2009 Hungarian GP: Reality Check

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2009 Hungarian GP: Reality Check
(Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

This has been an absolute roller-coaster of a weekend at the Hungaroring. Without further ado, recapping the high and low points over the past few days in Budapest:

  • New boy on track. Plus 1. Almost inconceivable that Toro Rosso will hire someone not named Sebastian as a driver. Looking from the practice sessions, Jaime is doing pretty decent despite his lack of experience.
  • Sutil crashing into the tyre wall in P3. Minus 2. Urgh, I bet his mechanics did not appreciate having to rush re-building his car in time for qualifying.
  • Both BMWs out in Q1. Minus 2. Oh dear.
  • Barichello out in Q2. Minus 2. Then we hear him complain about something breaking off from the back of the car.
  • Massa crashes in Q2. N/A. At first I thought he just went off track again. Then you see the tyre marks. Then you see Massa not getting out of the car. Uh oh.
  • The eerie similarity between Massa's and Surtee's accidents. Minus 100. I'm not quite sure how this can be avoided to be honest. There's always the risk with open cockpits.
  • Massive failure of live timing at the last second of Q3. Minus 10. Like, did someone accidently tripped over the power cord or something?
  • Alonso on pole! Plus 1. Then as suspected he is super light on fuel. Minus 1.
  • The McLarens are back. Plus 2. I'm impressed. We had a glimpse of this at Germany, both cars in Q3 again confirms it.
  • Button qualifies in P8. Minus 1. Right.
  • Cockpit camera from Massa's car. Plus 1. Not saying I enjoyed it, but seeing the suspension spring from Barichello's car bouncing merrily along before hitting Massa and the subsequent heavy shunt into the tyre walls, well it was almost surreal.
  • The three KERS cars shooting to the front when the red lights go off. Plus 2. Yeah... this never gets old. Great starts by Lewis and Kimi.
  • Championship leaders Button and Vettel dropping back at the start. Minus 1. Well ok, they were on the dirty side of the track.
  • Alonso's front right wheel flies off. Minus 5. In the light of the recent accidents, lucky this didn't end up in another driver's face.
  • Kimi squeezes past Mark Webber during their first pit-stops. Plus 2. Alright!
  • Vettel retires. Minus 2. Apparently there was damage from contact with Kimi at the start. Stewards still investigating.
  • Flavio Briatore leaves the track mid-race. Minus 1. Oh-kay... Guess that's not exactly good news for Piquet, then?
  • Button complaining on radio about the car. Minus 2. Maybe it's me, but I found it a bit too whiny. Just drive, man.
  • Lewis Hamilton wins the race. Plus 2. First KERS car victory this season, hopefully not the last either. Very good pace throughout from Lewis.
  • Kimi on podium! P2. Plus 2. Something positive for Ferrari then. At least, before the stewards have their say... I'm betting on no action.
  • Nico Rosberg finishes in P4. Plus 2. Another solid result.
  • Both Toyotas finish in points. Plus 2. Pretty good, especially Glock who started in P13.

Guess that's it from me. A long, long break before more racing in Valencia, but in mean time all thoughts are still on Massa and crossing my fingers for his speedy recovery.
Some forums are already ablaze with rumours on who to replace Felipe for the rest of the season, but that can wait till at least we get news that he's up and running healthy again.
See you all in four weeks!
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