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ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel battled to victory on Sunday at the Hungarian Grand Prix, extending his advantage at the summit of the Formula One driver standings.

The German led from the opening lap at the Hungaroring despite some steering issues, keeping a safe distance to team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas came home third ahead of fellow Silver Arrows man Lewis Hamilton, who had earlier put the pressure on the Ferrari drivers. Hamilton trails Vettel by 14 points in the standings in second.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo retired on the opening lap, as he was taken out by team-mate Max Verstappen.

The F1 Twitter account relayed the race result:


With overtaking tough in Budapest, it was no surprise to see some aggressive driving into the opening corner. And the two Red Bull men got a little too boisterous.

Verstappen, in particular, got carried away and locked up into the second corner. That proved to be to the detriment of Ricciardo, as the Dutchman lost control of his car and clattered into the other Red Bull; Ricciardo’s race was over, and Verstappen was slapped with a 10-second penalty.

The two Red Bulls collided on the opening lap.

The two Red Bulls collided on the opening lap.ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/Getty Images

As noted by F1 journalist Will Buxton, the Australian pulled no punches in his assessment of Verstappen’s driving after his retirement:


Sniff Petrol joked about how Ricciardo should respond after the incident:


Meanwhile, Hamilton had dropped a place in his Mercedes, although he was poised to overtake Verstappen because of the latter’s sanction. Bottas had settled into third spot behind the two Ferraris.

After the frenetic start, the race settled down, as the drivers looked to preserve position ahead of a crucial pitstop window.

Vettel had some issues to deal with. As we can see here, his steering wheel was off-centre:


The issue was slowly starting to hamper the leader, and team-mate Raikkonen closed the gap up front. With that in mind, it was no surprise to see the Mercedes engineers get Hamilton and Bottas into the pits.

Vettel just stayed ahead of Raikkonen after the pitstops.

Vettel just stayed ahead of Raikkonen after the pitstops.Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Ferrari responded in turn, with Vettel coming in first; eventually, Raikkonen did just enough to stay ahead of his team-mate.

The pitstops bunched the race back up, as the German’s handling issues persisted. It meant Raikkonen, Bottas and Hamilton were all in close proximity out on track. F1 journalist James Allen explained the dilemma that faced the Ferrari strategists:


Meanwhile, Mercedes made the decision to let Hamilton through past Bottas, allowing the three-time world champion to attack the Ferrari pair. He was quickly on to the back of a nervous Raikkonen, with engineers advising Hamilton he had five laps to pull off the overtake.

Sandwiched between a struggling Vettel and a Mercedes on the charge, Raikkonen was not happy with the situation, as Ferrari made it clear he would not be let through:


But Hamilton was unable to get close enough to the Finn to launch any kind of overtaking effort. Thoughts then turned to when the Brit could switch back with Bottas, although Verstappen was closing the gap to fourth quickly, making it a risky move.

Mercedes left it to the final corner of the race to allow Bottas back into the final podium spot. Further down the road, Vettel took the race victory unopposed.



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