Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hamilton Fends Off Lotus Challenge to Win Hungarian GP

Photo Credit: Pirelli Photo Service

The 11th win in the 2012 Formula 1 racing championship, the season has turned into a season where race victories have been unable to tell the whole story. With 7 drivers and 5 Formula 1 race teams representing the top of the race podium in the first 10 events, the secret to success has been the consistency of current series points leader Fernando Alonso in the 2012 Formula 1 tour. Race wins have become much more valuable as drivers seek the zero in on Alonso and his Ferrari in the overall points championship. Having reached the end of July, the Hungarian Grand Prix kicks off the second-half of the Formula 1 season with a tight, challenging race course.

Domination in qualifying compounded into a pole for Lewis Hamilton and the McLaren F1 team. The #4 McLaren-Mercedes of Hamilton would sail to the lead once the race at the Hungaroring would be sent underway. The Hungarian Grand Prix's first start was aborted when the Mercedes GP car of Michael Schumacher was out of position in his gird position. Schumacher was already dealing with elevating engine temperatures in his race car causing the German Formula 1 champion to switch off the Mercedes powerplant when the event's first start was cancelled. A bad day for Michael Schumacher turned worse after being required to start from the Hungaroring's pit lane and would be the first of two retirements from the grand prix. "This weekend is not one to remember, but then there are weekends like this which you can only accept. I am sure we will be looking much better in the next races to come." said Schumacher who has now failed to finish 6 races in the 2012 Formula 1 season.

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

With Lewis Hamilton leading the way around the 2.722-mile race course, the fight immediately behind the McLaren race car wasa fight amongst Renault-powered Lotus and the Red Bull Racing machine of Sebastian Vettel. Of the group, Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen stormed from 5th to second place in the event thanks in part to a pit road strategy. Lotus F1 cars utilized a two-stop pit strategy while the Red Bull Racing team pitted Vettel and teammate Mark Webber three times over the Hungarian Grand Prix's 69 laps. Though the plan vaulted Webber from an 11th place position to a point-paying spot, the three-stop tire strategy apparently played a part in the #1 Red Bull-Renault's backwards movement.

For what was a 69-lap grand prix at the Hungarian race track, Lewis Hamilton cruised to a second victory in the 2012 Formula 1 race season. After a season that started with 7 different drivers winning a grand prix race, Hamilton is now the 3rd competitor to score multiple races this year.

Within a second behind Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen put in an impressive show in his Lotus-Renault race car chasing the McLaren but came short of scoring a victory for the black and gold. The second place at the Hungaroring is the 5th podium finish for Raikkonen in 2012 after a long absence from Formula 1 competition. Lotus F1 Racing teammate Romain Grosjean started 2nd in the race and held on the final podium scoring position.

Photo Credit: Pirelli Photo Service

Sebastian Vettel finished 4th in a grand prix that did not go the way the reigning Formula 1 would probably wished. In 5th, Fernando Alonso (who entered the Hungarian Grand Prix as the points leader) in his Ferrari managed to pad his advantage on his title contenders in 2012. After the race, Alonso now his a 40-point advantage over Mark Webber. 

With the race in Hungary wrapping, the 2012 Formula 1 goes into a one-month hiatus from competition. While there will be no racing until the Belgium Grand Prix weekend from August 31th to September 2nd, behind the scenes development of Formula 1 packages is destined to have the race shops of major racing organizations running overtime trying to isolate the speed needed through the final stretch of the 2012 season. 

2012 Formula 1
Hungarian Grand Prix
Race Results

Pos # Car #/ Driver/ Car
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
2 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault
3 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault
4 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
6 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
7 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault
8 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
9 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
11 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes
12 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes
13 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault
14 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari
15 16 Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari
17 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault
18 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault
20 25 Charlie Pic Marussia-Cosworth
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth
22 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT F1
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT F1
24 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP

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