• Matthieu Piekarski

#19 Hungarian Grand Prix Review

“Merci Jules, cette victoire est pour toi” Vettel radio message straight after crossing the finish line of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Jules Bianchi would have had a huge smile today if he would have raced or even watched this Grand Prix. Each and every driver, provided us, fans, with another exceptionally brilliant Grand Prix! We couldn’t ask for any better, after the stunning British Grand Prix. Therefore, THANK YOU, you have not only made me but as well the millions of F1 Fans around the world very proud!

For the little anecdote, two hours after the GP, #Maldonado and #HungarianGP were still trending worldwide on Twitter. Maldonado brought back his old demons by totaling three penalties in one race (that must be a new record). Now has 6 points left out of 12 until he is banned for one race, bets are open whether that will be the case. There is even a website dedicated to him and his legendary ability to crash: http://hasmaldonadocrashedtoday.com/

Either way, the fact that the #HungarianGP was still trending two hours after the race goes to show how this race and season is showcasing Formula 1 at its best. As a fan, this makes me proud and I am going to sound greedy but I want to ask for more of it. Actually, Formula 1, please don’t go on a 4 weeks holiday, let’s have a race already next weekend. That’s how much F1 is so good at the moment.

Ferrari needed to prove something this weekend, I was already discussing it in my preview and they delivered! They were in total domination over Mercedes AMG, from the start until the chequered flag. Even though, I try to remain neutral (my Swissness comes out from time to time), I am normally a Mercedes AMG fan, but today I was glad that another team was beating Mercedes. We need competition in F1, after a while, Mercedes domination was becoming somewhat boring. I want to see Mercedes AMG win with a tough fight from the start until the last lap, using up all their energy to gain and retain the lead. It was nice the first year to see them dominate, but now I want to see them dominate while being challenged.

Nico could have won if in the last pit stop he would have put on the yellow softer tyres, that is undisputable. Unfortunately, there are two reasons to why he didn’t win. Firstly, he came in (due to the Safety Car) one lap too early to fully utilize the yellow tyres, but he still could have made it last for the last 20 laps of the race, but didn’t take the risk. 2) in these situations Nico is more focused on what and where Lewis Hamilton is, rather than focusing on the bigger picture, which is winning no matter what and that is in my view something he has to work on, the radio messages proved that.

The real question that not only I ask myself but as well I am sure you are asking is why didn’t Nico respond to the gap the Ferrari’s were creating in the first 20 laps? Lewis Hamilton was flying to regain position until the very last lap. Either way, the big loser of the GP in my mind is Nico Rosberg at the end of the day. He had the opportunity to close the gap and go on holidays potentially leading the championship, but he hasn’t managed to grab these rare opportunities.

For me the big winner, apart from Vettel, is Hamilton. Despite in the post-race interviews claiming that this was one of his worst performance of the year, he still managed to extend his lead over Rosberg to 21 points. But once again, the second half of the season will not be an easy straight win for Mercedes. They desperately need to improve their starts and find a way to make the car fast in dirty air, as the two seem to be the main weakness of the car.

McLaren, what a great day it was. Out of the chaos they emerged to gain valuable points. Reliability seems to be improving one race at a time, the performance will come in Belgium, but at the end of the day it made me smile to see Alonso and Button names in the top 10. I guess the golden Johnnie Walker shoes brought them a bit of luck!

Force India and Williams had a catastrophic weekend. Williams it was expected as their car is not suited for this type of circuit, so we will make an exception but they have two months to prepare for Singapore, which is another similar characteristic circuit. Especially, as their battle with Ferrari and now Red Bull will intensify in the Constructor Championship.

A small paddock story on Williams and more specifically on Bottas, I am more doubtful after this weekend that he will join Ferrari. Listening to people within the paddock, made me realize that I doubt Ferrari will pay 17 million euros to secure a driver when they potentially could get him for free next year. Same goes for Daniel Ricciardo. Therefore, that leaves Ferrari with two options: 1) Keep Kimi or 2) Sign Hulkenberg (free and salary is inferior to Kimi).

Coming to Force India, that must have been one of their most costly weekend of all time. Friday, Perez impressive accident due to the rear suspension collapsing under heavy vibrations from the kerbs resulted in his car cartwheeling. In a 24 hour time period, Force India sent the damaged suspension back to Silverstone (their HQ) and sent a new designed and reinforced suspension for both Nico Hulkenberg and Perez car’s. Then Nico Hulkenberg crashed in the race due to his front wing collapsing under the wind pressure. So in the end both Force India’s car needed to be totally repaired throughout the weekend. Its unfortunate as they showed good pace.

Overall, the team that impressed me the most was Ferrari, end of the story and I am sure this is unanimous throughout the F1 community.

Overall, I give the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix a grade: 10 out of 10. For me it deserves the full marks, we had everything we could have hoped for, it captivated us and most importantly gave us a big smile. After the Grand Prix, whichever your allegiancec in Formula 1 is to, the real winner was Jules Bianchi. That is the true strenght of Formula 1, in difficult and tragic times the F1 community has this gift to unite and show their respect.

If you have not watched the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix, then watch it. It is a thriller from the formation lap until the last lap. In all honesty, I watched the GP three times in 48hours over three different channels. Everyone including myself, all agree this has been the best GP of the season so far, with Silverstone in second place. These last two GP couldn’t come at a better time, with F1 being attacked from everywhere by the media. Now we all feel like everything is going sunshine and rainbows in F1 (from a fan perspective) but I doubt Sauber or Lotus see it from this point of view.

Unfortunately, now we all head for a 4 week’s holiday. But the next one is worth the wait, as its another classic and a track adored by a number of drivers. It is also the longest track of the year and all we can hope for is that the Belgian GP will be as good or better as the two previous GP.

Enjoy your holidays and thank you for your ever growing support. Take care!

PS: A YouTbe F1 colleague (Harrison101) just created an amazing tribute to Jules Bianchi, combining an initiative to raise awareness for the Henry Surtees Foundation. The concept is simple, upload a Hot Lap as Jules Bianchi using any F1 videogame, upload it to YouTube and Harrison101 will donate 25p per video uploaded. For more information and details click this link!

Don’t forget to follow me on my Twitter: @m_piekarski

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