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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Ocon holds off Vettel, Hamilton to take sensational win

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The primary crash at Flip 1 was attributable to Valtteri Bottas, whose mistake sliding into the again of Lando Norris impacted each Pink Bull vehicles and left Max Verstappen battling again to finally end the race in tenth.

On the preliminary begin, Hamilton and Verstappen made good getaways on the damp monitor after rain had fallen steadily within the half-hour earlier than the beginning, which meant all of the vehicles lined up on intermediate tyres, whereas Bottas dropped down a number of locations leaving the road.

However worse was to come back from the Finn as he appeared to utterly misjudge his braking for the primary nook, having been handed by Sergio Perez and Lando Norris, with Bottas locking up and sliding straight into the again of the McLaren.

This had two knock-on results, with Norris despatched shunting into Verstappen’s right-hand facet, the Pink Bull’s right-front wheel in some way staying on, whereas Bottas, his left-front damaged, continued sliding and clattered into Perez on the far outdoors, with all 4 despatched into the run-off past Flip 1.

Bottas retired on the spot whereas Verstappen led Norris and Perez away, across the particles of a second Flip 1 shunt that was triggered by the out-of-control Lance Stroll going onto the grass on the within of the right-hander after which careering into Charles Leclerc, who had been set to maneuver as much as second behind Hamilton.

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Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12, collides with Sergio Perez, Pink Bull Racing RB16B, at the beginning

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Stroll’s error broke his left-front towards the Ferrari, which in flip was knocked huge and hit Daniel Ricciardo, who had been edging up Leclerc’s outdoors – the Australian despatched spinning to the again of the diminished pack.

The particles area at Flip 1 initially led to a security automotive being referred to as, beneath which Pink Bull pitted Verstappen, whereas Esteban Ocon was the principle beneficiary of the chaos as he ran second behind Hamilton and forward of Sebastian Vettel.

Verstappen misplaced his proper barge board as he exited the pits, simply earlier than the race was stopped to permit the monitor to be cleared and since Perez, whose automotive was smoking closely from the hit from Bottas, had stopped on the brief straight between Turns 11 and 12 at the beginning of the ultimate sector.

The sphere returned to the pits, the place Pink Bull labored to repair Verstappen’s automotive, and McLaren needed to retire Norris because of the injury sustained in his hit from Bottas.

After a close to 30-minute delay, Hamilton led Ocon, Vettel, Carlos Sainz Jr, Yuki Tsunoda and Nicholas Latifi again to the grid as the highest six for a second standing begin, the place Verstappen would have lined up thirteenth.

However in near-farcical circumstances, Hamilton was the one driver to not are available in on the finish of the second formation lap – the race’s third lap of 70 – and he took the standing begin alone whereas all the remainder got here in to swap their inters for medium slick tyres, because the monitor had dried beneath sunny skies through the crimson flag.

Hamilton duly shot all the way down to Flip 1 solo, the place Ocon was remarkably led out of the pitlane by George Russell, who had been eighth beneath the crimson flag however jumped up the pitlane queue because of Williams’ place on the finish of pitlane.

However as Russell got here up in the direction of Hamilton because the mediums proved to be a lot quicker than the inters on the quickly drying monitor, he was ordered to provide again the positions he had gained within the pitlane, which meant Ocon moved into a transparent lead when Hamilton stopped for mediums on the finish of lap 4 – the primary full racing lap accomplished within the race.

Over the subsequent 5 laps, the Alpine driver constructed up a 1.4-second hole over Vettel, whereas Latifi held up the pack behind in third, as Verstappen battled Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi on the fringes of the highest 10 – with Hamilton catching the battle after re-joining in 14th and final after his cease.

Ocon continued to run simply forward of Vettel, with the race lead battle quickly turning into a two-driver contest as Latifi continued to fall away.

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, battles with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, battles with Max Verstappen, Pink Bull Racing RB16B

Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Again within the pack, Verstappen labored his approach forward of Gasly after which chased Schumacher for tenth place for a number of laps as his injury meant he couldn’t convey Pink Bull’s common tempo benefit to bear, and behind Hamilton was additionally annoyed by the point it took him to go Giovinazzi after which Gasly.

On lap 14, Verstappen attacked Schumacher at Flip 1 however needed to go huge on the exit, after which the Pink Bull went across the outdoors of the lengthy, downhill left of Flip 2, getting forward on the exit the place the 2 vehicles briefly touched as they raced side-on in the direction of the quick proper of Flip 3.

5 laps later, with Ocon now working simply over a second forward of Vettel up entrance, Mercedes referred to as Hamilton in from behind Gasly in eleventh, switching from the mediums to the hards.

His sensational outlap tempo meant he jumped forward of Verstappen and Ricciardo, who had been working simply up the highway, once they got here in on the subsequent lap to attempt to cowl Hamilton.

A number of rivals, together with Russell, pitted shortly afterwards, which aided Hamilton’s path up the order, however he continued to lap a lot quicker than the remainder – setting a string of quickest laps between the twentieth and thirtieth excursions.

Over this a part of the race, Ocon got here beneath extreme stress from Vettel earlier than then edging his lead up once more, reaching 2.3s by the midway mark.

With Verstappen caught behind Ricciardo as they caught the drivers but to make first inexperienced flag stops – together with Schumacher once more – Hamilton roared clear and handed Latifi shortly after the Williams pitted from third on lap 23.

Hamilton then surged as much as Tsunoda, who had undercut previous Latifi by stopping a lap earlier, and handed the AlphaTauri across the outdoors of the quick left of Flip 4 on lap 32.

As soon as Hamilton was as much as fifth, Ferrari then pitted Sainz, who had requested to be neglected when Tsunoda and Latifi got here in earlier so he may run in clear air, which he used to carve into the massive hole behind Vettel.

That ended Hamilton’s cost, simply as the main target switched again to the entrance of the race when Vettel was referred to as in to go from mediums to hards on lap 36.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, passes Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, passes Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M

Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

A 3.3s cease because of a gradual left rear change meant that when Ocon got here in for hards on the finish of the subsequent lap, regardless of Vettel charging on his outlap as he fired the white-walled rubber as much as temperature, the Aston couldn’t get alongside the Alpine because it got here out of the pits and headed into Flip 1.

Ocon then resumed lapping round a second forward of Vettel over the subsequent section of the race, however Sainz and Hamilton – who was quickly complaining concerning the state of his tyres – had been quickly solely six seconds off the lead as they lapped within the low 1m21s and the leaders set excessive 1m21s and low 1m22s.

Fernando Alonso cycled by means of to first when the 2 leaders pitted, however he got here in to make the swap to hards on the finish of lap 40.

After this, the race settled down for a time as Hamilton was stymied behind Sainz and Ocon remained in management forward of Vettel – apart from a second at the beginning of lap 48 the place Vettel got here near contact with the Alpine’s rear as Ocon lapped Antonio Giovinazzi at Flip 1.

The lap earlier than this, Mercedes had referred to as Hamilton for a second inexperienced flag cease, placing him again onto the mediums and organising an exhilarating cost for the ultimate third of the race, as he had a 22.6s hole to Ocon to shut.

The world champion – very like he did right here to win towards Verstappen in 2019 – set a fierce tempo as he re-joined in clear air behind Alonso and 7 laps after he got here in, he was beneath 10s off the lead and proper with the second Alpine.

On the subsequent tour, lap 55, Alonso locked up lapping Kimi Raikkonen at Flip 1, which gave Hamilton the prospect to assault across the outdoors of Flip 2, the place Alonso aggressively held the within line to stay forward, and likewise shrugged off Hamilton’s advances at Flip 4 a number of moments later.

The battle raged over the subsequent 10 laps, with Hamilton attacking in comparable circumstances at Turns 2 and 4 on a number of events, annoyed by Alonso’s fierce defence, all of the whereas his former team-mate was closing on Sainz after which working within the Ferrari’s soiled air.

On lap 65, although, Alonso’s defence crumbled when he locked his left-front once more at Flip 1 and went deep, which allowed Hamilton to run alongside on the exit after which blast previous utilizing DRS on the run to Flip 2.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, George Russell, Williams FW43B

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521, George Russell, Williams FW43B

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Hamilton then instantly caught Sainz, who resisted the Mercedes driver’s first assault, however couldn’t cease Hamilton transferring as much as third as they raced down the pit straight on lap 67 whereas lapping Ricciardo.

Alonso’s stout defence meant Hamilton solely caught the leaders proper on the finish, with Ocon ending his race-long cost forward of Vettel to win by 1.8s, with Hamilton an extra 0.8s adrift.

Gasly took sixth behind Sainz and Ocon after being allowed previous Tsunoda approaching the ultimate third, with Tsunoda then spinning at Flip 2 late on, which meant he got here dwelling effectively adrift of his team-mate.

Latifi and Russell scored Williams’ first factors since 2019 with seventh and eighth – the latter closing in on Latifi all through the second stint after being held up by Schumacher after his sole green-flag cease.

Russell additionally had to withstand Verstappen’s attentions on the finish because the Pink Bull ended up simply 1.1s behind in tenth, after he had been pitted with 30 laps to run in a profitable bid to get forward of Ricciardo, who had been holding station forward since their unsuccessful try and cease Hamilton’s undercut.

Verstappen handed Ricciardo with a daring transfer across the outdoors of Flip 4 with 10 laps remaining and set about closing on Russell to the end.

Raikkonen – who was given a 10s time penalty for being launched into Nikita Mazepin’s path when the sphere piled into the pits on the second formation lap, with the following contact breaking the Haas’s right-front suspension and making him the race’s solely different retirement along with these eradicated because of the Flip 1 chaos – additionally handed Ricciardo late-on to complete eleventh.

Schumacher got here dwelling thirteenth forward of Giovinazzi, who was additionally penalised 10s for rushing within the pitlane – the Italian’s gamble to cease for slicks on the primary formation lap not paying off due to the crimson flag.

Hungarian GP outcomes – 70 laps

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