Formula 1: Sebastian Vettel's disqualification from Hungarian Grand Prix extends Lewis Hamilton's points lead

·4 min read

Lewis Hamilton's points lead grew hours after Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Formula 1 announced Sunday afternoon in the United States that Sebastian Vettel had been disqualified because the sanctioning body was unable to take a fuel sample from the car after the race. F1 cars have to have a minimum fuel level in the car for a post-race sample. Vettel finished second ahead of Hamilton, who finished third.

Hamilton now has an eight-point lead over title rival Max Verstappen in the points standings.

The wild race was won by Esteban Ocon. Hamilton took over the points lead after the race because points leader Max Verstappen was effectively taken out in a first-lap crash.

The race started on a wet track with all competitors on the intermediate tread tires. Hamilton started first and got away well. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas started second and had a terrible start. Verstappen and others got around him. Bottas then drove too hard into the first turn and hit Lando Norris. Norris' car hit Verstappen's car and Bottas hit Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez.

Bottas, Norris and Perez were all forced to retire from the race after the crash.

Hamilton had the lead after the crash and the race was red-flagged because of all the debris that was on the track. The rain had stopped when the race started and the track continued to dry while the race was stopped. Hamilton's team kept him on intermediate tires for the start — teams cannot communicate with their drivers on the lap ahead of a standing start — while Ocon and everyone else behind him pitted for dry tires.

That was a winning strategy for Ocon. And it led to a weird scene with Hamilton restarting the race all by himself on the track and every other car in pit lane with fresher and faster tires.

Hamilton pitted for tires after everyone else but that dropped him to 14th and last among the drivers who were remaining in the race. That forced him to fight through the field for the rest of the race while Ocon held serve at the front.

Verstappen finished 10th and has been promoted to ninth because of Vettel's DQ. Vettel's Aston Martin team has the right to appeal his disqualification and it reasons that they will.

Vettel was also one of three drivers reprimanded for not removing their LBGTQ-supporting shirts before the Hungarian national anthem ahead of the race. Drivers are required to wear their drivers' suits for the race and many drivers wore the shirts ahead of the race as Hungary has enacted strict anti-LGBTQ laws.

Mercedes takes over constructors lead too

Bottas screwed up at the start. But he also helped Mercedes out a ton by screwing up the way he did.

Mercedes now has the lead in the constructors standings over Red Bull entering Formula 1's summer break. Verstappen scored just two points for Red Bull compared to Hamilton's 18 for Mercedes.

After Vettel's disqualification, Mercedes has 303 points as a team to Red Bull's 291. Hamilton exited the race with a six-point lead over Verstappen after he entered the race eight points behind Verstappen following a win in the British Grand Prix. Hamilton scored 25 points to Verstappen's zero two weeks ago at Silverstone after first-lap contact between the two sent Verstappen into the wall and out of the race.

Hamilton will hold that points lead for a few weeks. Formula 1 is now on its customary summer break and the next race isn't until Aug. 29 at Spa in Belgium.

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