Vettel wins Hungarian Grand Prix

Vettel wins Hungarian Grand Prix
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Published July 26th, 2015 - 16:40 GMT via

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(LtoR) Second placed Daniil Kvyat, winner Sebastian Vettel and third placed Daniel Ricciardo celebrate on the podium after the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix
(LtoR) Second placed Daniil Kvyat, winner Sebastian Vettel and third placed Daniel Ricciardo celebrate on the podium after the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix
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Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won the Hungarian Grand Prix Sunday after an error-strewn afternoon by Mercedes world champion Lewis Hamilton and a late puncture for Hamilton's team-mate Nico Rosberg.

An incident-packed race at the Hungaroring ended with Vettel taking the chequered flag more than 15 seconds ahead of Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat for his second win of the year after Malaysia and his maiden victory in Hungary.

The 41st win of his career puts Vettel level with Ayrton Senna on the all-time winners list.

Four-time world champion Vettel was one of the few drivers to stay out of trouble after leading from the front following a brilliant start from third on the grid.

An ecstatic Vettel thanked the team in Italian and dedicated the win to the late Jules Bianchi, saying "Thank you Jules. You will always be in our hearts. This win is for you."

On the podium, he said: "Well, an incredible day but this victory is for Jules. It has been an incredibly tough week for all of us.

"And for all the people at Ferrari, we know sooner or later he would have been part of our team."

Hamilton finished sixth, two places ahead of Rosberg, who was lying second with five laps to go when an overtaking manoeuvre by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo left him with a puncture.

It was the first time Mercedes have not been on the podium since Brazil 2013.

In the drivers' championship, Hamilton has 202 points, with Rosberg on 181 and Vettel on 160.

Kvyat was on the podium for the first time while Ricciardo finished third in Red Bull's first podium finishes of the season.

Max Verstappen in a Toro Rosso was fourth - his best finish in his debut season - while both Fernando Alonso in fifth and Jenson Button in ninth were both in the points for McLaren for the first time this season.

Romain Grosjean in a Lotus was seventh, while Sauber's Marcus Ericsson was 10th.

Vettel surged to the front from third place on the grid and kept the lead despite a safety car phase which heralded late drama on the 4.381-kilometre circuit.

Hamilton, who had dominated practice and qualifying, was sluggish getting away from pole and Vettel went past on the outside. Raikkonen got the better of Rosberg to go second and Hamilton dropped to fourth.

Hamilton was in further trouble on the first lap when he went into the gravel at Turn Six and dropped back to 10th. He complained over team radio: "Nico crossed over my line there - he pushed me wide," but he only had himself to blame.

Hamilton improved to fifth and after some delay got past Ricciardo on lap 29 to start closing on Rosberg.

But the drama intensified when Nico Huelkenberg in a Force India went off on lap 43 of the 69 laps after losing his front wing, crashing head-on into a tyre safety barrier. The German, who had been lying seventh, was unhurt in the crash.

Rosberg and Hamilton both pitted for new tyres with the virtual safety car signalled. Vettel and Raikkonen then also pitted before the safety car came out while debris from Huelkenberg's car was cleared.

Raikkonen had by then been losing power and Rosberg was told over team radio: "There is a chance we can win this." Hamilton was meanwhile also told by his engineer: "We are racing for the win, mate."

But on the restart while Rosberg eased past Raikkonen, Hamilton was overtaken by both Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas in a Williams.

Bottas immediately had to pit with a flat tyre after being touched by Verstappen, while Hamilton lost part of his wing in the duel with Ricciardo and had to come in again for a new nose. It got worse for Hamilton when he was slapped a drive-through penalty for the Ricciardo incident, emerging in 15th.

"I'm so sorry guys," Hamilton told the team over radio.

Raikkonen was in the pits for an attempted reset which failed to work and the Finn eventually retired.

In the battle for first place, Vettel could fend off Rosberg, while Ricciardo on lap 64 braked late trying to get past Rosberg who suffered a puncture when the two cars touched.

Ricciardo needed a change of wing but could still rescue third place, while Rosberg lost out in the championship battle with Hamilton by finishing two places behind the championship leader in eighth.

"I'll just keep going. It was close," Rosberg said. "We're at half-time (in the season). With little differences, I could have had the lead at half-time."

Hamilton told the BBC: "To come away from one of the worst performances I've put in in a long, long time... it shows we are human.

"The team worked incredibly hard but I'll come back stronger."

© 2015 dpa GmbH

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