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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hamilton wins Hungarian Grand Prix

Stewards suspend Renault for Valencia

Lewis Hamilton had been fast most of the weekend, and he delivered on Sunday, winning his and McLaren’s first race of the season in dominant fashion.

F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Race

Kimi Raikkonen put in an outstanding drive to deliver second for Ferrari, though the Finn is under investigation for a pair of incidents, and Mark Webber was third in the Red Bull.

Fernando Alonso took the lead from pole at the start with Webber in second, but Hamilton was able to use KERS to get by the Australian.

After the first round of stops Raikkonen got by Webber due to “confusion” in the Red Bull pit, but the Ferrari driver was never really able to close the gap to Hamilton.

Hamilton got the lead when Alonso lost his right front wheel following his pit stop and had to retire. It only gets worse for the Spaniard, as it emerged after the race Renault will be suspended from the European Grand Prix for the incident.

The stewards ruled the team knowingly released Alonso’s car with the wheel nuts unsecured and cited multiple breaches of the sporting regulations. The team may appeal the decision.

With a month off before Valencia, it’s good to know we’ll have something to keep us interested.

From there, Hamilton controlled the race.

It was another difficult weekend for Brawn, Jenson Button finishing seventh, but he and the team will value those two points as both championships tighten up. Button leads Webber 70-51.5, while Brawn’s edge on Red Bull is down to 15.5 (114-98.5).

The damage was limited somewhat by the retirement of Sebastian Vettel with a suspected engine problem, but after three races where Brawn was thoroughly outperformed by Red Bull, the team will be desperately looking for speed by Valencia.

Other points finishers on the day were Nico Rosberg (Williams), Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren), Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli (Toyota), finishing fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth, respectively.

Much-eyed rookie Jaime Alguersuari turned in a decent races, matching teammate Sebastian Buemi and finishing ahead of him after a couple of spins by the Swiss driver.

Now, F1 goes on vacation for two weeks, part of the cost cutting initiative, and it will be almost a month before they hit the streets of Valencia. in the meantime, we’ll have Renault’s likely appeal of its suspension and ongoing negotiations over the new Concorde Agreement to keep us busy.

It will give some time for Ferrari’s Felipe Massa to recover from his injuries following yesterday’s freakish accident. The Brazilian remains in stable condition following successful surgery at a Budapest hospital, but his conditions remain life threatening, according to the hospital’s medical director. What the lasting effects of the injury may be on Massa and his career are unknown.

Hungarian Grand Prix (70 laps)
  1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes
  2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
  3. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault
  4. Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota
  5. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes
  6. Timo Glock, Toyota
  7. Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes
  8. Jarno Trulli, Toyota
  9. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota
  10. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes
  11. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber
  12. Nelson Piquet, Renault
  13. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber
  14. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
  15. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
  16. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap
  • Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault, 29 laps
  • Fernando Alonso, Renault, 15 laps
  • Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes, 1 lap
  • Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Did not start


Championship leader Nico H├╝lkenberg made it three in a row with a win in the first race, Lucas di Grassi and Javier Villa rounded out the top three. In the second race of the weekend, Giedo van der Garde took his first win of the season, holding off di Grassi.


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