The 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix provided viewers plenty of action and entertainment, with first-lap carnage drastically changing the grid for the restart.
Alpine driver Esteban Ocon won his first-ever F1 race and secured his second-ever podium finish after holding off Sebastian Vettel, who was looking to hand Aston Martin their first victory in Formula 1.
The 24-year-old French driver qualified in P8, but found himself leading the grand prix after a huge crash at the first corner on the opening lap.
Valtteri Bottas caused the crash after locking his front tyres and bumping into the rear of Lando Norris’ McLaren.
This impact set off a chain reaction of knocks and collisions, resulting in Bottas, Norris, Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Charles Leclerc all retiring from the race due to damage.
The remaining drivers then sparred spectacularly over the top three positions, with Vettel eventually finishing second and Sir Lewis Hamilton recovering to P3 after falling to the back of the grid after being the only driver who decided not to pit for dry weather tyres ahead of the restart.
The intensity of Hamilton’s fight to finish in P3 clearly took its toll, with the seven-time World Champion appearing to be extremely fatigued and distressed during the podium presentation.
Mercedes later confirmed that Hamilton was being tended to by the team doctor and was suffering from fatigue and dizziness.
Hamilton stated that his symptoms were the lingering effects of COVID-19 which he suffered from in November 2020.
The day’s drama did not stop there. More than four hours after the completion of the race, it was announced that Vettel had been disqualified due to a fuel sample violation.
The technical regulations state that competitors must ensure that a one-litre fuel sample is available to be taken from the car at any time during competition.
Aston Martin were unable to produce the required one-litre sample, managing only to extract 0.3-litres from the vehicle after the race.
Aston Martin have said they will appeal the decision against Vettel, with the stewards earlier confirming that a Notice of Intention of Appeal has been submitted.
This disqualification resulted in Hamilton inheriting second position and Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz being promoted to P3.
Hamilton now leads the Drivers’ Championship on 195 points, eight points ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who had a miserable race as a result of him losing a lot of aerodynamic performance due to damage sustained on the first lap.
Mercedes now also lead the Constructors’ Championship by 12 points ahead of Red Bull.