If the Hungarian Grand Prix proved anything, other than the obvious reality that winning requires starting at the front of the grid, it was that Perth native Daniel Riccardo might well be the most talented driver in the F1 competition.
He managed to do what few are able to do in the F1 series, which has become almost completely processional, by rising from his 12th spot on the grid to move up to fourth at the end of the day.
Ricciardo was attempting to get past Valtteri Bottas on the second-last lap when the Mercedes driver locked his wheels and went into the side of Riccardo’s car. The next time around, on the final lap, Ricciardo did manage to get past Bottas.
Moving up eight slots in a Formula 1 Grand Prix is seldom seen, but Riccardo systematically picked off the cars in front of him in a performance that will soon be forgotten by the general public, but will leave a lasting impression on the selectors of Mercedes and Ferrari, who have seemingly ruled Riccardo out in terms of giving him a seat.
Ricciardo, who is having the sort of year many athletes seem to have when a new contract is on the line, could re-sign with Red Bull and take his chances when the team debuts its new Honda power plants inthe 2019 season, or he could take a lucrative offer from one of the lesser teams.
The latter seems the least likely scenario, as Riccardo’s thirst for a championship is well publicized and none of the other teams seems to be doing much beyond making noise, wearing out tyres and burning prodigious amounts of petrol.
Lewis Hamilton won the race. It was the sixth time he has won there and it was his fifth win of the season. He started from the first position and was never challenged.
The circuit now takes a short spell for the month of August, with Hamilton holding a 24-point edge over his Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel.