It turned out to be a perfect Sunday behind the wheel at the Hungaroring for Lewis Hamilton, who extended his championship lead with a victory from pole, before the pinnacle of motorsport heads into its short summer break after the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Ferrari’s consolation was that Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen managed to round off the podium for the Scuderia. Hamilton’s Finnish teammate, Valtteri Bottas, backed the Briton up early in the race, but the Mercedes strategy was thrown off a bit when Ferrari brought Kimi in early.
Bottas then went on to have tussles with Vettel, taking damage to his front wing and eventually ran wide into Red Bull’s charger Daniel Ricciardo due to lack of grip and downforce on his Merc’s nose, but was overtaken cleanly was just a few laps to go. Fourth place was a decent finish for Ricciardo, who started all the way back in 12th, and was probably unexpected from the Austrian outfit after Max Verstappen was forced to retire early due to engine issues.
Drivers Championship standings
Lewis Hamilton: 214 points
Sebastian Vettel: 189
Kimi Raikkonen: 146
Valtteri Bottas: 132
Daniel Ricciardo: 118
Constructors Championship standings
Mercedes: 345 points
Red Bull: 223
Blancpain GT Series 24 Hours of Spa
It was a good weekend for South African motorsport at 24 Hours of Spa, as the number 29 Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi R8 LMS piloted by Johannesburg youngsters Kelvin and Sheldon van der Linde, and their Swiss teammate Jeffrey Schmidt finished third overall after putting in a world-class performance and also leading the race early on.
“We pushed the whole way through and never gave up. Sometimes it went our way, sometimes not, but we really just drove like we were doing qualifying laps from start to finish. The car and the tyres stayed in one piece and we managed to bring it home,” Kelvin said afterward.
Cape Town local David Perel was just as impressive in the number 333 Rinaldi Racing Ferrari 488 GT3, winning the Pro Am category with his teammates Alexander Mattschull, Rinat Salikhov and Daniel Keilwitz. Their finish was especially significant because they qualified 11th in that category.
“A big, big thank you to Michele Rinaldi for giving me a chance to drive. For us to be here is so surreal. We did not have any issues and that is amazing. I had the same thing last year in the Am Cup car and I did not think that it could be repeated! Michele is a great engineer and gave us a perfect car,” David admitted.
World Rally Championship
The Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team benefitted from an outstanding performance by Estonian Ott Tanak, who dominated Rally Finland over the weekend finished the event with a 32 second lead and managed a maximum points haul with his Yaris WRC in the process.
The Citroen C3 of Mads Ostberg put up an early fight in the forests of Finland, but then had to contend with defending against Tanak’s Finnish teammate Jari-Matti Latvala who used his knowledge of his home country’s stages to maximum effect to round off the podium.
Championship leader Thierry Neuville had a forgettable weekend, when he damaged his Hyundai i20 WRC against a tree early on Friday and settled for ninth overall. Defending champion Sebastien Ogier finished fifth.