Hamilton wins Hungary, but beware the Iceman
July 30, 2012
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Formula One went into its mid-season break with Fernando Alonso way out in front of the standings on 164 points. But, after a strong drive at the Hungarian Grand Prix, the final race before the recess, observers are tipping Lotus-Renault and Kimi Raikkonen as potential contenders for the title, despite the Finnish former world champion’s 48-point deficit to the Spanish points-leader.
Lewis Hamilton of course led from start to finish in Budapest, but the McLaren-Mercedes driver came under huge pressure from Raikkonen in the final stages. In fact, were it not for the lack of overtaking opportunities offered by the tight Hungaroring, the man they call the Iceman could arguably have won the race.
Lotus technical director James Allison is one of those who believes Raikkonen has a strong chance of taking the title given the points scoring system, which allocates 25 points for a victory. “There are an awful lot of points for coming first and an awful lot of races left. The lead is miniscule compared to the points available,” he said.
Allison said that one factor that would assist Raikkonen was a decision by the team to continue developing its E20 contender right into the closing part of the season.
“One of the things that our team has got wrong in the last couple of seasons is that we have been too keen to switch over to the new car a little bit too soon. So we started this year consciously with the aim of developing this one a bit longer,” he explained.
For example, Lotus is continuing development of its ‘double DRS’ system, which team tecchies believe should work pretty well at high-speed tracks such as Spa and Monza, giving Kimi the vital overtaking ability needed to take full advantage of the Lotus car’s tendency to be strong in the final stages of races.
With Kimi’s icy resolve, we could see a calculated challenge to Alonso’s lead after the recess.