Infiniti Red Bull Racing-Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo raced to victory in today’s absorbing Hungarian Grand Prix. Daniel’s win, the second for the team and for the Renault Energy F1-2014 Power Unit this season, came after a thrilling three-way battle for the lead with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel secured seventh position for Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Jean-Eric Vergne ninth for Scuderia Toro Rosso, putting three Renault Energy F1-2014 Power Units into the top ten.
The result consolidates Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s second position in the constructors’ championship and Daniel Ricciardo’s third in the drivers’ race.
Key race points:
Daniel Ricciardo mastered the ever-evolving track conditions to move into the lead on lap 9 during the first safety car period. He retained the lead until the second deployment of the safety car and then pitted for a third time in the final third of the race. The Australian hunted down Rosberg for P3, then made a bravado move on Lewis Hamilton for second on lap 67. The next lap he outbraked Alonso into the first corner for the lead and eased out a cushion of five seconds to seal his second career win and the second for the Renault Energy F1-2014 Power Unit.
Sebastian Vettel was sitting in the top three until the first safety car. Pulling into the pits a lap after the following pack dropped him down the field, into the middle of a close-fought battle for fourth position with Vergne, Rosberg and Hamilton. However halfway through the race, Vettel put a tyre onto a damp kerb and narrowly avoided hitting the pit wall. He spun and continued, albeit down in 13th, but fought back to seventh.
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne raced for the lead with Fernando Alonso in the first part of the race. The Frenchman held second from a charging Lewis Hamilton until pit stops dropped him down the top ten. He stayed on the pace to finish a fighting P9. Daniil Kvyat’s race was compromised at the start when his engine stalled. The Russian nevertheless came back up to P14 at the chequered flag.
Lotus F1 Team’s Pastor Maldonado secured 13th overall from P20 on the grid. Team-mate Romain Grosjean retired on lap 11 after an accident in the damp conditions.
Caterham F1 Team suffered a double retirement. Marcus Ericsson hit the barriers after running wide on the damp track on lap 8 while Kamui Kobayashi stopped on lap 25 with a fuel system issue.
Rémi Taffin, Head of Track Operations:
The conditions gave us a thriller from start to finish. Daniel and the team thoroughly deserved the win today. We know that the twistier circuits suit us a lot better and the chassis and the Power Unit worked well together today to give Daniel the car and confidence he needed to fight for the lead. We have raised our game in the last few races and worked hard with the team over many man hours to be as competitive as possible. Of course there is still room for improvement – which is positive – and we now need to aim to be competitive in all types of conditions.
We’ve also got to use this as motivation for the second part of the year. We know it will be a lot harder when we return, but we know what our strengths are and we’ve got some interesting work in progress that will help. We now need to turn everything to our advantage and maximize opportunities when we return, just as we did today.