DNF for Max in Hungarian GP due to mechanical problem: 'Difficult to accept'

Published on 29 July 2018 by Raymond Snip

Max Verstappen did not finish in the Grand Prix of Hungary. Due to technical problems with his power unit in lap six, the Dutchman had to park his RB14 alongside the track from fifth position. At the Hungaroring, Lewis Hamilton drove to a dominant victory, well ahead of the two Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

When asked if he is frustrated about his retirement, Max replies after the race: "Yes, of course. At the start, I immediately gained two positions, so I was in the game and then suddenly it’s over. It's just a shame for Daniel and me. You pay millions as a team for, you hope, a decent engine, but it keeps breaking down. Besides that, we are also the slowest. At the moment it is difficult to accept. I am disappointed, the team is disappointed and the many Dutch fans in the stands are disappointed. They came all the way to watch and you can only drive five laps."

Without the reliability problem, according to Max there was at least a fifth place possible: "I was 25 seconds ahead of Daniel and I felt good in the car. It is always difficult to say afterwards. At the end of the day, we could have been easily fifth if nothing would have happened in front, so valuable points have been thrown away."

Max can not make any statements about the cause of the retirement: "I don't know. I don't really care either. In any case, it is not the team's fault, so it is just frustrating." The Hungarian retirement could also have consequences for the next race at Spa-Francorchamps. "Oh yes, that's possible. It is what it is ", Max reacts calmly. "But you know what, if the car breaks down so easily, it doesn’t look so good for the rest of the season. Fortunately, it will be different next year."

Finally, Max is not really looking forward to his well-deserved holiday: "For sure the first week I will not enjoy it because of the result of this race. Actually, I just want to race again now. I'm not really in a holiday mood."

Because of the rainy qualifying, the drivers have a free tyre choice to start the race. Max starts on the ultrasofts, while Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz are the only ones of the top ten to start on the soft tyres.

Max makes a good start from his seventh starting position and passes Pierre Gasly and Carlos Sainz, who both started in front of him, in turn 1 and takes fifth place. Hamilton and Bottas stay in front, while Vettel passes Kimi Raikkonen for P3.

The Daniel Ricciardo, who started twelfth, was hit by Marcus Ericsson in turn 1 and is running sixteenth after the first lap. Charles Leclerc did not even complete the first lap, through a touch with both Force India's.

In lap six, Max suddenly drives slowly on the track. "No power, no power", the Dutchman calls on his radio, before he parks the RB14 along the track at turn five. Discouraged, Verstappen must leave the race track. It is his 4th retirement this season.

In the next few laps Ricciardo pushes his way forward. In lap 15 the Australian is already in eighth position. In the same lap, Raikkonen is the first of the top four to make a pitstop. Bottas follows a lap later.

Hamilton waits until lap 26 to make his stop. The Brit, like Bottas and Raikkonen, switches to the soft tyre compound and returns on track in 2nd place.

Raikkonen makes his second stop in lap 39 for a new set of soft tyres. The Finn falls back to P5. One lap later, leader Vettel pits for the first time. The German switches to the ultra-soft tyre and rejoins in third place. In lap 45 Ricciardo pits for his only stop. The Australian gets a set of ultrasofts and is fifth after his stop.

In lap 51, Stoffel Vandoorne is the third driver of the race to retire when he has to park his McLaren with technical problems alongside the track. A big disappointment for the battled Belgian as he was in ninth position. In the final phase, Vettel increases the pressure on Bottas for P2, while Raikkonen also joins Vettel. In lap 65 Vettel places an attack on Bottas and manages to pass him. In turn 2 Bottas hits Vettel’s  rear tyre and damages his front wing. Raikkonen can also pass his countryman, which puts the two Ferrari’s in second and third place.

Ricciardo catches Bottas quickly and passes him in turn 1. Bottas, however, slides into the side of the Australian, leaving Ricciardo behind him again. In the second to last lap Ricciardo finally manages to take fourth place from Bottas.

Hamilton wins the race in a dominant way. Vettel and Raikkonen finish in spots two and three, while Pierre Gasly rewards an excellent weekend with the sixth place. Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean complete the top ten.

Results Grand Prix Hungary:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes701:37:16.42725
2Sebastian VettelVETFerrari70+17.123s18
3Kimi RäikkönenRAIFerrari70+20.101s15
4Daniel RicciardoRICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer70+46.419s12
5Valteri BottasBOTMercedes70+60.000s10
6Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda70+73.273s8
7Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari69+1 lap6
8Fernando AlonsoALOMcLaren Renault69+1 lap4
9Carlos SainzSAIRenault69+1 lap2
10Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari69+1 lap1
11Brendon HartleyHARScuderia Toro Rosso Honda69+1 lap0
12Nico HulkenbergHULRenault69+1 lap0
13Esteban OconOCOForce India Mercedes69+1 lap0
14Sergio PerezPERForce India Mercedes69+1 lap0
15Marcus EricssonERISauber Ferrari68+2 laps0
16Sergey SirotkinSIRWilliams Mercedes68+2 laps0
17Lance StrollSTRWilliams Mercedes68+2 laps0
0Stoffel VandoorneVANMcLaren Renault49DNF0
0Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer5DNF0
0Charles LeclercLECSauber Ferrari0DNF0