Kimi Raikkonen was icy calm as always. Sebastian Vettel was relegated to a lower step on the podium. Thank God! But Lewis Hamilton was the true star at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He ran a flawless race and his victory was a long time in coming. Nikki Grubb-Clarke squeals with happiness and rejoices!
You remember how after Quali I said that there are some tracks that I just don’t like? And that this was one of them? Yeah, scratch that. What a race!!
I sit here a very, very happy girlie! I know that usually you have to wait for the end of the report to find out who has won, but its no good, I can’t hold it in! Saturday afternoon, he was genuinely shocked to have secured pole. Saturday evening, he wasn’t expecting to win. And Sunday afternoon, he was absolutely resplendent, dominating the race from beginning to end, until finally. FINALLY, I get to write for the first time this season – HE DID IT!!! LEW-LEW WON!! WOOHOOOOO!!
A flawless start from Super Lew to secure the lead into the first corner, and behind him? Pure AWESOMENESS. Finger Boy bogged down at the start, and Smiley Giraffe tried awfully hard to take advantage, making great moves both attacking, and defending from a rampant Alonso putting a push in to gain an early advantage. With everyone getting through the first couple of corners, it was well-driven all round. But particularly pleased for Romain Grosjean, who showed he CAN drive assertively without being too aggressive, and can maturely place his car with elbows out in a way that doesn’t almost decapitate Ferrari drivers.
Lew-Lew was making the most of the clean air and trying to pull away, but Finger Boy was keeping him honest, consistently sitting just outside the 1-second DRS – the heat on track meaning his car was boiling itself, if he sat too close behind the Merc. Shame.
On lap 10, Lew-Lew pitted and rejoined the track behind Jenson Button, a potential disaster to his race if he didn’t clear him quickly! The straight-line speed of the Mercedes was no match for the McLaren though, and Lew-Lew made the move stick. You will hear some say that JB let him past, but no, no, no. Firstly, why on earth would JB just let him past? Secondly, you could see from the replay that it was DRS and pure straight-line speed that got Lew-Lew through. So there. Lew-Lew now freed up to push on and try and build an advantage.
Finger Boy followed Lew-Lew into the pits on lap 11 and I bet you can’t guess where he rejoined?? Yep – right behind JB. Unable to make the move on JB quickly, there he stayed. And stayed. And stayed. You have to say, Jenson drove wonderfully defensively, quite fairly given his different strategy, really helping Hamilton build a substantial lead over his Red Bull rival. And earning himself, free pints in any pub he goes to that has a Lew-Lew fan in it.
RoGro pitted on Lap 14 and rejoined behind Finger Boy. Just behind Finger Boy. The Button Train was rocking, and some amazing racing between the 3 ensued, both Vettel and Grosjean pushing with JB deploying go-go gadget wide car to stay ahead of the pair.
After an assertive mature first few corners from RoGro, I was DESPERATE to see a couple of great overtaking moves from him, and the signs were good as he pushed and forced Vettel to go defensive, But what was his obsession with the outsides? A couple of opportunities that you can’t help think he would have made stick had he slipped it up the inside rather than going the long way.
On lap 25, Finger Boy finally makes a decisive move and passed JB with the Smiley Girraffe fancying a bit of the action, trying to follow him through. There just wasn’t room, and his famous lack of spatial awareness kicked in. He clipped JB right on the nose, and had to take to the escape road where he held the position. Oh Romain!! After driving so beautifully at the start, you go and get yourself a post-race investigation for causing a collision!
So come lap 28, Lew-Lew was leading Finger Boy by 12.322 seconds. And the blood pressure of Lew-Lew Lovers began to rise. We’d been here before. Remember Silverstone? You daren’t even think it.
As if to redeem himself for his earlier numptiness, Smiley Girraffe made an AMAZING move on Felipe Massa into turn 4 on lap 30, going round the outside, the 2 squeezing each other and using every little bit of the track – a beautiful pass. Or so I thought! Because 7 laps later, Grosjean was given a drive-through for going outside track limits. At a time when he had no choice but to do so in order to avoid a collision and was already ahead of Massa. And that’s not to mention the times that numerous other drivers (*cough* VETTEL *cough*) did exactly the same. One day the FIA will learn the meaning of the word ‘consistency’.
And what of Kimi, I hear you ask? He was pretty much nowhere to be honest. A sleeping giant, happily seeing out his strategy, keeping it clean and on the grey stuff, and having completed 2 stops, with Finger Boy and Lew-Lew having done 3, finds himself 2nd. SECOND! From almost NOWHERE! A brilliantly sensible drive up to this point, but with a newer, booted Vettel right behind him. As we’d seen at the start, and again when Finger Boy was behind JB, in the heat, he was unable to stay right up behind Kimi, without doing his own car a right old oo nasty! After 12 laps of trying to get close enough to pass, Finger Boy made a lunge on lap 68 with Kimi driving a wonderful ‘straight down the middle’ defensive line to force The Finger out onto the marbles where he lost a good couple of seconds. Never one to be gracious in defeat, Finger Boy tells his team. ‘He didn’t give enough room!’ Shut up, Finger Boy, and do your job! Stop looking for excuses and trying to use your radio to whinge the FIA into submission! An odious habit that seems to be spreading throughout the pit lane! If someone defends and you don’t get passed, how about trying a bit harder next time around and focusing on that instead of focusing on gobbing off to Charlie and trying to get someone else in trouble? Just a thought!
The last 10 laps were the most tense laps I’ve watched all season. Lew-Lew had it in the bag – it was his to lose…but let’s face it, you could say the same of firstly the entire 2007 season, and with the temperatures as high as they were, and the sister car already blowing itself into next week, the reliability wasn’t assured either. With many edges of many seats well and truly occupied, it was with absolute DELIGHT that after 70 brilliant laps Lew-Lew rounded the last corner, and took the flag. WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN! And just to REALLY make me happy, Kimi Raikkonen held off the pesky Finger beautifully to take a wonderfully earned 2nd.
Oh what a glorious, glorious result! An absolutely AMAZING drive from Lew-Lew to get his maiden victory of 2013, but the best drive of the afternoon you would have to say came from the glorious Ice Man. He drove an absolute STUNNER to not only make the most from his strategy, but to keep that Lotus ahead of the RBR who, lets not forget, had substantially younger tyres, took top drawer driving.
…and yes, I know what happened with Williams. But I’m in denial. Now hush, I want to stay happy!
So it is we head off into the sunset of the Summer Holiday with Mercedes very definitely having the momentum, Finger Boy not liking it, the Ferrari Stallions pretty much refusing to leave the starting pen, and the McLarens seemingly putting more effort into Tooned than into improving the car. What will the second half of the season bring? Pass. Sorry, psychic I ain’t. But I intend to have a whole heap of good times finding out!
P.S. Speaking of penalties, Grosjean got himself a 20-second post-race time penalty. It didn’t really affect his final standings. Then, Ferrari got fined 15,000 euro after the stewards discovered that Fernando Alonso had misused DRS during the race. So there you have it.