Ricciardo wins Hungarian GP

LONDON - Daniel Ricciardo took the chequered flag for the second time this season at the end of an astonishing Hungarian Grand Prix.

Rain, crashes and safety cars made for a stunning race, helping the previously forlorn Lewis Hamilton following his fire in qualifying on Saturday onto another podium finish for the second successive Sunday from a seemingly hopeless position.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso secured second for his best result for 10 months, with Hamilton hanging on to third ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Championship leader Rosberg, who started on pole position for Mercedes, was fourth in an astonishing race with two safety car periods and the top four separated by just 6.3 seconds at the chequered flag.

At the start of the race, with 20 cars between himself and Rosberg, Hamilton could not have envisaged his situation going from bad to worse within seconds, but that is exactly what unfolded.

At the back of the pack, and with cold brakes on cold tyres, Hamilton spun into turn two, damaging the right corner of his front wing.

Hamilton crossed the line at the end of lap one 21 seconds behind Rosberg, who had made a clean getaway.

Just 40 minutes later, however, the gap was down to one second and with only one car between them, with Hamilton fifth and Rosberg third.

What unfolded in between was a remarkable series of events, sparked by a damp track as a downpour 50 minutes before the start had thrown all strategies out of the window.

After eight laps, and with Hamilton having scythed his way up to 13th, Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson smashed into a barrier at turn eight, bringing out the safety car.

Just when it was poised to return to the pits, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean also spun into a wall, ensuring it remained out for a little while longer.

With pit stops unfolding at the start of the safety car period, the shake up come the end of 15 laps meant Ricciardo led from Williams’ Felipe Massa and Alonso, with Rosberg fifth, Sebastian Vettel sixth in his Red Bull and Hamilton seventh.

Eight laps later Sergio Pérez, who had tangled with Force India team-mate Nico Hülkenberg on lap 17 that led to the German’s retirement, ran wide at the final turn, lost control and slammed into a concrete wall along the start-finish straight, scattering debris across the track.

For the second time safety-car driver Bernd Maylander slowed down the field for a further four laps, at the start of which Ricciardo and Massa pitted.

The further reshuffled handed Alonso the lead, with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne second, followed by Rosberg, Vettel and Hamilton.

It was an astonishing turnaround, and at that stage there were still 46 laps remaining. – Press Association

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