Alpine’s Esteban Ocon has taken his maiden Formula 1 grand prix victory, as he dominated the drama-filled Hungarian Grand Prix.
The Frenchman held off Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel for much of the race, as the two found themselves at the head of the pack amid chaos at the start.
Vettel lingered just over a second behind Ocon throughout the race, but couldn’t find his way past and into the lead.
As they made their pit-stops midway through the race, Aston Martin attempted to undercut Ocon, however a 3.3 second stop hampered their effort, ensuring Ocon emerged back into the lead.
A resurging Lewis Hamilton, who found himself at the back of the field not long after the start, recovered to third place on the podium.
Carnage unfolds on the opening lap
As the cars headed into Turn 1 on the opening lap, Valtteri Bottas made a poor start and was running behind McLaren’s Lando Norris and as they braked for Turn 1, Bottas hit the rear of the MCL35M.
Bottas suffered terminal damage instantly, and was sent on a collision course into Sergio Perez, who was also eliminated from the race.
Norris, who had been propelled forward following contact with Bottas, then speared into the side of Verstappen, with the Dutchman’s car sustaining heavy damage to the right bargeboard.
Elsewhere, Lance Stroll also lost control in the Turn 1 braking zone, colliding with Charles Leclerc. Both drivers were sent out of the race.
Ricciardo, who was on the outside of Leclerc, found himself caught up in the incident and facing the wrong direction – however he was able to continue.
Race control opted to throw a red flag in order to pick up the debris and clear the stricken cars from the track.
The carnage produced a jumbled order – with Hamilton leading. Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel were second and third respectively.
Carlos Sainz was promoted up to fourth, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi. Fernando Alonso ran seventh, ahead of George Russell, Kimi Raikkonen and Mick Schumacher.
Race restart also delivers chaos
On the restart, a bizarre situation unfolded when the cars emerged out of the pit lane on the intermediate tyres, with the track rapidly drying.
Hamilton opted to stay out on the track and take the standing restart, but was the only one to do so as all the cars behind him pitted for slicks.
As a result, when Hamilton pitted on the following lap, he was sent to the rear of the field, with Russell briefly leading, before being told by the FIA to concede positions for overtaking in the pit lane.
Ocon took the lead of the race, ahead of Vettel, while Latifi ran in third place. However, the Williams driver soon dropped back from the leading pair.
Sainz heads midfield pack as Latifi, Russell score points for Williams
In the mid-pack fight, Carlos Sainz came home in fourth after being overtaken by Hamilton in the latter stages of the race.
Fernando Alonso was fifth and was voted ‘Driver of the Day’ amid an intense battle with Hamilton. The two-time world champion held up his former McLaren team-mate for a number of laps after Hamilton pitted for fresh tyres on lap 47 to make a late-race push.
However, the highlight of the midfield scorers was unquestionably Williams, as Nicholas Latifi and George Russell crossed the line in eighth and ninth respectively, providing the team with its first points finish since the 2019 German Grand Prix.
The Williams pair followed Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda home, as AlphaTauri picked up a strong allocation of points with sixth and seventh at the chequered flag.
Max Verstappen was tenth after running the entire race with car damage. He has now dropped behind Lewis Hamilton in the championship table, as the series heads into its August break.