Esteban Ocon wins chaotic Hungarian GP as Hamilton takes the F1 lead

BUDAPEST, Hungary  — Frenchman Esteban Ocon won a chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday although an exhausted Lewis Hamilton completed 3rd to consider the Method One particular championship guide from Max Verstappen by 6 factors heading into the midseason break.

Hamilton wanted a check out from the Mercedes team health care provider just after the race.

“Had actually big dizziness and almost everything received a bit blurry,” he claimed. “I have been battling all yr truly with the health and fitness, staying balanced following what transpired at the conclude of very last yr (with coronavirus).”

Verstappen positioned 10th after being taken out early in the race by Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in a first-lap crash that induced him and 4 other folks to retire.

It was only the 24-12 months-outdated Ocon’s 2nd podium, next a second-place finish at the Sakhir GP in Bahrain late very last year.

The Alpine driver concluded forward of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. fourth forward of Ocon’s teammate Fernando Alonso.

“What a second, feels so fantastic,” Ocon mentioned, patting his coronary heart.

The crash in the rain was prompted by Bottas, who retired as a end result.

The race restarted in absurd manner with only Hamilton on the grid, even though others were being transforming their tires since the observe experienced dried. Hamilton did the exact a lap afterwards and came out in previous put, a pair of places at the rear of Verstappen.

But a clever 2nd tire modify by Mercedes for hard tires on Lap 20 outwitted Crimson Bull and Hamilton moved in advance of Verstappen following he came in for new tires.

With 30 laps to go, the top 4 was Ocon-Vettel-Sainz Jr.-Hamilton.

To give Hamilton a shot at victory, Mercedes designed a 3rd tire adjust with a minor additional than 20 laps remaining.

But he had to get in advance of the 40-year-previous Alonso initially, a driver with 32 wins and 97 podiums, and amongst the most gifted of his generation.

Alonso held off a 1st attack on Lap 55 and blocked him two far more situations on Lap 57 with stellar defending on the inside.

Alonso’s nous was more than enough to repel two more assaults.

“He is 1 of toughest motorists but good,” Hamilton said. “I would say currently was a small bit on the limit, but I fully get it and I would do it for my workforce.”

When Hamilton finally got earlier there ended up only 5 laps still left and Sainz Jr. just forward. He overtook him but by then the front two were being as well significantly forward.

Hamilton’s bid for a 100th win resumes on Aug. 29 at the Belgian GP in Spa, where by Bottas will commence that race with a 5-put grid penalty.

Alonso’s fantastic defensive driving aided Ocon protected the victory and they hugged soon after the race, with Alonso lifting him up in the air.

“We are forming a great staff and pushing the workforce in the ideal course,” Ocon stated.

Hamilton was once more loudly jeered by sections of the group, as he was right after using pole situation on Saturday. He won the British GP two weeks ago despite a 10-2nd penalty for taking Verstappen out on the first lap.

Heavy rain fell soon before Sunday’s race and the monitor was soaked. Hamilton obtained absent from pole but Verstappen shot ahead of Bottas into 2nd.

McLaren’s Lando Norris also overtook Bottas, who bumped into the back again of him — sending Norris sliding into Verstappen and the two off observe. Bottas went into a tire wall and took out Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez on his way.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was jammed involving Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo. Immediately after a crimson flag halted the race to make it possible for stewards to crystal clear the wrecked autos, Leclerc, Stroll, Norris and Perez also retired.

When the race restarted, Hamilton was alone on the grid though some others had been ditching their soaked-temperature tires to accommodate the now drying observe.

Hamilton had to do the same on the upcoming lap and arrived out in last position with Verstappen 11th, when Ocon led from Vettel. Nikita Mazepin was the sixth to retire right after colliding with 2007 F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo in the pit lane.

The sinewy and tight 4.4-kilometer (2.7-mile) Hungaroring circuit is arguably the hardest track to overtake on soon after Monaco.

“I just cannot get shut to people,” claimed Hamilton, who fell shorter of winning the race for a report-extending ninth time.

Ocon was the moment aspect of the Mercedes development method and the team’s reserve driver two decades in the past right after getting rid of his F1 seat.

He confirmed the talent Mercedes observed in him with a composed drive underneath strain from Vettel, a four-time F1 champion with 53 wins.

“Esteban didn’t make a single slip-up,” Vettel claimed. “It’s his day and his instant.”


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