Esteban Ocon secures dramatic first F1 win at Hungarian Grand Prix after lap one chaos sees numerous drivers retire

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Esteban Ocon secures dramatic first F1 win at Hungarian Grand Prix

Esteban Ocon secured his first ever Formula One victory in a chaotic Hungarian Prix that saw five drivers retire after the first lap.

The Frenchman held off the challenge of Sebastian Vettel to secure a famous victory for himself and his Alpine team.

Lewis Hamilton recovered from a Mercedes tactical blunder at the restart to take a podium and the lead in the drivers’ championship, as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished just inside the points in 10th.

An incredible start in Budapest saw four drivers out of the race on the opening lap.

Late braking from Valtteri Bottas on turn one sent the Finn careening into the back of Lando Norris, in turn spearing the McLaren man into Verstappen – who led the standings at the start of the day.

A announcement towards the end of the race compounded Bottas’ misery, informing him and Mercedes that he would receive a five-place grid penalty that will apply to the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa.

When the red flag was waved, four drivers were out: Bottas, Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Charles Leclerc.

Norris was retired swiftly after, having taken too much damage to continue racing.

Yet the absurd drama continued into the restart, as a huge tactical mistake from Mercedes left Hamilton as the only driver on the grid for the race resumption – having been the only driver on the grid not to pit following the initial chaos.

The seven-time world champion was called into the pits and put on wet tyres on the following lap, rejoining the back of a grid completely flipped from the starting order, with Ocon leading and title rival Verstappen in 11th.

Chaos continued to reign in Budapest, as Haas’ Nikita Mazepin colliding with Kimi Raikkonen as the Finn was released into the pit lane on lap six.

The Russian joined the list of DNFs, whilst Raikkonen was hit with a 10-second penalty for unsafe release.

At the half-way mark, Ocon, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso filled the podium places, with Hamilton gaining in fifth and Verstappen still way back in 11th following his nightmare start.

With 20 laps remaining Hamilton began his chase for Alonso in fourth, gaining to within a second of the Spaniard with just over 10 laps to go.

Alonso defended brilliantly to keep the Brit at bay, the 40-year-old veteran using all his experience to repel attack after attack from the reigning champion.

“At that speed it’s so dangerous, man,” Hamilton complained over the team radio.

As Vettel lined up Ocon, closing to within a second of the Frenchman, Verstappen caught Daniel Ricciardo to move into a point scoring position.

With five laps to go, Hamilton finally got his man and seized upon a lock-up from Alonso to move within, and then into, a podium place with a swift overtake of Carlos Sainz.

Too far away from the leading duo to make a late attack, Hamilton’s wait for his century of wins would have to wait, as Ocon held off Vettel to secure a famous first F1 victory from eighth on the grid.

The Frenchman had previously finished on the podium only once, his victory sparking raucous celebrations both inside the car and amongst his team in the pit lane.

Ocon and Vettel proceeded to run down the pit lane in celebration, marking a joyous end to a bizarre and chaotic day at the Hungaroring.