Before today, Daniel Ricciardo was the only Formula One driver to beat Mercedes in 2014. After today, he’s done it twice.
Daniel Ricciardo secured his second win of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. With some aggressive late race heroics, Ricciardo hunted down and passed leader Fernando Alonso and surged for the victory. Alonso took second and Lewis Hamilton finished third ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg. Ricciardo stood atop the podium, returning the applause of his Red Bull team with his signature smile.
Red Bull returns with Ricciardo
Red Bull has dominated the championship for the past four seasons with four drivers championships for Sebastian Vettel and four constructors championships. 2014 has been a different story as Vettel has not found the winners podium through 11 races. The bright spot has been team newcomer Daniel Ricciardo, who won his first Formula 1 race in the Canadian Grand Prix and now his second today in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Ricciardo is third in points and is keeping Red Bull within striking distance for the constructors championship if they can put together a strong second half. With a strong finish in the upcoming Belgium race, he could also become a serious contender for the drivers championship.
Ferrari has strongest result of the year
The Scuderia Ferrari team celebrated their second podium of the year. Former champion and F1 great Fernando Alonso ran a brilliant race and Ferrari finished ahead of Mercedes for the first time in 2014. Leading with five laps to go, Alonso was overtaken by the charging Ricciardo, running on fresher tires.
Alonso’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen had his best run of the year and finished 6th. This made the Hungarian Grand Prix the most successful race of the year for Ferrari in team points. After challenging his teammate to “do better”, Alonso and all of Ferrari have to be pleased but not satisfied. With the addition of former champion Raikkonen in the offseason, they expected the two champions to spur each other on into some epic battles and a competitive team. That has yet to come to fruition, but there is a lot of racing left in 2014.
The Mercedes rivalry grows
The internal battle has come from Mercedes instead of Ferrari so far this year. Nico Rosberg and former champion Lewis Hamilton stand 1-2 in drivers championship. En route to winning 9 of the 11 races so far this year, they have had several battles, controversies, and even borderline personal attacks.
Finishing 3-4 today would have pleased every team in the running today, except Mercedes. Both drivers looked dejected, disappointed, and as NBC announcer David Hobbs stated “peeved” with each other and some of the events of the day. Hamilton ignored team orders to allow Rosberg to pass at one point in the race. That refusal may have changed the driver who ended up on the podium.
All said, however, Hamilton came from the pit to the podium in a truly amazing run today. He deserved to be on the podium. It’s too bad that it was at the expense of his teammate, but they are battling for a championship. Whatever is going on at Mercedes, the rivalry seems to be fueling success and non-executive chief Niki Lauda has to agree.
2014 Hungarian Grand Prix complete standings: