Race Recap: Formula 1 Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021

Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021
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It’s a first for Esteban Ocon at Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021

Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021 Esteban Ocon
In picture: Esteban Ocon at Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021 | Image source https://www.dw.com/

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon won his maiden F1 race at the Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021 after taking advantage of the collision between some of the cars ahead as the drivers went into turn 1 on the first lap. Starting P8, Ocon’s chance came amidst the collision between the front-runners.

Finding the gaps, the Frenchman quickly slipped into second as the race was red-flagged. As the race was red-flagged, the drivers returned to the pits. With the weather brightening up, all of the drivers, Ocon in lead, dived into the pits to switch out the intermediate tires. This left Lewis Hamilton all alone on the grid at the restart.

Soon, the rest of the pack caught up to him on the now almost dry track and this put Ocon ahead in P1. With Sebastian Vettel right on his tail, the Alpine driver did well to fend off his attacks and keep his position. Towards the end, with teammate Fernando Alonso defending the rear and keeping the charging Lewis Hamilton at bay, Ocon rounded the final corner to take home his first victory in the F1. 

Disaster for Vettel

Sebastian vettel Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021
Sebastian Vettel at Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021  | Image source  https://www.motorsportweek.com/

Despite Sebastian Vettel’s strong drive to P2, little did he know his second podium of the season for Aston Martin would soon be taken away from him. When race officials were unable to take out the required amount of fuel from the car, they referred the issue to the race stewards. The penalty was disqualification on the grounds of technical infringements. This meant that all drivers would be promoted up the race result ladder.

With this disqualification and Lance Stroll’s car being involved in the Lap 1 accident, Aston Martin has failed to score any points this weekend. 

Williams makes it to the points table at Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021

Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021 Williams racing
Williams on the Podium at Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021 | Image source: https://www.grandprix247.com/

It was an emotional moment for Williams as the team scored their first points since the 2018 Italian Grand Prix. It was a first points-scoring finish for drivers Nicholas Latifi and George Russell as well. Though it’s not Russell’s first point in the sport, it was his first few points for Williams.

Emotions pouring out, it was indeed a good sign for the team who finished without points for the past two seasons. With their results at the Hungaroring, Williams now sits ahead in 8th place in the constructors.

Fernando Alonso proves he’s still got it

Fernando Alonso at Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021
Fernando Alonso at Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021 | Image source: https://www.autosport.com/

It was a good outing for Alpine in Hungary, with the team winning its first race ever since it was renamed. All this was a result of the toil put in by race-winner Esteban Ocon and his teammate Fernando Alonso. While Ocon was fighting to stay at the head of the pack by fending off attacks from Sebastian Vettel, Alonso too played a huge role besides finishing within the points.

With just a mere 10 laps left, Alonso who was P5 at the time, played a crucial role in stopping Lewis Hamilton from moving ahead. Hamilton, who was on a strong recovery run, was held up by Alonso’s defensive tactics long enough to give Ocon an edge. Despite being in a slower car, the two-time world champion showed his former teammate he still had a lot up his sleeve.

Though Hamilton eventually got past him, Alonso’s efforts paid off with the team getting a win, a good amount of points, and with him being named, ‘Driver of the day.’

The Lap 1 incident at Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021

 Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021
Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021 Lap 1 Crash | Image source: https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/

The much-criticized move by Valtteri Bottas took out a lot of the front-runners and ended the race for most of them. Lando Norris did well to get away from P6 and move ahead of Bottas towards the end of turn 1. The Mercedes driver braked late while coming into the turn and rammed into the back of Norris’ McLaren. The collision didn’t end without the two running into the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Amidst the chaos, the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll went into the side of Charles Leclerc’s SF21 which also came in contact with Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren. The only two cars that went on to see the chequered flag were that of Verstappen and Ricciardo, while the rest ultimately had to retire from the race. The penalty handed to Bottas and Stroll by the stewards was a five-place grid-drop at the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix. 

The championship race

With the lap 1 incident putting most of the front runners including then championship leaders Red Bull out of the race, Lewis Hamilton made an incredible comeback run towards the front of the pack to finish on the podium. His points were further added to after Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification moved him to second place.

This means Red Bull now sits second in line for the constructor’s championship at 291 points, just a mere few points adrift from leaders Mercedes who have 303 points. Given that Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s recent outing at Silverstone wasn’t exactly in their favor, the Hungarian Grand Prix results just added to the turmoil.

With Verstappen’s crash at Silverstone and Perez’s at the Hungaroring, it certainly was not how Red Bull would have wanted things to go. Having lost the lead on the constructors and drivers’ standings to Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, respectively, Red Bull has to make a strong comeback in order to be back on top.

The Podium winners Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021
The Podium at Rolex Magyar Nagydíj 2021 | Image source: https://www.crash.net/

Down the order, the fight for third place gets closer after Carlos Sainz’s result brought Ferrari on a level scale with McLaren who has 163 points. With both the former and the latter losing a car each as a result of the lap 1 collision, Sainz’s fourth place(now third) helped the Scuderia bring the battle to McLaren.

Further down the order, Alpine moved ahead of Aston Martin with the latter being unable to score any points after a DNF from Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification. Alpine, on the other hand, had a good run in Hungary with race winner Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso adding to the points tally.

The most noticeable move up the ladder was the Williams team who now sit 8th in the constructors above Alfa Romeo and Haas respectively. With both Nicholas Latifi and George Russell finishing within points positions, Williams has scored their first-ever over points since 2018.  

With F1 heading into the summer break, the action is set to restart at the end of the month in Belgium. 

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