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Thread: 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix: Post Race Analysis

  1. #1
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    2021 Hungarian Grand Prix: Post Race Analysis

    Where to begin? There was so much drama during this race weekend, and all the fans must be thankful for that as if it didn't rain, this race was likely going to be a dreadful bore. Traditionally Hungary has been a track extremely difficult to pass at, while that stalls out any action, it also helped secure a victory.

    Alpine could not have asked for a better day. Both drivers were extremely fortunate to get through the turn 1 incident unscathed, and for Ocon it put him P1. From that point on Ocon drove with ice in his veins and did not make a single mistake, which was critical around the Hungaroring as it prevented the faster Vettel from having a shot at a pass. I think people will underestimate how good Ocon drove to earn his first victory. Alonso drove like Alonso can drive. His defending on Hamilton was superb. So many drivers just let Hamilton go by without a fight, but not Alonso. Despite being in a much slower, less powerful car, on old hard tires vs the Mercedes fresher Mediums, Alonso was able shut the door multiple times over several laps. A great drive.

    Aston Martin may have their smiles turn into frowns. Vettel was the other driver that benefited the most after turn 1. Vettel actually had a terrible start and his teammate Stroll was able to pass him off the line, but we saw Stroll make a critical error and crash his way into Leclerc, who also took out Ricciardo. Vettel tried what he could, and had the pace to win the race, but it was a slow pitstop (3.3 seconds) that cost him the race. Furthermore, Vettel stopped on the cool down lap for low fuel, and rumors are saying he did not have the minimum amount of fuel left for the FIA to test, and will likely lose his second place finish. Stroll's mistake will cost him a 5 place grid penalty, which should have been worse.

    UPDATE: Vettel has been disqualified for minimum fuel infraction.

    Mercedes showed the pace their car really has, and also continue to ride the cloud of good luck. Going back to qualifying, Mercedes or Lewis specifically, played extremely unsportsmanlike games by deliberately impeding Red Bull by driving extremely slow in the pitlane, then Lewis proceeded to abandon any proper tire prep on his out lap by speeding up and slowing down just in order to prevent Max from passing, and then Lewis drove a full 2 seconds slower on his final lap, keeping Max in dirty air, and of course preventing Perez from starting his final lap. These actions resemble Hungary 2007 where Alonso held up his then teammate Lewis Hamilton, and Alonso was given a penalty for his deliberate impeding, yet no such penalties were given this weekend. 1-2 start for Mercedes but on a wet track. Bottas once again completely botched his start and the cars blew by him, only to outdo himself by not braking in time and slamming into the back of Norris, who crashes into Max, and then Bottas continues his crash and takes out Perez. A pleasant disaster for Mercedes as their #2 driver who has been a pawn for them in the past, takes out both of their main rivals in the first corner, leaving Hamilton in position to cruise to victory. But wait, Mercedes brain farts the strategy and is the ONLY car to start the grid on intermediates, while the entire field starts from the pits on dry tires. This puts Hamilton in last place and he drove a extremely fast to get back up through the field. And this is where we saw the true pace of the Mercedes, the same car that Lewis complained for weeks about being too slow. Easily 1-2 seconds faster than everyone the whole race, and after he pitted on lap 48 for fresh Mediums, was over 3 seconds a lap faster! That is a mind boggling pace advantage, which was helped by having the most powerful car on the grid. Watching the speeds, he was 10 kph faster than Sainz going up to turn 4 where there is no DRS. It's a shame we had to hear Lewis complain the whole race, but credit him for making the most of the car. And Lewis' good fortune may continue if Vettel gets a penalty for a fuel infraction.

    Ferrari bitter sweet and a feeling of not as good as it could have been. Of course Leclerc's day was ruined by Stroll in turn 1, and Sainz was able to make up a load of positions with all the carnage. His pace was good, and it was interesting to hear Sainz overruling his strategy to stay out longer. I actually think this shows a weakness at Ferrari, as Vettel did this several times which makes one think why the pitwall keeps getting the strategy wrong. Unfortunately Sainz on the hard tires had absolutely no pace and not only could not catch the leaders in arguably a faster car, but had no grip to hold off Hamilton in the end. Ferrari still scored more points than Mclaren, which is their main fight.

    AlphaTauri had a good result in 6th and 7th, but we have to admit that it was a better result from Tsunoda as even when the races go normally, Gasly still finishes in 6th place. In any case, very strong points for the team.

    Williams have finally scored points! We saw tears from George Russell and the media is pushing the greatness of the story how finally he has points with the Williams team, even more so solidifying his greatness. Now I am a George Russell fan, I think he could be a phenom, but I am not overly impressed by his performance. How he thought it was okay to try jump to the front of the grid at the pitlane restart was odd, and thus he had to give 5 or 6 positions back. His pace was not all that impressive, and lets not forget Latifi finished ahead of him. That is huge. How about giving Latifi some praise when he has probably earned his place as one of the worst drivers on the grid, and yet he capitalized on the best opportunity of career and finished 8th.

    Red Bull Racing. The last point goes to Verstappen. I can only imagine how difficult that car was to drive. The amount of damage incurred in the crash was enough to retire the car. The team repaired what they could, but Max drove around with a bargeboard completely missing which plays an enormous role aerodynamically. Either he had words not suitable for TV, or Max just tightened his seat belts and did the best he could in a car that pretty much junk.

    Alfa Romeo was a victim of their own mistakes. The vultures on the grid, ready to scoop up points if they come available, and they blew it. Giovinazzi speeding in pitlane, and the team's unsafe release which took out Mazepin. WIthout the penalties, points would have been realistic.

    McLaren had an awful race which probably was all down to Bottas and Stroll crashing into them. Lando was forced to retire from damage, and I have to assume that Ricciardo's car was damaged when Leclerc's car hit him. At least I hope so for Daniel's sake. If that was his best performance in a car that was perfectly fine, that would probably be the worst drive of his career.

    Haas just wasn't fast enough to look at points. Some props to Schumacher for driving good enough to keep a damaged Verstappen behind, and even held up Lewis for a short while. He did what he could, and 13th is a nice finishing result, if we ignore only 14 cars finished. Mazepin unfortunately got punted out of the race by Kimi in the pits, which again brings up the argument that the penalty system is massively flawed.

    Driver of the Day. Estaban Ocon. Most will say it is Alonso for holding up Lewis, and yes I agree that was the best driving of the race, but Alonso did make mistake that allowed Lewis to get by, while Ocon was mistake free ahead of a 4 time champion for the win.

    The penalty system in F1 is majorly broken, and extremely unfair. With Silverstone fresh in our minds, and the overwhelming agreement that Lewis' 10 second penalty was nothing more than a slap on the wrist for taking out Verstappen at 175 mph because of a bad misjudgement on Lewis' part. There was a lot of mistakes during the Hungarian Grand Prix and once again the penalties don't suit the crime. Giovinazzi speeds in pitlane and gets a 10 second stop/go penalty. Speeding is speeding, but to think going 1 kph over the speed limit can result in a 10 second stop/go is exceedingly harsh when his infraction had very little danger to anyone else, did not damage anyone else, and gave him almost no advantage. Then Kimi gets unsafely released into the path of another car on pit road, causing a significant accident that resulted in a badly damaged Haas, forcing retirement. This gets a 10 second time penalty. Haas gets a car out of the race and a huge bill to fix it. Fair? I don't think so. Let's not forget Kimi received a ridiculous 30 second post race time penalty at Imola for a restart infringement. Causing a crash in the pits is a very dangerous incident that puts a lot of mechanics at risk. Which should get a harsher punishment? Then there is the Turn 1 incident. Stroll knew he messed up and searched for an avoidance path, which he ended up on the grass and slammed into Leclerc, who then hit Ricciardo. This gets a 5 place grid penalty. Bottas, destroys Norris to DNF, who hits Max and ruins his race, and destroys Perez to DNF as well. 3 cars by his own mistake, and he also gets a 5 place grid penalty. Had either of this drivers taken out just one car, they would have received a 5 place grid penalty, or at the minimum a 3 place penalty. Because Stroll took out 2 cars, he should be given a 6-10 place penalty, and Bottas should get a 9-15 place penalty for taking out 3 cars. The innocent victim get punished much worse than the driver or team making the mistake, and that just isn't right. What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I think I read somewhere that Sainz wasn't slow in the last part due to tyres, but due to fuel saving. Probably pushed really hard once Tsunoda was out of his way.

    EDIT
    It was on his Twitter https://twitter.com/Carlossainz55/st...590147585?s=20

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by springfield View Post
    I think I read somewhere that Sainz wasn't slow in the last part due to tyres, but due to fuel saving. Probably pushed really hard once Tsunoda was out of his way.

    EDIT
    It was on his Twitter https://twitter.com/Carlossainz55/st...590147585?s=20
    Interesting information. Thank you!

    Makes you wonder how Mercedes did so well on fuel as Hamilton was pushing so hard and had a lot more power. We know the Mercedes is the most efficient engine, but Aston Martin have the same engine. Perhaps Mercedes had more fuel to start the race.

  4. #4
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    Just a reminder that a few years back, FIA started an investigation because a non UK based team had a discrepancy in the fuel...
    I don't expect something similar now though...

  5. #5
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    Love your analysis, as always!!

  6. #6
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    Belgium for sure would have been the place for drivers to take their penalties.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brembo View Post
    Belgium for sure would have been the place for drivers to take their penalties.
    Brembo, what a sensible comment!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisepie View Post
    Brembo, what a sensible comment!
    Wisepie, E' troppo presto per il # quatro motore con 11 piu, ma una penalita de 10 luoghi sarebbe scomparsa!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brembo View Post
    Wisepie, E' troppo presto per il # quatro motore con 11 piu, ma una penalita de 10 luoghi sarebbe scomparsa!
    Appunto Brembo, agreed, we could have got rid of the probable 10-place grid penalties if we'd taken the new engine to Spa, with hindsight. But it needs to be reliable and the next races may well be reduced in number, so it's six of one and half dozen of the other. And don't forget we got 2 and a half points this weekend, what a result!!

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