Not to begrudge Michael his due, but it has to be said that this was a race of a most tedious nature. If ever there was a race that anyone could point at and say, Formula One needs to change, this would be it.
Basically, the race started cleanly and all the cars got away without issue. Hill pulled out a good lead into the first corner and increased it over the whole first lap. However, going into the first corner on the second lap, Hill lost it and ended up in the gravel. "I was pitched into oversteer very early.... I wasn't overdoing it in the corner, and.... I was pitched into oversteer and I was off.... Its pretty devastating for the championship" said a crestfallen Hill.
Schumacher led the entire rest of the race and rubbed it into Hill afterwards when he said: "To be honest, I thought about the first corner, after the start. I know that when you take off and make the first start, everybody loses a lot of oil. So, when I came around I knew the corner was going to be quite slippery. I braked early and I just saw Damon going sideways."
As far as our guys are concerned, Berger started from 4th on the grid and Alesi from 10th. Both drivers got off well and were charging along until lap 6 when Gerhard Berger received a jump start penalty (the only one of the race). He came in for his undeserved 10 second penance and reappeared in 14th position.
At this time, Alesi was battling for 6th position with Blundell, Panis and Herbert but on lap 12, he came in for a very early pit stop. Atypically, the Ferrari pit crew was not ready for him, and the stop took an agonizingly long and disorganized 25 seconds. It didn't matter though because he was back in on the following lap, and pulled into the garage with an engine problem that caused a lack of power.
Meanwhile, Berger was fighting like a champ and by lap 23 he was already back up to 4th. On lap 34, Hakkinen, who was running in third place behind Schumacher and Coulthard, retired with a smoky engine so Berger inherited his podium spot.
The final finishing order was:
1.Schumacher 222.120kph 2.Coulthard 3.Berger 4.Herbert 5.Boullion 6.Suzuki 7.Katayama 8.Montermini 9.Irvine
The Hungarian Grand Prix is a very tight twisting circuit where overtaking is difficult and qualifying position is very important It was vital that Damon Hill win here if his championship hopes, which were already fading, were to be kept alight. With a 21 point difference and six more G.Ps to go it was to be a decisive Grand Prix for the championship race.
Ferrari came to Hungary with a revised rear suspension and a different engine mapping for more traction. The cars were setting competitive times, Berger in third was less than half a second off Schumacher. Alesi was back in fifth place 0.8 seconds off the pace and 0.4 seconds off team mate Berger. Despite Ferrari making it public they had put in bids for Hill and Schumacher, Alesi, at the moment, is the fall guy.
In the first day of qualifying, Damon Hill blitzed the opposition by taking pole from David Coulthard by 0.7 seconds. But more importantly he beat Schumacher, who was back in 4th, by 1.1 seconds.
Ferrari put up a good effort, with Berger on the second row and just off the front row. Alesi, under massive pressure to match Berger after Ferrari's bids, crashed heavily trying to get up from fifth spot. He hit the barriers at 100mph and had a whip lash injury. He was flown to the hospital for a check up and was later released.
Damon Hill stayed in front for final qualifying dispite a hard charging David Coulthard snatching pole from Hill twice. Schumacher came up to spearhead the second row saying that the car was "very unstable" and that it was "not easy." Berger said that he had gotten the most out of the car to put it on 4th place - one second slower than the pole time. Alesi again<