It was Red Bull driver, Mark Webber, who took the chequered flag as the race winner in today's Hungarian Grand Prix. Webber gained his fourth victory this season in Formula One, to achieve more than any of the other drivers in the field so ...
It was Red Bull driver, Mark Webber, who took the chequered flag as the race winner in today's Hungarian Grand Prix. Webber gained his fourth victory this season in Formula One, to achieve more than any of the other drivers in the field so far.
Webber was thrilled with the win to take the lead ahead of the Summer break. "It was a bit of a gift, but I've not had many of them, so an incredible day for the team. The victory is good, irrespective of what happens to your rivals. It's nice to have more points than anybody else, but we're not getting ahead of ourselves as there are some big events coming up".
From the beginning of the race it was Webber's teammate, Sebastian Vettel, who led the rest of the field.
Disaster struck for Vettel after he pitted under the safety car, giving his teammate the opportunity, to take advantage and be leading from the front. As Webber managed his super soft tyres, lap after lap they seemed to improve his performance on track. Staying out longer than most drivers for that period, meant that the team's strategy worked perfectly, when Webber did finally pit. The Australian completed the race with an impressive lap time, of 1m.41.05, ahead of Fernando Alonso for Ferrari.
Both the Ferrari drivers did not make any gains, per se, but the were in the hunt for the win and neither Alonso or Felipe Massa had any of the mishaps that some of their main rivals had. Yet, neither of them could make a charge to stop the Red Bull team from taking two of the podium steps. Massa ended today in fourth. "We did not have the speed to stay with the leader," admitted Alonso.
The Spaniard who won the recent German GP, under team orders, said, "This is a very important result. Luck owed us a lot and today it made a first payment, or at least a partial one."
The safety car hampered Vettel's race after it was deployed on lap fifteen, to allow debris to be cleared from the track. Around this time there was drama in the pits, for Mercedes driver, Nico Rosberg, as the right rear wheel became detached from his car. The wheel bounced up in the air, and the Williams mechanics came to the rescue moving the wheel to safety.
Vettel's day went from bad to worse on lap thirty-two, when he was faced with a drive through penalty. The race stewards decided to investigate, after Vettel was thought to have exceeded ten car lengths of the safety car. Despite the problems that arose for the German, Vettel managed to finish on the podium in third place. In the post race press conference, Vettel still seemed confused, as to what he had done to receive such punishment. "I didn't understand what was going on and why I was penalised".
Massa celebrated his fourth place finish as he recalled the flying object incident last year that put him in the hospital: "This is my best result at this Grand Prix and I am happy that it comes one year after my accident. All things considered, this was a positive result."
At the same time as Rosberg's incident, many drivers made the most of the safety car period, and decided to make their pit stops. Adrian Sutil for Force India and Robert Kubica's Renault, had contact in the pit lane, and this was investigated by the race stewards. Kubica was issued with a ten second stop and go penalty on lap twenty four, and he retired from the race two laps later. Other drivers who retired from the race included, Sutil, Jaime Alguersuari for Torro Rosso, and Rosberg.
Vitaly Petrov drove a solid race, compared to the problems his Renault teammate Kubica suffered. Petrov had already been on good form in practice and for qualifying yesterday. The former GP2 driver finished just behind Felipe Massa in fifth place.
Following his disappointing qualifying result yesterday, current World Champion, Jenson Button, made slow progress in the early stages. After the safety car period was over, Button went to pit for new tyres. The decision to make this move went in his favour, and he finished in eighth place.
From fifth place on the grid at the start of the race, Button's teammate, Lewis Hamilton, had good chances of picking up more points for McLaren. However, his luck ran out on lap twenty-four, as he went off the track at turn two and retired from the race, with suspected transmission problems at the rear of the car. Initially on his lap to the grid before the race, Hamilton was worried about a possible brake problem. He felt this was not an issue that caused his race to end early. "I think it was a gearbox failure". In the coming weeks, Hamilton believes McLaren have a lot of work to do, to get their race for the title back on track. "We have to work very hard to catch up".
On lap sixty-eight, former Ferrari teammates, Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher were battling for tenth place, the last of the point scoring positions. Schumacher was on the defence as he held the position at the time, but his risky manoeuvre nearly forced Barrichello into a concrete wall. Luckily the Williams driver had a narrow escape, and just missed what could have been a very nasty crash.
The race stewards were less than impressed, with Schumacher's potentially dangerous manoeuvre on Barrichello. The actions of the seven times World Champion, mean that he will now face a ten place penalty, at the Belgian Grand Prix in a few weeks time.
Beyond the battles at the front of the grid and other incidents that occurred, the new teams all finished the race, for the first time this season. Of the three teams at the back of the field, Lotus was the one ahead with Heikki Kovalainen finishing fourteenth, and teammate, Jarno Trulli in fifteenth position. Timo Glock for Virgin Racing was just behind the Italian in sixteenth place. While the other Virgin Racing driver, Lucas Di Grassi fought with Hispania Racing, for the remaining positions at the back.
Today's number one driver, Webber, now takes the lead of the Drivers' Championship from Lewis Hamilton. Webber leads the McLaren driver by a smidgen, of just four points between them. It is an identical battle for Vettel and Button, who are just four points apart as well.
In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull also lead for the first time ahead of McLaren. The margin between the two current top teams is eights points, with the next race in Belgium just a few weeks away.