Hamilton takes first GP win of 2009

Lewis Hamilton completed a remarkable turnaround in McLaren's fortunes and claimed the first victory of his hitherto troubled championship defence in the Hungarian Grand Prix

Hamilton takes first GP win of 2009

In a return to the pecking order seen prior to this year's massive rule changes, Ferrari took second place with Kimi Raikkonen - a poignant result with the Finn's team-mate Felipe Massa still in an induced coma in a Budapest hospital.

Mark Webber made further inroads into Jenson Button's championship lead, as the Australian took third on a day when Button could only manage two points for seventh. That result made Webber Red Bull's leading contender in the championship, for his team-mate Sebastian Vettel retired with suspension damage, a legacy of a startline brush with Raikkonen.

As expected, the KERS cars surged forward off the line, with Hamilton squeezing past Webber into second behind pole-sitter Fernando Alonso, and Raikkonen jinking past the slow-starting Vettel to take fourth, making contact on the way past. The incident, which eventually forced Vettel to retire after he had limped through his first stint, will be investigated by the stewards after the race.

Webber managed to slip back ahead of Hamilton on the exit of Turn 1 as the McLaren went slightly wide, but the world champion returned the favour four laps later, using his KERS boost to get alongside the Red Bull into the first corner, forcing Webber to cut tight, and then accelerating past into Turn 2.

Hamilton then set off after Alonso, who had made an early break despite fuel pump problems, but was making his first of three stops on lap 12.

That stop proved to be the end of his race, for as he rejoined it immediately became obvious that his right front wheel was loose. The wheel completely detached itself as he nursed the car back to the pits, and the consequent damage eventually forced him out.

While that left Hamilton clear to dominate the rest of the race from the front, Webber found himself behind Raikkonen after a very close call in the pitlane - the Red Bull pulling out right alongside the Ferrari and having to jink aside. Webber was then further delayed when the yet to stop Timo Glock got between them on the out-lap.

The top three then stretched out, with Raikkonen falling away from Hamilton in the second stint and Webber similarly unable to keep up with the Ferrari.

Hamilton proceeded to clinch his second Hungarian GP win - an incredible result given that his McLaren was being eliminated in Q1 as recently as Silverstone, and that he had not scored at all since Bahrain.

Webber closed on Raikkonen after the final stops, but to no avail, and in the process pulled away from Nico Rosberg's Williams, which had looked like it might threaten for the final podium finish at times. While Webber had been unable to capitalise on Button's lack of pace with a win, he at least narrowed the championship deficit to 18.5 points.

Heikki Kovalainen brought the second McLaren home fifth, having hassled Webber during a short middle stint, with Timo Glock's extremely late first stop allowing him to run as high as second and come through from 13th on the grid to sixth for Toyota.

Button never had the pace to get near the top five, with his radio transmissions suggesting he was baffled by his car's lack of performance.

He at least managed to get ahead of Jarno Trulli's Toyota for seventh at the final stops, the Italian having also gained ground earlier by running long, leaving Trulli to fend off Kazuki Nakajima (Williams) and Rubens Barrichello (Brawn), the latter having been shuffled a long way down the order at the first corner.

Jaime Alguersuari completed an uneventful first grand prix in 15th, beating his Toro Rosso team-mate Sebastien Buemi after the Swiss driver lost time with a mid-race spin at Turn 2.


The Hungarian Grand Prix
The Hungaroring, Hungary;
70 laps; 306.663km;
Weather: Sunny.


Pos  Driver        Team                      Time
 1.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  1h38:23.876
 2.  Raikkonen     Ferrari               (B)  +    11.529
 3.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault      (B)  +    16.886
 4.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota       (B)  +    26.967
 5.  Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  +    34.392
 6.  Glock         Toyota                (B)  +    35.237
 7.  Button        Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  +    55.088
 8.  Trulli        Toyota                (B)  +  1:08.172
 9.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota       (B)  +  1:08.774
10.  Barrichello   Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  +  1:09.256
11.  Heidfeld      BMW Sauber            (B)  +  1:10.612
12.  Piquet        Renault               (B)  +  1:11.512
13.  Kubica        BMW Sauber            (B)  +  1:14.046
14.  Fisichella    Force India-Mercedes  (B)  +     1 lap
15.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  +     1 lap
16.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  +     1 lap

Fastest lap: Webber, 1:21.931

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                      On lap
Vettel        Red Bull-Renault      (B)    30
Alonso        Renault               (B)    16
Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  (B)    2
Massa         Ferrari               (B)    DNS

World Championship standings, round 10:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Button        70        1.  Brawn-Mercedes        114
 2.  Webber        51.5      2.  Red Bull-Renault       98.5
 3.  Vettel        47        3.  Ferrari                40
 4.  Barrichello   44        4.  Toyota                 38.5
 5.  Rosberg       25.5      5.  McLaren-Mercedes       28
 6.  Trulli        22.5      6.  Williams-Toyota        25.5
 7.  Massa         22        7.  Renault                13
 8.  Hamilton      19        8.  BMW Sauber              8
 9.  Raikkonen     18        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari      5
10.  Glock         16       
11.  Alonso        13       
12.  Kovalainen     9       
13.  Heidfeld       6       
14.  Buemi          3       
15.  Bourdais       2       
16.  Kubica         2       
All timing unofficial
Alguersuari treating GP as test
Previous article

Alguersuari treating GP as test

Next article

Vettel blames Raikkonen for DNF

Vettel blames Raikkonen for DNF
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022