Kimi Raikkonen told not to overtake struggling German in Hungary while Brit cedes third to team-mate in final stages
SEBASTIAN VETTEL was gifted victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix in a race marred by team politics.
Meddling teams ruined what could have been a thriller and instead this game of chess was played out on the pitwalls of Ferrari and Mercedes.
Vettel, who had taken a brilliant pole the previous day, had a wonky steering wheel and limped home for the second-half of this race.
But what of his Ferrari team who prevented Kimi Raikkonen, who was quicker, from overtaking their golden boy.
Vettel crossed the line ahead of Raikkonen to open up a 14 point lead in the championship over Lewis Hamilton, who was fourth behind his Mercedes team-mate, Valtteri Bottas.
Team orders again being deployed as Hamilton was allowed a late run at Raikkonen but could not find a way through the Ferrari’s turbulent wake.
Instead, he switched positions with Bottas at the death, as per the agreement with the team.
Hamilton’s problems started on the grid when he complained about it being too hot, with the track temperatures topping 50 degrees.
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And he made a poor start too and dropped a place behind Max Verstappen, who himself was involves in a first lap tangle with his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
The smash that sent Ricciardo out of the race led to the deployment of the safety car and when the racing resumed it was not long before Hamilton was hit with another issue.
This time it was with his radio and he was unable to communicate with his team of engineers.
All the while, the Ferraris were able to stretch their advantage out in front until they two suffered a mechanical problem.
This time it was on Vettel’s car, as he complained that his steering wheel was not on straight, presumably knocked out of line by running on the kerbs.
The German’s crooked steering made life tricky but he was given a massive helping hand by Raikkonen, who acted as his rear gunner.
The Finn was quicker but ordered to stay behind the championship leader and understandably he was furious as he was denied his first win since the Australian GP in 2013.
Hamilton did have a crack at Raikkonen when he was allowed to pass by Bottas on lap 47, but he could not find a way past and in a dramatic end they swapped places on the final lap.
Meanwhile, Red Bull will launch an immediate investigation into their two drivers’ behaviour after they came to blows on lap one.
Ricciardo was punted out of the race after getting walloped by Verstappen, who locked up into turn two.
The Dutchman was penalised with a ten-second time penalty for his mistake, but that was scant consolation for Ricciardo, who was livid.
He fumed over the radio: “If that’s who I think it was then ****, Sore loser…”
And then later he was still seething, he added: “It was amateur to say the least. He doesn’t like it when a team-mate gets in front. It was a very poor mistake.
“I don’t think there is an excuse for it, he tries the outside at turn one it didn’t work, he sees me go past and thinks I have got to fix this and oops I’ve crashed.
“Inexperience is too kind. That was just immaturity.”
Meanwhile, Paul Di Resta was forced to retire his Williams on his return to F1 for Felipe Massa, who has a virus.
The Brit, who was running in 18th place, was called into the pits on lap 63 due to a mechanical fault.
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