This Time Last Year | Hungaroring, Hungary 2018

The Hungarian Grand Prix was round 8 out of the 12 race weekends where we found George Russell, currently racing for Williams Formula 1, at the top of the Championship with 170 points with Lando Norris, currently racing with McLaren Formula 1, close behind in second with 133 points. Standing in third place in the Championship at this point was Alexander Albon, currently racing with Red Bull Racing Formula 1, with 115 points. Heading into Qualifying, we found George Russell going for his fourth consecutive pole position.

Qualifying

Early on into qualifying we found the ART drivers, Jack Aitken and Championship leader George Russell occupying the top two spots. Behind the two drivers were the Carlin boys of Sergio Sette Camara and Lando Norris. The four drivers dominated the beginning with Aitken pulling a 1:27.704 with 21 minutes left to go. Russell was short of 0.058 seconds, Sette Camara 0.144 seconds and Norris 0.212 seconds. The ART and Carlin drivers were closely followed by the DAMS duo of Alexander Albon who was 0.403 seconds short of Aitken and current Williams Formula 1 driver Nicholas Latifi who was 0.420 seconds short. The ART domination was cut short with 16 minutes remaining when we saw Nyck De Vries, currently racing with Mercedes in Formula E, go 0.073 seconds faster than Aitken. Current BWT Formula 2 driver Artem Markelov was next to split the pack as he moved himself between the DAMS drivers, removing the team from the top 6.

With only 16 minutes left to go, De Vries was sat with a 1:27.631 while running an alternative qualifying strategy. Russell was now within 0.121 of the leader. Aitken went on to pull a purple first sector with 10 minutes to go but it was Luca Ghiotto, current Hitech Formula 2 driver, moving up to fourth which resulted in both Carlin’s, Sette Camara and Norris, moving down to fifth and sixth. Moving below the final ten minutes, we’re sat with Aitken on pole, holding a 1:27.430 with De Vries close behind and only 0.201 seconds slower.

Aitken’s pole position was safe for the time being, leaving the car and heading to the pit wall to watch with the crew. We saw both Russell and Antonio Fuoco take purple middle sectors but nobody was close enough to push Aitken from his top spot. That was until we saw Sergio Sette Camara take a green first sector, pushing through his final qualifying lap to take a purple final sector and cross the line with a time of 1:27.400, 0.030 seconds quicker than Aitken; putting Sette Camara on pole position for that Saturday’s feature race. This will be Sergio Sette Camara’s first pole position.

The grid is as follows:
1. Sergio Sette Camara – Carlin – 1:27.400
2. Jack Aitken – ART – +0.030
3. Nyck De Vries – Prema – +0.231
4. George Russell – ART – +0.362
5. Luca Ghiotto – Campos Vexatec – +0.428
6. Lando Norris – Carlin – +0.464
7. Artem Markelov – Russian Time – +0.557
8. Arjun Maini – Trident – +0.558
9. Ralph Boschung – MP Motorsport – +0.573
10. Louis Deletraz – Charouz – +0.632
11. Nirei Fukuzumi – BWT Arden – +0.638
12. Antonio Fuoco – Charouz – +0.673
13. Alexander Albon – DAMS – +0.707
14. Nicholas Latifi – DAMS – +0.724
15. Maximilian Gunther – BWT Arden – +0.769
16. Roy Nissany – Campos Vexatec – +0.948
17. Alessio Lorandi – Trident – +1.133
18. Sean Gelael – Prema – +1.248
19. Roberto Merni – MP Motorsport – +1.324
20. Tadasuke Makino – Russian Time – +1.350

Feature Race

Before the race even began, we experienced a few problems. George Russell’s car began to have engine failures which resulted in him starting from the pit lane rather than fourth. That Saturday in Budapest we also had rain, although it didn’t stick around. However, that rain proceeded to introduce a few further complications. The race started out with lap one behind the safety car as it was far too wet to battle. After multiple laps round, the FIA soon had to make the decision to stop the race, start the race from wherever possible yet deduct the laps used behind the safety car or stop the cars for a standing start when it was safe. This was due to the cars using a lot of fuel by doing multiple laps behind the safety car. The final decision was to stop and line up for a standing start.

With the rain still coming down, it was lights out and away we go. Sette Camara held the lead into turn one yet we saw Aitken plummet from second while De Vries moved into his position with Ghiotto close behind in third. Aitken, now in fourth, began his fight for third with Ghiotto after the Italian driver ran wide but managed to hold his position. Lower down the grid, Fukuzumi and Markelov battle for the position, Fukuzumi colliding with Markelov and sending him off of the track, resulting in a yellow flag in sector two. Fighting their way up the grid was Merhi and Norris; Merhi moving from 19th to 11th while Norris had fallen from 6th to 9th but had managed to regain his position.

Heading into lap two, we had our first three head to the pits. A collision between Gunther and Deletraz, which sent the Swiss into the air, found both drivers with front wing damage and a nose change was in order. Boschung was also sent to the pits due to car problems.

Latifi had moved his way from 14th to 9th with Aitken still down in 4th. Lower down on the grid, we found Albon and Nissany fighting it out for the position but it was the British-Thai driver than made it out ahead. He went on to overtake Maini who was overtaken by Nissany a few moments later. As we headed into lap four, Fuoco and Norris continued to battle it out for fifth position. Fuoco held his ground, keeping Norris behind his car but it was an attack from the outside line that found Norris in 5th place and moving quickly to take down Aitken. Into lap 5, Norris followed Aitken up to turn 3 where he proceeded to take the outside line and place himself in fourth position but Aitken wasn’t backing down. Fuoco and Fukuzumi were close behind, finding themselves involved in a four way battle for fourth place. Moving up the grid, De Vries was now 4.579 seconds behind the race leader Sette Camara.

With lap 6 in sight, Albon makes the move to 10th position but collides with Merhi on the way. De Vries is now less than four seconds behind the race leader and Norris is set to battle with Ghiotto for a place on the podium. It wasn’t until turn 12 that we saw Norris take the inside line on Ghiotto but doesn’t manage to take the position. He made the same move into turn 13, managing to put his car ahead and climb the grid to third. The battles intensified with Albon fighting Markelov for the position. Markelov went wide, leaving the door open for Albon who placed himself ahead and made his way up the grid while Gelael found himself pushing ahead of Nissany. Lando Norris finished lap seven with the fastest first sector.

Lap 8 saw a full grid battle. Up top, we have De Vries and Norris fighting for 2nd. Behind them was Ghiotto and Fuoco fighting for 4th while behind them was Aitken and Fukuzumi fighting for 6th. Slightly lower, we found Markelov and Merhi fighting for 10th and Nissany, Maini and Gelael fighting for 12th. Norris went for the attack during the 6th and 7th chicane, diving down the inside of De Vries to second. Between his move on De Vries in lap 8 and lap 9, Norris manages to go from a 4 second difference to being 1.6 seconds behind his team mate and race leader, Sette Camara. With Sette Camara’s last lap being a 1:54.371 and Norris setting a fastest lap of 1:51.840, the British driver was moving 2.531 seconds faster than the Brazilian. Norris goes to take the outside on Sette Camara, taking first place. Sette Camara moves against Norris to regain the lead only to lose it once more to find himself on top.

Heading into lap 11, Sette Camara was now over 3 seconds slower than Norris. A turn 9 collision between Gelael and Nissany is set to be investigated after the race. Behind him, Aitken and Ghiotto battle it out for the position but it’s Aitken that regains 5th position. Fuoco, who is in fourth, is chasing down De Vries who is now only 1.003 seconds ahead of him. The Dutch, however, was or concerned about regaining second place as he finds himself 0.201 seconds behind Sette Camara. In the pit lane, we find George Russell retiring his car due to the engine problems. Russell made the decision to retire due to how dangerous he felt it would be to continue driving the car in the condition it was in.

Lando Norris goes on to take the fastest lap of 1:50.836 on lap 13. Behind him, Fuoco tries to overtake De Vries as he attempts to move into second to overtake Sette Camara. De Vries goes on to make his move on Sette Camara in to turn 4 while Fuoco takes the outside line on the Brazilian, finding Sette Camara now in fourth. Fuoco moves on up to second after pushing De Vries off of the track during the 6th and 7th chicane. Fuoco later has to return the place to De Vries. Ghiotto drops down the order, Fukuzumi moving up. Norris leads with a ten second gap.

Fukuzumi makes the move to 5th with Alex Albon right behind into 6th. Sette Camara and Merhi pit, moving Ghiotto and Latifi up to 7th and 8th. The grid begin to change their tyres from the wets to the mediums however, patches of the track are still wet at this point. Markelov, Nissany, Gelael, Maini and Makino follow suit and head to the pits. With fresh tyre, Makino manages to take the fastest lap of 1:49.215. Fuoco makes a late move to place himself second.

With lap 17 on the approach, Lando Norris and Alex Albon head to the pits. Fuoco and Latifi move to first and second however, Fuoco loses grip and finds himself off of the track. As Norris exits the pits, he finds himself only ten seconds behind the race leader. With half the race to go, it’s anybody’s race to win. Fuoco and Latifi make their way to the pits, pushing Norris back to P1 with De Vries, Aitken and Sette Camara close behind. The only driver left to pit as we head to lap 18 is Boschung. Sette Camara moves up to 5th as he overtakes Aitken. Sette Camara almost finds himself in the back of Fuoco as he runs off of the track. Latifi moves down to 7th position. Latifi continues to drop, finding himself in 10th position while Fuoco loses control of his car and manages to run wide. This leaves the perfect opportunity for Sette Camara to make his move to third. Norris manages to place himself 11.746 seconds ahead of De Vries in second as the fourth place battle continues between Fuoco and Aitken. De Vries goes on to set the fastest lap in lap 20 of 1:38.189. Norris is now only 7 seconds ahead with De Vries moving 2.370 seconds faster in lap 21 and 1.958 seconds faster in lap 22. He goes on to take the fastest lap once more with a 1:36.560.

Norris now finds him self less than 6 seconds faster than De Vries however, the Dutch’s speed doesn’t seem to be slowing down. We move into lap 24 with De Vries only 4 seconds behind. Gelael goes on to take the fastest lap as we head into number 26 with a 1:33.683. Lap 27 found De Vries in the perfect attack situation. He’d managed to place himself 1.695 seconds behind the race leader, making his move on the exit curb of the chicane. De Vries takes the lead, managing to find himself 7 seconds ahead of Norris by lap 29. Behind Norris, his team mate Sette Camara was 8 seconds shy.

The gaps between one another that they’d managed to make were soon cut short as the DAMS car of Latifi stops on the track and a yellow flag is flown for sector 2. A virtual safety car is deployed and no overtaking is to happen. Latifi retires from the race. The race resumes for lap 32 where we see the Carlin team mates battle for second.

As we head into the last lap, De Vries finds himself still in first with Norris in second and Sette Camara in third. Fuoco makes the move on Sette Camara to third but that’s soon retracted when the Brazilian collides and clips Fuoco’s back tyre, spinning him round to take third. Sette Camara crosses the line in third however, he is awarded a ten second time penalty for the collision which bumps him down to seventh.

The standings were as followed:
1. Nyck De Vries with a 16 second lead
2. Lando Norris
3. Antonio Fuoco
4. Jack Aitken
5. Alexander Albon
6. Luca Ghiotto
7. Sergio Sette Camara
8. Artem Markelov
9. Tadasuke Makino
10. Nirei Fukuzumi
11. Roberto Merhi
12. Arjun Maini
13. Sean Gelael
14. Alessio Lorandi
15. Roy Nissany
16. Max Gunther
17. Louis Deletraz
18. Ralph Boschung
DNF. Nicholas Latifi
DNF. George Russell

Sprint Race

The Sprint Race grid is as follows:
1. Artem Markelov
2. Sergio Sette Camara
3. Luca Ghiotto
4. Alexander Albon
5. Jack Aitken
6. Antonio Fuoco
7. Lando Norris
8. Nyck De Vries
9. Tadasuke Makino
10. Nirei Fukuzumi
11. Roberto Merhi
12. Arjun Maini
13. Sean Gelael
14. Alessio Lorandi
15. Roy Nissany
16. Max Gunther
17. Louis Deletraz
18. Ralph Boschung
19. Nicholas Latifi
20. George Russell

As we head into turn one, Markelov gets a rough start while Ghiotto takes the leap and puts himself into first. The MP Motorsport car of Boschung goes off in turn 3 after a collision with Nissany and Lorandi which takes both Boschung and Lorandi out of the race. A yellow flag is called and there is to be no overtaking. Albon managed to squeeze down the inside of Sette Camara to sit in second ahead of Markelov. As the Virtual Safety Car restarts, Fuoco pushes early and manages to clip the back of Sette Camara’s car as he attempts to avoid a collision. This results in a broken front wing and an ongoing investigation between the two drivers. Sette Camara battles with Markelov to take third position. Fuoco heads into the pits in lap 4 to change the nose of his car yet as he leaves, he notices a car problem that stops him from leaving. The crew fix the problems and he’s allowed to leave the pits. Ghiotto goes on to take the fastest lap in lap 5 with a 1:34.111, only 0.182 seconds ahead of Albon in P2. Latifi moves up to 13th while Russell moves up to 15th, 13 seconds from the leader.

Markelov goes to overtake Sette Camara in lap 8 however, the Brazilian defuses this by slowing his corner speeds to ruin Markelov’s momentum which gave him the upper hand. It is announced that the investigation between Fuoco and Sette Camara will require no further action however, Fuoco is awarded a 5 second penalty for pit lane speeding. Russell finds himself battling with Deletraz for the position, going for overtakes and not managing to achieve. He currently sits 14 seconds behind Norris who is his main championship competitor. Norris, who is 0.479 seconds faster, tries to make a move on De Vries in lap 15. In lap 16, Gelael follows suit as he sits within 0.243 seconds of Maini for 9th.

Deletraz makes his way up to 12th while Russell moves to 14 as Latifi falls down the track after his car loses grip and he finds himself off of the track. Latifi sufferer a damaged front right tyre and wing. Norris attempts a move on De Vries for 5th place.. With less than ten laps to go, Albon sits 3 seconds behind Ghiotto and is getting quicker by the second. Markelov, De Vries, Norris and Merhi battle between each other for 4th. Markelov sits ahead of De Vries by 0.155 seconds while behind him, Norris sits at 0.387 seconds. Behind Norris we find Merhi who sits at 0.858 seconds. De Vries makes the first move on Markelov around the outside. As he makes the move, Norris lunges down the inside of the two to take 4th place. Merhi moves on the inside of De Vries to take 6th, moving the Dutch down to 7th. Maximilian Gunther retires from the race after problems with his car. He felt as if the shift and the steering wasn’t working and felt the car wasn’t manageable.

Heading into lap 21, Merchi goes for the attack on Markelov as he’s moving 1.012 seconds faster. He moves into 5th on lap 22, going up 6 places on the grid. Albon sits 2 seconds behind Ghiotto with only 6 laps left to go. Markelov is now 0.315 ahead of De Vries. De Vries moves up the inside of Markelov to take the position. George Russell now finds himself up into 12th after overtaking Deletraz. Russell then moves round the outside of Maini to take 11th while Deletraz follows suit to secure 12th. Albon is now 0.774 seconds behind Ghiotto.

Aitken, Markelov, Gelael and Fukuzumi battle for 7th but its Gelael’s dive down the middle that puts him ahead. Ghiotto goes for fastest lap, taking a 1:33.537 yet Albon still manages to move around the outside to take first. Gelael makes the move on Markelov to take 9th, Russell and Deletraz following suit to take 10th and 11th. Russell goes to make a move on Gelael to take 9th place which Fukuzumi overtakes Aitken for 7th and Deletraz overtakes Gelael for 10th. Aitken now sits in 8th and just in the points. Fuoco goes for fastest lap of 1:31.889.

Heading into our final two laps, Albon has a two second lead on Ghiotto. Russell receives DRS on Aitken as they both battle for 8th place. Into the final lap, Russell is able to take 8th from his team mate while Deletraz moves up to 9th and Aitken drops to 10th. Albon goes on to win the Hungarian Sprint Race with an 8.077 second lead. Merhi and Fukuzumi cross the line with less than a second between them.

The Sprint Race Results are:
1. Alexander Albon
2. Luca Ghiotto
3. Sergio Sette Camara
4. Lando Norris
5. Roberto Mehri
6. Nirei Fukuzumi
7. Nyck De Vries
8. George Russell
9. Louis Deletraz
10. Jack Aitken
11. Sean Gelael
12. Tadasuke Makino
13. Artem Markelov
14. Arjun Maini
15. Roy Nissany
16. Nicholas Latifi
17. Antonio Fuoco
DNF. Maximilian Gunther
DNF. Alessio Lorandi
DNF. Ralph Boschung

Come back to the website on Wednesday for our next post! We’re filling our non race weekends with plenty of racing content! Friday’s, you will find a “Driver at a Glance” where we’ll give you an over view of a current driver in Formula 2, 3 or E. Monday’s, you will find an “This time in…” where we will look back at what happened during this time in the past so you can reminisce on all of the brilliant racing we once witnessed. Wednesdays, you will find a “Where are they now” where we look back at drivers we once watched and look at what they’re doing now since leaving Formula 2, 3 and E.

Sneak peak for Friday’s post! For our “Where are they now” this coming Wednesday, we’ll be looking at where a driver who competed in this race is now. A little extra hint is… we’ll be seeing a lot more of them soon. Can you guess who it could be? Join us Wednesday to find out as we prepare for a double header in Silverstone this weekend!

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