In Depth

Mercedes slips are F1's gain as Vettel dedicates win to Bianchi

'Dreadful' show from Hamilton and cruel Rosberg misfortune help Vettel to victory on day of emotion for drivers

150727-vettel.jpg

After an emotional week for Formula 1 following the death of driver Jules Bianchi, the Hungarian Grand Prix provided the best race of the season so far and a win for Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, who dedicated his triumph to the French driver.

"It was the race Jules Bianchi would have wanted, and the show his fellow drivers were desperate to put on in tribute to their fallen friend and colleague," says Daniel Johnson of the Daily Telegraph.

However, Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were left with egg on their faces as they finished down the field in sixth and eighth place respectively.

Hamilton had a "bewilderingly dreadful drive", says the Telegraph, "the kind of rash performance which holds back his elevation to the status of being a truly great champion". He endured a bad start and then put himself in a gravel trap on the first lap. He later collided with Daniel Ricciardo and was given a drive-through penalty.

Yet he still finished in front of Rosberg, who, with victory in sight, also collided with Ricciardo and suffered a puncture, which sent him careering backwards through the field from second to eighth. But Mercedes's misfortune was F1's gain, says Kevin Eason of The Times.

"This was a day when emotion was heaped on emotion, and when a sport that seemed destined for apathetic obscurity suddenly grabbed centre stage to put on a show to drop jaws and bring 73,000 roaring fans in the Hungaroring to their feet," he says.

So far this season "we have rambled from one monotonous round of Mercedes domination to another", adds Eason. But for once "Hamilton, the cast-iron favourite after dominating every session of this weekend up to a crushing pole position, looked like a lost novice".

It was a great advert for the sport,m agrees the BBC. "Daring moves from start to finish, nearly as many collisions as a rugby match, penalties galore and surprise results right through the field. It had nearly everything. This race was a reminder why drivers and fans are so in thrall to a sport that can offer such excitement and thrilling endeavour."

Vettel, who had been a pallbearer at Bianchi's funeral on Tuesday, was the main beneficiary of the mayhem as he guided his Ferrari to victory. "The German was supreme, reminiscent of his hero Michael Schumacher behind the wheel of a Ferrari in his pomp," says Daniel Johnson of the Telegraph.

But there were other stand-out performances. The Red Bull of Ricciardo held on for third, despite multiple collisions, while his 21-year-old team-mate Daniil Kvyat ended in second place, the best result for a Russian driver in F1.

In fourth was 17-year-old Max Verstappen, who will spend the summer break practising for his driving test, which he will take when he turns 18, reports The Guardian.

Even more unexpectedly, both McLaren cars, piloted by Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button scored points, for the first time this season.

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