Lewis Hamilton was the victor in Sunday's Hungary GP, but what did we learn from the race?
Nico can't hide his feelings towards Lewis
For the first time this season, Lewis Hamilton overtook his team-mate and adversary Nico Rosberg to lead the 2016 Driver's Championship, but there is still an awful long way to go. The issue here is that despite Hamilton saying last month that his relationship with Nico is “stronger than ever,” it does not appear to be in the public eye.
What was evident was in the post race driver's press conference when Lewis was asked his opinion on Rosberg's controversial pole lap, achieved by going fastest despite a double-waved yellow flag in sector 2 following a spin from Fernando Alonso. Hamilton asked for greater clarification towards the difference between a single and double-waved yellow flag zone, as safety continues to be top priority in F1. Nico's response went like this: “Can I respond? Thank you very much. Thank you for making that statement, so now I’m going to put my response.”
Personally I believe Nico was in the right. According to the rules you have to show some evidence that you slowed in the sector, but you don't have to abandon your qualifying lap. Indeed Nico went 20km's slower into Turn 10 and Alonso's car had already been cleared. Furthermore, evolving track conditions on a drying racing line may be the reason why Nico slowed, yet still managed to post a faster time, something I'm certain Lewis coould have matched if he had continued that lap.
Nevertheless, Nico's response sums up his emotions perfectly, no matter how close Hamiton and Rosberg appear to be, they are rivals first and team-mate second, possibly third to bitter arch-rivals. This is just the beginning and tempers will once again reach boiling point as we enter the second half of the season.
McHonda have the answers after all?
OK, hear me out, you shouldn't draw too many conclusions from one result. Indeed, Alonso finished seventh in the race, which is two places lower than he managed at the Hungaroring last season, in a much slower car. In addition, Jenson Button managed to become the only retirement this year. But, consistency is key to Formula 1. Alonso finished seventh in P1, P2, P3, qualifying and the race. Continually, McLaren's qualifying pace was impressive and we're the fourth quickest team.
McLaren have come a long way in such a small amount of time. Predictions are not my strong point but with 2017's drastic rule changes coming in, we could well see Mercedes being caught up by the McLaren boys, which is why Alonso and Button are so keen to hang around another season.
Radio Rules are ridiculous
A matter I'm certain won't be too controversial; the new radio regulations are ruining the sport. Last race we saw Mercedes break the rules to try and save a stricken Nico Rosberg from retiring and he got a 10 second post-race time penalty.
This week we saw Jenson Button's McLaren Honda falter and drop all the way to the back of the grid in the middle of the GP. Radio communications told Button how to fix the issue although his race was ruined. However, the stewards wasted no time handing the veteran Briton a drive-through penalty (which is about 18 seconds) to add to his woes.
It makes no sense, it's drastically over the top and it probably creates more issues than there already were, not too mention a bit cruel to my poor nan. Nevertheless the issue is clear. Punishing the driver for trying to save his race from retirement and a potential safety issue is ridiculous and does no good for the image of Formula 1.
Jolyon Palmer is the unluckiest driver of the day
Definitely the saddest driver of the day was Jolyon Palmer, who fought his way into the top 10 and was on his way to achieving his first points in Formula 1, only for him to spin and drop down to 12th place. He appeared absolutely devastated post-race and understandably so.
The Renault boys have only finished in the points once this season and they know that when opportunities come, you have to take them. The Renault mechanics did a fantastic job in leap-frogging Nico Hulkenburg in the pits. Credit to Palmer for choosing the ballsiest move over trying the undercut the following lap and it paid off. I'm sure Palmer will bag his first points this year, but it will be hard to guarantee another season in the sport if he fails to do so.
Raikkonen is driver of the day
Last, but certainly not least, was Kimi Raikonen's stand out race performance that got him form 14th to finish 6th and a whisker, and a front wing away from Max Verstappen. The two drivers had a fantastic duel which nearly saw them both crash out. However, Raikkonen's valiant effort sees him one point off third in the driver's championship and ahead of his team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
With 15 points separating the two Ferrari and Red Bull drivers, expect the fight for third in the drivers championship and second in the constructors inntensify throughout the campaign.