Tough recovery runs for Hamilton and Raikkonen

2014 Hungarian Grand Prix pre-race analysis

Lewis Hamilton can at least console himself that his predicament is a familiar one.

For the second weekend running he has a starting position in the twenties while championship leading team mate Nico Rosberg is at the head of the field.

But this setback is likely to have more serious consequences at the Hungaroring than the Hockenheimring, simply because overtaking opportunities are fewer and farther between at this track.

The start

Hamilton’s chance to gain places at the start are likely to be further compromised if, as seems likely, he ends up starting the race from the pit lane.

And when he does get stuck into the midfield he will quickly find himself up another top driver who is ‘out of position’ – Kimi Raikkonen, who starts a disappointing 17th after a tactical error by Ferrari in qualifying.

Meanwhile Rosberg should enjoy an untroubled run to turn one, enjoying the advantage of starting from the cleaner side of the grid. Arguably he should be more concerned about the fast-starting Valtteri Bottas who lines up directly behind him in third than Sebastian Vettel’s second-placed Red Bull alongside him on the front row.

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Strategy

Hamilton’s best hope is that the rain makes a return – something which is not out of the question. Further storms at the track remains a possibility, though as in Germany two weeks ago the precise time they may strike will make all the difference.

Assuming a dry race, the poor performance of the medium compound tyre relative to the soft will force runners to avoid it as far as they can. In Hamilton’s case, ditching it as early as possible will leave him in the best possible position to benefit from a Safety Car deployment.

However if the race were then to be run in wet conditions he would have used the slower tyre unnecessarily. From where he is starting, however, some degree of gambling is going to be necessary.

Though it would be a surprise to see the Red Bulls able to challenge Rosberg over a stint, they are looking strong as expected this weekend and both must fancy their chances of seeing off Hamilton for podium finishes. However the continually impressive Valtteri Bottas also looks like being in the mix, defying expectations that Williams would find the Hungaroring a challenging venue for their car.

Qualifying times in full

Driver Car Q1 Q2 (vs Q1) Q3 (vs Q2)
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’25.227 1’23.310 (-1.917) 1’22.715 (-0.595)
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’25.662 1’23.606 (-2.056) 1’23.201 (-0.405)
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1’25.690 1’23.776 (-1.914) 1’23.354 (-0.422)
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1’25.495 1’23.676 (-1.819) 1’23.391 (-0.285)
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’26.087 1’24.249 (-1.838) 1’23.909 (-0.340)
6 Felipe Massa Williams 1’26.592 1’24.030 (-2.562) 1’24.223 (+0.193)
7 Jenson Button McLaren 1’26.612 1’24.502 (-2.110) 1’24.294 (-0.208)
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1’24.941 1’24.637 (-0.304) 1’24.720 (+0.083)
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1’26.149 1’24.647 (-1.502) 1’24.775 (+0.128)
10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1’26.578 1’24.585 (-1.993)
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1’25.361 1’24.706 (-0.655)
12 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1’26.027 1’25.136 (-0.891)
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1’25.910 1’25.211 (-0.699)
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1’25.709 1’25.260 (-0.449)
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1’26.136 1’25.337 (-0.799)
16 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1’26.728 1’27.419 (+0.691)
17 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’26.792
18 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1’27.139
19 Max Chilton Marussia 1’27.819
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1’28.643
21 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 22 Pastor Maldonado Lotus

Sector times

Driver Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3
Nico Rosberg 29.197 (1) 30.036 (1) 23.482 (1)
Sebastian Vettel 29.367 (3) 30.109 (2) 23.681 (3)
Valtteri Bottas 29.277 (2) 30.484 (4) 23.570 (2)
Daniel Ricciardo 29.402 (5) 30.225 (3) 23.706 (4)
Fernando Alonso 29.467 (6) 30.579 (6) 23.747 (5)
Felipe Massa 29.398 (4) 30.710 (8) 23.902 (8)
Jenson Button 29.688 (10) 30.695 (7) 23.819 (6)
Jean-Eric Vergne 29.738 (12) 30.551 (5) 24.007 (9)
Nico Hulkenberg 29.547 (9) 30.869 (10) 24.016 (10)
Kevin Magnussen 29.475 (7) 31.087 (12) 23.870 (7)
Daniil Kvyat 29.531 (8) 30.767 (9) 24.105 (12)
Adrian Sutil 29.705 (11) 31.210 (14) 24.073 (11)
Sergio Perez 29.764 (13) 31.196 (13) 24.251 (14)
Esteban Gutierrez 29.848 (14) 31.240 (15) 24.126 (13)
Romain Grosjean 30.102 (16) 30.932 (11) 24.284 (15)
Jules Bianchi 30.346 (18) 31.656 (16) 24.591 (17)
Kimi Raikkonen 30.327 (17) 31.749 (17) 24.477 (16)
Kamui Kobayashi 30.429 (19) 32.016 (19) 24.687 (18)
Max Chilton 30.617 (20) 31.944 (18) 24.874 (19)
Marcus Ericsson 30.816 (21) 32.484 (20) 25.185 (20)

Speed trap

Pos Driver Car Engine Speed (kph/mph) Gap
1 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 315.8 (196.2)
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams Mercedes 314.8 (195.6) -1.0
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 311.6 (193.6) -4.2
4 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 308.2 (191.5) -7.6
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 308.2 (191.5) -7.6
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 307.9 (191.3) -7.9
7 Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes 306.9 (190.7) -8.9
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Renault 306.7 (190.6) -9.1
9 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Renault 306.3 (190.3) -9.5
10 Adrian Sutil Sauber Ferrari 305.6 (189.9) -10.2
11 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 305.6 (189.9) -10.2
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Renault 305.6 (189.9) -10.2
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 305.2 (189.6) -10.6
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari 304.8 (189.4) -11.0
15 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 304.8 (189.4) -11.0
16 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 304.6 (189.3) -11.2
17 Marcus Ericsson Caterham Renault 302.6 (188.0) -13.2
18 Jules Bianchi Marussia Ferrari 302.6 (188.0) -13.2
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham Renault 302.4 (187.9) -13.4
20 Max Chilton Marussia Ferrari 300.9 (187.0) -14.9
21 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Ferrari 299.5 (186.1) -16.3

Over to you

Is Rosberg on course for another win – and where will Hamilton finish after his latest setback?

Share your views on the Hungarian Grand Prix in the comments.

2014 Hungarian Grand Prix

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34 comments on Tough recovery runs for Hamilton and Raikkonen

  1. utsav (@utsav911) said on 27th July 2014, 1:23

    I believe and hope that Sebastian will make it this time.
    And praying to God to turn things in favor of Lewis.

  2. activewings (@activewings) said on 27th July 2014, 1:37

    Magnussen too, isn’t he starting from pit lane?

  3. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 27th July 2014, 1:41

    Who starts ahead, Maldonado or Hamilton? Neither completed a lap in Q1.

  4. schooner (@schooner) said on 27th July 2014, 2:25

    I suppose that rain could help Hamilton’s race tomorrow, but not if it’s wet from the start. From the rear of the grid, that wouldn’t do him any good at all. A mid race shower though, along with a well timed pit stop or two, might see him make his way up to the pointy end. Lewis definitely has his work cut out for him, and if he manages a podium this time, it will have been an epic drive.

  5. If it rains anything could happen. IIRC Button won at this track from 14th on the grid in 2004 with the help of rain, and he didn’t have a car like the W05.

    It could be a lot worse for Hamilton – he could have caught fire in the race itself rather than in qualifying. Then he’d definitely get zero points.

  6. Breno (@austus) said on 27th July 2014, 2:46

    So Alonso will probably make it 11-0 on Raikkonen? Not even Massa was that bad, was he? I can see Massa and Alonso pushing each other at the start, hopefully Massa has left the Maldonado card home this time.

    • Jim said on 27th July 2014, 15:52

      Well, should be 9-2 at least. Monaco and Spain Kimi should have finished ahead. What you don’t understand is Ferrari are giving every privilege and effort to Alonso. Strategy both in qualifying (when do the lap, whether to do another run etc…, kimi gets sent out in the middle of q3 to do his lap, everyone else the last few minutes) and race (who gets to pit first even if behind kimi), upgrades, direction of car handling. Alonso never has problems with his car as well, so clearly mechanics are making sure his car is bullet proof while putting half effort in kimi’s (germany, Kimi had problems 2 out of 3 FP sessions).

      Kimis races have been ruined a few times by having to stack behind Alonso in a safety car as well. Also, maybe you’re forgetting the time ferrari turned up the ERS on alonsos car to get more power and kimis was left at default, so much so the FIA made them turn it down. So clearly alonso is getting quite the advantages.

  7. evans said on 27th July 2014, 5:54

    With a car that’s half a second faster than the fastest redbull I expect HAM to be second by half distance at the latest.

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 27th July 2014, 9:57

      I don’t, not at this track. It’s far harder to overtake here than at Hockenheim, and he only managed third (even starting on the grid in 16th and not the pit lane).

      • UnitedKingdomRacing (@unitedkingdomracing) said on 27th July 2014, 10:30

        He actually started 20th in Hockenheim. Therefore in both occasions one car behind him. The only difference is that he cant make any places at the start this time.

        • D (@f190) said on 27th July 2014, 10:38

          There’s the Mclaren In .front of him as well. Meaning getting past even the slowest cars will be very tricky. He will be dead last and some 5 seconds off the back of the pack at the start. The track is extremely hard to overtake on. He’s in for a long afternoon. Getting p5 will be a great result.

      • Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair) said on 27th July 2014, 10:34

        Didn’t Hamilton start in 20th at Hockenheim?

  8. Hamilton should do alright. He just needs to engage that afterburner they were testing in qualy 1.

  9. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 27th July 2014, 8:19

    I expect a similair race as last week. A huge battle between the two Redbulls, the two Williams and Alonso. While all that is going on, Hamilton will probably recover to P5, but i can’t really see how he would get a podium finish. With the safety car and weather as joker cards, we could be in for another great race.

  10. Oli (@dh1996) said on 27th July 2014, 9:33

    I am continuing on predicting that the next two races won’t be won by one the Mercedes works drivers. Was actually expecting Ricciardo to win today and Bottas in Spa but will change that to Bottas for both races. Hungary has a thing for first-time-winners and Bottas is very hungry. He might possibly pull a Damon and win his first 3 races in a row.

  11. Mike Dee (@mike-dee) said on 27th July 2014, 10:09

    Vettel very slow again in the speed trap. I guess he is planning to use his old strategy of running in clean air and having superior lap time. Except it will bee for second place now and not first.

    • Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 27th July 2014, 11:27

      They always go for this strategy, but in my opinion it’s a bit risky. He will probably be stuck behind someone. Either Bottas (I think that it’s almost certain that Bottas will overtake Vettel at the start) or just someone who is running a different strategy.

  12. Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 27th July 2014, 10:26

    At least HAM has the car to make a great recovery, but for RAI this will be another forgetable and w/o points race. I don’t think even a SC period could help him much if it doesn’t occur right after his tyres change. Not to mention that he’ll lose a place to HAM for sure. Yeah, mostly it looks like a bad race for RAI.

  13. Tricky (@tricky) said on 27th July 2014, 10:33

    I am more worried about the amount of rebuild Hamilton will have done, and he will have no time to shake it down or re-set up the car. He must be “beyond” praying for rain as the pit lane start would allow him to go for a wet set up. But Rosberg’s comments that they are always at max downforce this year was interesting in that respect, so maybe there is much more to add?

  14. LH44 said on 27th July 2014, 10:39

    I think Hamilton should start with the mediums then after lap 1 change to the soft so he can have clean air in front of him and finally jump the others when they are heading to the pits.

  15. Sohaib Ahmad (@sohebbasharat) said on 27th July 2014, 11:09

    My God, look at the Merc’s insane advantage! That the second and third qualifiers are wary of the last starting mercedes! Its funny..
    Why do the mercs qualify even? They can claim their usual places from almost anywhere… 😀

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