We take a look back at Hungary #F1 with quotes and exclusive photos


In a rare treat, RacerViews photographer, Steve Sziklai was at the Hungaroring for the 2013 Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix. We thought we could bring you a great lot of photos with quotes form some of the drivers from the race.  We start off with the Championship leader, Sebastian Vettel


Sebastian Vettel (3rd)

“I would have loved the race to have been a bit longer, as it was fun with Kimi at the end. It’s hard to pass on this track, I got close but I wasn’t in the prime overtaking spot at that point; I was trying to set something up for the next corners, but it didn’t work. The key issue in the race was when I got stuck behind Jenson, there’s no one to blame for that, I lost more time than expected on the way into the first stop and we came out just behind him. I couldn’t get past; I tried to force it and damaged my front wing, which was a mistake from my side. I was maybe trying to urge a bit too much. It was close with Kimi and nice to be on the podium again today. Congratulations to Lewis, he did a good job today.”


Mark Webber (4th)
“I think we had the right strategy. We knew there was a lot of pressure on getting a good first lap and I got some clear air, which worked well. The start was okay and the first sector was very good, I was able to put a bit of pressure on Kimi and then we just settled in. I had a pretty tricky car for the first three or four laps, as I knew the option tyres were quite grippy and after that we just got our heads down. I don’t think we could have got much more than that result today. The strategy was pretty solid and you have to pace the option tyres until the end.”


Felipe Massa (8th)
“Today’s race was difficult from start to finish, because right from the first lap, at turn 5, after making contact with Rosberg, I lost the left part of the front wing. At that time, stopping to change the nose would have lost valuable time, so we decided not to come in, but from then on, the balance of the car was never the same and I lost a lot in terms of performance, suffering a lot with understeer and oversteer and my tyres degraded more than they should have done. I definitely can’t be happy with eighth place, because both in the race and in qualifying, we lacked the pace to fight for the lead. For various reasons, this track doesn’t suit our car, but it’s precisely because things can change from track to track that we must absolutely stay focused now. From now on we will concentrate on the development and on the preparation of the second part of the championship, when I hope we can be more competitive.”


Fernando Alonso (5th)
“Finishing fifth today, maybe we actually did better than what should have been within our grasp,because Mercedes, Lotus and Red Bull were quicker than us, a fact we had already seen from Friday’s practice. This race ends what’s been a generally difficult month for us and, with Silverstone and Nürburgring, is part of a cycle where we were not up to par. However, looking at the points we have obtained, we haven’t lost out too much and today, Hamilton and Raikkonen helped us to keep the gap from growing too big to Vettel in the lead. Now, our aim is to work hard to arrive at Spa and Monza with a more competitive car. There are still nine races to go and the points available are more than enough. The team can do it and the potential is there, so I don’t see any reason why we can’t fight right to the end of the championship, as we have always done.”


Esteban Gutierrez (DNF)
“It was a pity what happened. We were on a good strategy and everything was running as planned. Unfortunately, we had to retire due to a gearbox problem. This is not really the best way to finish a race, but we did everything we could during the weekend. We had an engine problem yesterday and now the gearbox during the race, so this is something we have to look at to avoid it happening again. It is frustrating, but we need to stay positive and look forward to the next events, because we can see our performance has improved. The car felt very good up until that point, and I want to thank the team for all the effort it put in. Now we have to solve the issues we had in order to have trouble-free weekends.”


Romain Grosjean (6th)
“For sure this is one that got away, but I’m very happy with my race and I honestly don’t think I could have done much more. Maybe the strategy didn’t quite work how we wanted, but the car felt really good and it was the traffic that cost us. Without this maybe there would never have been a drive-through penalty which for sure didn’t help. I haven’t seen the footage yet and I thought it was a good move, but unfortunately the stewards took a different view. I’ve no problem with the time-added for the incident with Jenson and I apologised to him afterwards. This could have been the one for me, but we will just have to wait a little bit longer and keep improving like we have been recently to make it happen.”


Jean-Eric Vergne (12th)
“A difficult race after we saw yesterday, particularly with Daniel, that the car has a good pace, but in the race we struggled and we could not match our usual rivals. I did what I could after a bad start, which meant I had to fight to get back to where I was. Beating my team mate? It means nothing, especially when we are outside the points. I’d rather finish behind him inside the points. The holiday starts soon, but my focus is still on racing and I will be doing a lot of training to be in good shape to have a strong second half of the season. We still have a week to go when, along with the engineers, there will be a lot of work for us to do.”


Eric Boullier, Lotus team principal
“Another good result for Kimi today. He drove very well and was backed up by a strong strategy to help him make the podium. Romain was very unfortunate in that we couldn’t quite jump Fernando [Alonso] in the pits which cost him a lot of time, plus the drive-through penalty cost him a far better result. He made a great move at a circuit where overtaking is difficult and he had no room to do anything else. For us the Stewards’ decision was harsh. The most important thing to take from the weekend has been the pace of the car; this circuit is a bit special, and I think there will be some circuits where we have to work a bit harder, but I’m confident we’ll be consistently fighting for podiums at every race weekend in the second half of the season. Red Bull are a long way ahead, but we’ve shown today that they can be beaten so we want to keep pushing them all the way.”


Valtteri Bottas (DNF)
“It’s a shame to have my first retirement of the season as the goal was to finish every race, but there was nothing I could do today. We still need to investigate what happened but it felt like hydraulics as first I lost the power steering and then the engine. Today wasn’t my best race but in general I feel I am improving all the time and looking forward to the second half of the season. Congratulations to Pastor and the team on claiming our first point, we now need to work hard to build on that when we return after the summer.”


Jules Bianchi (16th)
“It was a very tough race today and we were struggling with the balance the whole time and having to work so hard to preserve the rear tyres. All 70 laps were a bit of a battle to be honest. On the positive side we remained reliable in a race which is very demanding for the cars, bringing two cars home once again. My thanks to the Team for a good job, especially today with the pitstops and high temperatures. They did their usual strong performance. Now we head into the summer break and it is a time to both rest but also think about what we can do when we come back for the second half of the season. It is so important that we hold our ground to our competitors in order to achieve our objectives this year.”


Charles Pic (15th)
“I started on the options on a two-stop strategy and by the end of lap one I was just behind Bottas with my teammate ahead of him. We’d originally planned to stop around lap 10 but the soft tyres were holding up well so we extended the first stint to lap 13 so I could stay out, even though we knew it would be challenging with the track conditions today! After my first stop I came back out behind Bianchi and Chilton but passed them and started to make up time to Giedo who was then in 18th. Even though the track conditions were obviously very hot the first set of mediums was performing well and they held up for the distance we’d targeted for stop two on lap 38, by which point I was 18th. With that second stop successfully completed I had to make the tyres last for the rest of the race, 32 laps in total, so I managed them as best I could and there wasn’t really anything more I could do today.”


Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal
“A very hot and tough afternoon. Probably the decisive moment in Sebastian’s race was after the first stop when he emerged behind Jenson Button. We weren’t able to get past quickly and sustained a bit of wing damage. That then effectively released Lewis and put us back into the realms of fighting with Kimi on a two stop. However, despite the damage, Sebastian was able to maintain a very strong pace and pushed all the way to the flag. Mark’s recovery from tenth was excellent today, a very strong first stint put him back into contention and to recover from tenth on the grid to fourth was a very good performance. So heading into the summer break, we’ve extended our lead in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships and everyone now deserves a well-earned rest to recharge their batteries for when we come back at the end of August.”


Nico Rosberg (19th)
“Today was a great day for the team, for Lewis and a brilliant job by everyone here at the track and back at our factories. Unfortunately my weekend didn’t go quite so well and it’s a shame that we couldn’t have had a two-car finish today. I got a good start but then Felipe and I came together on the first lap which was unfortunate as I was in front and had left some space for him but his front wing hit my rear tyre. That cost me a lot of positions and it’s really difficult to make the places back up on this track. Then my day came to an early conclusion with the engine failure. However there are lots of positives for us to take as a team from this weekend and now I really look forward to the upcoming races as we know that we have a quick car and we made the new tyres work for us this weekend.”


Lewis Hamilton (1st)
“What a great weekend! We really didn’t expect this when we came here this weekend and I said last night that I would need a miracle to win today. Well, just maybe they do happen. The team called the strategy and the pit stops just right and then it was just about managing the gap. I had some racing to do out there, though, with Jenson and Mark and I think we had the pace on everyone today. The team has just done an exceptional job: we have worked so hard to understand these tyres and we got the balance spot on today. I am very hopeful this could be a real turning point for us as we coped with these high track temperatures. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at the team here and at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth. Team work achieved this result today and I really couldn’t be happier.”


Daniel Ricciardo (13th)
“Right from the start, it was clear we weren’t really quick. I tried to hold position as long as I could but we were way too slow. I tried my best in terms of trying to maintain a good pace and look after the tyres, but today it was not enough to go looking for points. We got a bit more out of the car in qualifying yesterday, but it’s hard to repeat that for seventy laps. We struggled at Nurburgring as well, so the heat has got something to do with it. We could not match our competitors today, just lacking speed when we have a heavy fuel load, which is the opposite of what we tended to see with last year’s car.”


Jenson Button (7th)
“That was a fun race – although I seemed to be a target for other cars! Sebastian [Vettel] tried many times to get past me, and clipped my rear wheel into Turn Two – he may have damaged his wing, but I was lucky not to puncture. With Romain [Grosjean], I don’t know what he thought – unless I took to the grass, it was inevitable we were going to touch! I don’t think he was thinking at that point. I ran almost half the race on the Prime tyre, which was the longest of anybody; it’s good to show we can do that. Our middle-stint pace on the Option was also very good, and I had a blinding first lap, jumping from 13th to eighth. We beat a Ferrari fair and square, and we’d also have beaten a Mercedes if Nico [Rosberg] hadn’t stopped – we can take a lot of positives away from here. Seventh position might not look too exciting – particularly after we fought for fifth at the last race – but we’ve done a good job this weekend and taken a step forward – and that’s a nice little boost to send everyone off into the summer break.”


Kimi Raikkonen (2nd)
“It was a good race and a good result for the team. The strategy worked well. We did two long stints on the tyres but they weren’t too bad and the car felt strong so it allowed us to make one less stop. In the last few laps the rears were a bit on edge, but apart from that it was ok. Sebastian [Vettel] got the run on me a couple of times but luckily it was in places that you can’t really overtake. The main positive is that we gained a few points to Seb in the Championship. For sure we could have maybe closed the gap a little more with a win, but anything we can get back will help. We’re only halfway through the season and it will be hard to catch up, but anything can still happen so we’ll keep fighting until the end.”


The podium

The race in brief (more photos after the text!)

Lewis Hamilton had said it would be a miracle if Mercedes were to win the Hungarian Grand Prix, given he was expecting to struggle with tyre wear in the anticipated 50 degrees C track temperatures. Instead, in a gripping race in which the tension ran high throughout, he duly delivered that miracle as he joined the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss as a Grand Prix winner for the three-pointed star.

The race began with Hamilton maintaining his advantage from pole position as Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was slow away and had to fight very hard to push Romain Grosjean wide and prevent the Lotus from taking second. Fernando Alonso jumped up to fourth from Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa, whose left front-wing endplate was damaged in a collision with the slow-starting Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, whose race went to pieces thereafter.

Vettel closed initially on Hamilton, but it soon became clear that the Englishman was not running into the massive tyre degradation that he had been anticipating, despite the high temperature throughout the 70 laps.

Hamilton was the first lead runner to pit to switch from soft to medium Pirellis, on the ninth lap, followed by Vettel on the 11th, Alonso on the 12th and Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen on the 13th. That put Mark Webber into the lead after he’d started his Red Bull on the medium tyres, but as Hamilton regained second, Vettel lost crucial time behind Jenson Button’s medium tyre-shod McLaren.

When Webber pitted on the 22nd lap Hamilton went back into the lead until the 31st, and regained it three laps later when Vettel pitted again.

By half distance it was clear that the Mercedes was not going to fade as it had done in Germany, setting up a tense denouement as two-stopping Raikkonen came into the equation when Hamilton and Vettel made their final stops on the 50th and 55th laps respectively. By then Hamilton had escaped and was seven seconds clear of Raikkonen, who had his hands full on worn tyres fending off the Red Bull.

It got close at times, but the Finn is no pushover and held on to second to repeat the two leading positions from 2012. Vettel had to be satisfied with third, annoyed with himself for damaging his front wing in the battle with Button, and must have pondered what might have been as Raikkonen immediately pulled off into the pit lane exit after crossing the line.

Webber had to do a late stop to switch to the soft tyres, and dropped back to a nonetheless excellent fourth after a strong run following his qualifying dramas.

Alonso clung on to fifth after a typically gritty race in a less than fully competitive Ferrari, and for the last 32 laps he had Grosjean within a second of him yet never yielded to the pressure. The Frenchman pulled off a terrific around-the-outside overtaking move on Massa at Turn 4, but later brushed Button’s McLaren in one of the top chicanes while following Vettel past it on the 24th lap.

Later Grosjean received a drive-through penalty for gaining an advantage by running off the road while passing Massa, which ruined his chances of victory, and was also handed a 20-second post-race penalty for the incident with Button. However, as he held a 21.524 second advantage over the Briton at the flag, he retained his sixth place finish.

In one of McLaren’s strongest performances of the season Button held on for seventh ahead of Massa, with Sergio Perez in the other MP4-28 taking ninth as Pastor Maldonado’s 10th finally garnered a 2013 point for Williams.

Behind the FW35, Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg just held on for 11th after an earlier drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane, but he was only fractions ahead of the Toro Rossos of Jean-Eric Vergne, who had passed high-qualifying team mate Daniel Ricciardo with four laps to go.

Giedo van der Garde was a good 14th for Caterham, beating team mate Charles Pic, as Jules Bianchi headed Marussia team mate Max Chilton home in 16th.

Neither Force India made the finish; Adrian Sutil stopped after 19 laps with a hydraulic leak, and Paul di Resta stopped only a couple of laps from the finish. So did Rosberg, whose appalling afternoon ended with a fiery engine breakage in Turn 2 on the 65th lap. Valtteri Bottas’s Williams also wilted, as did Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber.

Ahead of the summer break Vettel still leads the drivers’ championship battle with 172 points as Raikkonen moves ahead of Alonso with 134 to 133. Hamilton is fourth with 124 to Webber’s 105. In the constructors’ stakes, Red Bull have 277 to Mercedes’ 208, Ferrari’s 194 and Lotus’s 183.


Photos by Steve Sziklai July 2013

Words and quotes via Formula 1 media materials

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