Ricciardo Wins Hungary GP; Mercs Tension Continues
Fickle weather and safety car outings plagued the Hungary GP but Daniel Ricciardo exceeded expectations again to clinch his second victory of the season and the seventh podium finish for Red Bull. There is even talk now that the well-liked Ozzie might steal the world championship from the Mercedes duo, as tensions continue to abound between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes’ request to Hamilton to let his teammate pass, and his refusal to do so, has been the subject of many discussions post-race. The Briton was ahead of Rosberg, who needed another pit stop before the end. Hamilton later said he was “very shocked” at the request and explained his defiance:
“I was in the same race as him – just because he had one more stop than me doesn’t mean I wasn’t in the same race as him.”
And naturally if I’d have let him past, he would have had the opportunity to pull away and when he does pit, he’s going to come back and overtake me, so I was very, very shocked that the team would ask me to do that, to be able to better his position.”
He didn’t get close enough to overtake but I was never going to lift off and lose ground to Fernando (Alonso) or Daniel (Ricciardo) to enable him to have a better race. So that was a bit strange.”
Hamilton went on to finish third, 0.6 seconds after Alonso.
Mercedes’ Non-Executive Chairman, Niki Lauda, later admitted that the request was a mistake and team boss, Toto Wolff, believes that the best approach now is to let the drivers do as they wish from now on, since the team has the constructor’s championship in the bag with a 170 point lead that will be hard to beat.