It seems as though Lewis Hamilton is having enough bad luck for the whole Formula One field this season.
After his brake failure last time out in qualifying at Hockenheim, Germany, which saw him start well down the order, Hamilton’s car this time caught fire on Saturday in Hungary.
With no time on the board this meant the British driver would have to start from pit lane. And with a downpour before the race, it would make things all the more difficult for the cars when it came to tyre choice, managing the rubber and the track conditions.
If trying to catch his teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg, who started from pole, wasn’t tough enough, Hamilton spun his car at the second corner on lap one, causing minor damage to his front wing.
Still, showing incredible speed and superb overtaking skills, Hamilton actually made it to the lead of the race by half distance.
It was an incredible performance, but with plenty of laps left, Lewis still had a lot of work to do – especially as Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull and teammate Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes all looked strong with good pace.
After the pit stops, Hamilton was running third, behind Alonso and Ricciardo but in front of his teammate.
With both Mercedes drivers on a different tyre strategy, Hamilton was ordered to let Rosberg through, much to his surprise.
He ignored the team orders and said he’d let Rosberg through if he got close enough to him. However, the German couldn’t quite get into position to pass Lewis’ car so remained behind him before diving into the pits to change tyres.
Ignoring the team’s orders was a decisive call for Hamilton, who managed to end Rosberg off on the last lap to come home third after starting from dead last and in the pit lane, spinning on lap one, too.
A few more laps and Hamilton may have been able to pass Alonso in the Ferrari who was desperately struggling for grip on his very tired rubber. Neither the Ferrari driver or the Mercedes man had an answer to the pace of Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull, however.
After storming from third to first with three laps to go, Ricciardo on his fresher tyres romped away to victory with a sterling strategy call from his Red Bull engineers on the pit wall.
It was another great win for the Australian who is the only man to beat the Mercedes pairing so far this year.
However, the spotlight was on Hamilton and his stunning performance from the back of the grid.
The team orders were controversial, but the British driver showed he means business and wants this championship s much as anyone. It must have been hard to get a fleeting glimpse of where his team’s loyalties lie, but he showed the strength of character to come out on top.
Spa is going to be interesting…