4 Drivers Who Took Their 1st Win At The Hungarian Grand Prix

4 Drivers Who Took Their 1st Win At The Hungarian Grand Prix

Laura Leslie runs through the 4 drivers who were lucky enough to take their maiden wins at the Hungaroring.

4 Drivers Who Took Their 1st Win At The Hungarian Grand Prix

Damon Hill – 1993

3 times in his first 12 races Damon Hill could have been a Grand Prix winner. Instead the Briton had to wait until his 13th race start to finally take a popular maiden win and seal a place in history alongside his champion father, Graham.

In Spain, Britain and Germany Hill had come agonizingly close to winning only to be denied by 2 engine failures and a blown tyre. He went into the Hungarian Grand Prix in a determined mood and qualified just 0.204s away from Williams-Renault team-leader and then 3-time champion Alain Prost.

Prost then stalled on the grid leaving Hill at the front of the grid alone to battle off a hungry Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna. Schumacher fluffed his start and dropped down the order, while Senna put up a valiant fight in the first few corners before Hill managed to pull out a 1.7s gap at the end of lap 1. Hill would continue to pull away and his main rivals succumbed to DNFs.

Hill won by over a minute from the Benetton of Ricardo Patrese, becoming the 14th Briton to win an F1 race and the 148th victory for a British driver. Hill would win a further 19 races in his career and became world champion at the end of the 1996 season, meaning Damon and Graham were the 1st ever father and son duo to be world champions in F1 history.

Fernando Alonso - 2003

Fernando Alonso had already made history in 2003 by becoming the youngest ever polesitter at that year’s Malaysian Grand Prix. By Hungary his star was shining more brightly than ever and he once again stuck his Renault on pole, but this time there was no doubt over his potential race pace.

Alonso won at an absolute canter and even lapped the reigning world champion, Michael Schumacher. Alonso beat fellow young hotshot Kimi Raikkonen by just over 16s and the pair were joined on the podium by Juan Pablo Montoya. All 3 drivers had made their debuts in 2001 and now they had made the youngest ever podium in F1 history with an average age of just 24 years, 7 months and 12 days. This record would stand for over 5 years.

Alonso was the 1st driver from Spain to win a grand prix and the youngest ever winner of a race at , beating Bruce McLaren’s 44 year old record in the process. Alonso has since won another 31 races and won the world championship in 2005 and 2006.

Jenson Button - 2006

113 races. That’s how long Jenson Button had to wait before he scored his maiden F1 win. At the time only Jarno Trulli (117) and Rubens Barrichello (124) had done more races prior to winning for the 1st time.

Button didn’t take his 1st win the easy way either. A blown engine in free practice left his Honda team needing to change the entire unit before qualifying, this left Button down in 14th on the grid after a penalty. Sunday brought rain and for the changeable conditions master Button, it was perfect.

Button made a great start and quickly made his way up into the top 10 before gradually working his way up the order to sit in 2nd behind Fernando Alonso. A safety car helped Button close the gap to the Spaniard, but backmarkers meant he was still 9 seconds down even when the safety car came back into the pits. Button was quicker than Alonso at this stage of the race and was right on his tail the tail prior to Button making a pitstop. The British driver had chosen not to change his intermediate tyres and thus would have to stop again as the track continued to dry. Alonso chosen to stop later and put on dry tyres, meaning all he had to do was catch Button and wait for him to also pit for slicks.

Instead Alonso was out of the race by the time he could get to T3 on his outlap, a loose wheelnut causing his car to spin off into the barriers. Button was given a clear fun to the flag and took Honda’s 1st win in over 39 years.

Heikki Kovalainen – 2008

For Heikki Kovalainen a contract with McLaren-Mercedes promised wins, possibly titles and a lot of trophies. As it was, Kovalainen only managed 1 win and 3 podiums in his 2 years with the Woking based squad. His win came at Hungary in 2008 and was only possible thanks to an enormous slice of luck as well as Kovalainen being in the right place at the right time.

It was a McLaren 1-2 on the grid and a McLaren 2-3 by T2 on lap 1. Felipe Massa got the jump on poleman Lewis Hamilton and Kovalainen to lead. The Ferrari driver built up a gap and took Hamilton with him, leaving Kovalainen in a distant 3rd.

Later in the race Hamilton flat-spotted his front-left tyre in his desperation to keep up with Massa. This tyre eventually would deflate and dropped him out of contention to win the race. Kovalainen moved up to 2nd, but was a long way behind leader Massa. Then just 3 laps left Massa’s engine blew up as he went down the start-finish straight. Suddenly Kovalainen was leading and had a 10+ second gap to the Toyota of Timo Glock in 2nd.

Kovalainen thus became the 4th Finnish driver to win a grand prix, after Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen. Kovalainen would only visit the podium once more in his career after his win, at the Italian Grand Prix the same year where he finished 2nd. He was the 30th driver in F1 history to remain a ‘one-win wonder and was actually the 100th different driver to win an F1 championship race.

2021 London ePrix Stat Breakdown

2021 London ePrix Stat Breakdown

A crazy Formula E season continued to entertain as the series returned to London at the weekend. Read on as Laura Leslie runs down the best stats.

2021 London ePrix Stat Breakdown

Formula E was its’ predictable bonkers self as it returned to London for the first time in 5 years. Laura Leslie runs through the most interesting stats to emerge from the weekend.

So far in 2020/21 we’ve had 13 races, 10 different winners, 10 different pole sitters and an unbelievable 19 different drivers on the podium. Championship leader Nyck de Vries has a 6 point advantage over Robin Frijns despite only having 6 top 10 finishes in the 13 races so far. De Vries left London with a brace of 2nd place finishes, ending Mercedes-EQ’s 6 race podium drought, which thrust him from 10th in the championship, to the lead as he took advantage of a double no-score for former leader Sam Bird.

Alex Lynn scored his 1st win in the series in R2 in London and came away with 44 points, more than any other driver, to move from 17th in the standings to 6th and just 17 points off de Vries. Indeed the gap between 12th placed Jean-Eric Vergne and de Vries is just 28 points. With 30 on offer from each race at the double header finale in Berlin, it means any one of 12 drivers could be leading the championship ahead of the final race. 18 drivers are still in with a mathematical shot of winning the championship.

A total of 3 cars were disqualified from each of the races across the weekend. Nissan suffered a double disqualification in R1 after overusing its’ energy allocation, the team’s 2nd double disqualification of the year after suffering the same fate in R1 at Puebla. Lucas di Grassi was the other casualty of disqualification, after becoming the 1st driver in series history to be shown the black flag thanks to Audi Sport’s safety car pitlane gamble.

Di Grassi’s disqualification meant Lynn won despite not leading a single lap of R2. This is the 5th time such an incident has happened in the 7 years the series has run. A remarkable number when you compare it to Formula One which has only had 7 such incidents across 72 years.

In London R1 it was Jake Dennis who claimed victory, his 2nd of the year and he became just the 3rd driver to win more than 1 race in 2020/21. The win moved BMW i Andretti into title contention as it sits 5th in the standings just 22 points behind leaders Envision Virgin Racing.

Envision Virgin finds itself in a peculiar position of leading the championship with 2 races to go despite not actually winning a race the entire year so far. The team has had 4 2nd place finishes and 13 top 10 finishes so far this season.

Following Joel Eriksson’s 10th place finish in London R2, all 25 drivers who have entered a Formula E race in 2020/21 have now scored at least a point. Eriksson’s point helped end Dragon / Penske Autosport’s 7 race drought and moved it further away from NIO 333 at the bottom of the standings. NIO have not scored a point since Oliver Turvey finished 8th in R2 at Valencia 7 races ago.