Vettel Beats Kvyat and Ricciardo in Hungarian Thriller

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Sebastian Vettel drove serenely to his and Ferrari’s second victory of the season in Hungary on Sunday. Behind him, however, it was action all the way with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat scoring his first F1 podium in second and team mate Daniel Ricciardo surviving clashes with both Mercedes for third.

It was a disastrous race for the Silver Arrows. Lewis Hamilton started badly from pole, ran off track to drop to 10th on lap one, and later took a drive-through penalty for a collision with Ricciardo, before eventually coming home in sixth.

Team mate Nico Rosberg was set for second, until a late coming-together with the charging Ricciardo at Turn 1 – deemed a racing incident by the stewards – gave him a left-rear puncture and dropped the German to eighth at the flag.

From the outset, it was a race of drama and penalties. Vettel jumped into the lead from the start, with Kimi Raikkonen riding shotgun after slipping ahead of Rosberg in Turn 2. Hamilton was fourth by Turn 2, but worse was to come – he put a wheel on the dirt under braking for Turn 6, had to crawl through the gravel, and was suddenly 10th.

By the exact midpoint – lap 35 in a race shortened to 69 after the first start was aborted when Felipe Massa’s Williams was found to be out of position on the grid – Ferrari were in the pound seats with Vettel leading Raikkonen by eight seconds and an off-form Rosberg a further 11.8s back, unable to make an impression on the Prancing Horses’ advantage. Hamilton’s efforts, meanwhile, had seen him climb to fourth, another 14s back.

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Steve Johnson

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