28 July 2015
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix: Lauda lauds ‘normal racing’
Niki Lauda has no issue with either the incidents that occurred in the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix, or Mercedes' disappointing result that stemmed from them.
Niki Lauda appeared unconcerned by Mercedes poor result in the Hungarian Grand Prix, claiming that the team's previous run of success had been 'a surprise'.
After eight wins in nine races to start the 2015 F1 season, the Silver Arrows posted their worst cumulative result with sixth and eighth in Budapest, as both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg ran into problems right from the start of the 69-lap encounter.
Despite starting on the front row, both drivers were jumped into the first corner, this time with Ferrari moving Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen into the top two positions. Hamilton then made a bigger task for himself by running off the road while battling his team-mate into the chicane and dropping to tenth, while Rosberg lacked the pace to challenge the red cars ahead of him.
As Vettel cruised to his second win of the season – the only driver to defeat the Mercedes this year – Hamilton worked his way back up the order, only to clash with Daniel Ricciardo and have to pit for a new nose, before the stewards added insult to injury by finding the Briton culpable for the clash and slapping him with a drive-thru' penalty.
Rosberg, meanwhile, also had a run-in with the Red Bull, picking up a puncture five laps from home that not only dropped him out of a podium position, but also behind his team-mate, who stretched his championship advantage as a result.
For Lauda, however, the result was something to have been expected amid two seasons of comparative dominance….
“This is the way it is – Ferrari was the best and the result for Mercedes is not good, but normal,” the Austrian insisted, “This is normal racing for me – what we had before and last year was a surprise, but this is normal racing and we have to react to all these problems and keep on fighting.”
The three-time world champion also had no issue with the incident that stymied Hamilton's recovery, admitting that Mercedes' problems had stemmed from the opening moments of the race.
“[Ferrari] had the perfect start, but I think [Mercedes] made a mistake because both cars didn't get off the way they should do, [especially] after Silverstone,” he concluded, “Lewis was super-aggressive, we have to say too aggressive, and, in the end, the Ricciardo accident was a normal race accident because nobody did anything.”
Hamilton heads into the summer break with a 21-point advantage over team-mate Rosberg, who now holds a similar margin over Vettel, who ate into both Mercedes drivers' lead with his Hungaroring victory. The Belgian Grand Prix, which follows the hiatus towards the end of August, will feature revised starting procedures for all cars following the WMSC's approval of rule changes earlier this month.
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