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Esteban Ocon won his first F1 race and his 2nd podium finish at the 2021 Hungarian F1 GP today. The Alpine driver started from P8 in a race with a huge turn 1 crash. It was also the first race win for the 'new' Alpine F1 team.
Fifteen minutes before the start of the race it had started to rain on the Hungaroring. Because of the rain race control decided to start the race on the intermediate rain tyres. Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes and Max Verstappen in the Red Bull who started from the race line P1 and P3 had a good start.
Valtteri Bottas who started on 'dirty side' of the track on P3 had a really bad start and was passed right away by Verstappen, Sergio Perez (Red Bull) and McLaren driver Lando Norris. Coming on to turn 1 Bottas was driving very close behind Norris and hit the brakes way to late. Bottas collided into the back of Norris, which caused Norris to collide into Verstappen's Red Bull. After Bottas had hit Norris, he also hit the Red Bull of Sergio Perez which was the end of both their race.
Lance Stroll also braked much to late with the Aston Martin in turn 1 and collided into the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, which also caused a lot of other small collisions and damage to other cars. In total 5 cars had to retire the race.
Because of the huge crash at turn 1 the race got red flagged to clean up the track and let the teams do some needed repairs on the damaged cars. Esteban Ocon who scored his first podium last year, started from P8 and came out turn 1 as second behind Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes who luckily escaped all mayhem.
The restart was a bizarre sight because Hamilton was the only one who didn't pit for slicks at end of the warm-up lap and started on his own. George Russell came out first out of the pits, but had passed a lot of cars 'illegally' in the pits and had to give back the 6 positions. The Mercedes team found out they had made a major error and pitted Hamilton one lap later which gave the lead to Ocon. The British driver lost 14 places and was dead last after his pitstop.
Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) was second and Nicholas Latifi (Williams) was even 3rd. During the 'restart' pit stops Kimi Raikkonen hit the Haas of Nikita Mazepin when he drove away and broke the right steering rod of the Haas and the Russian driver also had to retire.
Championship leader Max Verstappen was driving on P11 and was trying to pass the Haas of Mick Schumacher in a very damaged Red Bull. The Dutchman was very lucky to be able to continue after the severe hit by the McLaren of Norris in the first lap, but the right side of the Red Bull was completely damaged, which made it very difficult to attack for the Red Bull driver.
Sebastian Vettel pitted at the end of lap 36 to switch from medium to hard tyres to try and do an undercut pass on race leader Ocon. The Alpine team reacted right away and called in their driver to do his pitstop one lap later and kept the lead. Vettel did came very close to Ocon and was driving on his tail now. Because of Ocon's pitstop Fernando Alonso became the race leader. The Spanish driver did his pitstop in lap 40 and returned to the track as 5th.
With 25 laps to go Ocon was first, Vettel was second and Sainz was 3rd. Hamilton was chasing Sainz on P4 only 1.1s behind him. Alonso was on P5 and closing down the gap towards Hamilton. After his pitstop he was 7.3s behind and in lap 48 he had closed down the gap ot 4.3s. Hamilton at that moment made a second pitstop and got a used set of medium tyres and returned 5 sec. before Yuki Tsunoda in the AlphaTauri and 13.3s behind Alonso on P5.
Hamilton was driving lap times which were 3 to 4 sec. faster than the rest of the field who all were driving on the hard tyre and also drove the fastest lap of the race. In lap 55 Hamilton was all over the back of Alonso, but Hamilton could not make several overtaking manoeuvres stick.
It took Hamilton 10 laps to pass Alonso for P4. The Spanish driver was defending like only a champion can. It was an amazing spectacle to see the 2 drivers battle for position. Two laps later Hamilton also overtook Carlos Sainz for P3 to climb back on the podium.
Pierre Gasly pitted in lap 68 to steal away the extra point Hamilton got by driving the fastest lap of the race.
Unfortunately Sebastian Vettel got disqualified after the race because his car didn't have enough fuel left in the tank. Regulations say that each car has to have at least 1 litre of fuel left and Vettel's car only had 0.3 litre left in the tank.
Classification 2021 Hungarian GP
|1||31|| Esteban Ocon||Alpine||02:04:43.199||70||8||25|
|2||44|| Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+0 laps||70||1||18|
|3||55|| Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||+0 laps||70||15||15|
|4||14|| Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+0 laps||70||9||12|
|5||10|| Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+0 laps||70||5||11|
|6||22|| Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+0 laps||70||16||8|
|7||6|| Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+0 laps||70||18||6|
|8||63|| George Russell||Williams||+0 laps||70||17||4|
|9||33|| Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0 laps||70||3||2|
|10||7|| Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo||+1 lap||69||13||1|
|11||3|| Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+1 lap||69||11||0|
|12||47|| Mick Schumacher||Haas||+1 lap||69||20||0|
|13||99|| Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+1 lap||69||14||0|
|DNF||9|| Nikita Mazepin||Haas||Collision||3||19||0|
|DNF||4|| Lando Norris||McLaren||Collision||2||6||0|
|DNF||11|| Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||Collision||0||4||0|
|DNF||18|| Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||Collision||0||12||0|
|DNF||16|| Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||Collision||0||7||0|
|DNF||77|| Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||Collision||0||2||0|
|DSQ||5|| Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||Fuel||70||10||0|
Fastest lap: 1:18.394 min by Pierre Gasly with the AlphaTauri in lap 70
|2021 Hungarian F1 GP Results|
|FP1 2021 Hungarian F1 GP|
|FP2 2021 Hungarian F1 GP|
|FP3 2021 Hungarian F1 GP|
|Quali 2021 Hungarian F1 GP|
|Startgrid 2021 Hungarian F1 GP|
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