Race
F1 2021
Round 11

A Frustrating Hungarian GP See's More Damage Limitation For Honda Power

hu Hungaroring

A frustrating Hungarian Grand Prix saw Red Bull Racing’s hopes wiped out at the first corner but Scuderia AlphaTauri delivered a solid points’ return with both cars in the top seven.

A Frustrating Hungarian GP See's More Damage Limitation For Honda Power

Rain in the 30 minutes before the race saw the whole field starting on intermediates as per the regulations, and Max and Sergio both made great starts from the second row to be fighting for second and third into Turn 1. However, Valtteri Bottas made an error that saw him run into the back of Lando Norris, punting the McLaren into Max while the Mercedes driver took Sergio out of the race.

 

Max needed to come into the pits for repairs given the heavy damage he sustained and dropped down the order before the red flag came out to allow the multiple cars and debris to be cleared.

Pierre had been forced to run extremely wide at Turn 1 to avoid all of the chaos, but Yuki brilliantly evaded the incidents to emerge in fifth place from the first corner having started in 16th.

 

Under the red flag period, Red Bull could get to work trying to repair as much of Max’s car as possible, but he was missing a number of aerodynamic parts and still carrying significant damage when the race restarted.


The race was due to restart with a standing start but by now the track had dried heavily, so every car except Lewis Hamilton came into the pits at the end of the formation lap to switch to slicks. When Hamilton stopped at the end of the first racing lap he was at the back of the field, promoting Yuki to fourth, Max to 11th and Pierre to 12th

 

The whole field were on medium tyres by that point and it made overtaking difficult, with Max excellently passing Mick Schumacher despite his damaged car, and Pierre doing a good job to hold off Hamilton before also passing the Haas himself.



Red Bull opted to make a pit stop with Max for hard tyres on lap 20 after Hamilton had also stopped early, but with the damage to his car he was powerless to defend and dropped a position. Yuki was next to stop on lap 22, and he managed to jump the Williams of Nicholas Latifi but lost out to others who ran longer.


One of those was Pierre who didn’t make his first stop for hard tyres until lap 30, rejoining in eighth place as the race started to settle down, with Max stuck outside the points. Red Bull then made a second pit stop for medium tyres on lap 40, allowing him to try and attack with a tyre advantage later on.

 

Pierre made a great move down the inside of Latifi into Turn 1 from a long way back to take seventh place, and with fresher tyres AlphaTauri gave the team order for Yuki to switch positions with him to promote the Frenchman to sixth on lap 49.

 

One lap later and Max fought past Kimi Raikkonen for P11, and then he got Daniel Ricciardo with ten laps remaining to salvage a point in tenth place despite a heavily compromised car.

 

A spin for Yuki at Turn 2 saw him drop far behind Pierre but he stayed in seventh place, while the gap allowed Pierre to make a late pit stop for soft tyres and secure the extra point for fastest lap on the final lap.



Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
For the second consecutive race, we lost the chance to compete at the front with Red Bull Racing Honda, through no fault of our own. It is hugely frustrating. Checo suffered too much damage to continue in the first corner incident and Max’s car was also very badly damaged. But the mechanics did a fantastic job during the red flag period and so he was able to continue and also push the car hard, although it was still damaged. It’s not much consolation, but at least he was able to fight back to tenth for a point. Both Scuderia AlphaTauri drivers did a good job of avoiding the chaos after the start and raced on patiently. Pierre finished sixth while Yuki was seventh, equalling his best result so far this year. The team has slipped down the order in the Constructors’ classification, but both drivers did a solid job to bring back a good points haul including Pierre’s point for fastest lap. This will be important for our mid field battle in the second half of the season. We now have the summer break, resuming racing at the end of August. It’s a shame we have not finished the first half on a high note, but we will now pause briefly to return refreshed,  getting back to work, analysing everything from the first part of the season, being even more motivated to keep fighting for the title and more wins. Finally, congratulations to Esteban Ocon and Alpine on taking their first F1 win.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
To be honest, I don’t really know what to think. We started P5, which is probably the best position we can hope for, but then I was almost taken out in the first corner incident and had to make my way back through the field to finish in P6. It’s good obviously to be finishing where we did, with everything that happened in the race, but I think it definitely could’ve been better. We were best of the rest in Quali and I was happy with the car, so there’s lots of positives to takeaway from this weekend but obviously we’ve lost a lot of points in the Championship which is disappointing. However, I think we’ve come away with the best possible outcome given today’s circumstances. A big congrats to Esteban for the win – I think they did the right think with the strategy and he deserves it.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
After the first lap I managed to jump up to P5, which I was really pleased with. I’ve really struggled with the car the whole weekend, but the pace was ok during the race and I managed to bring home some good points for the team today. For me, this has been a really difficult weekend, up until the race, so I need to go away, reset over the summer break and look at what I need to work on ahead of Spa, so I can continue to consistently score points in the second half of the season.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing Honda
It was all out of our hands in the race and I can’t believe I got taken out for the second week running. The mechanics did what they could to get me back in the race but I was carrying a lot of damage on the car after the incident and it was super difficult to drive with, there was a lot of oversteer and understeer from the downforce loss. Of course it’s really disappointing to only score one point but on the other hand I was incredibly lucky to continue after the crash so it was a surprise to score a point at all which is still important. We have the summer break now but we keep pushing, we will never give up and we will focus on ourselves. We’ve had two very unlucky races but nothing is lost, it’s still a very long season. Congratulations to Esteban too, you can see that he is super happy and I’m sure many more race wins will follow.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing Honda
I don’t know what to say but it is unbelievable to be hit like that at Turn 1 and a massive blow for us as a Team. I got a good start and was up to third and it is such a shame because I think we had a good opportunity in those conditions, but there was nothing I could do. I have watched the replays as it was hard to understand exactly what happened behind me from inside the car and I just knew I got a big hit. Bottas made a big mistake and braked too late into Turn 1 which took out a lot of cars, including me and caused bad damage to Max’s car. He came to me and apologised as he knew it was his mistake, and although it was not on purpose and is how racing goes sometimes, it doesn’t make a difference to the result for us right now as the large amount of damage ended our race and opportunity for points.


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