Memorable F1 moments at the Hungarian Grand Prix

Title deciders, wins from way back on the grid and supreme wet driving skills. We take a look back at some of the most memorable moments from Hungarian Grand Prix history!

1989: Mansell wins from 12th on the grid

Only two victories at the Hungarian Grand Prix have been taken from outside the top four on the grid. One of those occasions was in 1989. Nigel Mansell failed to set a good lap time in qualifying for the race, blaming traffic for him being seven tenths slower than Ferrari team-mate Gerhard Berger.

Mansell made up for Saturday’s shortcomings in the Grand Prix. From twelfth on the grid, the British driver was up to eighth by Turn 1 and made his way into the podium positions before the halfway point. With twenty laps remaining, Mansell made an opportunistic move on race leader Ayrton Senna. As the duo caught backmarker Stefan Johansson, Mansell was able to pass Senna as they lapped the Onyx car. He went on to win the race by almost 26 seconds.

1992: Mansell claims the title

Two Drivers’ Championships have been decided at the Hungarian Grand Prix. While Michael Schumacher claimed his fourth title at the 2001 Hungarian Grand Prix, Nigel Mansell took his only title win at the Hungaroring nine years previously.

Mansell had a seriously impressive start to the 1992 season, winning eight of the first ten races of the year. Although the Williams driver was unable to continue his winning streak in Hungary, his second place finish was enough to see him finally take a title win.

2006: Button wins in the wet

Jenson Button took his maiden Grand Prix win on a wet afternoon in Budapest in 2006. The Honda driver started the race from fourteenth place, due to a ten-place grid penalty for a change of engine. He was in good company in the lower half of the grid, with title rivals Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso lining up eleventh and fifteenth respectively.

Image: WrldVoyagr, CC BY 2.0

Schumacher and Alonso both ran into trouble during the race. Alonso led but suffered a wheel nut issue when pitting for dry tyres which saw him retire from the race, while Schumacher retired as a result of contact with Nick Heidfeld in the closing stages. As other drivers struggled, Button and Honda made the correct strategy choices and the British driver went on to claim his maiden race win. It would be the last win for a Honda engine until the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix.

2007: Qualifying decided in the pit lane

Qualifying came to a controversial conclusion at the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix, with a memorable incident between McLaren team-mates Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. With just over two minutes left on the clock in Q3, Alonso pulled into the pits to take on fresh tyres.

Hamilton – who had just set the fastest time – waited behind as the McLaren in front of him was serviced. McLaren held the lead car for around 20 seconds, to give Alonso clear air when he returned to the track. The lollipop was raised, but Alonso failed to move, choosing to wait for a further ten seconds. The delay meant that Hamilton did not have time to take on fresh tyres and make it to the finish line before the end of the session in order to set another lap. The Spaniard’s final lap in the session was good enough for pole position, while Hamilton was unable to set a time.

After the session, Alonso was handed a five-place grid penalty for the incident, dropping him to sixth on the grid. Hamilton went on to win the race after being promoted to pole position. McLaren were ineligible to score points at this race – another punishment brought about by Saturday’s antics.

2009: Felipe’s freak accident

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa suffered a freak accident during qualifying for the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix. At the end of the second stage of qualifying, a spring fell from Rubens Barrcihello’s Brawn GP car. The spring bounced along the track and made contact with Massa’s helmet as he approached Turn 4. Massa was knocked unconscious in the impact, and his car left the track at full speed into the tyre barrier. The Brazilian missed the rest of the season as a result of his injuries, but returned to the team at the start of 2010.

2014: Ricciardo wins, Hamilton from pits to podium

Daniel Ricciardo recorded his second Formula 1 victory at the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix. In qualifying, Lewis Hamilton suffered a fire on his Mercedes and he subsequently started from the pit-lane while his team-mate Nico Rosberg was the polesitter. The race started in damp conditions and the slippery surface caught a number of drivers out. While Hamilton had an off-track excursion, Marcus Ericsson, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez all suffered afternoon-ending crashes.

When the Safety Car was called out as a result of Perez’s incident, Ricciardo switched to a two-stop strategy. Fernando Alonso was the race leader in the closing stages, with Hamilton having made a great recovery drive to second place. Ricciardo, on fresher tyres than the leading pair, made light work of passing the two upfront. After passing Hamilton at Turn 3, the Red Bull driver made a bold move at Turn 1 to take the lead – and eventually the win.

2015: A memorable Ferrari victory

Mercedes locked-out the front row in qualifying for the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix – but a stellar start from the two Ferrari drivers meant the Italian team were running 1-2 after just a few corners. As the Mercedes drivers squabbled over third place – and polesitter Lewis Hamilton ran across the gravel, losing positions – Ferrari extended their lead.

Image: Rob O’Connor, CC BY-SA 2.0

While one Ferrari driver’s afternoon was derailed by a hybrid system issue, with Kimi Raikkonen ultimately dropping out of the race, Sebastian Vettel went on to take victory. The victory was a particularly poignant one, coming just a week after the death of Ferrari junior driver Jules Bianchi. Vettel dedicated his win to the Frenchman.

2019: Verstappen takes his first pole

Max Verstappen secured the first pole position of his Formula 1 career at the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix. The Dutchman secured his first pole by just 0.018 seconds, lapping with a 1:14.572 – marginally faster than Valtteri Bottas’ time. Verstappen was the 100th different driver to take pole position at a World Championship Formula 1 race. He was unable to win on Sunday though, finishing seventeen seconds behind Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

The 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix takes place at the Hungaroring on July 29-31.

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