Albon conserves his tyres to secure victory in Budapest

Alexander Albon, Hungaroring 2018
Albon takes his 3rd win of the season

After being second for most of the race, the DAMS driver overtook Luca Ghiotto to win the last race before the summer break.

Unlike yesterday, when a drying track made it harder to race for the drivers, sunny and rather hot weather provided very decent conditions for the grid.

Artem Markelov, who started from pole, immediately lost his position to Luca Ghiotto, Alexander Albon and Sergio Sette Camara followed in P2 and P3, the Russian suddenly was fourth. The race action was interrupted after turn 3 as Roy Nissany, Alessio Lorandi and Ralph Boschung all went side-by-side between turn 2 and 3. The Swiss and the Italian were out of the race as a consequence, therefore a Virtual Safety Car was deployed to ensure a safe environment for the marshalls.

At the restart, Antonio Fuoco reacted faster than Sette Camara in front of him, but as the Ferrari Academy driver couldn’t complete the move properly, he damaged his front wing. Things went from bad to worse when he entered the pits: He stalled after his pit crew released him followed by a five second time penalty he was handed for speeding in the pitlane.

Markelov tried to regain P3 at the restart, which eventually didn’t work out. Throughout multiple laps, the Russian Time driver pushed harder and harder to overtake Sette Camara, but the Brazilian showed great defensive driving to stay ahead. Ghiotto set a series of fastest laps and pulled away from Albon.

Things got a little messy, when yesterday’s race winner Nyck de Vries closed the gap to Markelov, but at the same time, Lando Norris and Roberto Merhi could be found just behind the Dutchman. De Vries kept Norris behind, but when he attempted to overtake Markelov on the outside of turn 1, the Russian defended well. As a result, de Vries stayed behind the Renault protégé: A perfect opportunity for Norris, who passed both drivers with an audacious move into turn 2!

Just moments later, Merhi was just behind de Vries and overtook the Dutchman as well: The Prema driver was suddenly 7th instead of 4th! The Spaniard on the other hand continued his smart driving, almost overtook Markelov on the inside of the last corner and finished his manoeuvre on the start-finish straight. Eventually, de Vries could complete a very similar move on the struggling Markelov a lap later.

While most of the time, Ghiotto kept Albon at bay, the Thai driver suddenly could be found within a second to the Italian with five laps to go. Albon didn’t hesitate to try a move which worked out strikingly well. He was forced to the outside line into turn 1, however, he benefited from his better traction to stay ahead, use DRS once again and finish the move.

Artem Markelov’s tyres completely gave up in the final stages as he lost several positions in the last couple of laps. In the end, the Russian could be found in P13. Jack Aitken dropped as well and lost P8 (the final point) to his teammate George Russell, who started in P20.

Albon however secured another win thanks to outstanding tyre management, a great move on Ghiotto as well as pure speed, which led to a gap of 16.5 seconds in the end. Ghiotto could keep Sette Camara behind to take P2; Norris, Merhi, Fukuzumi, de Vries and Russell completed the point-paying positions.

The next race (after a summer break) will take place in Spa in four weeks’ time.

UPDATE: Fuoco has been given a three-position grid penalty for the next race for failing to serve a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane when he pitted.

Race Results

Pos. Driver Team Gap Points
1 Alexander Albon DAMS 28 laps 15
2 Luca Ghiotto Campos +16.508 12 + 2
3 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin +20.752 10
4 Lando Norris Carlin +21.805 8
5 Roberto Merhi MP Motorsport +23.077 6
6 Nirei Fukuzumi Arden +28.696 4
7 Nyck de Vries Prema +29.099 2
8 George Russell ART +35.594 1
9 Louis Deletraz Charouz +36.304
10 Jack Aitken ART +37.114
11 Sean Gelael Prema +37.983
12 Tadasuke Makino Russian Time +38.336
13 Artem Markelov Russian Time +39.120
14 Arjun Maini Trident +39.858
15 Roy Nissany Campos +48.072
16 Nicholas Latifi DAMS +53.241
17 Antonio Fuoco Charouz +1:13.696
Ret Maximilian Günther Arden +1 lap
Ret Alessio Lorandi Trident +5 laps
Ret Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport +23 laps

Fastest lap

Pos. Driver Team Fastest lap Lap
17 Antonio Fuoco Charouz 1:32.473 24

Fastest lap points

Pos. Driver Team Fastest lap Lap
2 Luca Ghiotto Campos 1:33.537 6


Drivers’ Standings

Pos. Driver Country Points
1 George Russell United Kingdom 171
2 Lando Norris United Kingdom 159
3 Alexander Albon Thailand 141
4 Artem Markelov Russia 114
5 Nyck de Vries Netherlands 114
6 Antonio Fuoco Italy 112
7 Sergio Sette Camara Brazil 106
8 Luca Ghiotto Italy 79
9 Louis Deletraz Switzerland 62
10 Jack Aitken United Kingdom 61
11 Roberto Merhi Spain 41
12 Maximilian Günther Germany 39
13 Nicholas Latifi Canada 34
14 Sean Gelael Indonesia 29
15 Arjun Maini India 23
16 Tadasuke Makino Japan 20
17 Ralph Boschung Switzerland 13
18 Nirei Fukuzumi Japan 11
19 Santino Ferrucci United States 7
20 Roy Nissany Israel 0
21 Alessio Lorandi Italy 0

Teams’ Standings

Pos. Team Country Points
1 Carlin United Kingdom 265
2 ART France 232
3 DAMS France 175
4 Charouz Czech Republic 174
5 Prema Italy 143
6 Russian Time Russia 134
7 Campos Spain 79
8 MP Motorsport United Kingdom 54
9 Arden United Kingdom 50
10 Trident Italy 30


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