Transcript of the post race press conference organised by the FIA for the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix
Sun 27.07.14, 6:06PM
1 – Daniel RICCIARDO (Red Bull Racing)
2 – Fernando ALONSO (Ferrari)
3 – Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes)
(Conducted by Martin Brundle)
Daniel, what brilliant drive, congratulations. How on earth does that feel?
Daniel RICCIARDO: It feels as good as the first, it really does. I don’t know, I mean the safety car at the beginning played to our advantage and then I thought when the second one came out it didn’t really help us but we managed to pull it off at the end, had to pass our way through and that was a lot of fun in the last few laps.
You rehearsed that big outbraking move on Fernando last weekend in Germany didn’t you? That was from a long way back.
DR: Yeah it was. I knew we had to make a move quick, the DRS was there and I know it could have been my only chance, so I took it and it paid off. Had to be done.
Fernando, you hung onto the tyres, you took a risk and you pushed like crazy. It’s your birthday on Tuesday and you nearly had the perfect birthday present. But second place, is it painful or are you satisfied anyway?
Fernando ALONSO: No, extremely satisfied. I think it has been a tough weekend – a tough season in general – so to get a podium is always a nice surprise let’s say. We took a gamble. We risked today just trying to get the victory. We went close but as I said, extremely proud of the team, extremely proud of the job we did today and very, very happy.
Rain for the start, safety cars, traffic, tyres degrading, you needed all your experience today. You needed everything.
FA: Well, today we have a combination of things that made the race difficult to execute, difficult to understand and we took our opportunities, our experience… we need some crazy races to get some podiums and today we took the opportunity.
Congratulations. Moving over to Lewis Hamilton: pit lane to podium! Lewis, that was also via the barriers of the second corner at the start. What a crazy afternoon you’ve had.
Lewis HAMILTON: It’s been a pretty crazy weekend.
When you got out of the car yesterday, you were disappointed you had that failure and you had mentally put yourself over 30 points behind Nico. You were convinced he would win and you would struggle to get into the top five and here you are on the podium.
LH: Absolutely. Big thank you to the team, they did a great job with the pit stops and with the strategy and I just tried my best. The car’s been fantastic – when it’s going. Obviously a lot of points lost, because we could have had a much better weekend but we have a lot of strengths to look forward to in future races.
You were really struggling in the beginning. You were talking about the diff, you were talking about a vibration, we heard you were getting very hot in your seat, you were clearly nursing a few issues as well?
LH: Yeah, to be honesty at the beginning obviously a mistake by myself, but the brakes were very, very cold and locked up and I was gone. Fortunately I got going again, thank the Lord I didn’t damage the car and you know damage limitation again.
One of your finest ever drives?
LH: I don’t think so.
Well, it look pretty damned good from where we were sitting and standing in the grandstands. So Daniel, we go into the summer break, although Spa will be with us soon enough, and you have a great victory. What are you going to do and what does it mean for you in the second half of the season?
DR: Well, definitely going to celebrate tonight and party for a few days I think, enjoy a bit of time off. Then just keep building on what I’ve done in the first six months and then look forward to Spa. Just firstly I want to thank the team, they’ve really let me settle in so well the first six months of the year and to grab two victories it’s honestly phenomenal, so really pleased. Got a few mates here this weekend, so we’ll party hard tonight.
Well done Daniel, that was an amazing victory, very exciting for all of us. You led early one and then obviously came back at the end. When did you think you had it won?
DR: I wasn’t sure. I knew that the first safety car played into our hands, we inherited the lead there, pitting for slicks and then, yeah, we were looking alright. Then we got the second safety car and obviously we pitted again for another set of tyres but we obviously lost the lead. I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen. We were stayed out pretty long that stint and we were leading a fair chunk of the mid-race but then I knew we weren’t going to get to the end on that set of tyres. So we had to pit again and that put me back out of position. Then we knew we had to overtake to win the race. Obviously we had the fresher tyres at our disposal but I knew it was going to be an exciting finish. I honestly had a scare in the middle of the race, for a few laps we had some issues. Basically, we were down on power and had to get a bit crazy on the switches, so I thought the race could have potentially ended early but we got through that and yeah, very happy.
What about overtaking these two, the overtaking manoeuvres in the last few laps?
DR: Yeah, obviously there was only one way to win it and that was to get around them. Obviously I had the advantage of the fresher tyres, but I knew they wouldn’t make it easy. I attempted Lewis into Turn Two, I think the previous lap or maybe two before I eventually got him, but just locked up and went too wide. I had a second crack at it and I still locked up but I managed to just hang on and just had a bit more grip around the outside there, so that was that. And then, once I got close enough to Fernando, I knew I just had to go for it. Being in that sandwich there, Lewis was still I think in the DRS zone, basically I couldn’t waste too much time and that’s what I did and then once I got the lead I knew it was just a couple of laps to go. Yeah, it feels good.
Well done. Fernando, coming to you. What does this mean to you? What does it mean to Ferrari, coming just before the break?
FA: It means a lot. Obviously we had some tough races recently and to see one Ferrari again on the podium is the best news. We took the opportunity after a difficult race, with a wet start and then some difficult decisions to make around the safety cars – if pitted or not. Unfortunately first safety car we went a little bit out of position, because the safety car went out and we were in the last corners so we missed the opportunity to stop. We stopped the lap afterwards and we lost a couple of places. We have to attack, we have to overtake a couple of people and just 10 laps to the end we were discussing if we stop and secure the fourth place that we really needed, those points, so just try to defend the position as much as you can and maybe finish in fourth, so at the end it’s the same result but at least you have the chance to fight for the podium positions. So we were in that position 10 laps to the end and at the end we chose the right thing – stay out, defend the position as best we could and secure this second place that, for sure, it tastes like a victory for us at the moment.
Yes, it’s interesting what Ferrari will take from this. Presumably you’ll still be telling them to push on other types of circuit, this was a very tight circuit obviously?
FA: We’ll see. This circuit didn’t change much our performance, our position but today we had a little bit of a chaotic race and we took every opportunity we had in front of us. I think cars from behind also had some issues, with Rosberg, with Hamilton yesterday, with the issues in qualifying, we get this position for free. We had Vettel, had a problem in the last corner today, the Force India. We had some cars out of the way let’s say and we took benefit from this and we secured some very strong points for the team.
And Lewis… I think a lot of people may be extremely surprised to see you here but it was a fantastic race for you. Did you ever think it was possible? You had some great wheel-to-wheel racing as well out there.
LH: I don't know, I was just pushing as hard as I could to see if I could get as high as I could and yeah, I mean, a great result obviously.
What does this third place mean to you or are you still regretting yesterday?
LH: No, obviously this is damage limitation. On one hand I’m very grateful to have been able to get through with all the difficulties I’ve had this weekend, obviously yesterday and the first lap. I can’t believe how things have gone but to be able to come back through… the safety cars obviously helped quite a lot but naturally I look at the fact that I had the pace this weekend I lost quite a lot of opportunistic points. Still, we’re there in the fight, fortunately I stayed of my team-mate, which means I’m still there or thereabouts.
Q: How hard did he come back at you?
LH: Well, he was catching me at three seconds a lap, so it was very, very tough at the end. Fernando, and big congratulations to Daniel, drove fantastically well, both of them. It was very difficult to keep him behind, and also with Nico, and impossible to get past Fernando.
Q: Quite tricky, the last few laps?
LH: Yeah, definitely.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Ian Parkes – PA) Lewis, we heard on the radio the messages from the team asking you to pull over and let Nico by, around about lap 50-51. We can now see why you didn’t do it, otherwise you wouldn’t be on the podium. Can you just explain your thoughts at that particular time: what was going through your head? Why you didn’t let him by? And secondly, how do you feel the dynamic of your relationship will again maybe now change, following the summer break, with Nico?
LH: Well obviously I’m aware that when you’re… y’know I was in the same race as him. Just because he had one more stop than me doesn’t mean I wasn’t in the same race as him. And naturally if I’d have let him past, he would have had the opportunity to pull away and when he does pit, he’s going to come back and overtake me, so I was very, very shocked that the team would ask me to do that, to be able to better his position. But to be honest, he didn’t get close enough to overtake but I was never going to lift off and lost ground to Fernando or Daniel to enable him to have a better race. So that was a bit strange. But we’ve got a long way to go, moving forwards still and, as I said, thankfully I’m still in that battle, so, I hope we can come away stronger.
Q: (Kate Walker – Crash.net) I’ve got a question for you Lewis. Going into the summer break, psychologically, what does it mean for you, the fact that you started in the pitlane, your team-mate started on pole, and you’re here and he isn’t?
LH: Well that in itself is huge for me. I can’t express to you the pain that you feel when you have issues such as the issues that I’ve had in the last couple of races. It’s very, very difficult to swallow, and, to come back the next day and get the right balance between not attacking too much, and not making mistakes, all these different things. So many things that… obviously when you’re at the back you’re having to push way past the limit than perhaps you would off pole position or in the top five. So the fact that I’m managed to come back through obviously is a showing of just how great this car is and how great this team is – but ultimately we’ve worked, I’ve worked hard for it so it feels probably better than perhaps a win, gliding from the lead. It feels definitely much more satisfying when you come back through. And, as I said, to be ahead and to win the fight is really encouraging.
Q: (Dan Knutson – Auto Action / National Speedsport News) Two questions, one for Daniel: how does this compare to Canada? And for the other two guys, you’ve battled wheel to wheel with Daniel. Has he now established himself as a front-runner?
DR: It honestly does compare to Canada. Obviously the first victory is special but it definitely leaves you wanting more. I was just as hungry for this second one and it feels just as good – I won’t say better but you realise it a bit more so if feels like you can enjoy it a bit more. And when I crossed the line, everything felt a bit more real, so I guess I took in a bit more of this one today. So, yeah, it feels awesome. And I just want of obviously quickly thank the team as well. To have two victories in the first half of the season with them, obviously I owe a lot of that to them as well, for letting me just settle in, establish myself with them. They never put too much pressure on me, they let me roll into it as I liked – and I think that’s been the best balance for all of us. The results are showing and I’ll enjoy this one as much as Canada.
Fernando, your thoughts about Daniel – has he established himself?
FA: Yeah, definitely. I think he’s leading the champion team. That says all. He’s doing a fantastic job this year and now he had a few bottles. In Hockenheim I had a very fresh tyre which probably allowed me to pass with some advantage but even with that it was not easy. Today, I really didn’t have the tools to fight but I tried to do my best – but definitely, congratulations to him for today, for the whole championship and it’s going to be an interesting fight in the next couple of years.
LH: Yeah, as Fernando said, he’s been driving fantastically well from the beginning of the year. So, it’s not only now, it’s through the whole year he’s shown his capability and is going from strength to strength. Not only one of the nicest guys in the paddock but also one of the best drivers here, for sure.
Q: (Flavio Vanetti – Corriere della Sera) To Fernando, a couple of questions, first one: does this result show that something can still be taken from the car, and the second one, your birthday is approaching: we know what you wished last year – what about this year? What is the gift you would like for your birthday?
FA: hmmm… I think from this year’s car there are obviously some positive things and some negative things. Now, together with the team try to analyse what to carry on and what to change. Philosophy of the car probably is not perfectly right because we are not as competitive as wish, so there are things that we need to change but also there are things that are probably working OK. Well last year it was a very big understanding of what was my wish. Especially in Italy. So, this year, I will not wish anything about the car and I will wish a happy day to everyone in Italy.
Q: (Carlos Miquel Gomez – La Gaceta) Two questions for Fernando. Do you think that this race is one of the best races of your career? And the other thing, to hear the people cheering “Alonso, Alonso” is one of the reasons that you are following Formula One.
FA: I don’t think that is one of the best in my career. It has been a good and a complex race, let’s say, to execute and perform – because there were some difficulties around the race that make the 70 laps not straight forward. You just need to make decisions during the race and all of them were, together with the team, and I think we did the best we could. And then in the podiums, the support from the people has been amazing. Especially this two or three last seasons – which is a little bit strange when you think that I won the World Championship the last time in 2006, I suppose that my career should be going down and it’s going up. So that’s definitely something that keeps my motivation very high. I would like to give them something back in terms of trophy and in terms of titles. It’s what we’re working on.
Q: (Peter Vamosi – Vas Nepe Kiadoi) Daniel, when do you think your next victory will come? This year you are the only Mercedes destroyer. And do you still continue to develop this year’s car or will you focus on next year after Spa?
DR: I think – answering your second question quickly – I think we’re definitely going to keep trying to push for this year. There’s still a lot to play for. In any case, what we learn this year we can still take forward for next year so the team will keep pushing and I’m sure that now this second victory will keep the motivation strong within the team so that’s good. Sorry, what was the first question?
Q: (Peter Vamosi – Vas Nepe Kiadoi) This year you are the only Mercedes destroyer.
DR: Good. Someone’s got to do it.
Q: (Frederic Ferret – L’Equipe) Lewis, during this crazy race, what was the main difficulty for you, trying to find your way on the wet track at the beginning or resisting your teammate at the end?
LH: The beginning. The strange thing about starting from the pit lane is that you don’t get ready to go out. Your brakes are cold as you start, your tyres are brand new and obviously I experienced that into turn two. It was an interesting beginning to the race but I’m very very very grateful that I got through.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – UOL) To all of you: three different drivers, three different teams, three different power trains in the last race of this part of the season. Does it mean that in the second part of the season we will maybe see some more competition or did the circumstances of the race create this situation?
DR: I think today obviously the mixed conditions and the safety cars maybe helped out this order in terms of having three different manufacturers up here but I would like to think that it can create something for the second half. I think that in pure dry conditions, Mercedes still have a pretty significant edge on everyone else. Spa, it’s a pretty good place to start the second half of the year. Maybe the weather and the changes they have there could create something exciting but forgetting all the stats, obviously this is a great thing to see today: three teams, three manufacturers all up here. It’s refreshing, for sure.
FA: I agree with everything. Let’s hope so. I think the circumstances and the weather played a big factor today. The circuit characteristics also probably helped some of the power units that we are not on top of the game still, so let’s see at Spa. Monza is quite a tough challenge for us and that will give us some answers for the final part.
LH: I think it’s great for the fans to see. I’m sure today – people say it was a great race – that’s really what the fans want to see so I hope that continues for the future.
Q: (Istvan Simon – Auto Magazin) Lewis, the last time that things didn’t go according to plan was at Silverstone – apart from Hockenheim but that was a technical issue – when something messed up your qualifying, you said that you spent the night or I heard you spend the night with your mother, with your father, with your family, with your loved ones. What helped you through this time, in this dip? What did you do yesterday to prepare yourself for the race day?
LH: I had a pizza last night! I did, some pizza and some chocolate and watched a movie. Went to dinner with Niki yesterday and played a prank on him as it was his birthday and just tried to have some fun. We really have some of the greatest fans here and I think really some of my really close fans that I have here really got me through this weekend. I didn’t have my family here with me and it’s great to be able to turn to them and to be able to receive positive energy from them. I got a letter from one of my fans this morning and just the comments it had in it were really uplifting and really helped kick my mind into gear so I’m grateful for that.
Q: (Peter Farkas – Auto Motor) Lewis, yesterday you were quoted as saying that what happened starts to go beyond bad luck. Could you please explain what exactly you meant by that and are you maybe starting to lose confidence in the team, because of the technical problems and now they asked you to move over for Nico who was on a different strategy?
LH: I don’t really remember... I mean yesterday after what was quite a difficult time, I came straight out and spoke to the media so I think fortunately I controlled myself quite well and I don’t really remember what kind of frame of mind I was in at that point but it’s the same as saying ‘it’s beyond a joke.’ Sometimes there’s one joke, there’s another joke and sometimes it gets a little bit past that and obviously with the faults that we’ve had on my car, it’s made it very difficult for this championship but as I said, fortunately I got some points today which means that I’m still there or thereabouts but the telling thing would be how my car performs through the rest of the year.
Q: (Carlos Jalife – Fastmag) Daniel, who do you side with: Fernando said a few races ago that the championship was basically over? It was for one of the guys from Mercedes. And Sebastian said that mathematically it was still on, so what’s your opinion on that? Is it over or is it not?
DR: I think there’s obviously a couple of opinions. When maybe some of us say it’s over, I think it’s just purely looking at the performance of Mercedes. On a normal weekend with normal conditions on pretty much all circuits, they’ve been dominant. I think days like today, with some changing conditions, some safety cars, it helps us keep our nose in the fight. I think Seb’s right in saying that until it’s mathematically over it isn’t. If you look at today, I closed in on the championship but realistically we’re still a long way off. It doesn’t really change the approach in any case. If we’re in it or not, we still race for the highest position possible and obviously as we saw today, the win was there for grabs and we took it. In any case, I don’t think it changes the approach for Sundays. I think with the Abu Dhabi system they’ve applied this year, it’s still going to be pretty open until late on in the season. We’ll just keep doing what we can.
Q: (Cristobal Rosaleny – Car and Driver) Fernando, how impressive or how surprising for you and for the team was having such an amazing pace with the soft tyres for such a long time with the degradation of the tyres. Was it really a surprise, a question of weather?
FA: Yeah, it was definitely a surprise. We found ourselves leading the race when Ricciardo and Massa pitted so we thought OK, let’s give the maximum for three or four laps just to open up a gap and stop see whether we are in the final part and then we realised that it was not so many laps to the end and it was a difficult call: stopping and keep pushing and finishing fourth or keep going and risking the cliff with the tyres and finishing fourth or fifth or whatever. So it was surprisingly good, it was surprisingly fast, the car in the race. I think the weather helped us with cooler temperatures and the track a little bit damp in the first part. Obviously you don’t stress the tyres as much as a completely hot track. I felt the car was good and it was definitely a surprise.
Q: (Oliver Barstow – Crash.net) Lewis, yourself and Nico have had the odd technical issue over the course of the year. Given the performance between you two is so close, how concerned are you that the title could be decided between you by who has the least technical issues?
LH: Ultimately it is a concern because I’ve stopped more than him. But as I said, there’s still quite a few races to go and it will be telling, dependent on how... Obviously I’ve got the pace, got the ability, just really whether or not the car holds up.
Alonso second. Hamilton rises from pit lane to final podium position ahead of Rosberg.
Sun 27.07.14, 6:06PM
Daniel Ricciardo took as thrilling second win of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix as Fernando Alonso clung on to second despite worn tyres and Lewis Hamilton battled from a pit lane start to the final podium position. Nico Rosberg, meanwhile finished fourth after starting from pole position.
Ricciardo’s victory was sealed in the final handful of laps as equipped with fresh tyres he closed in on then leader Fernando, who was bravely trying to stretch a set of soft tyres through a 32-lap stint to the chequered flag, and Hamilton, who had muscled his way through the pack after starting from the pit lane and suffering a spin in a wet start to the race.
Ricciardo eventually muscled his way past Hamilton on lap 67 with a brave move aournd the outside of Turn Two of the tight and twisting Hungaroring. At the start of the following lap he passed Alonso into Turn One and the victory was sealed.
“There was only one way to win it and that was to get around them,” he said afterwards. “Obviously I had the advantage of the fresher tyres, but I knew they wouldn’t make it easy. I attempted Lewis into Turn Two, I think the previous lap or maybe two before I eventually got him, but just locked up and went too wide. I had a second crack at it and I still locked up but I managed to just hang on and just had a bit more grip around the outside there, so that was that.
“Then, once I got close enough to Fernando, I knew I just had to go for it. Being in that sandwich there, Lewis was still I think in the DRS zone, basically I couldn’t waste too much time and that’s what I did and then once I got the lead I knew it was just a couple of laps to go. Yeah, it feels good.”
Due a rain shower in the hour before the start, the race began in damp conditions with the field on intermediate tyres. When the lights went out Rosberg got away well and maintained his lead as the field cautiously approached Turn One.
Sebastian Vettel, starting from the front row, lost out, though, being passed by third-on-the-grid Valtteri Bottas on the exit of the first corner and then by Alonso as they swept through Turn Two. The Red Bull driver was soon back up to third place, however, making his way past the Ferrari in Turn Five.
At the back Hamilton was spinning. He started from pitlane due to the first he suffered during qualifying on Saturday and as he set off after the pack lost control of the rear end of the car in Turn Two. He slid towards the barriers and was lucky not to sustain any damage. He rejoined and despite complaining of poor brake response and diff problems he began to make his way through the order, rising to 13th by lap eight, by which time Rosberg was nine seconds clear of Bottas at the front.
Rosberg’s lead wouldn’t last much longer, however. On the next lap Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson lost control in Turn Three and hit the barriers hard. The safety car was deployed and the field from P5 back came into the pits, with the majority taking on slick tyres.
On the following lap the front runners, who has passed the pit lane entrance when Ericsson crashed, made their visit to pit lane and by the time the order had settled behind the safety car, Ricciardo was leading on soft tyres, ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button, who was on intermediate tyres. Behind them were Felipe Massa, Rosberg, Kevin Magnussen (who did not pit and was on his starting intermediate tyres), Jean-Eric Vergne, Vettel, Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg and in P10 Sergio Perez. Bottas, meanwhile, had dropped to 11th.
While the safety car was deployed, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean also crashed out at Turn 3, forcing a longer stay on track for the pace car.
The safety car came in at the end of lap 13 and Button, told to push as the rain would not be reappearing, immediately used the better grip he had in the greasy conditions to take the lead. He soon came into the pits, however, to discard the intermediate tyres that were quickly degrading.
Behind them the order was changing. Rosberg was going backwards. He was passed by Vergne and Alonso and by lap 17 was down in fifth place, with only Vettel between him and team-mate Hamilton in P7.
Ricciardo, meanwhile, was picking up his pace in the improving conditions. By lap 20 he was setting fastest laps and was five seconds clear of Massa. Alonso was inside DRS range of second-placed Massa and pressuring his former team-mate hard, while Vergne was three seconds down on the Ferrari. The major battle though was between Vettel and Hamilton. On lap 21, the gap was just 0.3s and Vettel was in defensive mode. Rosberg, though, wasn’t able to use the fight to his advantage, with the gap to Vettel continuing to hover around the one second mark.
Then on lap 23 the safety car made its second appearance as Sergio Perez lost control on the exit of the final turn and spun into the wall on the pit straight.
Leader Ricciardo pitted on lap 24 behind the safety car, the Red Bull driver taking on more soft tyres. Second-placed Massa and Bottas (P8) also pitted on the same lap, with both taking on medium tyres.
Massa rejoined in seventh behind Ricciardo, with Bottas in P13. The stops left Alonso in the lead from Vergne, with Rosberg third ahead of Vettel and fourth-placed Hamilton.
The safety car left the track at the end of lap 26 and Alonso held his lead. He soon began to pull Away from Vergne, with the Frenchman becoming something of a cork in a bottle. By lap 31 he was 3.3s down on Alonso and was holding Rosberg up.
Rosberg tried to change that on lap 33, pitting for soft tyres. On track Vettel almost replicated Perez’s crash, losing control on the kerb at the exit of the final corner. He narrowly missed the wall but dropped back to seventh. Ther German was then told to nurse his ageing tyres through to the end of the race.
Ahead, Hamilton managed to squeeze past Vergne at Turn Four around the outside, causing the Frenchman to pit soon after for new tyres. As those ahead of him began to pit, Ricciardo rose up the order and started to push, setting another fastest lap on lap 35 while in P3.
Rosberg, after his second stop, was now in P10 and 27 seconds down on second-placed Hamilton. The German was told that his title rival now had time to make his second stop and emerge in front, so Rosberg attempted to push.
He got past Bottas on lap 38 but his times were still slower than Hamilton’s and the Briton was quickly on the radio to tell his time he could remain on track at the same pace for a further couple of laps.
Hamilton finally pitted on lap 40m, taking on medium tyres. He emerged in P5 behind Alonso (who had made his second stop), but crucially, he was ahead of Rosberg.
At the front, Ricciardo led once more, from Massa and Kimi Raikkonen, who had only made one stop. The Finn was soon in for more soft tyres.
Massa made a third stop on lap 46 taking more mediums. That promoted to Alonso to second, 15.8s behind Ricciardo and 2.4s ahead of Hamilton.
The Mercedes driver was being pressured by his team-mate, however. Rosberg was just a second behind and the Briton was soon told not to hold the German up as they worked through different strategies.
After five laps of Rosberg not being to close enough in the turbulent air, Hamilton was asked to allow Rosberg past on the main straight on the next lap. The Briton refused, reasoning that to do so would cost him too much time.
Ricciardo, meanwhile, was concerned about the state of his rear tyres and though the team wanted the Australian to race the set until the end of the race, the Red Bull driver was unable to do and was forced to pit for soft tyres on lap 55. He rejoined in fourth place but armed with much greater pace than his riavls.
Mercedes then decided to shift things, bringing Rosberg in on lap 57 to take on used soft tyres. He emerged in P7 ahead Verttel and was told he needed to put in “a quali lap, every lap”.
The order, then, with 13 laps to go was Alonso, three seconds clear of Hamilton, with Ricciardo, on fresh tyres, a further 3.7s back. Bottas had risen to fourth ahead of Massa, Raikkonen and Rosberg, who was just half a second behind the Finn.
As Bottas pitted, Rosberg made his way past Raikkonen down the inside into Turn One on lap 60 take fifth place. He cleared Massa on the following lap but 22 seconds down on Ricciardo and with the front three determined to hang on to their fading tyres, could the German make up the ground.
The answer was yes. By lap 66 the German was just 11 seconds adrift of Ricciardo and lapping three seconds faster than the Red Bull.
The Australian was determined to make a bid for victory, however. After several failed attempts to pass the hyper-defensive Hamilton, Ricciardo eventually made a great move around the outside of Turn Two stick and then on lap 68 muscled past Alonso to claim the lead and his second grand prix win of the season.
Behind, Hamilton was pushing Alonso just as hard, attempting to claw a gap to the hard-charging Rosberg.
With two laps to go Rosberg was just 1.5s behind his team-mate. Robserg almost got past with a move around the outside on the final lap, but Hamilton moved very wide through the corner to deny his team-mate, who had to settle for fourth place.
Behind the top four, Massa took fifth for Williams ahead of Raikonen, Vettel, Bottas, Vergne and in P10 Jenson Button.
2014 Hungarian Grand Prix – Race Result
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 70 Winner 4 25
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 70 +5.2 secs 5 18
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 70 +5.8 secs 22 15
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 70 +6.3 secs 1 12
5 Felipe Massa Williams 70 +29.8 secs 6 10
6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 70 +31.4 secs 16 8
7 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 70 +40.9 secs 2 6
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 70 +41.3 secs 3 4
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso70 +58.5 secs 8 2
10 Jenson Button McLaren 70 +67.2 secs 7 1
11 Adrian Sutil Sauber 70 +68.1 secs 11
12 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 70 +78.4 secs 21
13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 70 +84.0 secs 20
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 69 +1 Lap 10
15 Jules Bianchi Marussia 69 +1 Lap 15
16 Max Chilton Marussia 69 +1 Lap 18
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Rosberg on pole as engine fire sidelines Hamilton
2014 Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying Press Conference
2014 Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying Press Conference
Transcript of the Qualifying Press Conference organised by the FIA for the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix
Sat 26.07.14, 5:05PM
1 – Nico ROSBERG (Mercedes)
2 – Sebastian VETTEL (Red Bull Racing)
3 – Valtteri BOTTAS (Williams)
Congratulations Nico. It was a dramatic qualifying session wasn’t it, what with the rain, going off at the first corner etc. What was it like from the cockpit?
Nico ROSBERG: Yeah, quali three was really a big challenge, because the track was just changing all the time in the beginning and especially starting the lap with that first set of options, I was the first one to arrive in the first corner. It was just difficult to judge: how much risk can I take, how late can I brake? It was very, very wet, so I did take it a bit easy and managed to avoid crashing. For Kevin? I guess… It was just massively difficult down there and unpredictable. That can happen. From then on it was easier. It just started drying again and especially my last lap, I really managed to nail it.
And a really big margin as well. Well done. Sebastian, at one point it looked as though you nearly had him, you looked as though you were nearly going to be on pole. Where has the speed come from this weekend?
Sebastian VETTEL: I think probably the nature of the track suits us a bit more – less straights. I think historically we’ve always had a competitive car around here. It seems that we are a little bit closer but obviously Nico’s final lap was very good so the gap was again quite big – bigger than we were hoping for, because as you mentioned if we get everything perfect and Nico maybe has a bit of a wobble, we can have a crack, but it didn’t happen. They did a god job. Obviously Q3 was a mixed bag, it could have been anything, so therefore with the more dry conditions at the end to get second was the optimum.
Well done, thank you. Valtteri, once again in the top three. You weren’t expecting to be quite so quick at this circuit. Is this a bit of a surprise? Well done by the way.
Valtteri BOTTAS: Thank you, yeah. I think maybe a little bit of a surprise. We knew that Red Bull are going to be really quick here and also Ferrari and obviously Mercedes like always. Like Seb said the nature of the track in theory is not the best for us, but we’ve been able to work well as a team to bring some updates, which really worked well. Obviously we're still missing some grip compared to some other cars but today was, I think, a really good day from us. Third and sixth, we have a good chance also here to get some really good points.
Now Nico, tomorrow in the race itself, there’s the possibility of rain again, your main championship rival and team-mate starts right at the back, what are your thoughts?
NR: Yeah, that’s been a pity for the team. Not a good thing definitely and we need to keep on working on that. That’s reliability. Also, I would be prefer to be out there battling with Lewis. That would give me the maximum adrenalin rush. Like this… of course, I’m very, very happy but it wasn’t a gloves off battle with Lewis and that takes away a little bit of the ecstatic happiness. But anyway, tomorrow’s still going to be a long race and a challenging race, especially with the weather coming, so still all to play for.
Q: Nico, yesterday you said you were a bit surprised you were so quick, and you needed to find the time. Did the track come to you or did you managed to find the time, basically, through adjustments, modifications to the car…
NR: That was two opposing statements there… ‘you were quick but you needed to find the time…’
That’s what you said… you were surprised you were so quick but you still needed to find the time. This is a quote!
NR: Never believe what the newspapers are writing!
This is from your own press release…
NR: Oh, OK, never believe what the press officers are writing! No. I’ve been surprised that we’ve been able to be so quick this weekend. I think our engine is definitely very, very strong and here the engine doesn’t come into play so much, so maybe the gap would be a little bit smaller but in fact it’s as big as anywhere really here and that’s been great to see. Really cool. It just goes to show how good our car is also.
Q: Did you change much overnight?
NR: It’s been an ongoing process, yeah. I mean, with FRIC not being on the car it’s still finding my way and finding our way because it does impact the car a lot, especially on a track like here in Budapest. A lot of long corners and fast, flowing corners – but really got there and I’m pleased with where we are now.
Q: Sebastian, tomorrow, can you take the fight to Mercedes? I guess that’s the question everyone wants to know.
SV: It depends. I think we are here to fight, we want to do that. If it rains, I think we definitely have a better chance than in normal, standard dry conditions but even then, I think we were closer this weekend. Long run pace, yeah, looked a lot better on Friday compared to them. Obviously hard to judge how much they were sandbagging or running different modes on Friday. So, it should be closer than in the last couple of races, definitely. I think we can have a good fight with the Williams, which seems to be out of reach the last couple of races.
Q: So the question is to Valtteri, can you be second? Can you even be first?
VB: I think, y’know, if nothing special is going to happen, first is really difficult. Still Mercedes is ahead – but you never know. We need to aim for that, always, and aiming for that we can get good results. Obviously here, tomorrow, it’s going to be a really close fight, like Seb said, with Red Bull and us. So we need to see how the pace is. If it’s enough, keeping them behind, at least one of them, that would be good.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Peter Farkas – Auto-Motor) Sebastian, I think it’s fair to say that you looked convincingly quicker than Daniel throughout the weekend here. Is it because the track suits you or have you found something in the car or are you getting more comfortable with it?
SV: I don’t think I was that much quicker, I think it was fairly close all qualifying and practice as well. Since yesterday afternoon the car seemed to be coming my way a little bit and naturally then you pick up some pace. We didn’t have anything new on the car compared to last week in Hockenheim – it’s only one week ago – so I think probably the conditions, tyres seemed to help me maybe a little bit to pick up some pace.
Q: (Peter Vamosi – Vas Nepe Kiadoi) Valtteri, what do you think right now halfway through the season, you are fifth in the championship? Is there more, can you fight against Mr Vettel and Alonso?
VB: Well, we’re always aiming for more. I think there’s still a long way to go and double points in the last race so a lot more is possible. I think personally, in the drivers’ points, I think it would be good to aim to be third. I think it is possible this year with the car we have and if we keep improving like we’ve done so far, so that should be the aim.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Valtteri, is it a big help to you to have a cleaner side at the start?
VB: Yeah, this season many times, I’ve been on the dirty side so it is always better to be on the clean side and we’ve normally had some really good race starts and hopefully we’ll have a good one tomorrow as well, so we will see. It’s quite a long run to the first corner, so the start will be very important.
Q: (Graham Keilloh – F1 Plus) Sebastian, towards the end of Q3, to what extent was the rain that we’d had still making a difference? If it was making a difference, was it helping you get closer to Nico or further away?
SV: I think the first run - obviously we saw Kevin lost it into turn one - was affected by the track being damp, first couple of corners, but I think the last two runs, everyone had no problem, it was completely dry.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – Universo On Line) Nico, the fact that your teammate is at the back of the grid, does that change anything for you in the race, start in a different way, maybe new goals because it will be harder for him?
NR: Well, it makes it easier of course, because he’s my competitor number one, so I will play it even more safe and just really try and avoid any unnecessary things happening and make sure to get as many points as possible because it’s really a free opportunity tomorrow.
Q: (Viktor Bodnar – Magyar Szo) Nico, can you imagine how you would feel yourself if you were in Lewis’s place with this series of bad luck?
NR: Well, it’s massively disappointing when the car breaks down. I had it two races ago at Silverstone in the lead that the car broke down. It’s tough, it definitely is tough because it’s not something that you can control, you know, so that makes it really difficult..
Q: (Peter Farkas – Auto-Motor) Nico, it’s been anticipated on this track the ban on FRIC would have a greater effect since the corners are a bit longer and the track is bumpier. Have you felt that that was the case, this is why Red Bull was a little bit closer?
NR: For sure it had a big effect, yes, but I think it affected everybody, because everybody had the FRIC system in one way or another and so it seems that we’ve held on to our advantage and I’m very very happy to see that because it wasn’t sure how it was going to go, if some teams might benefit more than others. What was sure was that we had a good system so we were very confident ours was really good but it seems that we’ve held on which is great.
Q: (Peter Vamosi – Vas Nepe Kiadoi) To all drivers: next year, the Hungaroring will have its thirtieth Formula One race here. If you could change something on the track, corners, facilities, whatever, what would you do?
NR: Well, it’s a fantastic race to come to here you know, the fans are so excited and also it’s very international, there’s a lot of Finnish fans, also a lot of German fans, so for me it’s great. Yeah, it’s always nice to come here. What would we..? I don’t know, it’s difficult to say what to change because it’s a great track, it’s very challenging, it’s like a little street circuit but as a real track. It’s very tough, so I wouldn’t change much, I’d keep it like it is.
SV: Since there’s large interest I would probably put more grandstands next to the track so that some of the people don’t have to stand all the time. Other than that, I wouldn’t change anything.
VB: Yeah, facilities and everything are really nice, lot of fans, lot of support so that is good but I have to say that as our car is quite slick in the straights, that this year I would change the track a bit, bit longer straight. Seb, do you agree, for next year?
SV: No, I’d rather go free beer for your fellow countrymen!
Q: (Silvia Arias – Parabrisas) I would like to know, Sebastian and Valtteri, do you feel as well this impact without FRIC that Nico was talking about?
SV: Obviously I think some people were more advanced than others. For us, it didn’t make a big big difference. We had something but yeah, I think we’re more or less as competitive as we were before so it didn’t change much.
VB: No big difference, no, and we’ve improved since last weekend for sure, with the current suspension, but I don’t think it’s the key point of the season.
Q: It’s always said to be very difficult to overtake here; is it any easier with this generation of cars or is it still very difficult?
SV: In a Williams, I guess it’s fantastic down the straights, you know, you’re so quick but it depends. I think it’s always been difficult and it will be difficult tomorrow.