They call it Monaco without the barriers, that’s a bit unfair. Sure there’s no glitz and glamour and multitude of clichés, but the Hungarian GP has….well enough, and with a back catalogue of processions and less overtaking than a carousel, Monaco is hardly more exciting on the track.
Not a great deal in terms of full throttle action, and usually not much dry weather overtaking, but where do you get that these days. It has two things though that we can look forward to tonight/later today depending on your time zone.
Firstly, it appears that there is a few different teams capable of upsetting the apple cart. Red Bull have found a track where the Renault’s blushes can be hidden to a degree, and also providing some evidence into the who’s fault it is with the Austrian-French combo. Ferrari look strong again, with the usual story of 2015 – Vettel next best in qualifying to Mercs and Kimi slightly disappointing. His imminent replacement represents the other teams likely to cause trouble in Williams.
All of this is academic really as they are all just challenging as far as second, as Hamilton looks untouchable here, and with a top notch record here it looks a formality. A few things could have stopped him. Maldonaldo qualifying on front row to increase chances of first corner prang. No he’s 14th on the grid. Maybe a challenge from Rosberg? Nope, he looks like he’s resigned to 18 points at best. Mechanical Failure? Na, the Mercs look pretty bulletproof. Weather? No, The Ham proved in Britain that rain only extends the margin. Over confidence? About the only chance.
Talking of weather it is the only other hope for some action, there was a small threat of rain during qualifying, and with the reasonably warm temperatures set to continue, we can hope for a little mid race sprinkle of excitement.
This is a big race for another reason too, there is still a lot seats for next year to be decided, and with Kimi looking more likely to get the arse from Ferrari, replaced by Bottas according to the word on the streets. The domino effect goes from there with drivers fending each other off for descending quality of drives for 2016 with the spare Williams being pick of the litter at the moment.
Someone who would be looking at any other seat as an improvement at the moment is Fernando Alonso who provided the moment of the qualifying by trying to push his McLaren Honda from the second last corner to pit lane to try and get back into Q2 and make Q3 which looked a possibility given practice times. A shame he couldn’t get a chance at Q3. A cruel person could argue that Fernando Alonso pushing his car is a far more reliable power source than the current Honda. Honda will surely improve, but like with Brawn, will they be around to reap the rewards?
So, it’s obvious that Hamilton is the only real winner of the race (paying $1.25 currently), with straws to be clutched and street money thrown at any other driver (Vettel $19 and Ricciardo $34) for the win, it’s time to look a little further down the grid at other options.
Hamilton for Fastest Lap will get a handsome $1.91, and with him likely to be up front untouched it may be the only thing interesting him late in the race. Ho about some top 6 action for the Hulk ($6) or Max Verstappen ($5). This will rely on some trouble ahead, and Ricciardo channelling Mark Webber off the grid for a 4 place loss. 1st retirement is always a great market, and with the usual suspects in the best position for first lap drama – Lotus drivers Grosjean and Maldonaldo – one could choose Lotus as the first car for $5.20. Or pick one of the cars in between them – Sainz for $16.
It may be another Mercedes 1-2, but this is a track where we can dream for something different.
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m22.020s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 0.575s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.719s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 0.754s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1.000s
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1.202s
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1.312s
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1.517s
9 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1.659s
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 2.161s
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1.806s
12 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1.849s
13 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 2.441s
14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 2.589s
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda –
16 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 2.719s
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2.823s
18 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 2.977s
19 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 5.396s
20 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 5.929s
See, Hungary isn’t so boring, here’s a few of the good times from Budapest.
The below is watched with Mute. Unless you like Eurobeats.