F1 Race Review: Hungarian GP 2008

Hungaroring is one place with the least overtaking, but somehow ends up being one of the most interesting races on the Calendar. The track has seen seven different winners in eight years with drivers like Alonso registering their maiden wins there! This time luck favored Heikki Kovalainen for his first time on the top step after Massa’s engine blew up with three laps to go. Glock & fellow Finn Kimi joined Heikki on the podium.

Saturday qualifier saw McLaren dominate the session with a clean 1-2 and looked all set for a win on an almost no-overtaking track. The best a Ferrari could do was Massa’s P3 while Kimi had to settle for a P6. Kubica, Glock and Alonso at P4, 5 and 7 were in good stead, BMW’s Heidfeld had a poor run, without even managing to get into Q2. Force India, as usual qualified at the bottom of the grid at P19 and 20.

At the race start, Massa made an unprecedented and fabulous move on both McLarens, first overtaking Heikki and then going on the outside of Lewis, locking his brakes on the entry to Turn 1 and consolidating his position as he got to Turn 3; probably this was his reply to the move made on him by Lewis at the Hockenheimring two weeks earlier. As Massa pulled away at the head of the field, it was largely uneventful till the first stops.

Lewis tried his best to regain his lead from Massa and pushed enough to ruin his front left tyre that forced him to make an unscheduled second pit stop, thus forcing him down to P11, thanks to others pitting and some retirements, he managed a P5. Massa on the other hand had the most of misfortune with his Ferrari engine blowing up in front of the grandstand with just three laps to the chequered flag. What a shame for the Scuderia!

Though it can be said that luck favored Heikki’s bid to his first win, this win surely is a testimony to his talent which otherwise is used as a second fiddle to Lewis. Glock drove an impressive race to second fending off the World Champion. Alonso did well by bringing home his improving Renault fourth. BMW had the worst luck with Kubica merely scoring a single point after starting P4 and Heidfeld battling the backmarkers.

With the Hungarian race marking the beginning of the holiday season for most Finns, a Finninsh 1-3 finish at Budapest, nearly a home race for them must have been a treat. Neighborhood Polish fans didn’t get much with Kubica only managing a P8. For the teams, McLaren had a field day taking home 15 points while Ferrari took just 6; the only balm over the latter’s wounds being the fact that they scored the two fastest laps.

Now, 11 races done and 7 to go, Lewis Hamilton, despite his ill luck, actually improved his lead by 1 more point. His tally is now at 62 followed by Kimi at 57 and poor Massa at 54 while Kubica is fourth at 49. Ferrari still leads the constructors table with 111 followed by McLaren at 100 and BMW at 90. Formula1 heads into a mid-season vacation with the next race scheduled for August 24 at the brand new street course at Valencia!