July 29, 2013

2013 Hungarian GP Executive Summary.

Mihael Cmrk/Flickr

Red Bull has a bit of an image problem going, Vettel has now been openly boo'd at three of the past four races (ok at Silverstone, fans cheered when he dropped out).  Not great for a company essentially selling image.

It did not help everyone heard Vettel whine about Raikkonen not moving aside for him in the final laps. Raikkonen was fighting with whatever rubber he had left, Lotus finally deciding to gamble on tires and  a two stop strategy.  Great couple of laps that probably did not make Vettel feel too good about any prospect of the Finn sitting in an RB10 next year.  Interesting to see the  battle between Red Bull and Lotus, two very differently designed cars, the first with one, raked with a high rear designed to get around diffuser size regulations and the Lotus with a squat low rear, innovative linked suspension.

Grojean is still paying for his 2012 rep and received not one but two penalties Sunday.  The one inflicted for passing Massa on the outside with four wheels off was one of the most ludicrous punishments in the history of F1.   Stewards hands were tied by the regulations some say.  I call BS as regulations are apparently flexible enough to allow Lotus to race three Grand Prix with a front suspension that is illegal!
If his name had been Hamilton or Vettel or Alonso, Grojean would not have been nailed for making a spectacular move on a track where passing is virtually impossible.    Alonso bitched and moaned about that first lap, turn 2 move, Hamilton did the same thing to Webber in turn three and nobody complains, The second penalty was for making contact with Button, a contact which resulted in no damage to either car.  Rosberg was not punished for hitting Massa and destroying his wing....bah.

Great week end for Hamilton, a well deserved win and finally a race where he does not get his butt handed to him by his teammate.  Rosberg ran over Massa's wing on lap one (without penalty because he's not Grosjean) and then had his engine blow, laps from the end while back in the field.

Lewis now ties Schumacher with four wins at the Hungarian Go Kart track whose contract with F1 has been renewed until 2021.

If it was a great day for Mercedes and Lotus, it was a sad day for Ferrari.  Massa's race was ruined on lap one when he lost a chunk of his wing, Alonso had a good start but clearly had no pace for Mercedes, Lotus or Red Bull.

Ferrari looked silly tweeting "another great race for Alonso"afterward.  Guess things are so bleak that not losing any spots form the start now constitutes "great" for the Scuderia.  As it happened, Alonso was lucky to escape a penalty (his initials not being RG): Ferrari forgot to set his DRS system from qualifying to race mode so Alonso ended up (involuntarily) using it on three laps when he was more than one second from the car ahead. Ferrari was fined a nominal amount.

Icing on this bitter cake, the silly rumors Alonso was talking to Red Bull about Webber's seat. Alonso's trainer/manager Lois Garcia was seen talking with Christian Horner and the press goes mad. Garcia also manages Carlos Sainz Jr. and Sainz Sr. was also there... fact that would spoil a good story! But a kick in the ass to Maranello for sure, the return of James Allison in the technical group can't come a moment too soon, Domenicali needs all the help he can get.

Now a long break to Spa and a rules enforced break where no development work is supposed to take place, pretty sure the F1 boys have figured out a way around that rule too.

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix Results - 70 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team/Car                  Time/Gap
 1.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1h42m29.445s
 2.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault             +10.938s
 3.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault          +12.459s
 4.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault          +18.044s
 5.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari                   +31.411s
 6.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault             +52.295s*
 7.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes          +53.819s
 8.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari                   +56.447s
 9.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes            +1 lap
10.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault            +1 lap
11.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari              +1 lap
12.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari          +1 lap
13.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari          +1 lap
14.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault           +2 laps
15.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault           +2 laps
16.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth          +3 laps
17.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth          +3 laps
     Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes   +4 laps/DNF
     Nico Rosberg         Mercedes               +6 laps/DNF


     Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault           42 laps
     Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari             28 laps
     Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       19 laps

* 20 second penalty added to race time

World Championship standings, round 10:

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Vettel        172        1.  Red Bull-Renault          277
 2.  Raikkonen     134        2.  Mercedes                  208
 3.  Alonso        133        3.  Ferrari                   194
 4.  Hamilton      124        4.  Lotus-Renault             183
 5.  Webber        105        5.  Force India-Mercedes       59
 6.  Rosberg        84        6.  McLaren-Mercedes           57
 7.  Massa          61        7.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         24
 8.  Grosjean       49        8.  Sauber-Ferrari              7
 9.  Button         39        9.  Williams-Renault            1
10.  Di Resta       36
11.  Sutil          23
12.  Perez          18
13.  Vergne         13
14.  Ricciardo      11
15.  Hulkenberg      7
16.  Maldonado       1
Result table / Autosport


  1. "Grojean is still paying for his 2012 rep" which was already exaggerated at points... Until he comes out and says "this is BS" or someone "is an idiot" and shows some balls, he'll keep being bullied.
    About the penalties. McNish was in charge wasn't he? He recommends punishments for any aggressive driving. Though he's pretty aggressive himself and has gotten away with crashing his Audi into a GT Ferrari from 2 cars behind at LeMans (remember?).

  2. I was going to make the same point about McNish ...

  3. Lewis was the class of the field for sure. Everyone has said it already but I wish Grosjean could have raced with him. It would have been more fun to watch. I though Hulkenberg did a great job despite having a car that looked terrible to drive but Kimi had the best drive of the weekend. Seb is a big cry baby. They are racing for position and also first and second in points and he expects Kimi to move over? Yeah okay !

  4. I agree that Grosean got shafted, especially since he was passing Massa at the time who was essentially a lapped car out there.

    You think Red Bull has an image problem because they sell drinks to young people and have a young bratty driver? Then surely the Scuderia's image problem must be far greater, as they sell fast cars and their F1 case is not very fast.

    As for Alonso going to RB, everyone knows that Alonso won't drive for a team where the other driver is competitive. He won't make the same mistake he made at McLaren again.

  5. problem is not a bratty driver it's that nobody likes said bratty driver much lately

  6. This taken from McNish's Twitter 2 minutes ago...

    "I know some do not agree or understand the Stewards decision at the weekend. To be clear but without discussing any specific events."

    "There are 4 Stewards, not just 1. All have an equal voice in any decision & no-one decides on any one matter, it is a joint process."

    "The Stewards must follow fully the Rule book as it is written, they do not write the rules & cannot change them, only apply them."

    Sounds like a cop out to me.

  7. Fair enough but then why wash;t Rosberg penalized for turning into Massa, why wasn't Hamilton penalized for not giving room to Webber?

  8. Vettel is much more likable than Schumi. Are you saying that Ferrari should have fired Schumi after winning three straight drivers championships because he was a cheating jerk?

  9. Well if they want rule enforcement they should invite lawyers ;) The driver is invited to give the driver perspective and explain some of the moves, and his opinion is usually decisive. He was biased IMO because he, like many, are unable to cut Romain some slack. In other matters of the race other drivers were given the benefit of the doubt. Not Romain, who IMO drove a great race, with the exception of the mistake with Jenson, that he acknowledged

  10. I believe it's because when someone makes mistakes consistently and seems to need stronger encouragement to do so, the penalties are increased. Gorsjean seems to not be able to keep from breaking rules that someone of his experience shouldn't be. It's pretty easy to not run into other people every couple of races, but punishments don't seem to be getting in his head. I think he deserved what he got. If he wants to stop getting "the shaft" then he needs to stop making mistakes consistently.

  11. The mistake he made was trusting Ron Dennis. Ron Dennis didn't adhere to treating drivers equal and that's the issue he most likely had.

  12. yeah, I'm not sure I totally agree with that philosophy, having to watch F1 on that gokart track is bad enough, if you punish putting 4 off for a tenth of a second to finally make a pass...

  13. Half a season without getting it wrong is not "making mistakes consistently". Nor are the contact with Button and the overtake on Massa "idiotic mistakes".

  14. Agreed, Schumi was a very dirty player, I do not see that with Seb. He is a very likable guy and as you can see after the race, he and Kimi were chatting and laughing it up on the podium. He is a fierce competitor and this fan has been rooting for him since he was loaned to BMW Sauber back in the day then dominated Bourdais at Torro Rosso his rookie season.

    I personally do not like Webber, I think he brought out the worst in Seb and cries very loud when Seb gets one up on him playing Webbers game. I actually cheered when Seb over took Mark in Malaysia remembering Silverstone and Interlagos where Mark did everything he could to ruin Sebs race and championship.

    How quickly everyone forgets and the sheeple all boo because it is the cool thing to do.


    I think Kimi would be a better teammate, there will be no HS drama with Kimi.

  15. regardless of the actual merits of it, Seb is fallen into the "bad guy" role. Fault is really RB's more than his own.

  16. because webber is going to porsche next year....

  17. this is not spa.... forgive and forget! RG made one of 2 great passes. this is why we watch racing, not to watch them in a single file w/out passing.

  18. I don't think that they should allow drivers to go outside the boundaries of the track to "finally" make a pass. If they don't come down with a punishment on any driver that exceeds the track limits to make a pass then it'll escalate and the next driver that does so will use the excuse that the last driver got away with it so why can't he. I'm all for good hard racing, but if they give an inch they'll start taking a mile. This has been true of F1 since it started. You give them an opening and they'll bust it wide open.

  19. Making contact to pass is an idiotic mistake, for any driver but especially him. He along with Maldonado, and Massa for a spell, should not being doing that. Once a season is forgivable, as many times as he's done it is not. He still does not understand the concept of spatial awareness. He needs to learn that lesson. You don't see guys like Kimi, Lewis, and Seb bashing into people more than once every couple seasons do you? Grosjean has a completely deserved reputation of someone that doesn't understand the concept of keeling his car off other people, passing or not.

  20. No, he made unnecessary contact with one, and exceeded track limits on the other. I'm all for good racing, but making consistent spatial awareness related mistakes needs to stop. He needs to stop running into other people. For more than a couple seasons at least.

  21. Lewis? He was a victim of such fame for quite a while, with McNish burning him in Monaco (last, or 2 years ago). Pastor? he was a crasher up until this season (almost killed a marshal at monaco in GP2, and last year drove himself deliberately into others at least 4 times). Vettel? Got away free with lots of bad mistakes (like driving into Webber in Malaysia for one) and none of them own up to them. Point is, Grosjean has made _involuntary_ mistakes and was crucified, and because he's owned up to them (the ones he was at fault) he's now in a position that almost everyone blames and sees fit to penalize him for anything, even other drivers who try to bully him in and off track (Bullier seems to agree http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/109104). He needs to speak up and defend him self firstly. Secondly, it's the first time this season (so once so far) and it is a good time to cut him some slack and to stop putting additional pressure on the driver. He is not _that_ bad of a driver, quite the opposite. Granted, he is no Kimi when it comes to avoiding incidents and scoring points consistently. But then again, who else is? Even Rosberg, one of the cleanest and fairest drivers in the field got into trouble, had a disastrous weekend, and came away with no penalties. He has evolved and shown restraint for quite a while now. When will people drop the easy blame and the crasher label like they did with Marquez this year, Lewis, Carl Edwards, etc? Half a season with no incidents wasn't enough? When is it? 1 whole season, 2, never?

  22. This is all speculation. The reality is they just don't like the French ! In addition why do we keep racing in Hungary. Can't we at least look at revising some corners this decade?

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  24. One of your better Executive Summaries. I enjoyed the race -- it was very different than I expected. I was very surprised Kimi held Vettel at bay. I'm not sure I agree with your assessment of the RG penalty (turning in on Button) -- I do, however, agree that the pass he made on Massa was fine, and shouldn't have been penalized.

    Overall, the Tyre issues seem to be put at bay for now. We didn't see any EXCESSIVE tyre wear problems this race -- I was surprised Merc held out so long, especially in the heat.

    One final note, I'm really digging the huge (1.5s) lap time delta between the Prime and Option tyres. It really makes strategy interesting (Marc).

  25. I do agree that are being to hard on RG and the same rules applied to Roman does not applied to the rest.
    Still I'm thinking Roman's pass to Massa was great but if instead of curb it was a wall would he be able to pull it?


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