Hamilton posts first win of the season

F1 world champion gets back on track
by Patrick Everett Tadeo | Jul 27, 2009


Lewis Hamilton

After a luckless first half of the season for Lewis Hamilton, the current world champion finally claimed his first victory in what has to be the most chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix.

The weekend of mayhem started when a loose component from Brawn GP's Rubens Barrichello's car struck Felipe Massa's helmet, knocking him unconscious and sending his Ferrari F60 at full speed to the tire barriers. Massa was taken to the AEK Hospital in Budapest where he is said to be in a ‘serious but stable condition,' according to F1-Live.com.

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Later on, the track's timing system malfunctioned. When it came back online, a surprised Fernando Alonso discovered he set the fastest time and earned his first pole position since the 2007 Italian Grand Prix.

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Alonso was expected to lead the rest in a procession but his botched pit stop on Lap 12 left his front right tire incorrectly attached. It came off halfway through his lap so he limped his Renault back into the pits. He rejoined the race a lap down but later retired on Lap 17.

This gave Hamilton, who started on P4, the opportunity to use his McLaren MP4-24's kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) to good effect as he leapfrogged over Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Hamilton claimed the chequered flag ahead of Kimi Raikkonen's KERS-equipped Ferrari. It was Hamilton's first victory since the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix. Incidentally, Sunday's grand prix was also the first race won by a car with the controversial KERS.

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Webber finished at third place with a resurgent Nico Rosberg of WilliamsF1 coming in at fourth. McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen claimed fifth place, while Toyota's Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli finished at sixth and eighth. Jenson Button finished at seventh place--his worst for the season. His lead in the drivers' championship has dropped to 18.5 points from Webber.

Newbie Jaime Alguersuari, the youngest driver to compete in F1, finished at fifteenth, a notch ahead of his teammate Sebastien Buemi.

After the race, the Hungarian Grand Prix stewards and the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile decided to suspend Renault from the European Grand Prix next month after the French team allowed Alonso to join the race with his right front tire incorrectly attached. Renault is expected to file an appeal.

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