Daniel Ricciardo claimed his second victory at yesterday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, leading home Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.
The Australian overtook the pair in the closing laps in similar fashion to his maiden victory at last month’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Ricciardo took advantage of a Marcus Ericsson triggered safety car on lap 8, pitting immediately, to undercut those ahead of him – including Nico Rosberg, team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas.
The 25-year old managed his afternoon from there, pitting for the final time on lap 54, resuming in fourth, and quickly regaining time on Alonso and Hamilton.
By lap 63, the trio were separated by a second, and whilst it appeared Alonso was destined to hold on for a spectacular victory, Ricciardo made decisive moves on laps 67 and 68 to snatch the lead.
Ricciardo remains the only man outside of the Mercedes duo to stand on the top step of the podium this season.
Alonso’s second place represented his and Ferrari’s second podium of a wanting campaign, and an outcome which can’t have harmed the Spaniard’s status as the best driver on the grid, as he held off Hamilton – boasting superior machinery, in the closing stages.
Having started from pitlane and an opening lap spin on cold rubber, Hamilton’s third place reduces the margin to his team-mate to 11 points, with a fast finishing Rosberg unable to snatch the final podium place following a late stop.
Felipe Massa claimed some much needed points with fifth place, as did Kimi Räikkönen in sixth – by far the Finn’s best return in his forgettable campaign.
Vettel could do no better than seventh despite his promising start, having said that, the German endured a near miss on pit-straight – in an almost carbon copy of Sergio Perez’s demise, on lap 32, whilst Bottas came home eighth – left to rue the timing of his pitstop following the initial safety car deployment.
Jean-Eric Vergne and Jenson Button rounded out the top ten, whilst Adrian Sutil just missed out on opening the account of Sauber’s lacklustre season.
Light rain led to nervous proceedings in the opening stages, as Romain Grosjean followed Ericsson into retirement just as the safety car was set to come in.
Nico Hulkenberg retired for the first time this season following a run-in with team-mate Sergio Perez on his fifteenth tour – representing the first time the German failed to register points this campaign, whilst the Mexican himself crashed heavily into pit wall eight laps later, triggering the second safety car of the afternoon.
The category now takes its’ traditional month long convalescence, with the Belgian Grand Prix on August 24.
1. Nico Rosberg 202
2. Lewis Hamilton 191
3. Daniel Ricciardo 131
4. Fernando Alonso 115
5. Valtteri Bottas 95