- Scuderia Ferrari Claim Another Double Podium Finish
- Sebastian Vettel Hangs On To Be The 2017 Hungarian GP
- Kimi Raikkonen Races To Record 8th Podium At The Hungarian GP
Scuderia Ferrari recorded its fourth win and the second one-two finish of the year, which are the team’s 228th and 83rd victory, respectively in the team’s history. This was Seb Vettel’s seventh win in red and the 46th of his career. For all those back in Maranello, this result was the crowning glory for the huge effort they have put in, which came at the end of a race that was anything but easy, even if both cars started from the front row.
Round 11 was ready to get underway, with the Formula 1 driver championship battle heating up as the teams head into the summer break. It’s a chance for the teams to press the reset button and analyse on the first half of the season, as well as prepare for the upcoming 10 races stretching throughout Asia and the America’s with the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Excited fans bellowed their support out across the Hungaroring as it was time for the engine screams at maximum revs before lights out. The two SF70H cars maintained those positions off the line, with Kimi tucked in behind Seb, while battles raged behind them and Ricciardo was already out following a collision. As Daniel was stuck on track, the Safety Car was called out for quite a while as oil had to be cleaned up off the tracks surface. The Ferraris made a good getaway after the race restarted and they were followed by Bottas, Verstappen, who would have to take a 10” penalty for hitting his team-mate, and then Hamilton. In this phase of the race, the Reds were the quickest cars on track, the only ones lapping under the 1’23”.
At one-third distance, nothing had changed, except that the two leading cars were backing off to spare their equipment. Then Seb reported steering issues, as the car was pulling to the left down the straight. Kimi closed in until the gap closed to just over a second. The number 5 Ferrari pitted at the end of lap 32, after his closest pursuers had already changed tyres. The Supersofts made way for the Softs. Next time round, Kimi came in and emerged back on track just behind his teammate. The lap times went up and down, partly because of the need to pass backmarkers. On lap 43, the Ferrari duo were back out in front, after a very late stop from Verstappen. Behind them the two Mercedes changed places without a fight. With 15 laps remaining, the top three cars were covered by just two seconds. Seb then pulled out a bit more on lap 58, his fastest of the race. Kimi did likewise to ensure Hamilton could not get into the DRS range.
The final laps were nerve wracking, as Seb could not take the lines he would have liked through the corners but he held firm, as did Kimi right behind him. What a great way to finish, delivering a wonderful reward to a team that knows that it can never give up.
We caught up with the team after the Hungarian GP with a delighted Maurizio Arrivabene, Scuderia Ferrari team principal: “A great race and a result obtained in far from easy circumstances. Once again it demonstrated the strength of character at Ferrari. Congratulations to the guys here and back in Maranello, working together in what is the mark of a great team. Seb drove a magnificent race, managing to keep the lead despite the problem with the steering wheel. He was helped by a great performance from Kimi who demonstrated, not only that he is a champion, but also that he is a true team-player. Next week, here in Hungary, prior to the FIA mandatory shutdown, we continue our development work, in preparation for the Grand Prix in Spa and Monza”.
Hungarian GP winner, Sebastian Vettel: “Everybody inside the team can be very happy and proud of what we have done today! Afterwards, I said to Kimi that I was sorry, because I was slow and struggling during the race. For Kimi it was not good to be there in the middle of a sandwich. It was a tough race that, in the end, kept a good shape. I developed a problem with the steering wheel and I don’t know why yet. We need to avoid it happening again of course, but during the race I didn’t have an option. It’s not like parking the car, check if everything’s all right and then fix the problem. It was quite annoying because it was a strange feeling. But then, at some point, I forgot about it and just tried to get used to it, which was tricky because it just kept changing and getting worse. However, in the end the pace was still there. More generally, I don’t like the short-term view that some people have, that after a good race everything is great and you are the hero, but after a bad race it is a disaster. It is not fair because people work hard spending a lot of time, working all together on the car. In my opinion, we have the best car and downforce, which hasn’t been the case for many years. In the end we can make a difference and we have done that so far. We have our testing days here next week and we have a lot of work to do. After that there will be the Belgian GP. Our car has been good there and I think we have some improvements, so it should be fine”.Kimi Raikkonen: “Today my car was amazing, the handling was perfect and I was always feeling comfortable; even following Seb from very close behind, the behaviour was fantastic. I had no worries that Mercedes could get me. I had a pretty good start and a good run in the first corner; then I took it quite easy. In places like this it’s tricky to try and overtake and I did not want to force things too much with my teammate. When you end up between two cars is not the easiest situation. When they called me for the pit stop I wanted to stay on track a bit longer because I felt I had the speed, but the team has the big picture and I trust them. I ended up following Seb through the whole race and I was never able to use my full speed. Today I knew I had all the tools to finish in a better position, but I should have done a better qualifying. I’m happy for the result that we achieved as a team and this is the main thing. I’m here to win races, but if you take the big picture it was a great weekend, we got the maximum out of it”.
Join us in at the end of August for the exciting Belgian GP and the kick-off to the second half of the season.