Start, Hungaroring, 2014

Hungarian Grand Prix gets its highest-ever rating

2014 Hungarian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Stefan Kelly

Start, Hungaroring, 2014The Hungarian Grand Prix has a reputation for sub-par races. But that was definitely not the case this year as F1 Fanatics hailed another thrilling grand prix.

This year’s race had a bit everything: skilful driving in slippery conditions in the opening stages, a couple of crashes and Safety Cars appearances to mix things up, a smattering of controversy, and different strategies producing a tense, three-way battle for the lead, the outcome of which was still in doubt with three laps to go.

With a little bit of luck and some great passing moves, Daniel Ricciardo secured his second career victory. Fernando Alonso couldn’t quite hold on for the win but second place well-deserved result in a Ferrari that’s rarely troubled the top three this year.

Underlining what a classic this race was the sole Mercedes on the podium belonged to Lewis Hamilton who produced a second great recovery drive in as many weekends having started from the pits.

The 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix was rated an impressive 9.1 by F1 Fanatics – the highest score it’s received since Rate the Race began six years ago. Some were even asking for the option to give it eleven out of ten…

Here’s what you had to say about the race.

Rising star Ricciardo

Following his second victory more praised was heaped on rising star Daniel Ricciardo:

Great race. Had a bit of everything including weather. Some great overtakes among the usual suspects again.

Great drives by many but I was again impressed by Ricciardo. He showed a lot of patience, maturity and timing. Yes, he got lucky, as did others with the timing of the Safety Car no doubt, but he took that advantage and never thought he wasn’t going to win. He drives respectfully yet doesn’t take any prisoners either. Reminds me of a young Lewis Hamilton actually. Also a good on-the-fly strategy by the team.

Great win by Ricciardo, he continues to show that racing wheel to wheel with world champions doesn’t faze him one little bit. He’ll fight as much as his car allows him to.

Alonso didn’t look all that happy. If his tyres weren’t beyond their life he might very well have won. As it was he was powerless to hold off the young Aussie.

Safety Car lottery

What little criticism there was of the race centred on how the Safety Car periods, particularly the first one, deprived the leaders of their advantage.

The two yellows and the rain just threw strategy up in the air. Vettel was lucky as was Hamilton with their mishaps.

Very unpredictable race with lots going on. Can see why people rate it high, but I’m just disappointed about the Safety Car lottery. Bottas could have landed his fourth straight podium here.

Entertaining but not memorable.

The first Safety Car was like the leaders were handed a random penalty for an offence they didn’t commit. They really need to look at the Safety Car regulations. The racing was top class but the result unfair.

Getting the balance right

While the sport continues to discuss ever more contentious ways of ‘improving the show’, including the standing restarts which have been added to the 2015 regulations, many feel they’ve got the balance right at the moment.

Trying to imagine this race with standing restarts I do not think it would have been as enjoyable, it sure would have been different!

There was everything – fast cars charging from the back and getting stuck mid-pack, a brilliant drive from Ricciardo, a deserving winner (maybe there was a bit of luck, but he made the most of it), a brilliant fight for the top positions at the end, a (partially) wet race, general unpredictability and excitement throughout… and most importantly, the DRS was just right – not to easy, but enough to create opportunities for overtaking.

Were they really racing in Hungary? Can’t have been. It was exciting, and I stayed awake watching it.
Maybe the best race they have held there since they joined the calendar.

My perspective is coloured by the fact that I was there, which is always more fun. But wow – best race I’ve been to (and I’m a Hulkenberg fan!).

Another race to remember

Not for the first time this year the feedback on the race was overwhelmingly positive, with many positive comments about the race and F1 in general. But are Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA paying attention?

It had drama, changing conditions, great overtakes, spectacular crashes and near-misses (without anyone getting hurt), a team orders controversy and an unexpected winner. The cars were clearly a handful in those conditions, and the variable grip and tail-happy nature of 2014′s F1 cars made it a real test for the drivers, and a great show for the fans.

That last few laps with Alonso, Hamilton and Ricciardo dicing line astern was epic – the cream rising to the top amidst the chaos. Three very different drivers, all fantastic talents. Three different cars, three different engines, three different strategies, all with a taste of the win and giving everything to achieve it. Then Rosberg chasing them down with some scorching laps and getting the door slammed in his face by his team-mate.

Completely absorbing from start to finish. For me, the best race of a year when there have been some great races.

For me that was I race to remember, great battles from start to the finish, it was probably the best race held in Hungary.

The last couple of races are outstanding, do you remember the start of the season and the discussions about engine noise?

For me this is Formula One, and this is the sport I’m watching every single race since 1998.

Previous rate the race results

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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei