Daniel Ricciardo won the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, in one of the most thrilling races of the season—as BBC F1 revealed:
The Australian battled back from nowhere in the late stages of the race to pip Fernando Alonso to the title, but once again the Mercedes team will steal the headlines—with Lewis Hamilton producing a remarkable performance.
Here’s how they placed as the chequered flag came down in Mogyorod:
|Hungarian Grand Prix Standings|
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||4|
|2||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||5||+5.2 seconds|
|7||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||2||+40.7|
|9||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||8||+58.1|
Full race leaderboard available at SkySports.com.
When the 2014 Formula One season reaches its climax, we may well look back at the Hungarian Grand Prix as the defining moment of the campaign.
It’s been somewhat of a two-horse race between Nico Rosberg and Hamilton at the top of the F1 driver standings, and Sunday’s race appeared the perfect opportunity for the German to cement his dominance in a bid to become world champion.
Starting on pole with Hamilton coming from the pits after his car caught fire in qualifying, per BBC Sport, Rosberg would be forgiven for counting his chickens—but Hamilton was in no mood to give his Mercedes teammate an easy ride.
The 29-year-old came from the depths of nothingness in last place to mount a charge for the title, showing the world exactly why he’s one of the greatest racers to ever live.
As the laps ticked by, Hamilton looked more and more like becoming the champion, but finding a way past Ricciardo and Alonso proved a task too difficult.
He still exceeded his expectations, though, as before the race, the Englishman said to BBC Sport that starting 21st would seriously hinder his chances of getting into the top 10—how wrong he was:
"This is a track you can't really overtake on. I'll struggle to get into the top 10, or at least the top five."
He made Hungaroring appear an overtaking track, though, timing his attacks perfectly as he moved towards the front—summed up by his daring overtake of Jean-Eric Vergne.
The Frenchman had previously held up Rosberg for several laps, but Hamilton wasted no time in moving past the Toro Rosso man, going around the outside of him with perfection.
Naturally, such a sublime move won Hamilton several admirers, including BBC F1:
The overtake showed just how much the Englishman values victory, and he demonstrated that point once again when told by team Mercedes to let Rosberg pass.
Hamilton simply didn’t back down, refusing to slow for his German teammate, who was growing increasingly frustrated behind him.
Such a request from Mercedes seemed to show a lack of intelligence on their part according to BBC Sport’s Jake Humphrey, as Hamilton was just too fast for Rosberg:
By holding him off, Hamilton placed in third ahead of Rosberg, closing the gap in the driver standings to just 11 points, as we see below:
|2014 Formula One Driver Standings|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||131|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||88|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||69|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India||29|
|13||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||11|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||6|
However, the day belonged to Ricciardo, who claimed just the second grand prix title of his young career—as Red Bull Racing revealed:
The Aussie’s first career victory came at the Canadian Grand Prix earlier in the season, where once again a late charge saw him take the title.
Ricciardo crossed the line jubilantly at Hungaroring, screaming into his team radio after another thrilling drive.
It seems that Sunday’s win will be one of many for the 25-year-old, who has all the makings of a future world champion—something that F1 Paddock agrees with:
David Coulthard was also quick to sing the Australian’s praises, labelling him the “real deal” while commentating for BBC F1—per BBC Sport:
Ricciardo is the real deal. If we had any doubts before Canada it was put to bed then but that was just superb. It was great driving, strategy and performance from that man. He is going to be sharing the podium with two class world champions but he is a breath of fresh air.
Though this year’s world title will be beyond Ricciardo’s reach, the race for the crown is getting more exciting by the day between Rosberg and Hamilton.
Rosberg could have really put breathing space between himself and his Mercedes teammate, but it wasn’t to be.
Ricciardo will take the plaudits and enjoy the champagne in Hungary, but Hamilton was undoubtedly the day’s top performer—stunning work from the Englishman to blow the world championship battle wide open.