As Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton all produced sensational drives during the Hungarian Grand Prix today, Sergio Perez and Marcus Ericsson both saw their races end in the wall at the Hungaroring.
A brief but heavy rain shower in the lead-up to the start meant that the race had to be started on intermediate tires, and some were a little too hasty to make the switch to the dry compounds.
Marcus Ericsson saw his race come to an end after spinning off at turn four. The Caterham driver hit the wall at a force of 20G, and was taken to the medical centre for a check-up before being cleared of any injury.
Perez survived a run-in with Force India teammate Nico Hulkenberg before crashing on the start-finish straight a few laps later. The Mexican driver ran wide at the final corner, causing him to spin on the grass and slam into the pit wall with some force. Once again though, he walked away unharmed.
Hulkenberg’s race also came to an early end as a result of the incident with Perez. The retirement ended his streak of top ten finishes, and means that Fernando Alonso is now the only driver to have scored points in every single race this season.
Six drivers failed to finish the race in total: Ericsson, Perez, Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutierrez and Kamui Kobayashi.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”