2017 Hungary Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: No surprise Ferrari had the better of Mercedes like they did at Monaco and will at Singapore. However, the prognosis still favors the Silver Arrows coming out of the summer break. Unless Ferrari comes up with some huge improvements during the time they are allowed to work.
TRACK: Stretch some of those straights out. Please!
EVENT: A solid crowd this year as Hungary has become a key stop for the European (and especially Finnish) fans.
QUALIFYING: Mercedes is no match for Ferrari on the tight Hungaroring, after Hulkenberg's grid penalty McLaren is the best of the rest, and Paul di Resta is not last coming out of the broadcast booth.
START: The Red Bulls get off great only to come together, Palmer is (finally) one lucky dude, and Ferrari doesn't look back.
RACE: Vettel's steering issue turned this into a typical Hungaroring borefest into quite the strategic, nail biting affair.
VETTEL: Nice to be the number one driver.
RAIKKONEN: The "fastest" driver ... except when you're a number two. (And did di Resta ultimately cost Kimi the win?)
FERRARI: Everyone doubted their strategy. However, all's well that ends well.
HAMILTON: Kudos, Lewis. Did you ever in a million years think you would see him live up to his promise and give up a position and three precious, precious points in the heat of a championship?
BOTTAS: I'll take that back, thank you very much.
VERSTAPPEN: Max, Max, Max. You're team had one of their best shots this season, and you single handedly blew it.
RICCIARDO: Which is why Daniel was so frustrated.
ALONSO: Fernando (and Honda) was the best of the rest.
VANDOORNE: Stoffel even scored a point.
MCLAREN: A double finish for McLaren. Both in the points. Moving them out of last place. Will wonders never cease?
HONDA: We have all ripped on Honda all season. Rightfully so. However, they have been getting into Q3 more often. Just scored two point finishes. And (somehow) even got the fastest lap of the race. But, McLaren should still dump them...
SAINZ: Thoroughly trounced his teammate.
KVYAT: Daniil might keep this ride, why?
PEREZ: Order is restored.
OCON: But Estaban stays with him.
MAGNUSSEN/HULKENBERG: They really don't like each other. Really, really don't like each other.
HAAS: A horrid weekend. That momentum from not so long ago is rapidly evaporating.
STROLL: Talk about disappearing momentum... Second unimpressive race in a row for Lance.
DI RESTA: Quite a performance considering he hasn't been in a car for nearly four years.
ERICSSON: Now that Vasseur is team manager at Sauber and the team will be using Ferrari engines making themselves the Italian's junior team, Marcus' time at Sauber may be numbered, despite the fact that it's his sponsors who bought the team. Now, that's irony.
SAUBER: It didn't take them long to dump Honda and stay with Ferrari.
FIA: Once again, the Stewards were all over the place. A 10 second penalty for Verstappen for locking up the brakes (sure, he was overaggressive, but still...), no penalty for Hulkenberg for much worse in terms of controlling his car, and five seconds for Magnussen for driving someone off the track while Sainz did the same and got nothing.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Orders.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 3 -- The number of points Lewis Hamilton gave up by agreeing to allow Bottas back around as promised.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: This is the first time a Brazilian did not start a grand prix since the 1982 San Marino GP. That year, there were three Brazilians competing -- Nelson Piquet (Brabham-Ford), Raul Boesel (March-Ford) and Chico Serra (Fittipaldi-Ford). However, the FISA-FOCA war came to a head at San Marino and various teams boycotted the race, including those with all the Brazilian drivers. Only 14 drivers started the race, five finished (in order, Didier Pironi, Gilles Villeneuve, Michele Alboreto, Jean-Pierre Jarier, and Eliseo Salazar), and one was disqualified (Manfred Winkelhock) for being underweight. Ironically, this was the race where Villeneuve felt Pironi betrayed him by supposedly ignoring team orders.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Mercedes' Toto Wolff on the decision to switch his drivers for the finish, "Saying I wouldn't regret the decision would be very naive. The truth is that if we miss out on the championship by those two or three points, everybody would say it is because of Budapest. And I would be the first to shoot myself in the knee."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Paul di Resta on making a return to F1 subbing in for Felipe Massa, "I went to all of the team meetings and actually listened."
SCHEDULE: A much needed break and then a return to wonderful Spa.
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