Riccardo wins Hungarian Grand Prix
LEWIS HAMILTON roared from the pit lane to finish a remarkable third in the Hungary – and into an explosive team orders row with Mercedes.
The 29-year-old defied repeated team instructions to let Nico Rosberg past and the German finished fourth.
In slippery conditions Hamilton produced one of the greatest drives of his career.
He started SECOND, behind Kevin Magnussen in the pit lane, 21 places behind his teammate on pole, and still finished one place ahead of him.
And that despite hammering the barrier and damaging his front wing on the very first lap.
In a race Hamilton predicted he would leave trailing the German by 20 points he actually cut his lead.
The difference was 14 and is now 11 heading into the summer break.
On the day there was arguably a bigger star, though, as Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo eclipsed all the big names.
In a dramatic finale he overtook both Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, second, in one lap to notch up his second victory of the season
“It feels as good as the first win,” the Australian said.
For all the glory of the moment Hamilton was headed into some awkward talks with his team bosses and an increasingly frosty reception from Rosberg.
Hamilton refused repeated team orders to let teammate Rosberg past in the final stages of the Grand Prix.
The drama unfolded with Hamilton in third, battling Alonso and Ricciardo for victory.
The German was motoring up on his rear but did not appear to be able to get close enough to overtake.
Hamilton’s radio crackled into life with 19 laps remaining. “Lewis, let Nico past on the pit straight please”
But the 2008 champion’s pace never relented.
And he radioed defiance: “I am not slowing down for Nico. If he gets close enough he can overtake.”
A lap later, claiming to be on a different strategy and needing to pass, a frustrated Rosberg contacted his team “Why is he not letting me through?”
To which they replied: “He’s had the message Nico”.
Although the messages continued Hamilton refused to yield.
On lap 53 Rosberg pitted and returns to the race seventh and began a fearsome charge back up to the front motoring at two and half seconds a lap faster than the leaders on his fresh rubber.
But in an amazing conclusion to a remarkable race Ricciardo got both Alonso and Hamilton
He took Hamilton around the outside of Turn 2 on lap 67 to get second place.
And then at the start of the next lap on 68, he took the lead away from Alonso around Turn 1 hairpin.
While Rosberg’s pace carried him right onto the rear wing of his teammate.
But Hamilton pushed him onto the grass on lap 70 as the German tried to repeat Ricciardo’s move around the outside at Turn 2.
Boss Christian Horner was full of praise for his ace racer: “How he made that work was just incredible. Unbelievable, what a great race for us and great race for Formula 1. Great team performance today.”
Hamilton couldn’t believe his won fortune having started from the pit lane after a qualifying fire which meant his entire had to be re-built.
“It’s been a pretty crazy weekend,” he said.
“Big credit to the team, I just drove my best. Lot of points lost could have had a much better weekend but we’ve got lot of strengths to use.
“Brakes very cold and I got locked up and I was gone. But I kept it off the wall.”
Was it one of his finest drives? “I don’t think so,” he said.
Jenson Button was sombre having hit the front early in the race at a circuit where he has won twice before in such conditions.
But a team gaff with the strategy ruined his chances and he finished 10th.
“We were obviously using a different radar to everyone else,” said Button.
Max Chilton was 16th.
Byron Young The Mirror