F1: Five Classic Hungarian Grand Prix Moments

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Budapest's Hungaroring will host the 34th Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend. © Getty Images

Dubbed as ‘Monaco without the barriers’, the tight, twisty Hungaroring has challenged drivers since 1986 and created some memorable moments along the way.

And as the F1 circus rolls back in for the final race before the summer break, let’s look back at five classic moments from Hungary.

5: 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix – Heartbreak for Massa
A distraught Felipe Massa walks away from his Ferrari after losing a certain victory in the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix. © Sutton Images

The 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix was looking good for Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, until three laps to the end.

After an early battle with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who suffered a puncture mid race, Massa looked on course for victory.

But then, a connecting rod failure caused Massa to pull over on the pit straight.

It was heartbreak for Massa, who was 20 seconds clear of Hamilton’s team-mate Heikki Kovalainen in second place.

It gave Kovalainen his one and only career victory and allowed Hamilton to extend his championship lead.

4: 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix – Hamilton off the mark with Merc
Lewis Hamilton on course to claim the first of many Grand Prix victories with Mercedes at the Hungaroring in 2013. © EPA

After a shock move from McLaren to Mercedes in 2013, Lewis Hamilton was still looking for his maiden win with the German marque.

After taking his fourth pole of the season in qualifying, he finally managed to convert it into victory.

Hamilton led away from pole, but the crucial moment of the race would come through the pit stops.

After stopping on lap 10, Hamilton rejoined behind McLaren’s Jenson Button, but was able to clear him quickly.

When Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel pitted, he also came out behind Button, but was subsequently held up.

This changed the race, as Hamilton could pull away up the road unchallenged.

The Briton crossed the line to take his fourth victory in Hungary, which tied him with Michael Schumacher at the time.

He also became the first Brit to win in a Mercedes since Sir Stirling Moss.

3: 1997 Hungarian Grand Prix – Horror for Hill
A mechanical failure robbed Arrows and Damon Hill of a famous victory in the 1997 Hungarian Grand Prix. Image sourced from crash.net

Damon Hill and the Arrows team looked on for a shock victory in the 1997 Hungarian Grand Prix.

After enduring a difficult start to the season, Hill managed to drag the troubled car up to  fourth on the grid.

The defending champion made a great start into second, before famously passing Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari into Turn 1.

The uncompetitive Arrows car led the race by 35 seconds entering the final stages of the race.

However, with 3 laps to go, a hydraulic pump failed, leaving Hill limping to the finish.

He tried his best to hold on, but on the final lap, Jacques Villeneuve in the Williams slipped past to take the lead.

But Hill held off Johnny Herbert’s Sauber to take 2nd place, but still thinking what could have been.

It was later discovered the problem was caused by a broken washer worth just 50 pence.

2: 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix – Pit lane controversy for McLaren
The tension between McLaren teammates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso reached its boiling point during the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix. © Sutton Images

The frosty relationship between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, hit fever pitch in Hungary.

During Qualifying, Alonso seemingly held up Hamilton in the pits, denying Hamilton the chance to set a final lap.

Alonso was able to start another lap and took pole position from Hamilton.

The stewards later penalised Alonso with a 5 place grid penalty, and told McLaren they would not score any Constructors Championship points for the race, or receive a winning constructor trophy if either driver won the race.

This was just the beginning of controversy for McLaren in 2007, with SpyGate just around the corner.

1: 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix – Button breaks his duck
Jenson Button en route to a long awaited F1 win in the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix. © Getty Images

After 113 races, Jenson Button finally became the bride at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix, though any chance of victory looked unlikely after qualifying.

Despite going fourth fastest, an engine penalty meant the Briton started from 14th on the grid.

But conditions on Sunday favoured Button to a tee, and he climbed his way through the field.

He would then inherit the race lead, when Fernando Alonso’s Renault suffered a rear wheel nut failure, causing the Spaniard to crash and retire.

Button would remain unchallenged to claim his first ever F1 victory, and the first British winner in three years.

Additionally, it was the first win for Honda as a Constructor since the 1967 Italian Grand Prix, and the first for a Honda engine since 1999.

It would also be the last win for Honda until Max Verstappen’s win in the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix.

 

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