Ricciardo carves up F1 rivals in incredible drive

Lewis Hamilton may have won the Hungarian Grand Prix, but it was Daniel Ricciardo who produced the most remarkable drive of the day.

The Australian, starting 12th, survived two collisions and recorded the fastest lap of the race as he stormed through the field at the Hungaroring to claim 12 championship points and take his tally to 118.

Ricciardo’s action-packed race included being hit by Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson immediately after the start to push him back to 16th.

However the Red Bull star picked off his rivals as he worked his way to the lead pack with only a few laps to go.

Red Bull’s Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo races during the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 29, 2018. (Photo by FERENC ISZA / AFP) (Photo credit should read FERENC ISZA/AFP/Getty Images)

“We had a pretty good car and I was able to make it to fourth having been at P16 at one point on the first lap, so in the end it was a good result for us,” Ricciardo told Red Bull Racing’s official website.

Ricardo was also involved in a late collision with Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who received a 10-second penalty for the incident and ultimately finished fifth.

“I couldn’t see his car in my blind spot so I left room and then I got the hit but fortunately I didn’t spin,” Ricciardo said.

“I thought it was likely he would get a penalty but I really wanted to pass him on track, which fortunately I could do on the last lap.

“I was happy today, happy to finish and get some points and have a race I feel I maximised.”

The near-podium finish was a brilliant result considering where Ricciardo was forced to start the race.

Hamilton won from pole position to go into the August break with a 24-point lead over rival Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel who was runner-up, 17.1 seconds behind, also survived a late collision with Bottas on a dry and sweltering afternoon at the Hungaroring outside Budapest on Sunday.

Ferrari, mourning the death of former chairman Sergio Marchionne, had Kimi Raikkonen finish third to complete a podium of champions.

Bottas up fifth, and was called to see stewards about the collisions, with French driver Pierre Gasly sixth for Toro Rosso.

The victory was Hamilton’s record sixth in Hungary, fifth of the season and 67th of his career.

“We came here knowing Ferrari would be really quick this weekend so to come out with these points, we’ll definitely take it as a bonus,” said Hamilton in a pitlane interview after embracing team members.

“I’m really happy with how strong it’s come in the last couple of races. We’ve got to come strong in the next half,” added the 33-year-old, who won in Germany from 14th place on the grid a weekend earlier.

After 12 races, Hamilton has 213 points to Vettel’s 189, while Ricciardo is on 118.

The Australian’s Dutch teammate Max Verstappen retired early on with a Renault engine failure that infuriated both driver and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

“We pay multi-millions of pounds for these engines and for first class, or state-of-the-art, product and you can see it’s quite clearly some way below that,” said Horner.