no more severe than Verstappen’s coming together with Ricciardo, in my viewpoint they were all just first lap racing (except Sainz) incidents that warranted no further action. This was harsh by the stewards and in my viewpoint incorrect.

      1. The stewards continued inconsistency when handing out penalties is astounding. I am not a Max fan but I also think the 10sec time penalty was unjustified given that Hulk and Sainz received no penalties, the fact that Sainz drove Fernando off the track and the stewards did diddly squat is amazing.

    8. Fukobayashi (@)
      1st August 2017, 9:59

      Considering the amount of times the car has let him down this year, I think we can give Max a pass for being the one who messed up this one time. And he doesn’t cause many first lap collisions at all, Canada was the definition of a racing incident imho.

    9. There are quite a few of those. Let me rephrase that: there are too many of those.

  2. Season Star Performers:

    +7: Vettel
    +4: Hamilton, Alonso
    +3: Perez, Bottas, Hulkenberg
    +2: Verstappen
    +1: Wehrlein, Ricciardo, Di Resta
    0 : Giovinazzi, Massa, Ocon, Button, Sainz, Grosjean
    -1: Magnussen, Ericsson
    -2: Stroll, Raikkonen
    -3: Vandoorne, Kvyat
    -5: Palmer

    This is simply the running tally of Keith’s star performers and strugglers (summed over all races), with one point added when a driver was mentioned as a star performer, and one point subtracted when a driver was mentioned as a struggler.

    Not my opinion, and does not reflect this race only, but the season so far!

    1. Interesting, and a fairly representative view at the half way stage. Hard to gauge Verstappen’s season given his bad luck, and I’m surprised Ricciardo isn’t higher given his talent. I’m surprised Kvyat isn’t lower to be honest given his constant errors, surely his days are numbered, ditto Palmer, bottom of the pile, quite telling!

    2. Mr. Collantine should use this when making his mid – season driver rankings.

      1. Even if he doesn’t I expect the ranking to be quite similar.

    3. Bottas has performed better than Perez and Hulkenberg this season considering he was thrown in late with the team, has lots of pressure to perform (in the champ team), yet has won 2 races, 2 poles, is 5/6 in qually and races compared to his 3 x champ team mate, and if not for a DNF he wouldn’t be that far behind in the standings either.

    4. – Di Resta will sure keep his +1 place in this ranking.
      – Vettel is three points adrift from Hamilton, which is a huge difference.
      – Palmer and Kvyat at the bottom sounds perfect, though between two I consider Kvyat better still. Palmer though has not been rash unlike Kvyat, lacks pace big time.

  3. Equipment orders, …yes? …no?, …mmmm.

    My stars for the Hungarian Grand Prix

    5 Räikkönen
    4 Vettel, Alonso, Sainz
    3 Perez, Hulkenberg, di Resta,
    2 Hamilton, Ocon, Vandoorne, Kvyat
    1 Bottas, Palmer, Magnussen,
    0 Stroll, Wehrlein, Ericsson, Grosjean, Ricciardo
    -1 Verstappen

    1. I don’t quite get the love people have for Kimi. He is cool, indeed.
      But by now there have been more seasons with him underperforming than impressing. He has had a poor season so far. But Kimi fans really tend to tweek things his way.
      Most of them are mad he didn’t win at Monaco. Even though he wasn’t the quicker of the two on race day. So in that case they argue Ferrari should have protected his lead and given him the victory.
      Now, the argument is that because he was faster (which he was, for a good reason), they should have let him win.

      1. I’m really not a fan of Kimi, in fact this whole season I’ve rated it very very bad, I did not like his performances at all, but this weekend I think he did quite well. And tube a very clear chance to win the race, … someone floor the brake by the.

      2. I think it’s time for Perez to replace Kimi.

        1. Definitely, Perez has shown that he has enough to be in a big team, I like Perez, but I don’t know if I want to see him as a pilot number 2, even in Ferrari, I’m not sure.
          I think Perez repeats in FI next year.

        2. I think if Kimi goes he will be replaced by Charles Leclerc, he has been outstanding in F2 this season and his times in testing yesterday are pretty impressive.

      3. Fukobayashi (@)
        1st August 2017, 10:03

        @magon4 +100

        I really don’t understand it either, sure Kimi was mega fast once upon a time but these days he’s amusing on the radio and thats about it. Even this race wasn’t Kimi’s to win at all, Seb had an issue and drove around it and wasn’t overtaken, end of. Monaco he didn’t pull away in clear air when he had the chance and was passed in the pits, end of. He’s only marginally more competitive against his teammate than Jolyon Palmer is against Hulkenberg, difference is, that’s been the case against Massa in 2008 and Fernando before Seb joined as well!

        1. In Monaco, Kimi tried to open a gap during the first laps, but Seb was not only driving an equal car right behind him, he also had the benefit of using for the first time the upgraded Spec 2 PU while Kimi was running with a Spec 1. Since he was leading the race in a track where overtaking is a rare and risky thing, Ferrari’s only job was to give him a clean pitstop at the right time… instead they sent Kimi back into traffic and that made all the difference. They had only one job and they failed him.

          Once the overcut by his team mate was complete, Kimi just drove as slowly as he pleased saving the engine since there was nothing to gain. There was no point pushing to try and overtake in such a narrow space, after all even Vettel hadn’t tried it during the first stint, so why should he? The team had made it clear what was the result they wanted by allowing Vettel to go for the overcut, the game was over. Seb showed great pace, but Kimi’s lap times once he cleared the traffic after his pitstop were no different to those of his team mate. Kimi did everything right but Ferrari made the call (as they are entitled to do) to give their lead driver the chance to get ahead. Kimi’s only mistake in Monaco was trusting that Ferrari would allow him to keep P1 after the mega lap he had set on Saturday ;/

  4. I’m very excited fro the mid-season ranking @keithcollantine

    In my opinion

    1. Vettel
    2. Alonso
    3. Verstappen
    4. Hamilton
    5. Bottas
    6. Perez
    7. Ricciardo
    8. Hulkenberg
    9. Ocon
    10. Raikkonen
    11. Sainz
    12. Massa
    13. Grosjean
    14. Wehrlein
    15. Magnussen
    16. Ericsson
    17. Kvyat
    18. Vandoorne
    19. Stroll
    20. Palmer

    1. Based on your assessment so far Perez should replace Kimi come next season. He has done enough to get promoted.

    2. I’d probably swap Ricciardo and Verstappen.

    3. I’d probably move Verstappen behind the 2 Mercs and swap him with Ricciardo.

    4. I don’t agree with Vandoorne’s ranking. He is a good driver driving an awful car, but is made to look bad mostly due to his absolutely incredible teammate (not a biased Alonso fan at all…).

      1. Also, in my opinion, my top 6 is totally different:

        1. Vettel
        2. Alonso
        3. Bottas
        4. Ricciardo
        5. Hamilton
        6. Verstappen

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        1st August 2017, 9:22

        Well, he has made some very silly mistakes this year. That crash into Massa in Spain looked to clumsy and was totally avoidable. He’s also got into trouble for blocking the leaders for far to long behind the blue flags. i don’t think any other driver has got in trouble for that. I’m not even sure if Gutierrez did last year when he kept Hamilton behind for ages. Vandoorne should know better than he did. He’s also quite often been beaten by either Ericsson or Wehrlein and I think the Sauber is clearly worse than when the McLaren Honda is actually working. I do believe he is more capable that he is showing but, IMO, he really had been unimpressive this season.

    5. I’m baffled by your placing Alonso behind Vettel. In my opinion Vettel has been the best driver at profiting from others’ misfortunes in the past 10 years. That makes him a smart/lucky driver, not necessarily the best. Do you think he could have won had he been behind Kimi (assuming Ferrari didn’t tell him to yield) and Valterri/Lewis or Max? Yes, he did a brilliant quali lap, but Hulk is a better qualifier than racer. Clearly I’m not saying Seb is not a great driver but I don’t think he’s the best. He sure is a big whining baby. Then again it seems like the world’s best racers are all big whining babies. :-)

      1. wow. just, wow.

      2. Here is not for DOW but since it is related Im going to paste what I wrote for that:

        I know that in this site Vettel is not as popular as Hamilton is but … not having enough data to pick Hamilton above Vettel most people here has chosen the worst dow possible. Mc_Honda as they themselves said had a good chance at Hungary.
        F A and S V were 7th/8th 8th/10th and 9th/6th in FP1 FP2 and FP3. They classified 8th (FA) and 9th (SV) and started the gp 7th and 8th due to Niko s problem. Alonso finished 6th (improved a tremendous one place) because Daniel R. dnf. Other drivers improved more (Perez, Sainz, Pascal, among others).
        Vettel was second in FP2, first in FP3, first in qually, first in race even with mechanical problems and is voted 19% vs
        51% to Alonso. It has to be a joke. Ahhh … and another joke is a completely useless fastest lap. The fastest cars trapped following a hampered car.

      3. “Yes, he did a brilliant quali lap, but Hulk is a better qualifier than racer” ¿? I can write something meanning the same, sort of, `Yes, he did a brilliant quali lap, but DiResta started 19th`

  5. Alonso place the car where the car has to be!!! Sainz place it 2 or 3 position higher than should be. Nobody realize!!!! Incredible !!

    1. They don t want to realize.

  6. Verstappen undoubtedly has a lot of ‘hands-on’ talent to drive a racing car but what he lacks is the mature mindset or the flexibility to be a real champion. He only knows to drive one way and while this might occasionally succeed, is not the best strategy in an F1 (or any other team) setting. He comes across as too single-minded, too gungo-ho and too selfish to be a successful team man.
    His teammate, Ricciardo, is the exact opposite in most ways. Apart from DNFs in which he has no control (as at Hungaroring), he makes the best of a given situation.

    1. Funny you say this, because if it wasn’t for all Max’s DNFs he’d probably stand way higher in the championship than RIC. And none of those DNFs were due to mechanical failure or other drivers mistakes.

      I like RIC a lot and he’s a very good racer, but he’s no match for Max so far this season in both qualy or race.

      About your point of Max only knowing one way of racing: this is coming with the situation he’s in with a car that’s snot good enough for winning and way to fast for the rest of the field.

      1. it should say “all of those DNFs”

      2. IMO, a driver like Verstappen is not only more likely to make a mistake while trying a risky manoevre but also more likely to induce an error from the driver that he is trying to pass or otherwise tangle. The sight of him approaching from behind or being chased to be passed is likely to make the other driver at least a bit nervous about what the Dutchman might try. The end result could be a crash or collision, irrespective of whose fault it was.

          1. I think Max is the most exciting driver to watch by far. His starts have been amazing. He just goes for it. I think that is partly Max being Max, but also is Max knowing that his best chance is to jump cars at the start if possible, since the car is not in the top 2.

            It seems Max and the team fairly well accepted his 10 second penalty, but I think if it was deserving it was only just so. He was racing. First/second corner incidents have been forgiven in many other instances as being part of the race start mayhem. He didn’t do anything intentional. Will he be more careful next time? Perhaps, but I don’t know if he should. I certainly don’t expect this to curtail his racing spirit off the starts. Specific circumstances added up to this incident that won’t likely be duplicated very regularly.

        1. One can always speculate about these things. I like it more to look at the facts, and the facts are that Max has done just over 50 races after starting as the youngest rookie ever. Did he make mistakes? Sure. Did he end other people’s races by doing so? Only ones. Did he have a lot of close wheel to wheel racing? Yes he did. Is he good at it? Oh yeah. Both defensive and offensive.

          I think he is very impressive. He’s a real racer that doesn’t accept the status quo. Give him a Mercedes and F1 will be a bore fest like schumi in the Ferrari

          1. I think he (VER) is very impressive. He’s a real racer that doesn’t accept the status quo. Give him a Mercedes and F1 will be a bore fest like schumi in the Ferrari

            It is not as straightforward as that. The Red Bulls are set-up in a different way from Ferrari or Mercedes and it is more than likely that the RBR set-up suits Mad Max ideally. Talented as he is, it does not automatically mean that be would produce similar results with other leading teams. This is a sport where fractions of seconds make big differences.

          2. @ Loup Garou: …it is more than likely that the RBR set-up suits Mad Max ideally…

            Really? Please enlighten us: why is that more than likely? And why wouldn’t it be at least equally likely that the RB suits Daniel best?

            Please show us why your assumptions are more than just someones personal prejudice based assumptions.

  7. I’m not a huge Kvyat fan, but I don’t think he really deserves “struggler” title this weekend. He has lost qualy by 2 tens, which is not that much and Sainz admitted that his flying lap was exceptional. Their qualy score is as even as possible (and I believe I’ve read somewhere that Kvyat and Sainz have the smallest average qualy lap difference among all the teams this season so far).
    The penalty is questionable, we’ve already seen a lot of impending without any consequences, it was also confirmed that Kvyat didn’t receive any warnings about Stroll from the team, which makes it not completely his fault.
    And in the race he did exactly the same thing as all the other drivers (well, except for Alonso): he followed the slower car, kept 1-2s distance and was unable to overtake. Also with 10 penalty points he had not so much room to gamble on the start or with overtakes.
    So I think he had an average weekend (and even above average regarding his performance lately) and there were much more struggling drivers (Hulk, both Haas, maybe even Ric or Massa).

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      1st August 2017, 9:16

      I also think it was possibly a bit harsh. As when Kvyat came back on track, he had been going slow just because he had gone off. He looked like he was aware. It didn’t look like it will have affected Stroll much more than Hamilton affected Grosjean last in Britain qualifying. Hamilton slowed far more than he needed to to start a lap. Kvyat could have driven off the track I suppose but he wasn’t exactly going slow without a reason. It’s not always sensible to instantly go fast after you have spun. His qualifying wasn’t bad. It was just reasonable. And considering he knew he had 10 penalty points, he may have just been overly cautious in the race. He may possibly continue being extra cautious this year until the USA when some of his points will drop. Unless he collected some of his points earlier than that race last year. I don’t think he was quite bad enough this weekend to be considered a struggler.

  8. My Performers:

    Alonso – 5/5
    Vettel – ⅘
    Räikkönen – ⅘
    Bottas – ⅘
    Hamilton – ⅘

    The Rest:
    Vandoorne – ⅘
    Verstappen – ⅘
    Sainz – ⅘
    Perez – ⅗
    Ocon – ⅗
    Kvyat – ⅗
    Palmer – ⅗
    Wehrlein – ⅖
    Ericsson – ⅖

    The Strugglers:

    Ricciardo – ⅖
    Grosjean – ⅖
    Hulkenberg – ⅖
    Magnussen – ⅖
    Stroll – ⅖

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