Kimi win at Hungary as Renault struggle

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Kimi Raikkonen stormed to victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday winning comfortably ahead of Michael and Ralf Schumacher…

Fernando Alonso leaves Hungary with no points and seeing his drivers’ championship lead cut by ten points to 26 after losing his front wing on the first lap.

Kimi Raikkonen made a storming start to move from fourth to second by the first corner with Michael Schumacher ahead and Montoya just behind. There was action in the midfield as Christian Klien and Jacques Villeneuve had contact in the first corner which sent the Red Bull driver into a roll. Fortunately he landed on all four wheels and emerged uninjured.

The first corner brought bad luck for championship leader Fernando Alonso who clipped the rear of Ralf Schumacher’s Toyota and damaged his front wing. Alonso raced back to the pits with his front wing hanging from the nose until it detached at high speed in the middle sector.

The cars immediately behind Alonso swerved out of the way but David Coulthard was caught unsighted and hit the wing which broke his front right wheel. The Scot spun off and marked a double-whammy of retirements for Red Bull.

Alonso pitted for a new nose, as did Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello and they rejoined at the back of the grid. Alonso tried his hardest to carve his way through the field but found that it really is almost impossible to pass at the Hungaroring. The Spaniard did pull off a daring move on the inside of turn two to pass Minardi’s Robert Doornbos.

Raikkonen was the first to pit, surprisingly early on lap 11. The Finn had run his car light to compensate for having to qualify first on Saturday until that point he was just a second behind Michael Schumacher. The Ferrari pitted a few laps later, clear that both were on a three-stop strategy.

Montoya inherited the lead and set about building up enough of a lead on his two-stop strategy. But the Colombian came in just short and after his first pit stop on lap 22 and rejoined the race just behind Raikkonen.

The major coup for McLaren came at the second pit stops. Raikkonen had been swarming all over the back of Schumacher’s Ferrari and when the reigning champion pitted, Raikkonen put the hammer down recording personal bests in the first and second sectors before diving into the pits. A short-fuel stop by McLaren saw Raikkonen rejoin the race comfortably ahead of Schumacher and with clear air ahead of him.

As it looked like McLaren would cruise to a one-two finish, Montoya slowed dramatically on lap 40 and pulled into the pits to retire from the lead with a broken driveshaft.

Meanhile Raikkonen strolled off in the lead, by the time he made his third and final pit stop he already had enough of a lead over Michael Schumacher to pit and rejoin ahead of the Ferrari.

From there it was a cruise to the flag. The Schumacher brothers gave a hint of excitement as Ralf caught brother Michael five laps from the flag, but could do nothing to pass around the twisty Hungaroring.

Raikkonen cruised home to take an emphatic victory almost 40 seconds ahead of Michael Schumacher and importantly cutting Alonso’s drivers’ championship lead by ten points, to 26. Raikkonen takes his fourth win of the season but there was no champagne spraying for the Finn as he rightfully marked the tragic death of a McLaren chef earlier this week in Budapest.

Michael Schumacher held onto second place while brother Ralf scored his first podium for Toyota ahead of team mate Jarno Trulli. Jenson Button brought his BAR Honda home in a solid fifth place ahead of the two Williams cars of Heidfeld and Webber. Takuma Sato claimed the final point in eighth – his first of the season.