Hungarian Grand Prix: Esteban Ocon takes first F1 victory in bonkers race at Hungaroring


Esteban Ocon produced a superb drive to fend off Sebastian Vettel at the Hungarian Grand Prix, after first lap chaos and a tyre choice mistake from Lewis Hamilton paved the way for a bonkers race.

First lap drama ensued as Valtteri Bottas misjudged the greasy conditions, following a pre-race shower, and slid into the back of Lando Norris.

The chain reaction that followed took the Finn, Sergio Perez and eventually the Briton out of the race, whilst Max Verstappen was shunted towards the rear of the field with considerable floor damage.

Meanwhile, Lance Stroll caused a secondary incident sliding into Charles Leclerc - both of them would also retire.

The red flag was flown, with Hamilton leading from Esteban Ocon, Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz - the three had risen from midfield and through the drama to set up an unlikely grid for the restart.


During the red flag period, Red Bull's mechanics scurried around Max's car to try and patch it up and they did a fine job, though ultimately the Dutchman's machine was not in optimum condition for when we got going one more.

So, the restart, with the circuit now dry the field - bar Hamilton - opted to pit after the formation lap to change from intermediate tyres to slicks, leaving us with the rather farcical sight of just the race leader taking to the grid.

Five lights went out and off he sped, followed by the rest of the pack who emerged from the pitlane - they would overtake him as he pitted at the end of the first lap back racing as he dropped to the back of the field.

Esteban Ocon would lead, then, for the first time in his F1 career and went about putting on a clinic in race management, ahead of a clearly quicker Sebastian Vettel who spent the entire Grand Prix staring at the Frenchman's gearbox.


Behind the front running duo, Nicholas Latifi was as high as third in his Williams but the lack of pace he had in his car meant the rest of the field was rather pent up behind him, though he was doing a fine job.

Further back, Max Verstappen eventually got past the Haas of Mick Schumacher - the young German impressing with his hard but fair racing in lesser equipment - before Hamilton also followed through a couple of laps later before pitting for fresh tyres, sparking off a sequence of stops.

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen stopped a lap later on lap 20 to try and cover Hamilton but the Merc man had got the hammer down to overtake both, a crucial moment in his recovery drive.

For Max, it was a race to really forget. The damage he sustained at turn one through no fault of his own had taken its toll, and he'd eventually finish in tenth.

Further forwards was where the action was, however, with the leaders pitting on lap 36 (Vettel) and lap 37 (Ocon) - a crucial moment in terms of the race win - and it was the Frenchman who emerged out in front, just, ahead of the German who had put in a stellar out lap in his Aston Martin but it just wasn't quite enough.


On lap 48, Hamilton again came in to pit, take on medium tyres and charge to the end - with him obviously set to have far more pace than anyone else on track.

By lap 54, he'd closed on Fernando Alonso in fourth, lapping at times quick enough to still take victory this afternoon, but the wily old Spaniard - 40 earlier this week - showed every bit of experience he'd accrued over the years to hold on for the next eleven laps, scuppering the Brit's chances of victory.

On lap 65 of 70, Alonso eventually succumbed to the pressure of Hamilton but the Alpine man had once again shown just the sort of class he still possesses, and Lewis could only overtake one more car - Carlos Sainz - to finish third before the chequered flag.

A bonkers, brilliant race on the outskirts of Budapest, then, and it was Ocon's day as he took his first-ever victory ahead of Vettel and Hamilton.

For the Drivers' standings, meanwhile, Max Verstappen's eight-point lead has become a six-point deficit.

The summer break is here, too, and we can't wait for it to be over already!

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