Lewis makes it 5 in Hungary, Valtteri P5
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Driver, Lewis Hamilton, took his fifth win of the 2018 FIA Formula 1™ World Championship with a lights-to-flag victory at the Hungaroring, as teammate Valtteri Bottas executed an equally commendable drive toward P2 until the 65th lap, where contact with both Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo resulted in a fifth-place finish.
All the action at the Hungarian Grand Prix appeared to be reserved for these final few laps, as the race ebbed and flowed with calculated moves for track position amongst the top four drivers.
Starting from the front row of the grid on Ultrasoft tyres, both Silver Arrows got away cleanly as the lights went out, and Lewis charged ahead into a comfortable lead as Valtteri successfully rebutted the attacks of the chasing Ferraris.
Vettel, now third and ahead of teammate Raikkonen after a move on the first lap, pursued Valtteri on the Soft compound tyre with the intention to jump the Finn with an ‘overcut’ pit strategy.
Boxing on Lap 15 of the race in response to Raikkonen’s stop, Valtteri fitted the Soft compound tyre and resumed in fourth place 8.6s behind Pierre Gasly’s Toro Rosso and second-placed Vettel, the former still circulating on Ultrasofts.
Ten laps later, Hamilton conceded a 6.7s lead to Vettel with his own scheduled stop for the Soft compound tyre as Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport consolidated its efforts for opportunities to come in the second phase of the race.
The leading Ferrari finally ended its run on the Soft tyre on Lap 39 with the gap to Hamilton at 9.5s and 20.7s to Bottas, who duly responded with the fastest lap of the race so far – 1:21.842. This, paired with a slow stop for Vettel, ensured Valtteri retook second place in dramatic fashion at the start of Lap 40. Over the next 30 laps, Hamilton would extend his lead untroubled by the events behind as Valtteri excellently managed his pace ahead.
With the gap between the two never more than 1.5s, the Ferrari of Vettel finally made a move on Lap 65 on the outside of Valtteri at Turn 1, but the Finn covered this move with little effort. However, this gave Vettel the advantage on the run down to Turn 2 as often seen in years prior. Braking hard, the two cars made contact which unfortunately resulted in front wing damage for Valtteri and the loss of P2 – also allowing the closely-following Raikkonen through to take third.
Now fourth and managing understeer with a loss of front downforce, Valtteri could do little to halt Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull from catching quickly and attempting a similar move to Vettel at Turn 1 – but this time the contact, and damage to Valtteri’s car, came a corner earlier. On the final lap of the race, Ricciardo was able to complete the move past Valtteri with a considerable pace advantage, as Lewis crossed the line to take the chequered flag 17.1s clear of Vettel.
Pure Pit Wall recorded 26 overtakes in total, with the two DRS zones producing 19 of these moves.
Lewis Hamilton extends his lead (213 points) of the Drivers’ Championship, 24 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel (189 points), with Valtteri Bottas P4 (132 points). Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (345 points) lead the Constructors’ Championship by 10 points from Ferrari (335 points).
Discover how Pure Storage gives Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport an #UnfairAdvantage at PurePitWall.com as we take a four week break before the highly-anticipated Belgian Grand Prix.