Ricciardo seizes chance for second victory as Hamilton stands firm against Rosberg

2014 Hungarian Grand Prix review

For those looking for an alternative storyline to Mercedes’ domination, the Hungarian Grand Prix provided a welcome tonic.

It was not the case that the contest between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg lacked surprises, drama or controversy – in fact, it had all three.

But when the chequered flag fell their efforts had been eclipsed by Daniel Ricciardo, who exploited a hectic race to clinch his second victory of the season in dramatic style.

Poor start for Ricciardo

Start, Hungaroring, 2014Ricciardo’s race got off to an unpromising start. With the whole field opting for intermediate tyres following a pre-race shower, Ricciardo had the misfortune to start the race off-line, and like Sebastian Vettel in front of him and Felipe Massa behind he lost out to rivals who lined up on the clean side of the track.

So when Rosberg led the field around at the end of lap one he was followed by Valtteri Bottas an Vettel, then two drivers who had passed Ricciardo: Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.

But within a few laps those lost positions turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Ricciardo. As the track neared the crossover point where slick tyres would be required, the moment to switch was suddenly brought forward when Marcus Ericsson twitched left on the exit kerb at turn four, and hit the barrier head-on with a force of around 20G.

The Safety Car was immediately dispatched which was bad news for the lead quartet, all of which passed the pit lane entry before they had a chance to dive in. The first man in was Jenson Button, followed by Ricciardo, but the McLaren driver was about to drop out of contention.

All the teams were scrutinising their weather radars for signs of further showers. McLaren were the only ones to determine fresh rain was imminent, and sent Button on his way with a fresh set of intermediates. There was a hesitation at the left-rear, and the delay was amplified by the need to hold Button back as other cars trundled past. He was eventually sent out very close to Jean-Eric Vergne, and was fortunate to escape a penalty for an unsafe release.

The four drivers at the head of the field had to complete a lap at reduced speed before making their pit stops, and lost several places as a result. Rosberg’s ten second lead was eradicated and he fell to fifth place, while Bottas plummeted to eleventh from second after a slow stop.

Ricciardo gambles

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2014“I knew that the first Safety Car played into our hands,” Ricciardo explained, “we inherited the lead there”. Indeed he did but following the restart – which was delayed for a few laps after Romain Grosjean crashed at turn four – he immediately dropped behind Button. This was only temporary, however, as the folly of McLaren’s attempt to second-guess the weather quickly became apparent and Button was summoned back in for another set of slicks.

Ricciardo therefore regained the lead on lap 15. He was still there eight laps later when Sergio Perez got greedy with the damp exit kerb at the final corner and battered his Force India against the pit wall. He was unhurt, and although he gave the nearby Red Bull crew a fright they were alert enough to the implications to get Ricciardo into the pits right away. With the Safety Car coming out again the time was right for him to make another pit stop.

Taking on soft tyres at this stage was a gamble. Although theoretically it was the fastest way to the end of the race it relied upon him being able to overtake – not a key strength of the short-on-top speed RB10. “I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen,” said Ricciardo afterwards, though at the time he stayed positive, telling his team on the radio “we can win this”.

Ricciardo was now down in sixth, and ahead of him were several drivers who’d made impressive gains during the first tentative laps on slick tyres while the track was still damp.

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Hamilton makes progress from the pits

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2014Alonso, who had been among the ‘unlucky quartet’ earlier in the race, now led. He had got alongside Vettel at the restart and passed the Red Bull, then took Jean-Eric Vergne and Rosberg as well. Vergne, second, had taken advantage of Rosberg’s delay behind Kevin Magnussen to further demote the Mercedes and was now second. Next was Vettel and then Hamilton – the latter having made astounding progress despite having started in the pits and spun off at the second corner.

Hamilton had been able to pass other cars seemingly at will. He’d just taken 13th off Kimi Raikkonen when the Safety Car first appeared, and when it went back in he overtook four cars in a single lap. Of course the Safety Car had wiped out his time deficit – a considerable piece of fortune given the difficulties of passing at the Hungaroring in dry weather.

On lap 27 the race restarted for the second and final time. Alonso drew clear of Vergne, and Rosberg gave up on his attempt to pass the Toro Rosso on the track, pitting on lap 32. This, Mercedes believed, was too early to cover the remaining 38 laps on one set of tyres, so he would make two stops for softs.

Hamilton, however, produced an inspired overtaking move on Vergne at turn four on lap 34. He then stayed, extending his stint far enough that a single set of medium tyres could get him to the end of the race. When he headed to the pits on lap 38 it was as the race leader – a remarkable turnaround after his enforced pit lane start.

That promoted Ricciardo back into the lead but he still had one more stop to make as well. “We were stayed out pretty long that stint and we were leading a fair chunk of the mid-race but then I knew we weren’t going to get to the end on that set of tyres,” he said.

“So we had to pit again and that put me back out of position.” His final stop on lap 54 left him fourth behind race leader Alonso and the two Mercedes, Hamilton having jumped ahead of Rosberg thanks to the time he gained by overtaking Vergne.

It was a hard-won place which Hamilton was not about to surrender easily, even as his team asked him to move aside as Rosberg was on a different strategy. Hamilton reasoned doing so would give Rosberg a chance to overtake him for good later on, and as things turned out he was quite correct. What that will do for intra-team harmony is another matter.

Rosberg therefore made his last pit stop two laps after Ricciardo. The Red Bull driver was closing on Hamilton, despite having to grapple with power unit problems at mid-race: “Basically, we were down on power and had to get a bit crazy on the switches, so I thought the race could have potentially ended early but we got through that.”

Three-way fight to the flag

Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Hungaroring, 2014With ten laps to go little more than a second covered leader Alonso on very worn soft tyres, second-placed Hamilton on medium tyres which were almost as worn, and Ricciardo on his much fresher softs. Rosberg, meanwhile, had shot past Raikkonen and Massa using his even fresher tyres and was hurtling towards the lead trio at over two seconds per lap.

With Hamilton trying to use DRS to attack Alonso, Ricciardo lacked a speed advantage to attack the Mercedes with on the straight. Ricciardo’s best chance appeared to be turn two – on lap 65 he tried to hang around the outside of Hamilton at the corner but ran too wide to make it stick.

Two laps later he nailed it – the front-left smoked as he braked alongside Hamilton, and as they reached the exit of the corner Ricciardo was sufficiently far alongside to claim the inside for turn three.

His next target was Alonso. By now the Ferrari’s 30-lap old softs were really struggling, and with no DRS to help him Alonso was defenceless on the main straight. Ricciardo only needed one shot to get the job done – he dived down the inside at turn one and was on his way to a second grand prix victory.

As Alonso struggled more and more desperately, Hamilton tried in vain to find a way past. But as the final lap began his attention was entirely on his rear view mirrors, where Rosberg had now appeared.

Rosberg tried the Ricciardo route around Hamilton at turn two as the final lap but his team mate barred the way and the Hungaroring’s dearth of passing places took care of the rest.

Behind them Massa collected fifth and Raikkonen took his highest points finish of the year with sixth. Vettel slipped to seventh after a lurid spin at the final turn – unlike Perez he kept his car out of the barrier.

Bottas, Vergne and Button completed the points scorers. For the first time this year Nico Hulkenberg was not among them having collided with Perez at the last corner earlier in the race.

“Everything felt a bit more real”

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2014All three drivers on the podium had good reason to feel proud of their day’s work. Hamilton had recovered from a disastrous Saturday to claim an unlikely podium. Alonso had almost won in a car which didn’t look capable of it.

But, as always seems to be the case for this particular winner, Ricciardo had the broadest smile.

As in Canada, he needed a little luck to get his hands on the winner’s trophy. But that’s probably going to be the case for anyone who isn’t in a Mercedes this year. Once again, he was best-placed to take advantage of their troubles – which is all the more remarkable considering there’s a four-times world champion driving the other car.

“It honestly does compare to Canada,” he said when asked about his second win. “Obviously the first victory is special but it definitely leaves you wanting more.”

“I was just as hungry for this second one and it feels just as good – I won’t say better but you realise it a bit more so if feels like you can enjoy it a bit more. And when I crossed the line, everything felt a bit more real, so I guess I took in a bit more of this one today.”

With the summer break looming, the focus will inevitably shift back to the championship struggle over the next four weeks. But for now the sport has enjoyed yet another smashing race, and Ricciardo has served up another reminder of his driving class.

Images © Red Bull/Getty, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei

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66 comments on Ricciardo seizes chance for second victory as Hamilton stands firm against Rosberg

  1. Mach1 (@mach1) said on 27th July 2014, 23:19

    Really enjoyed this from beginning to end. A bit of everything, fast driver coming from the back, rain, safety car….more safety car, drivers struggling with conditions, drivers making mistakes, lots of differing strategies, good, hard non-drs overtaking…..and all coming together in the last 5 laps to make a tense finale …

    Superb…more please

  2. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 27th July 2014, 23:22

    I don’t think there’s any doubt on who I will vote for in the DotW poll. Alonso was phenomenal today. He nearly won today, despite driving the 3rd-4th best car and being screwed over by the early safety car.

    His opening laps after the SC with slick tyres on a damp circuit were incredible, he overtook Vettel, Rosberg, Button and Vergne in 2 laps! Shame he couldn’t quite hold on in the end, what would arguably have been his finest win to date.

    He even beat Rosberg in a straight fight, F14T vs WO5, and the F14T in the hands of Alonso won.

    What a driver, really.

    • Dan said on 27th July 2014, 23:30

      He was defo great today but id say he had luck aswell he admitted that himself, but yo make you’re own luck in that car i suppose. Alo proved Ham should done softs he pitted 2 laps later, he would have got Alonso on softs.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th July 2014, 0:08

      Alo done good but Vettels handbrake parking on start/fin straight was in a class of its own.

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 28th July 2014, 0:12

      Indeed! He’s definitely the best driver we have on the grid today @kingshark

      • Tony said on 28th July 2014, 11:06

        Really, There were quite a few drivers that managed not to spin the car, surely they were better

        • Mcquiz (@mcquiz) said on 28th July 2014, 11:20

          You clearly don’t know much about racing. When the car goes beyond a certain point it is practically unsaveable and it happens in milliseconds. Vettel managed to save it.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 28th July 2014, 7:01

      I thought both Alonso and Ricciardo were phenomenal today. But had to give it to Alonso… he was running in 3rd before the 1st safety car period and was unlucky to drop all the way to 6th or 7th. Yet he stuck with quicker cars and even managed to get in front of the Red Bull and Mercs on track.

      If it wasn’t for Ferrari’s strategic mistake of not calling him in earlier, he would have won the race in a car that was the 4th quickest on the grid that weekend

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 28th July 2014, 7:28

        @todfod

        Yet he stuck with quicker cars and even managed to get in front of the Red Bull and Mercs on track.

        I’d go as far as saying that Alonso is the 1st person to beat a Mercedes on merit alone this season.
        Granted not Hamilton, as he had to start from the pits, but he beat Rosberg on merit. Nico didn’t have a mechanical failure, and unlike Ricciardo, Fernando did not benefit from a luckily timed SC.
        He overtook Rosberg on track around the outside of turn 3, drove away from him in the damp half of the race, then held him behind in the dry portion of the race.

        Alonso, in a frigging F14T, beat a WO5 on merit. Nothing else needs to be said.

        • dex said on 28th July 2014, 14:41

          I agree, I’ve said it many times. Alonso is the best (overall) driver out there. But Hamilton is the fastest.

      • OEL F1 (@oel-f1) said on 28th July 2014, 13:24

        I agree that it was a stunning race from Alonso, after the first safety car Ricciardo was gifted the lead while Rosberg dropped to 5th, Vettel to 7th and Alonso to 8th. Two laps after the restart, Alonso had overtaken 3 cars on track, Vettel, Rosberg (who had dropped behind Vergne) and Vergne. At the same time Button and Magnussen pitted and all of a sudden Alonso had put himself in 3rd behind Ricciardo and Massa. However @todfod this is where I disagree, Ricciardo was ahead of Alonso when he pitted behind the next safety car. I don’t think that was a great call from Red Bull, it could’ve cost them the race but instead it gave way for the great three way battle in the end of the race. Should Ferrari have done the same and pitted Alonso behind the safety car? No way! Ferrari had the best strategy possible for them as the tyres did stay alive (only just) till the end.

  3. Bradley Downton (@bradley13) said on 27th July 2014, 23:25

    I’d like to say:

    Thank you Marcus Ericsson.

    It’s never good when someone crashes – especially so heavily – and it was nice to see he was okay. But his accident and the subsequent safety car is what really made this race today!

  4. Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 27th July 2014, 23:39

    I realise saying this will bring the anti-Hamilton brigade out, but Hamilton has really “earned” another WDC in the first half of this season. Yes, there have been mistakes, but to have suffered one extra DNF and two massive qualifying problems that were totally out of his hands, and to have reasonably recovered when the mistakes have been his own, and yet STILL is only 11 points behind – phenomenal.

    He’s probably done more than any other driver to provide material for “the show” – not only has he made up 50 places in the last 4 races (as pointed out by Jennie Gow) but he’s provided half of the intriguing rivalry between him and Nico (and personally, the more interesting half).

    I hope he goes on to win this year, but if he doesn’t, at least he can honestly say he fought tooth and nail ever lap of the way.

    (Except Q3 at Silverstone, of course :P)

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 28th July 2014, 0:15

      Agreed @fluxsource! It looks like he is knuckling down now.. if reliability is even, I think Hamilton will be tough to beat now.. early season Hamilton is coming back…

    • Bookgrub said on 28th July 2014, 2:02

      The only person who ‘earns’ a WDC is the person with the most points at the end of the season.

      If the best driver on the track every single race just happens to be in a car that never gets into the points, they earn nothing but respect and maybe a seat upgrade. It’s only the points that count. If Hamilton reaches the end of the season with the most, then and only then will he have earned a WDC. The same is true of every single other driver out there.

      • Tom (@newdecade) said on 28th July 2014, 5:28

        Fortunately we all actually watch the races, and analyse what occurred and which drivers performed well, instead of just looking up the numbers at the end of each one and can understand what he means when he says “earned”.

        Personally I find the whole ‘only the guy with the most points has earned/deserved it’ argument to be intellectually lazy and dismisses the fact that these drivers are all humans, and we watch them because we want to see their fortunes rise and fall as they develop and change as sportsmen. If team bosses had the same attitude and said “It’s only the points that count”, Alonso would never have left Minardi and Schumi would never have been snapped up by Benetton.

      • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 28th July 2014, 9:01

        Bookgrub:

        The only person who ‘earns’ a WDC is the person with the most points at the end of the season.

        Yes thank you, I realise that. What I’m trying to say is that he has negated the argument that will inevitably come that the only reason he could win the WDC is because he has the fastest car. Which is why I put “earned” in quotes, so suggest that I don’t think he should get the trophy even if he doesn’t win the most number of points.

        I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear to you, I hope I’ve sufficiently explained it now.

    • GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 28th July 2014, 2:51

      @fluxsource, agree with you! i think he is an idiot and pretty much hate his personallity and tendency for conflict. but man, dies he drive!!!! i honestly must say the guy is on another league: rosberg looks really like a second rate driver in comparison!
      and i am saying this rooting for nico!

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 28th July 2014, 13:02

        I think the argument about having the fastest car always comes up but the fact is almost always the WDC needed the WCC car with which to win his WDC. Once they have that then it is up to the driver’s to not squander it.

        So I think the last thing NR looks like is a second rate driver. To me he is also a driver earning it, and is keeping LH honest. There wouldn’t be a show if NR was just another MW or FM. If/when NR has to start from the back I’m sure he too will also come up through the field. Yesterday he had some bad luck with the timing of the safety car coming out. And LH had some good luck. They still were neck and neck in the end in a bit of a lottery. Just because LH has had more of a challenge doesn’t mean NR has not been out there doing the job, nor that NR would not be capable of also being only 11 points back at this stage situations reversed.

        • Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource) said on 28th July 2014, 13:43

          @robbie

          Absolutely – I didn’t mean for any of my comments to infer I though Nico wasn’t doing a great job. But there have been more “wow” races from Hamilton.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 28th July 2014, 14:12

            @fluxsource No for sure you didn’t and you are right but then LH has been put in more adverse situations more often through no fault (well, a few times his fault) of his own. Just felt like defending NR from comments like NR is a second rate driver, which you didn’t make.

    • phildick (@phildick) said on 28th July 2014, 10:22

      I realise saying this will bring the anti-Hamilton brigade out, but Hamilton has really “earned” another WDC in the first half of this season.

      Let’s agree he’s “earned” only a half of WDC by now, @fluxsource ;)

    • steveng said on 29th July 2014, 5:53

      Hamilton is a lucky chappie with the Mercedes just like Rosberg, if the Merc wasn’t as dominant then they would both have abysmal records Rosberg more than Hamilton to their careers. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Hamilton is one of the greatest, far from it, that might be only to the British fans as the PETRONAS Mercs are clearly the dominant car in 2014 and any monkey and his banana could win on one. NR once again has shown what a prima donna he is, this is when you have a driver that is the teams national then you have problems like they are having at PETRONAS and on top of that LH is faster so thing are even worst when a team asks the faster driver to slow down (how ridiculous that is for a start) to let through the favourite driver, F1 in 2014 is going from the ridiculous to sublime and the Petro Mercs are getting to be laughable.

  5. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 28th July 2014, 0:38

    The bad thing about this race was that there’s a 3 week gap until Spa. Because ever since Monaco, this season has been shaping up to be the best I’ve ever seen. And it’s not something I expected to say during March when it was clear that one team had a 2 second advantage over the rest of the field.

    Even the races before Monaco provided excitement, but after the Monaco debacle, and the two Mercedes flying sparks between each other, and the unpredictable races we’ve had, it’s just an astonishing moment for the sport.

    If anything, F1 can show pride of the quality of its drivers: wheel-to-wheel racing since Silverstone has been supreme.

    I don’t know how many more times will F1 need to provide this epic racing for bosses, organizers and marketing gurus to realize that the only weak link here is them. Their decisions outside the track is pushing people away, not the on-track actions.

    I cannot help but think that given this circumstances, with the right people, F1 would be hailed as the Eighth Wonder of the World and promotion would not stop a single bit, ratings would rocket to the sky and more and more people would enjoy it.

    Because I wish others could enjoy it like me. F1 keeps seducing me, keeps me up and running, right on the edge of my seat, wishing for more, and being happy. What a glorious passion this is !

    • Michael Brown (@lite992) said on 28th July 2014, 2:01

      I can’t deny that this season is shaping up to be awesome in the second half, but I can’t be excited for F1 when I see what the FIA is doing to the sport.

      • Nick (@npf1) said on 28th July 2014, 2:55

        @lite992 I feel the same way, I love F1 when it’s on TV, but the moment I log on to F1 news sites, my optimism disappears.

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 28th July 2014, 6:55

        True. It s a good season which, however, will feel somehow ruined or sour at the Abu Dhabi finale.
        Because the.thrill is being provided by many drivers, and even if the guy who gets the wdc earns it without “help” of double points, other places in the final ranking will definitely get affected. And I wouldn’t like to see, for example, Massa with more points than Bottas or Hulk just for that race.

  6. bull mello (@bullmello) said on 28th July 2014, 1:10

    This race really had a nice mix of things to spice it up. Fascinating to watch teams and drivers trying to stay on top of changing conditions and situations while still racing as hard as they can. Especially nice to see some weather this year after being so dry last season.

    I’m so happy for Daniel Ricciardo. Sometimes nice guys do finish first. And quite well deserved too. Great racing by most of the top drivers and especially at the end. Not a typical Hungary Grand Prix procession at all.

  7. Irejag (@irejag) said on 28th July 2014, 2:14

    Let’s hope that Red Bull dominate the second half of the season so that we can see an exciting end to the season.

    • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 28th July 2014, 7:00

      @Irejag I hope so, but the guys who should play a miracle are the Renault Engine providers, cause no matter how hard RB work, they will fall horribly in Monza or Suzuka if the engine keeps delivering less than the Merc-powered cars.

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 28th July 2014, 7:02

        And Spa

        • Dan said on 28th July 2014, 16:13

          Put a Merc in Red Bull, i think Merc has edge still im sorry their downorce is stacked, look at Ham all over Vet yday after safety car. Ros was 10 secs up road, i know Vet stuck behind Bottas at starts but would a been huge gap i think, and wet negates engine if you have a better chassis. People can deny this fact all they want, Merc give Mclaren the same engine yet Merc’s downforce is the best. People try saynig that Merc keep best engine for themselves that is not allowed

  8. Mickrock (@mickrock) said on 28th July 2014, 3:41

    Stunning, stunning race. A thrill a minute.

    Now… at the end, if we didn’t have ‘double points’ and Hamilton keeps fighting like he has amid the turmoil and bad luck, pulls another come from behind (race and year) and wins that final race and the WC title, that would be a truly amazing season of racing.

    So lets have level playing field & get rid of the double points.

    If they keep the double points and he wins with that, I feel like it will be a hollow victory.

  9. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 28th July 2014, 4:31

    The front end on that Mercedes was incredible. I’ve never seen a car hug the inside of a corner quite like that before.

    • kpcart said on 28th July 2014, 5:04

      they put more downforce on for this race, they can do that with the power advantage they have and still be quick on straights. teams like redbull have to do the opposite to be competitive

      • Not entirely.

        Rosberg said himself they try and bolt on as much downforce as possible at anytime they can to try and recover the loss of downforce from last year.

  10. Bazza Spock (@bazza-spock) said on 28th July 2014, 6:51

    Brilliant race. You really couldn’t ask for more. Three teams – three engines and three tyre strategies for the finale.

  11. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 28th July 2014, 7:06

    I hope the wise minds of Bernie, Flavio, Charlie and whoever else with power to do it, realize just on time that getting rid of double points can really be more profitable for them… they just care about the money in the end.

  12. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 28th July 2014, 7:40

    It was great to see a proper fight for the lead over several laps. So often these days the strategists create a chase that runs out of laps at the end and leaves you feeling cheated (rather like Rosberg catching the leading trio).

    And Dan’s move on Hamilton was mega. Hung back a little at the usual spot out of the last corner, then threw the kitchen sink at him out of turn 1. Hopefully Lewis will think again before saying the old rubbish about it being impossible to overtake here, as he did after qualifying…

    Vergne looked right at home running at the front as well. The usual Toro Rosso result (9th) but another fine drive.

  13. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 28th July 2014, 8:25

    A few thoughts on yesterday’s race:

    I find it amazing that this year everything seems to go wrong for Vettel, in terms of reliability, strategies not quite working out, and even driver mistakes. Over the past couple of seasons, I would have named Alonso and Vettel as the two drivers to almost always get the maximum result out of a weekend. Now there is only Alonso.

    As happy as I am with Hamilton’s recovery drive yesterday, I am worried about his engine allocation. If I understand correctly, he has only one new power unit for the rest of the season, his fourth having done yesterday’s GP. I hope the rest of his season is not littered with grid penalties and blown engines. Of course, Hamilton is not the only driver who is in danger of needing a sixth power unit (from before the German GP: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2014/07/16/engine-penalties-shape-second-half-season/), so I wonder how much practice running we will see at the end of the season.

    • Keith Moors said on 28th July 2014, 8:55

      As far as I am aware Hamilton’s power systems were rebuilt from used parts so that he does not face any extra grid penalties later in the season.

  14. nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 28th July 2014, 9:40

    I never get tired with Ricciardo’s celebrations :D. He is the total opposite of Vettel’s in your face finger celebration. When Vettel (use to :)) celebrate it was like: here, I showed you that I can win! Jokes aside, I think that in the past 4 years Vettel was just defecting his driving style with that stick on asphalt Red Bull. Now he is basically like an elephant ruining on the ice. He needs to rediscover his driving style and show us again that he really knows to drive fast if he ever knew how to drive fast and I’m sure that he did. Was he capable of winning 4 straight WDC without that car? I know that without great car you don’t have chance to win but considering Alonso and Lewis and even Kimi’s last two seasons (not to mention his time in Ferrari and McLaren) a great driver can show his genius talent’s even with not so perfect car. And that separate a true champions from the circumstantial ones (I would put there Button as well).
    And as Alonso pointed last year:
    “He is 26 years old, so when he will have a car like the others, if he wins, he will have a great recognition and be one of the legends in F1. When one day he has a car like the others and he is fourth, fifth, seventh, these four titles will be bad news for him because people will take these four titles even in a worse manner than they are doing now.
    “So there are interesting times for Sebastian coming.”

    • Diego (@ironcito) said on 28th July 2014, 11:01

      He did manage to deliver a few good drives occasionally this year. This weekend he qualified second, his recovery drive in Spain was pretty impressive, and there were a couple more. But yeah, he’s been having bad reliability, bad luck, bad strategies, and most of the time he doesn’t quite seem to get the hang of the RB10. He can be excused for having an “off year” after four WDCs and the big changes introduced this season, but he needs to get his act together. We’ll see what happens over the rest of this year and in 2015.

  15. Alex W said on 28th July 2014, 10:55

    Lewis and Nico should both be stripped of their finishes after parts were added to both cars at the pitstops, under tech reg article 4,(weight), 4.5.

    I have not been able to see a replay of the race, but I am sure I saw Mercedes adding an item to the front brake ducts. Unless they unclipped the parts from somewhere else on the car, they must be stripped of their points/places.

    • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 28th July 2014, 11:17

      They took off some tape to open up the brake ducts again to compensate for the temperature going up.

    • bob said on 28th July 2014, 11:29

      Dude, relax.

      All they were doing was removing the tape from the ducts. Teams often tape up the brake ducts in colder conditions to help the brakes warm up.

    • Mark S said on 28th July 2014, 13:06

      This was covered in the Sky coverage – it actually looked like the crew were trying to remove tape covering the front brake ducts. They’d taped them up to artificially help the brakes get up to temp in the damp conditions. For both drivers during the race as it dried this then caused too much heat. Hence the attempts to remove.

    • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 28th July 2014, 13:37

      I think some brake duct blanking was removed. They just rip duct-tape strips off, which is allowed.

    • So, you say your not sure if you’ve seen something and that you havn’t even watched the replay to confirm, yet your adement both drivers should have their results revoked, i mean… seriously??

      What actually happend was the mechanics removed duct tape from the brake duct, which is put on there at the start of the race to reduce the amount of cool air going into the duct, once the car is running at full temps, they remove the tape to allow for more air to cool the brakes.

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