WEBBER ELATED, VETTEL FRUSTRATED
Australia's Mark Webber was an elated man as he stood on the top step of the podium at the end of the weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix - but his teammate Sebastian Vettel couldn't hide his disappointment at only finishing third.
The German had qualified on pole and set about establishing a big lead over the field. However, a safety car period put his Red Bull teammate Webber out in front and when Vettel was adjudged to have held up the cars behind him on the re-start, he was penalised with a drive-through penalty and would spend the rest of the race in a frustrating third place behind the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.
"I was sleeping at the re-start, I had lost the radio and was waiting for an instruction of when the safety car would come in," Vettel said.
"I didn't see the lights in my car. Mark was close to the safety car, so I thought we had another lap. But then I saw the safety car come in and I was caught out."
As for Webber, it was a near-perfect race. While most of the field ducked into the pits to change their Bridgestone tyres during the safety car period, Webber stayed out on his original super-soft compound Potenzas for a mammoth 43 laps.
He had built up such a lead in the race that his eventual pit stop for new rubber still saw him emerge with a comfortable lead over Alonso and Vettel.
"It's a nice way to celebrate my 150th race and a great day for us as a team on our 100th race weekend. This result is a credit to the team, they made a good call on the strategy and the car was bomb proof," Webber said.
With his fourth win of the year and the sixth of his career, the Australian now leads the world championship by four points from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who failed to finish.
"I am very happy with the superb performance of both compounds of Bridgestone Potenza tyres here at the Hungaroring," said Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone's Director of Motorsport Tyre Development.
"This was a very tactical race where teams had to adapt their strategies because of the safety car. Mark drove very well, and maximised his use of the same set of super soft tyres with which he qualified. He was pulling away from his opposition right up to his pit stop on lap 43, despite hot temperatures."
The teams now have three weeks before the Belgian Grand Prix, where seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher will incur a ten-spot grid penalty after he pushed former teammate Rubens Barrichello within centimetres of a concrete wall as the pair were battling for tenth place at 290 km/h.
|1. ||Mark Webber ||Red Bull-Renault ||161 points |
|2. ||Lewis Hamilton ||McLaren-Mercedes ||157 |
|3. ||Sebastian Vettel ||Red Bull-Renault ||157 |
|4. ||Jenson Button ||McLaren-Mercedes ||147 |
|5. ||Fernando Alonso ||Ferrari ||141 |