Ricciardo makes late charge to take Hungarian GP victory
Daniel Ricciardo has scored his second career victory after a thrilling Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, finishing ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.
Dark clouds swept over the circuit just under one hour before the start of the 70-lap race, with a brief but heavy rain shower saturating the track surface. Nico Rosberg was on pole position, with his team-mate Hamilton lining up behind Kevin Magnussen in the pit lane.
Sebastian Vettel completed the front row, with Valtteri Bottas, Ricciardo and Alonso next up. The whole field started the race on the intermediate Pirelli tyres. The revs rose, the lights went out and the Hungarian Grand Prix got under way.
Off the line, Rosberg had a good start and maintained the lead into the first corner. Bottas moved ahead of Vettel and Jenson Button advanced to fifth in the opening few corners. Magnussen and Hamilton joined the race from the pit lane but the yellow flags emerged at turn two after the latter spun.
The Brit managed to re-join but lost crucial time and lightly hit the barrier with his front-left. Rosberg quickly extended his lead in the opening laps, as the drivers battled to keep the cars on track in the slippery conditions.
The safety car was deployed on lap nine after a big crash for Marcus Ericsson at turn three. The majority of the field pitted immediately, with the majority emerging on the slick tyres.
The lead four took to the pit lane on the following lap and dropped into the midfield, with Ricciardo, Button – who was one of only two drivers to stick with intermediates – and Massa moving to the front. Romain Grosjean hit the wall at turn three while warming up his tyres and also exited the race.
Button immediately had the advantage on the intermediate Pirelli rubber and snatched the lead from Ricciardo at the exit of turn one. Magnussen also moved ahead of Rosberg and both McLaren drivers were told to push, as the expected rain failed to appear.
The current championship leader then dropped behind Jean-Eric Vergne and Alonso, as Hamilton moved up to ninth place. Button and Magnussen both pitted for dry tyres at the end of lap 15, while Nico Hulkenberg’s run of consecutive points finishes came to a disappointing end after he hit his team-mate Sergio Perez at the final corner.
The safety car was deployed once again on lap 23 after a heavy crash for Perez as he entered the pit straight. Ricciardo, Massa and Bottas all pitted for a fresh set of tyres, promoting Alonso to the race lead. The race resumed at the end of lap 26, with Alonso getting a good jump on the chasing Vergne and Rosberg.
Rosberg pitted at the end of lap 32 for a fresh set of tyres, just as Vettel spun at the final corner and lightly hit the inside wall. Alonso took to the pit lane several laps later, giving Hamilton the lead until the 2008 world champion stopped at the end of the 39th tour.
Ricciardo pitted from the lead at the end of lap 54, exiting on a new set of soft tyres in fourth place. Rosberg pitted a few laps later, emerging in seventh place on the option compound. He swiftly displaced Raikkonen, before moving ahead of Bottas when the Finn took to the pits and Massa a little later on.
At the front of the field, Alonso led from Hamilton and a rapidly closing Ricciardo in the closing stages. After several attempts, Ricciardo moved ahead of Hamilton with four laps remaining at turn three. The Aussie then moved into the lead after a spectacular dive up the inside of Alonso at turn one on lap 68.
Ricciardo pulled out a comfortable lead in the closing stages to take the second win of his F1 career and the 2014 season, after starting from fourth on the grid. It was a thrilling end to a spectacular race, with Alonso just holding on to second and Hamilton taking the chequered flag in third. Rosberg closed in on the battling former team-mates on fresher tyres but had to settle for fourth.
Massa came home in fifth place, with Raikkonen in sixth and top three starters Vettel and Bottas dropping to seventh and eighth. Vergne and Button completed the top 10 and the points finishers. Adrian Sutil, Magnussen, Pastor Maldonado, Kvyat, Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton completed the finishers.
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 70 2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 70 +5.2 secs
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 +5.8 secs
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 70 +6.3 secs
5 Felipe Massa Williams 70 +29.8 secs
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 70 +31.4 secs
7 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 70 +40.9 secs
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 70 +41.3 secs
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 70 +58.5 secs
10 Jenson Button McLaren 70 +67.2 secs
11 Adrian Sutil Sauber 70 +68.1 secs
12 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 70 +78.4 secs
13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 70 +84.0 secs
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 69 +1 lap
15 Jules Bianchi Marussia 69 +1 lap
16 Max Chilton Marussia 69 +1 lap
Ret Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 32 +38 laps
Ret Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 24 +46 laps
Ret Sergio Perez Force India 22 +48 laps
Ret Nico Hulkenberg Force India 14 +56 laps
Ret Romain Grosjean Lotus 10 +60 laps
Ret Marcus Ericsson Caterham 7 +63 laps
Images courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.