Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel managed to deal with troublesome steering problems and intense challenges from both teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton to win the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday (30 July).
The former Sauber driver was struggling with his steering from around the 23rd lap but still managed to keep in front of second-placed Raikkonen and Hamilton, who finished fourth after he let Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas sneak a place on the podium.
The safety car had to be called upon almost immediately after the start of the race. Red Bull's Max Verstappen locked up as he approached the second corner and calamitously crashed into his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, whose race was ended during the first lap.
"Someone hit me. If that's who I think it was, that's ****." said Riccardo, who was visibly frustrated as he went through the incident with Helmut Marko in the garage. Verstappen managed to carry on but was hit with a 10-second penalty for causing a collision.
Vettel, gunning for his fourth win of the season, took advantage of his pole and managed to create a rather strong lead by Lap 10. Teammate Raikkonnen was in close proximity but Hamilton, who essentially wrote himself off before the race, struggled to find his feet during the early laps.
Mercedes' teammate Bottas tried to put up a fight but Ferrari had already established their dominance. The only driver putting pressure on Vettel during the midway point of the race in the Hungaroring was his teammate Raikkonen, who gradually chipped away at the German's lead.
Vettel just about managed to hold off his Finnish cohort but began to complain about steering issues. He asked his garage to identify the problem, which worsened as the race went on. Both Ferrari drivers soon spent time in the pits shortly after Vettel's complaints and returned to the fray on soft tyres.
Hamilton had a few issues to contend with himself as he struggled with radio problems but he and Bottas managed to put the pressure on Ferrari during the 40-lap mark. Raikkonen expressed his concerns over Mercedes' momentum via the radio, with Vettel still struggling with nagging steering problems.
Hamilton began to tear up the track and soon overtook Bottas, who allowed his English teammate to leapfrog him into third due to his superior pace.
Hamilton attempted to overtake Raikkonen but a crucial error on Turn five allowed the Finn some breathing space. The three-time world champion tested Raikkonen for a substantial period of the closing stages but the Ferrari man was able to keep his nose in front, and Hamilton eventually allowed Bottas to reclaim a place on the podium after failing to sandwich himself between the impressive Ferrari duo.
Hamilton could not catch Raikkonen, but he was unable to edge in front of Vettel, much to his dismay. The former Red Bull managed to quell his steering issues to secure victory, record a time of one hour, 39 minutes and 46 seconds and increase his lead over Hamilton to 14 points in the driver's standings.