Fernando Alonso became the eighth different Driver of the Weekend winner so far in 2017 after finishing sixth in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The McLaren driver produced one of the few passes of the race to get by Carlos Sainz Jnr and set the fastest lap on the penultimate tour. More than half of F1 Fanatic readers named him their top driver of the event.
Alonso joins Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Pascal Wehrlein, Carlos Sainz Jnr and Lance Stroll as the Driver of the Weekend winners from the first half of the season.
Fernando Alonso’s Hungarian Grand Prix weekend
On a track where power mattered less than sheer downforce, McLaren enjoyed one of their most competitive showings of the year so far. Having expected this would be a better track for the Honda-powered car, Alonso had taken an engine change penalty in the previous round at Silverstone to avoid taking one here.
That paid off as he qualified eighth on the grid, which became seventh after Nico Hulkenberg took a gearbox change penalty. Alonso outpaced team mate Stoffel Vandoorne by three-tenths of a second.
In a hectic start, Alonso lost out to Carlos Sainz Jnr. When the Safety Car came in Alonso judged the restart perfectly, lining the Toro Rosso up for a pass, but was edged wide at turn one.
Curiously, Alonso followed Sainz into the pits for their only stops, but was visibly quicker when they rejoined the track. He quickly put Sainz on the defensive at turn one, then got around the outside of the STR12 at the following corner.
The leaders were long gone by now. But with Sebastian Vettel struggling due to his damaged steering, Alonso was able to lap quicker than them on more than one occasion over the final laps, and set the quickest lap of all on the penultimate tour, something which surprised even the two-times world champion.
He finished where the car deserved, but he had to work for it (and actually made a pass on track!).
Alonso got fastest lap on tyres that were as old as everyone elses, and he’d overtaken Sainz with, in a McLaren Honda. Proving he’s still probably the best driver on the grid.
The track gave the chance to get a decent result in an under-powered car with a functional chassis and he delivered. Clean laps throughout the weekend, limited errors, one solid overtake and fastest lap on race day.
Hungarian Grand Prix winners and losers
Interestingly both Ferrari drivers picked up a substantial chunk of votes, but the one who started and finished ahead got slightly more:
Vettel got my vote by a hair’s breath from Alonso.
There was clear visual evidence about Vettel’s leftward skewed steering wheel and on a clockwise circuit he would have to compensate by oversteering on most turns. He would have to slow down at least a little more than planned to carry out the team’s ‘avoid the kerbs’ instruction under those circumstances. He managed it and so did a great job under difficult circumstances.
Alonso did great, but with so much at stake, Vettel shone with a couple of top qualifying laps, and nursed a car problem (that could easily cost him) the whole race to the win. Each race lap had to be top notch and it must have been nerve-wracking throughout.
And this weekend’s super-sub also earned recognition:
Voted for Di Resta, what he did this weekend was pretty impressive.
Fernando Alonso’s Driver of the Weekend wins from 2011 to date
- 2011 Turkish Grand Prix
- 2011 European Grand Prix
- 2011 British Grand Prix
- 2012 European Grand Prix
- 2012 German Grand Prix
- 2012 Indian Grand Prix
- 2013 Chinese Grand Prix
- 2013 Spanish Grand Prix
- 2013 Belgian Grand Prix
- 2014 Chinese Grand Prix
- 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix
- 2016 Belgian Grand Prix
- 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix
- 2016 United States Grand Prix
- 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix
Driver of the weekend: The Twitter verdict
Just watched #HungarianGP. Well, Kimi and Max, you disappointed me
— Julia Paradowska (@girlwholoveskol) July 30, 2017
So good to see Fernando Alonso getting in the points, and to get fastest lap with that engine is incredible. #HungarianGP
— Llwyd™ (@Llwyd11) July 30, 2017
Can we get T-shirts that say "Jolyon is slower than you"? Asking for a friend. #f1
— Dani_ (@DanielKelly84) July 30, 2017
— Charlie Gaze (@Charlie_Gaze) July 30, 2017
So annoying Alonso doesn't have a good car, every race he shows he's better than the car, waste of talent #HungarianGP
— Chunk_4 (@Chunk_25) July 30, 2017
— myth337 (@LeesMyth) July 30, 2017
Say what you like about @LewisHamilton, he is streets apart the best F1 driver.
— Paul Banura (@pbanura) July 30, 2017
Great to see @PaulDiResta back in F1, shame you had to stop early but great to see you back!
— Harley Le-Tekro (@Harley_FYH) July 30, 2017
Just caught up with race highlights. Love Ricardo's quote. Brilliant drive by both Ferrari drivers. Nice lead into the break #HungarianGP
— Swapnil Gugnani (@Sarcastic__kid) July 30, 2017
— Charlie Sampson (@charliejsampson) July 30, 2017
Since @alo_oficial started driving F1 I support him in every races. Today he finished 6th and Im really happy to see him driving good again.
— Uncle Drew (@andrewsoo97_) July 30, 2017
Are all F1 drivers stupid? Why do they all go for it at the start? Have they never heard of "to finish first, first you have to finish"
— Alastair Dawson (@tephi850) July 30, 2017
Max is just a freaking rookie … will never admit it .. #HungarianGP
— Sanchito Banerjee (@sportify89) July 30, 2017
— Jeff Pappone (@jpappone) July 30, 2017
— Emperor the 2nd! (@Emperorthe2nd) July 30, 2017
Great to see Paul di Resta back in F1 today.
— Philip McTeer (@philipmcteer) July 30, 2017
It's difficult to understand why #FernandoAlonso ends up in much slower cars. But it gives us the chance to see just how magical he is.
— F1 God Fan – Duncan (@F1_God_Fan) July 30, 2017
— Deda A.A (@Deda_Pistolero) July 30, 2017
Hope Kubica flies in this test and can replace Palmer from Spa, Palmer hopelessly out of depth in F1
— Chris Thompson (@F1CWT) July 30, 2017
— Vasim Khan (@iamvkhan12) July 30, 2017
— Vasim Khan (@iamvkhan12) July 30, 2017
JESUS. I think Max was at fault but 10 seconds?! That's a bit much. #HungarianGP
— MobiusReks (@MobiusReks) July 30, 2017
Al_oficialo So proud of you today (and always) what a racer you are, the king of F1.Enjoy your break, watch you again in a month!
— Madeleine (@englishlady14) July 30, 2017
— Jimi Välimaa (@ValimaaJimi) July 30, 2017
— Dave (@itsmedave) July 30, 2017
— Tony Jones (@apjone) July 30, 2017
— Chris Buckle (@MrChrisBuckle) July 30, 2017
— Kristen Crump (@KristenCrump) July 30, 2017
About time the FIA punish verstappen! Kid is a liability! #F1
— James Ward (@JimmyehW) July 30, 2017
— Kyle Milner (@kyletmilner) July 30, 2017
— The Pob (@Quemerford) July 30, 2017
— Dee (Daksha) #208 🏁 (@Nuttymedium) July 30, 2017
— Ian McGeoch (@eekie1979) July 30, 2017
The last-lap change of position between the Mercedes drivers was one of the big talking points after the race.
While a few felt Hamilton was merely doing what should be expected of him by letting Bottas past for third place, most praised him for his “sportsmanship” – even some who admitted to not liking him.
— Andy Edwards (@Andyezra) July 30, 2017
— @weybournepne (@weybournepne) July 30, 2017
Lewis Hamilton bottas True gentleman and the greatest F1 drive to ever exist. Phenomenal drive and a gesture of a true sportsman
— Stuart Ridgley (@StuartRidgley) July 30, 2017
— John Daramy (@Munku1) July 30, 2017
Verstappen really could have won that race today, Hamilton should have kept 3rd though but fair play for switching back #HungarianGP
— John (@J0hn0AFC) July 30, 2017
— Kathy Fairclough (@KathyFaircs) July 30, 2017
Lewis Hamilton was very sporting in giving up his place on the podium to Bottas. I doubt he would have done that for Nico Rosberg #F1
— Daniel Jenks (@DanielJenks89) July 30, 2017
— Matthew Carter (@ByMatthewCarter) July 30, 2017
How much more help does Vettel need to win the championship. Should've let Kimi race!#HungarianGP
— Simon (@SlimH) July 30, 2017
10 years ago Lewis Hamilton would have not given back 3rd place #HungarianGP
— TUFF (@novida) July 30, 2017
— Hidemi Woods (@88thplanet) July 30, 2017
It's all nice and friendly at Mercedes but unless they start favouring Hamilton soon Vettel is going to win the championship #F1
— Andrew Harker (@PapaHarker) July 30, 2017
God the amount of discussion. Imagine if Lewis hadn't let him past. Can't please everyone can you. #HungarianGP
— Jaimie McSorley (@Jaimiexxx) July 30, 2017
— Alfonso Cano B (@alfonsocanob) July 30, 2017
— Kaz Laljee (@mrkazlaljee) July 30, 2017
Wonderfully sporting move by HAM to let BOT through—won't look so good come November, though, should he lose WDC by 1 or 2 pts. #HungarianGP
— Matthew Walthert (@MatthewWalthert) July 30, 2017
— Laura♀ (@beatupcar) July 30, 2017
— Pat Quakernaat (@PatQ1969) July 30, 2017
Very noble decision by Hamilton to let Bottas through. But if Lewis loses the championship by 3 points, a lot of questions will be asked #F1
— Edward Connolly (@connollyedward) July 30, 2017
Nice touch that by Lewis. Must kill competitive types to drop points. The #F1 team rules are a bit odd though.
— Milly09 (@milly09) July 30, 2017
Not a great race, shame for Ricciardo but great result for the McLarens and great sportsmanship from Hamilton #HungarianGP
— Chunk_4 (@Chunk_25) July 30, 2017
— Jermain Julien (@JermainJulien) July 30, 2017
I still don't like Hamilton but fair play to him for sticking to his word and giving up the position to Bottas #HungarianGP
— Alex 🏎 (@Alex_BTCC) July 30, 2017
— K (@silverangel22) July 30, 2017
HAM, of all people, actually kept his promise and gave BOT the position back, yet PER couldn't do it with OCO. Like… Um… #F1
— B. Ale (@uncannyale) July 30, 2017
— roy simcock (@boggydweller) July 30, 2017
— Andy Pilliner (@Real_AndyP) July 30, 2017
Hats off to Lewis Hamilton, I really didn't think he's give that place back #HungarianGP
— Ben (@Grindle__) July 30, 2017
— Rachel Bridge (@rachelbbridge) July 30, 2017
Fair play, thats probably the most sporting thing I've ever seen Lewis do, I'm shocked #HungarianGP
— Kyle Scott (@KyleFF1) July 30, 2017
— Danny Stewart (@DannyPStewart) July 30, 2017
— Catherine K. (@Kate00019) July 30, 2017
— Max Phyo (@MaximusTheRuler) July 30, 2017
— stevean (@dino246gts) July 30, 2017
2017 Hungarian Grand Prix
- Vettel: No need for team orders at Ferrari yet
- 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix team radio transcript
- Alonso is eighth different Driver of the Weekend winner so far
- Dull Hungarian GP still gets better rating than last year
- Hamilton ‘paid it forward’ to his team mate but could Vettel do the same?