It was a weekend of many different emotions. Tragedy was mixed with renewed optimism and unexpected situations, and all of which took place in the unlikeliest of racing weekends—the Hungarian Grand Prix.
A grand prix that usually throws in the odd rainy day event, is rarely shown in dry circumstances.
Yet this weekend many talking points were to come out of the event, and so I decided to throw them all into one slide show.
Much has been said about the previous three title winners’ fortunes during the 2009 season.
Michael Schumacher’s successors, Kimi Raikkonnen, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, had up until the Hungaroring suffered a lackluster first half of the season.
Between the three of them the first nine rounds yielded not a single pole position, and Kimi’s third place finish in Monaco portrayed the sole podium placed finish for the three former champions.
The tables had well and truly turned on the trio.
However the wind seems to be changing once again. Alonso’s confident and strong qualifying performances finally translated into a first pole position of the season for the Spaniard. This was something which could easily have further translated into a complete podium of former champions if his team had not clumsily ruined his chances with a badly-fitted tyre.
The true reflection of the former championship winners came however with such a commanding and controlled performance by Lewis Hamilton and a promising consolidator drive for Kimi in second place.
Both drivers elevated their current drivers’ standings, with Lewis managing to double his points tally with the single result of such a forceful victory.
Whether either of the three can take charge of the field is yet to be seen. It is probably too late for any of them to mount a serious challenge, but damage limitation for each is something that they will be aiming for.
As three former champions moved forwards, one possible future champion suffered another setback.
By any standards Jenson Button has had an extraordinary season, literally multiplying his winning tally by seven.
But the wheels have seemingly somewhat begun to come off, as his last three races have yielded not a single podium finish.
In a visibly faltering car the Brit is almost prepared for the fight, if it were not for his ease at blaming the car beneath him.
Yes, a car is built by a team. It is an intricately designed and intricately produced piece of effortlessly flawless machinery, capable of shooting high g-force around a Formula One track.
And it is always the driver beneath a car who can elevate the car to legendary status. Schumacher accomplished this at Benetton, Senna at Lotus and Alonso at Renault.
Jenson has rarely been considered a title winner. Too many seasons of disappointment put paid to English optimism.
However this was contradicted with the barrage of shock at his thunderous return to the front of the field in 2009.
Although his opinions in the last few races have set up a frame of mind that could easily see him relegated back to being the also ran.
Jenson has always had a habit of looking for faults in his car rather than himself. Obviously we share to a certain extent in his disappointment. It is clear to see that McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari have all gained ground.
Jenson is heading towards a title fight that at the moment looks like one he can only lose. And for such a destructive beginning to a season to reverse its fortunes and leave him on the losing side would of course be a devastating result.
His pessimistic views however of what his car can and cannot do surely cannot be helping his cause.
Instead of hearing his constant rants of his car letting him down, it would be a lot more productive to hear Jenson believing in his teams car alongside his own personal skill set which will help him to reignite their title credentials and in turn keep stable the bulging points gap that he has built up for himself.
We are all aware of how a car can make or break a title challenge, but with Button you often feel that the magnitude to which he demeans his car is a lot smaller in reality.
Hamilton’s glorious victory was one talking point of the racing weekend, but it was the tragic events of his fallen rival Felipe Massa which predictably dominated the news headlines during and after the weekend’s events.
The racing world was marred last by the unwelcome freak accident that took the life of 18-year-old youngster Henry Surtees in the Formula Two series.
On various occasions drivers and critics comment on the risk element that drivers must face when entering the world of high speed motor racing, but such scenes of unpredictable incidents cannot come into it.
No-one could have imagined less than a week later motor racing's global arena, Formula One, would then be subjected to a similar incident as Massa was struck by a piece of Brawn bodywork, resulting a horrific injury to the skull of the tiny Brazilian.
After witnessing the demoralizing pictures that highlight the extent of the blow to the head that Massa suffered it seems highly admirable that such a collision didn’t stop the Brazilian from showing his impressive intelligence at slamming on the brakes to avoid further obliteration when his car veered into the barriers.
Massa gained a much larger fan base last year with his nearly triumphant title challenge. He was a driver who many had doubted and who many had criticized but on a greater number of occasions had shown his true potential.
Now he will become a driver who will be appreciated for showing true grit in the face of adversity.
The consequential reality therefore becomes harsher with a driver who may never reach his peak again due to an unlucky accident that only fate had a hand in deciding.
It is only now though that we have gained a full understanding of how serious the injury is.
A driver who cruelly lost a debut title due to a last corner overtake by Lewis Hamilton may never have the same chance again.
So the Formula One world looks on to his hopeful recovery and his possible return to the track in 2009.
You couldn’t help feel for Sebastian Bourdais as the Torro Rosso team dealt him the final blow, sacking him after an unfortunate German grand prix. Rightfully so there was then talk of Sebastian’s anger at the decision resulting in a rumored court case. The thing that seemed most odd was that although he was slightly outclassed by his rookie team mate Sebastian Buemi, he was by no stretch of the imagination an awful driver.
His team could have offered him so much more, especially considering the strength of both himself and Vettel towards the end of last season.
It's rather bizarre as well when you consider there are two drivers left in the field that at the same time produced arguably weaker performances and continue to hold a seat within their respective teams.
Nelson Piquet Jr. although gradually improving is still destroyed and demolished in pace by his super talented teammate Fernando Alonso. The Renault is by no means a race winner, but can be, in the right hands a pole sitter and possible podium and points finisher. Yet Nelson on the majority of occasions seems a mountain away from either.
Then there is Kazuki Nakajima. He is not the poorest driver ever to grace an F1 track. Alex Yoong must take that honor at least since the new millennium.
However his season is marred by one simple fact; his teammate is outclassing him at an extremely destructive level. And that is Kazuki’s downfall. His points tally for the season is zero, he has yielded absolutely nothing.
Kazuki appears the more consistent driver, but with Nelson being the more likely to score points.
As neither of them are showing any form of urgency, pace or quality it has to be questioned whether either have enough to warrant them a seat for next season’s championship.
What came as one of the biggest shocks of the weekend was the actual spectacle of an eventful Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, void of any weatherly interruptions, and inclusive of unexpected promising overtaking.
All in all, the race itself was thoroughly enticing, and did nothing to epitomize the traditionally dull and dreary procession that usually becomes of the Hungaroring.
Future years will hopefully produce greater displays of a competitive edge as the sport moves to an era of improved on track battles and overtaking opportunities.