Hungarian Grand Prix

Hungarian Grand Prix Wrap


The Hungarian Grand Prix was thrills, spills and one very angry Daniel Ricciardo

DANIEL Ricciardo had a win and two third places in the last three Hungarian Grand Prix – but a potential fourth tip to the podium came unstuck in Sunday’s race, no thanks to teammate Max Verstappen.

The young Dutch driver appeared to deliberately crash into Ricciardo’s Red Bull Renault when the Australian passed him on the outside the turn 2.

The collision punctured the left rear tyre of Ricciardo’s car, which went into a spectacular spin, stopping broadside to the circuit, and was lucky not to be ‘T-boned’ by any of the 15 cars behind.

Verstappen incurred a 10-second penalty, which cost him a likely podium place, but the incident cast doubt about future ‘mateship’ between Red Bull’s top drivers.

The race was a Ferrari triumph, leading from start to finish.

Vettel won, courtesy of team orders, from a clearly faster Kimi Raikkonen, who took the Driver of the Day award, with Valtteri Bottas third for Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton sportingly let Bottas through on the last lap and a hard-charging Verstappen was fifth.

“I had a good run out of turn 1, but I don’t think he (Verstappen) likes when a teammate gets in front,” an angry Ricciardo said.

“It was amateur to say the least.

Hungarian Grand Prix

Turn 2 and it’s Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari leading Sebastien Vettel with Valtteri Bottas third in the Mercedes and the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo (left) and Max Verstappen next. A split second later Verstappen went wide to eliminate Ricciardo’s overtaking move.

“There was no room to pass.  Valtteri [Bottas] was in front and I was on the outside so there was no room.

“I don’t think it was because he was trying too hard. There isn’t an excuse for it.”

In a rare burst of profanity he described Verstappen as a ‘“f***ing sore loser.”

However, the Red Bulls weren’t the only ones to clash: the Force Indias of teammates Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez also kissed wheels, the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso’s McLaren Honda had a violent bump and Kevin Magnussen got a penalty for forcing Nico Hulkenberg off the circuit when the Renault driver tried to overtake his Haas.

Romain Grosjean had to pit his Haas with a deflating tyre, but the pit crew cross-threaded the replacement wheel and the luckless Frenchman ended up parking the car off-circuit.

Behind fifth-placed Verstappen came Fernando Alonso in the McLaren Honda – and surprisingly set the fastest lap of the race.

Next was Sainz (Toro Rosso), the Force India duo of Perez and Ocon with the young Belgian find, Stoffel van Doorne, taking 10th  and the final point, in the other McLaren Honda.

An apologetic Verstappen later described his collision with Ricciardo as unavoidable.

“It is never my intention to hit anyone, but especially not your team-mate, and especially with the relationship I have with Daniel, it’s always really good and we can always have a laugh.

“This is not nice and I apologise to Daniel for that and also to the team because we could have scored some good points here.”

“ I’ll speak with Daniel in private and we’ll sort it out.”

Team principal Christian Horner said the incident was frustrating in that it eradicated one car and cost Verstappen a penalty.

“It was clear we had a very competitive race car and gave nothing away to our competitors.

“It was pleasing to see Max put his hand up and immediately apologise to Daniel and to the team and we all move on from that.”

The teams retire for the European summer break and the next Grand Prix is in Belgium, four weeks hence.

Pics: Getty Images

Bill Buys fell in love with cars at age 8, when he saw one of his relatives racing in a Bugatti in South Africa. He has driven, raced and/or rallied just about every vehicle from Autobianchi to Zundapp since he was first published in the UK’s Motor Sport magazine, in 1956. He is now probably Australia’s oldest (or, if you prefer, most experienced) motoring writer.