Drama surfaced at the fag end of the Hungarian Grand Prix as leading man Felipe Massa’s Ferrari blew up with just three laps to go and with that all the good work of Massa’s at the start of the race, came undone! It was a feisty start for Massa who started on P3 and got the drop on P2 Kovalainen at the start and within the first corner, passed pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton into the lead. Rarely have we seen such aggressive starts and it brought the smiles back on Ferrari’s faces. But alas, if the start made them smile, the way it ended must’ve brought out the frowns! Prior to Massa’s blowout, another agonizing moment was borne by Lewis Hamilton whose left-front tyre deflated around turn three and he had to limp back into the pits from second place. He eventually rejoined in tenth and battled his way upto an eventual fifth place finish. Timo Glock took second place after a good drive in spite of having a mini-incident with the fuel rig compromising his first pit-stop.
Renault’s Fernando Alonso was fourth with Hamilton behind him. Nelson Piquet, Toyota’s Jarno Trulli and BMW’s Robert Kubica took the last point-scoring positions in sixth, seventh and eighth places respectively. Sebastian Vettel, Adrian Sutil and Felipe Massa were the only retirements in a tough race where on-track overtaking was at a bare minimum after Massa’s starting moves. Some pit-stop incidents overshadowed the on-track action as few of the teams had problems with their refuelling rigs and there were atleast three mini fire-incidents as the rig was pulled off the cars. And there were few fire-extinguisher showers as well! Another mystery that remains unsolved (as yet) is how did Kimi Raikkonen come out ahead of Fernando Alonso after their second round of pit-stops! Kimi had an off-track moment as they headed into the pits and Alonso pitted a lap earlier than Kimi and apparently had enough of a lead over him but when Kimi emerged after his stop, Alonso was a good three seconds behind! There seemed no traffic that might have impeded him and possibly he had a spin or something, as yet we dunno!
The lead of the Drivers’ Championship remains with Lewis Hamilton who has 62 points compared to second-placed Kimi Raikkonen with 57. Massa’s no points means he slips into third with 54 points with Robert Kubica on 49 points. Kovalainen now moves into sixth with 38 points with Nick Heidfeld just ahead on 41. Ferrari lead the Drivers’ Championship with 111 points against McLaren’s 100 with BMW Sauber on 90. The next race is in three weeks time in the street circuit of Valencia which will be a first for all of the drivers and teams. So pretty tough to pick out which team/driver will have an advantage until Friday’s free practice. The Championship looks like its going all the way down to the wire!!!
Image Courtesy Reuters