What an incredible treat of a race! After months (possibly even the best part of a year) of fans lamenting the lack of excitement, action and variety, the Hungarian GP served up exactly what we’ve been waiting for. I had low expectations of F1 being able to top the opening laps of the British Grand Prix; how wrong I was!
In all the years I have followed Formula One, I seem destined to miss the Hungarian GP – something has always clashed, and this year was no different. My family and I returned from our holiday to attend the final day of Silverstone Classic. We had been keeping an eye on the Silverstone Classic twitter page, and were sure we were in for a treat. What we encountered is more accurately described as a washout.
Thankfully, we made the most of the dry morning to wander around the garages at the National Pits Complex, and saw some incredible cars. My personal favourites were the Historic Formula One cars, but the pre ’56 Sports Cars were also spectacular.
However, after that, the heavens opened and I got well and truly soaked. As a seasoned Silverstone spectator, I’m annoyed with myself for getting drawn into a false sense of security and not packing my trusty raincoat. There were some fabulous cars grouped into Aston Martins, Lambourginis, and Mercedes, but I was so ill-dressed I struggled to look at them for longer than 30 seconds. This year’s winning Le Mans 24hr car was part of the Porsche display, and their representative did an impressive job of educating me in the difference between dry and wet running, all whilst I shivered and struggled to see under my hood. (He also told me and my brother that they had had amazing weather the day before, which was less than welcome information).
Having seen some spectacular slides and drives in the wet races that followed, we returned to our suite overlooking the Pit Straight in time for the start of the Hungarian GP. As there was a lull in the action, we decided to watch the opening laps. Having injured the eardrums of several of my neighbouring spectators at the British Grand Prix as Felipe Massa took the lead of the race, I tried very hard this time to keep my excitement in check. I failed.
We started to feel guilty at missing the action at the Silverstone Classic, so decided to head out onto the balcony to watch, only discovered the race was being run under the Safety Car (and that it was freezing) and retreated back inside to watch some more of the race.
This race was the perfect tribute to Jules Bianchi. Monaco 2014 showed his incredible racing talent, and this weekend the drivers seemed to have taken more out of his book than usual. There were far more close battles than usual, aided by another appalling start from Mercedes. Vettel, Raikkonen, and Hulkenberg were tremendous off the line, and it was disappointing to see Ferrari lose an almost guaranteed (and much needed in Kimi’s case) 1-2 finish.
What is incredibly surprising is that many of the drivers that finished high in the race had particularly bad starts, and in the case of Kyvat and Ricciardo, incidents throughout the race that seemed to signal the end of their race. Their recovery was spectacular and their results well deserved.
Force India having two catastrophic failures on their cars over the weekend was heartbreaking to see. Hulkenberg was running well in the race, and it would have been interesting to see where the cars could have finished had they not retired.
And last but not least, the luck of Mercedes was jaw-dropping, and for all the wrong reasons. To be so close at the chance of bringing the Championship leader gap to single digit points before the beginning of the summer break, and then somehow Hamilton manages to extend the gap to just under a race win once again. I was thrilled at the prospect of a tight-knit battle resuming in Belgium, however it seems more and more likely that Lewis Hamilton is about to run away with this Championship.