Guest Author - Christine Blachford
The Hungaroring is a twisty circuit, with more corners than straights, and very little room for overtaking. It's not usually popular amongst drivers, teams or fans, and as the final race before the three week summer break, it can sometimes be something of a let down.
Last year saw the McLaren controversy kick into high gear with the Alonso/Hamilton qualifying controversy. It was assumed that this year wouldn't live up to such high expectations, and all the pointers looked that it would be a McLaren walkover. Hamilton was coming off the back of two consecutive wins, the team led three of the four days at the recent Jerez test, and they were strong in the Practice sessions.
Hamilton lined up on pole position, with Kovalainen and Massa behind him. The rest of the field was mixed up slightly, with Vettel and Button outperforming their cars to line up 11th and 12th. Heidfeld in the BMW was stuck at the bottom of the field after being held up in qualifying by Bourdais. The Toro Rosso driver subsequently received a five place grid drop.
The first corner was a magnificent start to the race. Massa dived past one McLaren on the straight, and took the outside line to get past the other round the corner. He was in the lead, and started to pull away. Hamilton tried to keep in contention, but the Ferrari was just too fast. After the first round of pit stops, Hamilton was still in second, but then suffered a puncture, forcing him to bring forward his second stop.
This hampered his campaign for the win, and it looked like Massa would take an easy victory though. Three laps from the end, however, Massa's Ferrari engine gave out, and he had to pull to a stop on the home straight. Kovalainen was next in line, and inherited the win. This makes him the 100th unique Grand Prix winner since records began. Lewis ended up fifth, meaning he retains his lead on the driver's championship, and McLaren close up to Ferrari in the constructors.