The Hungarian Grand Prix doesn’t usually product much overtaking as this race was no different, although despite the lack of passing it was a fairly tense race with the final result uncertain until the last corner.
Hamilton started on pole but can’t have been too confident of his chances if he knew that only once in the last 7 Hungarian GPs has the pole-sitter gone on to win the race. He was also concerned as his recent starts hadn’t been impressive.
However, Hamilton made a great start and led into turn one, despite locking up and running a little bit wide.
He went on to lead the entire race despite a lot of pressure from the very quick Lotus cars of Grosjean initially and later on Raikkonen. It was only the fact that it is so difficult to pass around this circuit that allowed Hamilton to manage his tyres to the end and keep the black and gold cars at bay.
Button found this to his cost as McLaren tried a three stop strategy but he couldn’t make it work as he was stuck behind the slower Williams of Bruno Senna for several laps.
Hamilton won the race and is back in the hunt for the title, but the McLaren was arguably not the quickest car as both Lotus drivers impressed as Raikkonen took second place with Grosjean third.
Red Bull also showed they have a competitive car with Vettel in fourth place after pressurising Button in the early stage of the race.
Alonso put in a good damage-limitation drive to secure valuable points in 5th place in the Ferrari that was never really in with a chance of a podium, let alone the win, but he maintains a healthy lead in the title race.
After this race it looks like the title fight will be extremely interesting and could well go down to the final race. Alonso has his healthy lead of 40 points to Webber but the Ferrari hasn’t looked the strongest car for a few races now and that lead could quite quickly disappear.
Lotus look to be on the verge of their first win and both Red Bull and McLaren now look to have a stronger car than the Ferrari and so Alonso may soon start to struggle to pick up many points, even the 5th place he got today might be difficult to achieve.
Webber leads a pack of five drivers all within 8 points of each other in the hunt for the title with Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen all in with a chance of the championship.
If Lotus can continue in the form they showed today, with some major packages in the pipeline, Raikkonen is almost the favourite to hunt down Alonso. He’s a Spa specialist so the next race will be crucial for his entire season.
Vettel and Webber also have a chance and perhaps now Red Bull need to consider team orders. Hamilton is on a bit of a charge as well and this win might give him the impetus he needs to take his second title.
All to play for with 9 races to go, who will win the title?