BUDAPEST: Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel was disqualified from the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday and stripped of second place, the FIA said.
Vettel's Aston Martin car was deemed to have insufficient fuel left after the race.
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes was promoted to second place behind race winner, Alpine's Esteban Ocon with Carlos Sainz in a Ferrari inheriting third place.
World champion Hamilton now has a seven-point lead over title rival Max Verstappen who moved up a place from 10th to ninth after Vettel's banishment.
“After the race it was not possible to take a 1.0 litre sample of fuel from car 5,” said an FIA statement released five hours after the chaotic race ended at the Hungaroring.
“The team was given several opportunities to attempt to remove the required amount of fuel from the tank, however it was only possible to pump 0.3 litres out.
“Given this situation, car No. 5 is not in compliance with the requirements of FIA Technical Regulations.”
The decision robbed Aston Martin of what would have been just their second podium of the 2021 season following Vettel's runner-up spot in Azerbaijan.
“The 18 points loss is disappointing for the team, but it doesn't take away from an otherwise flawless drive from Sebastian,” said a team statement.
Max Verstappen’s Red Bull was damaged in a first lap crash, which took out five cars, and he eventually finished 10th, leaving Hamilton to take a six-point lead in the championship.
“Today we showed that our car has strong race pace. Onwards and upwards,” Ocon said of his win.
“What a moment! It feels so good!
“It’s fantastic, what can I say? Congrats to Fernando (Alonso) as well, I think the win is also thanks to him with the fight that he did.
“It’s teamwork, it’s been a fantastic day!”
“Congratulations to the Alpine team and to Esteban for his first win — he’s been a shining star for a long time,” said Hamilton who was booed again during his post-race interview by a section of the packed crowd who blame him for the crash at the British GP two weeks ago which took out Verstappen.
“Today was definitely tough, we always make it difficult for ourselves.
“Crazy to think we were the only ones on the grid at the start, but these things happen and we learn from them. I gave it everything and I have nothing left in the end.”
Mercedes also took over the constructors championship lead. Going into the summer break they are now 10 points ahead of Red Bull.
Two weeks after the controversial collision between Hamilton and Verstappen on the opening lap at Silverstone, there was early trouble again at the Hungaroring, this time prompted by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.
With the rain coming down, the Finn triggered a series of collisions on the opening turn which not only took him out of the race but accounted for Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll and the McLaren of Lando Norris.
Bottas acknowledged he was at fault after being given a five-place penalty on the grid for the next race, the Belgian GP at Spa at the end of August.
“I think that’s fair enough,” said Bottas.
“I had a bad start and I lost the momentum. I misjudged the braking point and locked the wheels.
“I was responsible for hitting Lando and that meant he cut people off in front of him.
“It’s not great for me and not great others. It’s not like I did it on purpose.”
Seven-time world champion Hamilton, starting on pole for the 101st time in his F1 career, was ahead of the chaos in the rain and looked a nailed-on winner when he was on his own on the grid for the restart while the other cars were all changing tires to suit the improved weather.
Bizarrely, within one lap, Hamilton was at the back as Mercedes, having failed to switch his tires, called him in.
“I was telling the team how the track was during the lap but they said the rain was coming when we got in the car so I thought they had other information,” said Hamilton after the race.
It marked the start of an epic race from the Briton which might well have ended in his 100th GP win had it not been from superb defensive driving from 40-year-old Alonso who prevented him closing on Vettel and Ocon.
Ocon was also untouched by the first lap chaos and was second at the restart. With Hamilton’s plight, the Frenchman took over the race lead.
Four-time world champion Vettel pressed him hard but could not get close enough to mount a serious challenge.