F1 Hungarian GP 2021: Mercedes Take Out Red Bull !!!AGAIN!!!

Did Bottas earn his one year contract extension in Hungary?

For the second race in a row, a Mercedes has taken out a Red Bull on lap 1! Lewis Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas made a terrible start from second on the grid alongside polesitter Hamilton, dropping to fifth place, in drying conditions on intermediate tires, misjudged his braking and locked up into turn 1, crashing into the back of Lando Norris’ McLaren, who in turn hit Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, before Bottas went onto also clatter into the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’d say that Bottas had earned a new 1-year contract extension, but I am not a conspiracy theorist.

The net result, Norris, Perez, and Bottas are all out, then Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll had similar issues slowing down into turn 1, taking out himself and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to bring the number of drivers out of the race to five on lap 1. All this chaos initially brought out the safety car, then a red flag, which allowed all drivers to return to the pits, giving Red Bull a chance to assess the damage to Verstappen’s car, and fix it enough to get him back into the race, albeit with a severely aerodynamically compromised car.

It gets more bizarre, on the lap 4 restart, everyone but Hamilton dove into the pits for dry tires, leaving Hamilton all alone on the grid with the medical car. It seems incredible that Hamilton, a seven time world champion did not figure out that intermediates were not the right tire to be on and pitted for dry tires, even without being instructed by his pit wall, Lewis Hamilton, the GOAT indeed! *chuckling*

The net result is that by the start of lap 5, Hamilton had to pit for slick tires, dropping him from 1st to 14th and last place. What’s more incredible is that Alpine’s Esteban Ocon found himself leading the race, followed by Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin, where both drivers finished the race, the Frenchman taking his maiden Formula 1 win. Hamilton did manage to claim a podium, but not without a multi-lap battle for 4th place with former McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso. I’d say that Esteban owes Fernando a beer or ten, without Alonso’s robust defense in the closing laps, Hamilton, driving a car 2—3 seconds a lap faster would have caught and almost certainly passed Vettel and Ocon for the Hungarian Grand Prix victory.

I think that 40-year-old Fernando has definitely silenced his critics, showing he still has the racecraft to mix it up with the best drivers. Alonso is the deserved winner of the driver of the race vote.

Max Verstappen could only manage 10th place on the road, gifting the World Drivers’ Title championship lead to Lewis Hamilton. But there was more drama to come, with Max being promoted to ninth, and Lewis second after Vettel was disqualified for not being able to supply 1 liter of fuel for scrutineering after stopping out on track after taking the chequered flag, with what Aston Martin thought was more than a liter of fuel in the car, but the FIA could only pump out 0.3 liters of fuel from Vettel’s car.

Back to conspiracy theories, it has been suggested that Vettel was disqualified for wearing a rainbow shirt with “Same Love” printed on it during the Hungarian national anthem. I don’t think that, and hope is not the reason for his disqualification, that would reflect extremely poorly on Formula 1, especially with their current “we race as one” slogan. Vettel said, “I’m happy if they disqualify me, they can do whatever they want to me, I don’t care, I’d do it again“. I know it was a political statement by Vettel, protesting Hungary’s anti-LGBTQ legislation, a policy I disagree wholeheartedly with. Vettel has never been someone I liked, but his support for LGBTQ rights has elevated the man in my view, standing up for what is right!

Formula 1 goes on a 3-week summer hiatus after Hungary, so we can all cool down, and start afresh in Spa Francorchamps. I was talking four weeks back that I hope that Max does not run away with it, as that will be just as boring as Hamilton winning every race. So I hope that Spa will be a firecracker with Lewis and Max battling it out on the track, hopefully without anyone ending up in the wall. Formula 1 has desperately needed this battle between two drivers from different teams, I hope it can continue.

– My previous F1 blog for Silverstone 2021, which I consider a racing incident –

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