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Vettel disqualified, Hamilton promoted, and frustrated Verstappen 'will never give up' in title race

Esteban Ocon came out on top of a chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel (GER, Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team), F1 Grand Prix of Hungary.
Sebastian Vettel (GER, Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team), F1 Grand Prix of Hungary.
Image: DPA/PA Images

FOUR-TIME WORLD CHAMPION Sebastian Vettel was disqualified from the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday and stripped of second place, the FIA said.

Vettel’s Aston Martin car was deemed to have insufficient fuel left after the race.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes was promoted to second place behind race winner, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, with Carlos Sainz in a Ferrari inheriting third place.

World champion Hamilton now has an eight-point lead over title rival Max Verstappen who moved up a place from 10th to ninth after Vettel’s banishment.

“After the race it was not possible to take a 1.0 litre sample of fuel from car 5,” said an FIA statement released five hours after the chaotic race ended at the Hungaroring.

“The team was given several opportunities to attempt to remove the required amount of fuel from the tank, however it was only possible to pump 0.3 litres out.

“Given this situation, car No. 5 is not in compliance with the requirements of FIA Technical Regulations.”

The decision robbed Aston Martin of what would have been just their second podium of the 2021 season following Vettel’s runner-up spot in Azerbaijan.

“The 18 points loss is disappointing for the team, but it doesn’t take away from an otherwise flawless drive from Sebastian,” said a team statement.

“Today we showed that our car has strong race pace. Onwards and upwards.”

However, later Sunday, Aston Martin said they would appeal the decision.

“I can confirm an intent to appeal,” team principal Otmar Szafnauer told motorsport.com.

“So once we learn more, then if we have grounds we will appeal, and if not, we’ll drop it. But we have 96 hours.”

Red Bull’s Verstappen, whose car was involved in a first lap collision that cost him any chance of victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix, said he would “keep pushing” in his bid to win the 2021 world championship.

The Dutchman was sideswiped on the opening turn of the race in a series of collisions prompted by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and which wiped out his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez and three others.

The incident came two weeks after his first-lap collision with Bottas’ team-mate Hamilton saw him careening off the Silverstone track and out of the British Grand Prix.

That collision caused tensions between the two teams to rise with Verstappen accusing Hamilton of “dirty driving” and Red Bull attempting to have the Briton punished beyond the 10-second penalty he received on the day.

Verstappen stopped short on Sunday of blaming Bottas, who accepted responsibility and will face a five-place grid penalty at the next race in Belgium at the end of August, but could not help a sly dig.

“Again, taken out by a Mercedes, so that’s not what you want…” he said in his post-race interview at the Hungaroring.

“I was missing the whole side of my car. And the floor was damaged as well, so almost impossible to drive, to be honest.

“I still tried my very best and I still got one point. It’s at least something but it’s not what you want.”

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Before the British Grand Prix Verstappen had won four of the previous five races and had opened up a 32-point lead over Hamilton at the top of the standings.

The last two races, however, have produced just one point allowing Hamilton to overturn that lead to the extent that the seven-time world champion now has an eight-point advantage after 11 races and going into the summer break.

“These moments, it doesn’t do anything, it’s just disappointing,” said Verstappen who finished 10th on Sunday but was then promoted to ninth after Vettel was disqualified.

“I know that when we go again after the break, I will be there again and I will try my very best.

“Of course, I hope my car is going to be competitive but we’ll find out.

“It’s a lot of freak moments that cost us a lot of points. Of course they (Mercedes) are very quick but we will never give up.

“We have to focus on ourselves, keep pushing and we will see where we end up.”

 © – AFP, 2021

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