Williams had much to celebrate at the Hungarian Grand Prix: Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth, his best ever F1 result; Rubens Barrichello squeezed past an aggressive Michael Schumacher to secure tenth, and a double points finish for the team; most importantly, a member of the Williams pitcrew, Nigel Hope was able to participate in Barichello’s pitstop, despite being knocked over by a loose tyre earlier in the race.
Hope, who was struck by a loose wheel that came off the Mercedes on Nico Rosberg, sustained minor injuries but, after a precautionary visit to the medical centre, was able to resume his duties.
The safety car period had a big impact on the race, and was a catalyst for the pit lane incident, which happened as most of the field dived into the pits for new tyres.
“I am very happy with today's outcome,” said Hulkenberg. “It was a great effort from the team and the factory. We were in the right place to take advantage of the Safety Car, but even so, the car had good pace today and I didn't make any mistakes.
“It was good to collect decent points and have the luck running with us. The result is a good way to go into the break and sets up the second half of the season well for me and the team.”
Barrichello was not quite as lucky with the timing of the safety car and, after the race, had complaints about the manner in which Michael Schumacher defended his position as he was overtaken. The Brazilian was almost pushed into the pit wall by Schumacher, who was given a ten-place grid penalty for the next race in Belgium as punishment.
“We had a car that in terms of performance was capable of finishing P5 or thereabouts, but taking the chance to start on primes always left us liable to a Safety Car. It came too early to box for the option tyre, so I had to stay out until we found a window that would allow me to attack for points.
“I had to work pretty hard for the point in a fight (with Schumacher) that wasn't fair or clean, but I will let others be the judge of that. All I am clear about is that I am a racer and in such situations, I never back off.”
Overall, Director of Engineering Patrick Head was very happy with the days effort: “Today was a good result for the team. I am pleased that Nico had a strong race and Rubens showed that he has a passion for racing that has characterised his career. Rubens also set the third fastest lap of the race.”