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McLaren's Hamilton wins 2009 Hungarian F1 GP

McLaren’s Hamilton wins 2009 Hungarian F1 GP

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Though overshadowed by Felipe Massa’s serious freak accident in qualifying that almost saw him killed by flying debris, the 2009 Hungarian F1 Grand Prix went ahead as scheduled. Lewis Hamilton brought McLaren their first victory of the season after a surprise result in Hungary on Sunday afternoon, his dominant success also marking Martin Whitmarsh’s first as team principal and the first for a KERS-equipped car. Kimi Raikkonen was second for Ferrari, containing a challenge from Mark Webber’s Red Bull.

Hamilton’s hopes of snatching P1 at the start were thwarted as lightweight Fernando Alonso blasted off the line from pole and quickly opened a lead in his Renault, and Mark Webber slotted his Red Bull back inside the McLaren in Turn One to regain second.

Hamilton stayed close to Webber, however, and slipped ahead around the outside of Turn Two on the fourth lap. After the first round of pits stops he really got the hammer down to build a seven-second lead over similarly fast-starting Raikkonen, the pair benefiting from their KERS systems.

The Finn, however, is under investigation for first corner brushes with Hamilton and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and may yet lose what turned out to be a strong second place ahead of Webber. Raikkonen overtook Webber in their first stops on the 19th lap after what the Australian described as a moment of confusion as his car was refuelled.

It was a bad day for the other title contenders. Vettel went from second to seventh by the end of the first lap, lost time in traffic, and then slid a lap down after an unscheduled stop for a new nose proved the prelude to retirement with a suspected engine problem.

Jenson Button was unable to make real use of a long-run opening stint strategy in his Brawn but seventh place earned him two crucial points. He now leads with 70 from Webber on 51.5, Vettel on 47 and Rubens Barrichello on 44. Brawn continue to lead the constructors’ championship on 114, with Red Bull closer still on 98.5s.

There was a strong fourth place finish for Nico Rosberg and Williams, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen whose points brought further joy to McLaren. Timo Glock was sixth for Toyota after a very long opening stint, then came Button and a long gap before Toyota’s Jarno Trulli took the final point after holding off strong challenges from Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima and Barrichello to the flag.

Alonso’s opening dash came to nought after he lost the right front wheel following his early pit stop on Lap 12 and then had to retire because of associated damage. Besides Vettel, the other non-finisher was Force India’s Adrian Sutil, the victim of a first-lap brush.

The BMW Saubers of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kucica were 11th and 12th, sandwiching Nelson Piquet’s Renault, while Giancarlo Fisichella brought his Force India home a lapped 14th. Far from proving ‘dangerous’, as some had suggested, rookie Jaime Alguersuari did a great job to match lap times with Toro Rosso team mate Sebastian Buemi, and to lead him home after the Swiss twice spun. The Spaniard never put a wheel wrong.

RESULTS

1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
2 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari
3 Mark Webber RBR-Renault
4 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota
5 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes
6 Timo Glock Toyota
7 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes
8 Jarno Trulli Toyota
9 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota
10 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes
11 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber
12 Nelsinho Piquet Renault
13 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber
14 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes
15 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari
16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari
Ret Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault
Ret Fernando Alonso Renault
Ret Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes

POINTS TO DATE

1 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 70
2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 51.5
3 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 47
4 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 44
5 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 25.5
6 Jarno Trulli Toyota 22.5
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 22
8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 19
9 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 18
10 Timo Glock Toyota 16
11 Fernando Alonso Renault 13
12 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 9
13 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 6
14 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 3
15 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 2
16 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 2
17 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 0
18 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 0
19 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 0
20 Nelsinho Piquet Renault 0
21 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 0

CONSTRUCTOR POINTS TO DATE

1 Brawn-Mercedes 114
2 RBR-Renault 98.5
3 Ferrari 40
4 Toyota 38.5
5 McLaren-Mercedes 28
6 Williams-Toyota 25.5
7 Renault 13
8 BMW Sauber 8
9 STR-Ferrari 5
10 Force India-Mercedes 0

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