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
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022