2016 Hungary Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: We all know where the momentum is now. But, let's not forget, Lewis Hamilton will ... not if ... soon start suffering some grid penalties when he exceeds the number of engines, and possibly gearboxes, later in the season.
EVENT: Back in the '80s, who would have ever thought a Formula 1 race would be held behind the Iron Curtain? And who would have predicted that race would last 30 years?
TRACK: The repaving was great for lap times, not so much for dealing with water.
QUALIFYING: Four red flags, three crashes, and 72 minutes to complete. And that was just for Q1. Then Q2 and Q3 became crapshoots. To top it all off, Rosberg (supposedly) slowed down enough in a double waving yellow flag zone.
START: Solid start for everyone with Hamilton slightly better than all, Ricciardo temporarily better than Rosberg, Rosberg ends up second best, and everyone else files in cleanly.
RACE: Everyone is saying it was boring. But, we don't think so. There was a lot of strategy, a lot of intrigue, and a lot of battles going on.
HAMILTON: Back in the championship lead with a commanding race. Where have we heard this before?
ROSBERG: Seemed quite happy with second place. Maybe it was that new two-year contract extension. Oh, and the $45 million euro doesn't hurt either...
MERCEDES: Cranked it up a notch.
RICCIARDO: A heck of a lot happier than the last time he was on the podium.
VERSTAPPEN: Once again, Max made two moves to block. If the stewards don't do anything, his fellow drivers will take him out behind the proverbial woodshed by shoving him into the wall. Hard.
RED BULL: What happens when a bull sees red? Ferrari is in their grasp.
VETTEL: Sure is impatient for those blue flags to come out.
RAIKKONEN: Sure is losing his patience with Verstappen.
FERRARI: Forget Mercedes. Now you have to hold off Red Bull who are nipping at your heels.
MCLAREN: Don't look now, but McLaren is getting consistently ... decent.
WILLIAMS: Continues to look lost.
PEREZ: Did Force India take a coffee break when they called Sergio in to pit?
PALMER: Give credit where credit is deserved. Jolyon ran a great race. That is until he spun off, jumped right back on the track dangerously right in front of the leaders, and lost out on his first points.
GUTIERREZ: Here's a tipster Esteban. Worry about your own driving and whether you are going to keep your ride rather than whether a three-time World Champion was "respectful" to you or not by giving you the finger.
KVYAT: Daniil started 12th, dropped to 20th at the start, and only managed to work his way back to 16th (and that counts Button dropping out). Not exactly a scintillating way to convince your bosses to keep you around in 2017.
GROSJEAN: In the chaotic qualifying, Romain was a tenth of a second from reaching Q3, which he felt was always within reach at Hungary before it rained. Interestingly, had he done so, he would have knocked Hamilton out, and Lewis would have had to start 11th instead of on the front row.
HARYANTO: Now apparently Rio does not have the money to continue. But, he still may end up in the car for Germany. Hey, a freebie!
VANDOORNE: Stoffel to be seen soon in a Manor near you?
SAUBER: So, just what is Longbow Finance, which saved the day for Sauber by buying them out? Well, let's just say this. One of their many names they have gone by is Tetral Investment Management SA. Their address is the same as the current contact address for Tetra Laval International SA, the parent company of Tetra Pak. That's owned by Hans Rausing. Rausing is the main backer of ... drumroll please ... Marcus Ericsson.
FIA: Which asinine decision should we point out? How about the fact that they actually started to investigate half the field not meeting the 107% qualification rule in Q1 when a dead cockroach has enough brain power to know there were extraordinary circumstances, you know like buckets of rain, red flags, crashes, to warrant no action.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Common sense.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 0 -- The number of drivers happy with the FIA.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: While today's race saw just one DNF, the first Hungarian GP only saw 10 of the 26 starters finish the race, won by Nelson Piquet. The first dropout was Canadian Allen Berg in an Osella-Alfa Romeo, who lasted one lap after qualifying last. His fellow last row starter, Dutchman Huub Rothengatter, was next to drop out after two laps in a Zakspeed. The last finisher? None other than Jonathan Palmer, who started 24th in the other Zakspeed and father of Jolyon.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Jenson Button, in a typical British understatement monotone while still not mincing any words, "So the brake pedal going to the floor is not classed as a safety issue? Quite interesting. I think Charlie [Whiting, FIA race director] needs to read up on what is safe and what isn't."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Kimi Raikkonen also showing his frustration with FIA's inconsistent enforcement, "If the rules don't apply all the time and to all the people, then we shouldn't have them."
SCHEDULE: The German GP is back. Will the fans also be back?
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