Sunday, 29 July 2012 15:48
Formula One result from the race at the Hungaroring circuit in Budapest - As the teams and drivers begin to understand the endurance and performance capabilities of the Pirelli 2012 tyres, Lewis Hamilton took an unchallenged victory on Sunday, which also turned out to be a happy birthday for Fernando Alonso.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton dominated the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix weekend from start to finish, but Sunday was still a very happy 31st birthday for runaway championship leader Fernando Alonso, despite the Ferrari driver finishing just fifth at the Hungaroring.
The Spaniard's closest points rival, Mark Webber, had an even poorer weekend near Budapest, allowing Alonso's 34 point lead to pull out to 40 as Formula 1 now races into a five week vacation period.
Hamilton, nonetheless happy with his win from pole, is 47 points adrift, but the gap was 62 before Sunday's race began.
"Lewis said to me a couple of days ago, 'Dad, I've got to win the next ten races to win this championship'," Hamilton's father and former manager Anthony told British Sky television immediately after his son won in Hungary.
Lewis Hamilton said: "I am looking forward to the continuation of the championship. A long way to go and a lot of work to do but we have shown we can compete."
But, even on an impressive Sunday, he was run close by the two Lotuses, moving Hamilton to reminisce just before walking onto the podium: "Just like old times, Kimi.
"You guys are quick," the Briton told Raikkonen and also the other Lotus driver, Romain Grosjean.
Finn Raikkonen, however, just wants to win, but, after 69 laps, he finished one second behind the winner with a KERS problem.
"We are not happy until we win," the 2007 World Champion told Spanish tenor Placido Domingo on the podium.
2012 F1 Hungary - Race results:
||Paul di Resta
||Pedro de la Rosa
"Yes, this is the kind of GP win that you are under intense pressure all day, It reminded me the old days with Kimi and you need to push 100 percent. The first pit stop was not spectacular, there was a problem with the left rear but the second one was fantastic.
“We talked about a 3rd stop, but the plan was 2. I had my target laps and I hit them. I could have gone longer on the 2nd stint but we needed to cover the other guys. Then we needed to keep the tyres in good condition to keep Kimi behind as those guys were really quick. But overtaking is not easy, none of them was ever close enough, only in some corners. Then he had some problems on his tyres, I only pushed in the last sector, to make it difficult for them to follow and maximise of passing with the DRS.
“It's great to see Kimi up here with me. I have huge respect for him. I remember seeing him on TV before I got here and in computer games I ran with his car. Hungary has been good to me, the fans and the city are great, we have a great time. But the track is really tough and I'm looking forward to be back here next year.
“This weekend we showed it's all open to play for. We didn't take that many points from Fernando, but if we keep going on like this, improving the car in many areas, as I'm sure we'll do, we may still fight with him. Today I had the best car I had all year, I was really surprised how good we had. And it's great to comeback after three disappointing races like the ones I had.”
"I didn't have any chance to pass. It was not difficult to follow through the last corner but then even with DRS there was no chance to pass. My only chance was in the pits but we ran out of laps to try and come back in front of Lewis. I don't think I could have won. I had an OK start, then some issues with the KERS and I lost one position.
“We then worked to get the KERS working, but then it happened again when I was behind Lewis. Then I saved the tyres and it worked but then I wasn't close enough to pass.
“The team told me it was close with Romain, I made a mistake with the it limiter but fortunately there was still enough space to stay ahead. We were side by side on the first corner, but it came out OK.”
"These things happen. I was stuck behind a lapped car, lost 1,5s and the I wasn't happy to drop behind Kimi too. I had been fighting with Lewis for the win all race and that back marker cost me. Kimi did what he had to do to stay ahead, he pushed me to the marble and that was that.
“It was the other way around with Vettel at the start, as there I was on the inside. When I was following Lewis I would lose grip and then cool the tyres down to recover. My first stop was a disaster and I didn't have the chance to try and pass him. It was very difficult to follow as the front tyres tend to lose grip. I'm disappointed with 3rd as I was here to win and I'm disappointed with the driver who didn't respect the blue flags."
Quotes courtesy Agnes Carlier
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