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The 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix was the eleventh race of the 2007 Formula One season. It was held from 3 to August 5 at the Hungaroringmarker in Budapestmarker. Lewis Hamilton (McLarenmarker) went into the race with a 2-point advantage over his teammate, Fernando Alonso, and was 11 points ahead of 3rd-placed man Felipe Massa after a chaotic European Grand Prix whilst McLaren held a 27 point lead in the Constructors' Championship over their main rivals Ferrari.

Japanesemarker former Super Aguri driver Sakon Yamamoto filled the second Spyker car, replacing European GP leader, Germanmarker Markus Winkelhock.

Sebastian Vettel, the youngest Grand Prix point scorer made his second Grand Prix start replacing Scott Speed at Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Controversy hit qualifying when Alonso held Hamilton up in the pit lane, denying Hamilton a chance to record a final lap time. Stewards later dropped Alonso five places down the grid, putting him in sixth place, with Hamilton starting in pole position. McLaren were also told they would lose any Constructor's Championship points they win in the race. It should be noted, however, that the team stated Hamilton's hold-up was not Alonso's fault (although Alonso gave the stewards a different explanation, that he was inquiring about his tyres), and that Hamilton had disobeyed team orders to let Alonso pass him, which put the two drivers out of sequence for their pit stops. McLaren had initially expressed their intent to appeal the Constructor's points penalty but ultimately withdrew their appeal after subsequently losing all their Constructor's points as penalty for the Stepneygate scandal.

Report

Background

BMW’s Robert Kubica was the fastest driver in the first of the practice sessions with a time of 1:22.390. He was followed by the two Ferrari of Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen, and the two McLarenmarker of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. Friday’s second session saw the two McLarenmarker of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in first and third, respectively, separated by Renaultmarker’s Heikki Kovalainen. Fernando Alonso’s time being 1:20.919. In Saturday’s practice session Felipe Massa took first spot with a time of 1:20.183, followed by Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Nick Heidfeld and then Kimi Räikkönen .

Qualifying

In the first qualifying session, the first five minutes had only five cars posting times at that stage. However, around the nine minute mark, times were coming in quickly with Lewis Hamilton taking the pole early with a time 1:19:570. This was the then quickest time of the weekend, being the only lap under 1:20. Hamilton and the front-runners made up the top half, although the battle in the back was heating up. With the checkered flag out, Jenson Button, the 2006 winner, had pushed hard enough to bump teammate Rubens Barrichello into the relegation zone. However, Button was soon bumped by Liuzzi. Joining the two Hondas were Takuma Sato, Sebastian Vettel, Adrian Sutil and Sakon Yamamoto.

Following suit of the first session, the first five minutes saw few drivers leaving the garage. Jarno Trulli of Toyota was leading the pace early, while Massa, Alonso and Kubica were yet to post a time. Alonso's result put him in second behind rookie teammate Lewis Hamilton who was looking hot for pole. Massa and Kubica, however, had struggles of their own. Kubica was yet to post a time like Massa, but when he did, he reached 12th. Massa didn't do any better, reaching 11th. However, Kubica put on new tyres and made it into the top 10. Massa had far worse luck than the BMW Sauber driver; the Ferrari team weren't prepared for him to need a second run in Q2, and he was released into the pit-lane without being refuelled. His pit crew had to run down the pit-lane and pull him back to his pit to be refuelled, by which time his tyres had lost temperature so when he finally made it out, the lack of grip meant he was unable to improve his time. Joining Massa in the eliminated drivers were David Coulthard in 11th, Heikki Kovalainen in 12th, Alexander Wurz of Williams Toyota in 13th, 15th was Anthony Davidson, and 16th was Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Hamilton led out of the pit-lane at the beginning of Q3, followed by teammate Alonso. Hamilton set the quickest lap time the first time around, but was soon beaten by Nick Heidfeld of Germany. Around the 9 minute mark, Trulli was the first into the pits to change tyres. Alonso was next into the pits; at the time, he was ninth. All the others followed suit, and meaningful times were soon put in. Hamilton again impressed the crowd with another time below 1:20. Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen, the only remaining Ferrari driver, Nick Heidfeld, Kubica, and Trulli filed in behind. With around 2:30 remaining, Alonso again pitted for fresh tyres, along with almost every other driver. The McLaren crew held Alonso for around 20 seconds after the tyres were fitted, in an attempt to give him a clear track - Hamilton was 'stacked up' behind, waiting for Alonso to leave. However when the lollipop was raised, Alonso remained stationary for a further 10 seconds, even though the pit crew were gesturing for him to leave. Hamilton then pulled in for his final set of tyres, but the delay meant there was insufficient time for him to get back to the start-finish line before the chequered flag, ending the session, was shown. Alonso started his flying lap with less than 2 seconds of the session remaining while Hamilton missed out by around 5 seconds.

Alonso's final lap was good enough to claim pole and push Hamilton down to second. TV pictures showed Ron Dennis angrily throwing his headphones down as Alonso pulled out of the pits; after the session was over, he was then shown having a serious conversation with Alonso's trainer. He refused to comment on the pit-lane delay, although he later later explained that Hamilton had ignored team orders to let Alonso past at the beginning of the fuel burn phase, which had put the cars out of sequence for their stops. Behind the two McLarens, third went to Heidfeld, which surprised many Ferrari and BMW fans. In fourth was Räikkönen, fifth was Rosberg. Sixth place found Ralf Schumacher of Germany, seventh was the second BMW Sauber of Robert Kubica. Giancarlo Fisichella posted the eighth fastest time, with Trulli and Webber rounding out the top ten.

Following the qualifying session, the stewards investigated an incident in Q1, when Fisichella appeared to block Yamamoto into the final corner - and they also investigated the Alonso/Hamilton incident (subsequently called Pitlanegate by the media). Fisichella was handed a five-place penalty, dropping him down to thirteenth. Alonso was also handed a five-place penalty on the grid, meaning he would start in sixth position and promoting Hamilton to pole position. His McLaren team were told they would be docked any constructors' World Championship points they earn in the race. McLaren have subsequently lodged an appeal against the loss of constructors' points.

Race

Lewis Hamilton led every lap of the race (the first time anyone had done so in 2007), but had to withstand near constant pressure from the Ferrari of Kimi Räikkönen, which appeared more competitive than it did in qualifying and practice. Hamilton's team-mate Fernando Alonso managed to climb from his 6th place grid-slot to 4th by the end of the race, just behind the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld. Alonso spent much of the race behind the Toyota of Ralf Schumacher, only getting past by the third stint. Schumacher finished in 6th place, after repassing Nico Rosberg (7th) and Heikki Kovalainen (8th) who were on three-stop strategies compared to Schumacher's two-stop strategy.

Retirements from the race were Sakon Yamamoto, who crashed in the early laps on his Spyker debut. Jenson Button and Vitantonio Liuzzi both suffered mechanical failure while the Super Aguri of Anthony Davidson was taken out after a collision with the Renaultmarker of Giancarlo Fisichella.

Classification

Qualifying

Pos Name Team/Engine Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Grid
1 Fernando Alonso McLarenmarker-Mercedes 1:20.425 1:19.661 1:19.674 6†
2 Lewis Hamilton McLarenmarker-Mercedes 1:19.570 1:19.301 1:19.781 1
3 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:20.751 1:20.322 1:20.259 2
4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:20.435 1:20.107 1:20.410 3
5 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:20.547 1:20.188 1:20.632 4
6 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:20.449 1:20.455 1:20.714 5
7 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:20.366 1:20.703 1:20.876 7
8 Giancarlo Fisichella Renaultmarker 1:21.645 1:20.590 1:21.079 13‡
9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:20.481 1:19.951 1:21.206 8
10 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renaultmarker 1:20.794 1:20.439 1:21.256 9
11 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renaultmarker 1:21.291 1:20.718 10
12 Heikki Kovalainen Renaultmarker 1:20.285 1:20.779 11
13 Alexander Wurz Williams-Toyota 1:21.243 1:20.865 12
14 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:20.408 1:21.021 14
15 Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 1:21.018 1:21.127 15
16 Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:21.730 1:21.993 16
17 Jenson Button Honda 1:21.737 17
18 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:21.877 18
19 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:22.143 19
20 Sebastian Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:22.177 20
21 Adrian Sutil Spyker-Ferrari 1:22.737 21
22 Sakon Yamamoto Spyker-Ferrari 1:23.774 22


† Fernando Alonso was dropped five places for impeding Lewis Hamilton during Q3.

‡ Giancarlo Fisichella was dropped five places due to impeding Sakon Yamamoto during Q1.

Race

Pos No Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 2 Lewis Hamilton McLarenmarker-Mercedes 70 1:35:52.991 1 10
2 6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 70 +0.715 secs 3 8
3 9 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 70 +43.129 secs 2 6
4 1 Fernando Alonso McLarenmarker-Mercedes 70 +44.858 secs 6 5
5 10 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 70 +47.616 secs 7 4
6 11 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 70 +50.669 secs 5 3
7 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 70 +59.139 secs 4 2
8 4 Heikki Kovalainen Renaultmarker 70 +1:08.104 secs 11 1
9 15 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renaultmarker 70 +1:16.331 secs 9
10 12 Jarno Trulli Toyota 69 +1 lap 8
11 14 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renaultmarker 69 +1 lap 10
12 3 Giancarlo Fisichella Renaultmarker 69 +1 lap 13
13 5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 69 +1 lap 14
14 17 Alexander Wurz Williams-Toyota 69 +1 lap 12
15 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 69 +1 lap 19
16 19 Sebastian Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 69 +1 lap 20
17 20 Adrian Sutil Spyker-Ferrari 68 +2 laps 21
18 8 Rubens Barrichello Honda 68 +2 laps 18
Ret 18 Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 42 Electrical 16
Ret 23 Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 41 Accident 15
Ret 7 Jenson Button Honda 35 Throttle 17
Ret 21 Sakon Yamamoto Spyker-Ferrari 4 Accident 22


Notes



Trivia

1996 Champion Damon Hill was guest color commentator for the race, on ITV's coverage in the United Kingdommarker. He won the Hungarian Grand Prixmarker twice, in 1993 and '95 for Williams-Renaultmarker.

References

  1. The Official Formula 1 Website


External links




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