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The 2015 ASN Formula One Driver Rankings – Race 10 [Hungarian]

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The official 2015 ASN Driver Rankings have been updated to reflect the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix – which we are calling the Hungry Grand Prix [for the obvious reason that we were hungry for some actual competitive racing]. The Hungry Grand Prix is held on the Hungaroring and was a place where defending champion Lewis Hamilton had won five times – so it didn’t look good for anybody who wasn’t driving a Mercedes – but surprise, surprise, we actually got something that sorta resembled a real automobile race in a Formula One race this time. Who woulda thunk it? However, not surprisingly, the winner was the driver currently atop the AutoSportsNation driver standings – one Sebastian Vettel – a four-time world champion himself, who has been having the best season of all drivers so far in 2015.

Normally this is the part of the review where we say “As usual, the pair of Mercedes run away from everybody else on the first lap and…” but wait a minute, hold the phone there, Buster! Not only did the pair of Mercedes – operated by Hamilton and his teammate, Nico Rosberg, who sits second in the official season points standings – not run away with the first lap lead, they didn’t even lead on the first turn! After a one lap parade lap caused by Williams’ Felipe Massa, who had improperly lined up, the re-start featured not only Vettel but also his Ferrari teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, both getting the jump on Hamilton and Rosberg into Turn One. While Rosberg tussled with Raikkonen for second, Hamilton was so discombobulated by being in fourth place that, midway through the first lap, he tried to take a shortcut through a chicane, which only resulted in dropping him down to 10th place on the first lap. Hamilton immediately got on the radio and complained that his teammate Rosberg had taken his line and caused him to drive into the very small rocks but race officials and the majority of the civilized world disagreed and Rosberg was not penalized.

Ferrari held their 1-2 positioning for the majority of the first half of the race as Vettel pulled away from Raikkonen for a massive lead while Raikkonen attempted to fend off Rosberg and Hamilton picked his way through the field, finally working his way up to fifth place by Lap 23 after the first round of pit stops and then into fourth place on Lap 29, passing Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull. That is how it remained until Lap 43 when Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg suddenly had his front wing decide it was no longer interested in racing and detached itself, causing Hulkenberg to plow into the barriers on Turn One and force the safety car out on the track. The safety car’s appearance condensed the field and brought Hamilton and Rosberg closer to potential podium finishes since Raikkonen’s Ferrari was losing power due to a mechanical issue.

But on the re-start, Ricciardo jumps Hamilton, who responds by crashing into Ricciardo [damaging both cars in the process] allowing Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat to also pass Hamilton, while Rosberg passes the ailing Raikkonen for second and Vettel takes off. Three laps later, Hamilton has to come into the pits to replace the front wing and later has to take a drive-through penalty for causing the crash in the first place. Meanwhile, after steadily dropping places, Raikkonen finally retires on Lap 57. With a mere five laps to go, Vettel is easily fending off Rosberg when Ricciardo attempts to pass Rosberg in second and punctures Rosberg’s tire with his front wing. Ricciardo has to come in to repair his wing while Rosberg hobbles around the track on a rapidly shredding tire before he can pit – this allows Kvyat to claim second place by default while Hamilton moves into seventh. From there, Vettel wins easily while Kvyat holds on to his gift second place and Ricciardo claims the third and final podium place. Hamilton meekly finishes in sixth while Rosberg wobbles in at eighth.

As for the racing, Vettel clearly wins again and pads his commanding ASN lead with a masterful display of racing while Ricciardo gets second as Kvyat was gifted his podium position and we award the final point of the 2015 Hungry Grand Prix to McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who not only got his car to finish the race but finishes in a staggering fifth place!

For the awards, it would be easiest to once again give the award to Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado in his signature award category – seeing how he racked up penalty points the entire race – but the obvious winner has to be Hamilton, who made a slew of driving mistakes, and tried to blame his teammate for one of them. That clinched it as Hamilton gets the coveted Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award for this race. However, Maldonado and his Lotus teammate Romain Grosjean still hold the season lead.

With the way the day went for Mercedes, it was an iron-clad certainty that one of the two Mercedes drivers was going to clinch the Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone, I Know What I’m Doing!” Award for the 2015 Hungry Grand Prix, since neither Hamilton nor Rosberg have handled adversity very well this year. With each of them predictably berating their engineers over the radio during various stages of the race, the award is a tie and each get a half-point with Hamilton who, after he made a driving error, tells his lead engineer, Peter “Bono” Bonnington, to “Be quiet!” while Rosberg’s engineer tells him to try and catch a second-place Raikkonen and Rosberg responds with “Don’t tell me again – I’m trying!” Hamilton maintains a commanding season lead for this award.

It is a clean sweep for Hamilton as he also earns his signature Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award for the 2015 Hungry Grand Prix by claiming “I don’t remember that Lap One incident” in a post-race interview about a driving mistake he made in the first lap of the race. Of course you don’t Lewis, perhaps dating Rihanna has altered your short-term memory capacity. Hamilton still leads in his signature award category.

The 2015 Formula One season continues with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps at 5 a.m. [PDT] on NBCSN on August 23, 2015.

Sebastian Vettel leads the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix on Lap One.

Sebastian Vettel leads the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix on Lap One.

The 2015 ASN Formula One Driver Standings [after the Hungry Grand Prix]

1] Sebastian Vettel – 20 points

2] Lewis Hamilton – 11 points

3] Nico Rosberg – six points

4] Valtteri Bottas – five points

5] Kimi Raikkonen – four points

6] Fernando Alonso/Jenson Button/Nico Hulkenberg/Daniil Kvyat/Daniel Ricciardo/Max Verstappen – two points

12] Romain Grosjean – one point

The 2015 Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award Standings [after the Hungry Grand Prix]

1] Grosjean/Maldonado – two points

2] Marcus Ericsson/Hamilton/Hamilton’s pit crew/Raikkonen/Raikkonen’s pit crew/Ricciardo – one point

The 2015 Kimi Raikkonen Leave Me Alone I Know What I’m Doing Award Standings [after the Hungry Grand Prix]

1] Hamilton – 4.5 points

2] Rosberg – 2.5 points

3] Bottas/Ricciardo pit crew/Will Stevens – one point

The 2015 Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award [after the Hungry Grand Prix]

1] Hamilton – four points

2] Bernie Ecclestone – two points

3] Alonso/Christian Horner/Vettel/Team McLaren – one point

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