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Webber charges to Hungarian GP win, as Vettel is caught napping
Webber charges to Hungarian GP win, as Vettel is caught napping
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Aug 2010   |  3:12 pm GMT  |  159 comments

Mark Webber put in a charging drive today to get control of the Hungarian Grand Prix after his team mate Sebastian Vettel was given a penalty and put himself back in the lead of the championship battle.

It was Red Bull’s 100th Grand Prix start and its 12th victory and it gave them the lead in the constructors’ championship.

It was Webber’s fourth win of the season and the sixth win of his career and it was all built on an astonishing middle stint on soft tyres after a sudden safety car for debris on the track.

With Lewis Hamilton retiring from the race with gearbox problems before half distance and Sebastian Vettel’s chances of victory taken away by a stewards’ decision to award him a drive through penalty for not maintaining the correct gap behind the safety car, the way was clear for Webber to take advantage, but he had to put in a series of qualifying laps to build a big enough lead over Alonso to be able to pit and rejoin in the lead.

It was very hard on Vettel, who lost a race win through a rules technicality, but against that the rules about maintaining gaps behind the safety car were refined after the incident in Japan when Vettel hit Webber behind the safety car in Fuji in 2007. He should know the rules, though and it leaves him frustrated.

It was a very strong day for GP2 graduates Vitaly Petrov and Nico Hulkenberg, who finished 5th and 6th and for Pedro de la Rosa who was 7th, team mate Kamui Kobayashi also again scored points from the back of the grid.

Budapest is the third longest run to the first corner and the dirty side of the grid is the least grippy of the season. Predictably, at the start, Vettel got away cleanly but Webber from P2 on the grid was swallowed up by Alonso.

Petrov jumped Rosberg and Hamilton for fifth place but Hamilton repassed him. Nevertheless Petrov was able to pull away impressively from Rosberg in the first stint, while Kubica was tucked up behind him, losing ground.

Button slipped from 11th on the grid to 14th at the start.

The pit stops were brought forward by a safety car on lap 16, due to a piece of debris on the track from the Force India of Tonio Liuzzi. There was a rush to the pits, Vettel led it, Alonso followed, while Massa dropped a position to Hamilton.

Kubica was released into the path of Sutil, but the Pole was able to rejoin. However he was given a drive through penalty for unsafe release.

Meanwhile in all the panic, Mercedes didn’t put the right rear wheel onto Rosberg’s car and it came loose, rolling down the pit lane. Both incidents were very dangerous and it is extremely fortunate that no-one was hurt.

Button pitted just before the safety car and gained four places by doing so.

Webber didn’t pit under the safety car and was faced with the task of opening a big enough lead after the restart to be able to pit and rejoin ahead of Alonso.

There was drama when the stewards decided that Vettel had not maintained the correct gap behind the safety car and he was given a drive through penalty, which dropped him to third place, behind Alonso. He quickly closed up on the Spaniard.

“I didn’t understand why I was penalised,” said Vettel. “It should have been a very easy race from the restart, but I was sleeping, maybe relying too much on the radio, but I lost the radio in the first stint. Usually the leader tries to drop back but when I saw a big gap from Mark and the safety car to myself. Pretty unlucky I would say because it would have been a walk in the park today.”

Meanwhile Webber pushed like mad, hoping that the tyres would not start giving diminishing returns. He built a 23 second lead and when he pitted on lap 43 he was able to rejoin almost a whole pit straight ahead of Alonso, in the lead by 6 seconds.

On new tyres he then drove away from Alonso and doubled his margin after just six laps.

“With the safety car, I had to go off strategy to try to pass Fernando,” said Webber. “But we were asking a lot of the option tyres. The front left was completely finished and it was difficult to get to the end of the stint. Seb had some difficulties and it was a bit of a gift for me, but I’ve not had many of them. It was tough luck for him.”

Vettel cruised up on the back of Alonso, but wasn’t able to mount an attack on him. Alonso also described Vettel’s penalty giving him an extra position as a ‘gift’.

Rubens Barrichello didn’t pit behind the safety car and stayed out for most of the race on the hard tyres, pitting only in the closing stages when he was in sixth place. He rejoined 11th behind Michael Schumacher and mounted an attack on him with the newer tyres.

Barrichello passed him on lap 67 on the pit straight, but Schumacher chopped him into the wall. Barrichello missed the end of the wall by inches and was furious with his former team mate’s dangerous driving.

It was Schumacher the former champion raging against the dying of the light and against a former team mate with whom he has so much history. Of all the incidents so far in this troubled comeback season, this was the most outrageous. Barrichello, on the eve of his 300th Grand Prix, said that it was the most dangerous move he had ever had pulled on him.

“It got a bit tight, ” admitted Schumacher.

The stewards felt it was worse than that and handed him a ten place grid penalty for the next race at Spa later this month.

HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX, Hungaroring, 70 Laps

1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1h41:05.571
2. Alonso Ferrari + 17.821
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 19.252
4. Massa Ferrari + 27.474
5. Petrov Renault + 1:13.100
6. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth + 1:16.700
7. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
8. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 1 lap
9. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 1 lap
10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1 lap
11. Schumacher Mercedes + 1 lap
12. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1 lap
13. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 1 lap
14. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 3 laps
15. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth + 3 laps
16. Glock Virgin-Cosworth + 3 laps
17. Senna HRT-Cosworth + 3 laps
18. Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth + 4 laps
19. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps

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There would still be the tactical decision of whether or not to pit, it’s just the order of cars entering the pitlane that would be fixed. I guess there’s then a difficulty in recombining cars exiting the pitlane with cars that chose not to pit, which complicates matters quite a lot…perhaps this idea requires a bit more thought.

On another note, I think it would be sensible for cars lapped by the leader to drop to the back of the queue behind the SC. The old system of lapped cars overtaking didn’t really work; it either took forever for them to catch the end of the queue, or they only got a little bit ahead, and would then require re-lapping.

I guess the Safety Cars rules are among the toughest to get “right” in F1. They’re always going to interfere with the race somehow, it’s just working out how to make them interfere in the fairest way.




Hi James,

On the subject of pitting under the Safety Car, why not simply say that the race order is neutralised?

In le Tour de France, a crash in the last 3km of a stage means that nobody loses time; this is done to prevent excessive risks being taken when the riders are travelling at high speeds.

Similarly, why not say that the order of cars choosing to pit under the SC is set when the SC is deployed. This way, there is still the tactical decision of choosing whether or not to pit, without the need to take excessive risks in a busy pitlane. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this suggestion.

Thanks for the blog,



I like the tactical opportunities of the safety car. Just need to simplify the rules


… napping?!

I thought Vettel was being a teamplayer by giving Webber a head start (to be in front of Alonso after his pitstop), NOT?!


have you not noticed how desperately Vettel wants to win? When he loses it eats him up and his ultimate rival for the championship is Webber. It’s seems self-evident he would NEVER aid Webber.


Not. He was caught napping


webber is a gentleman driver. finally he got what he deserves. respect. outstanding performance, bravo!

vettel is just a little kid, no class, spoiled and needs anger management advice. absolutely not a professional.

schumi is over the expiry date. he should change the sport. he is dangerous and should be invited to tea and biscuits with ecclestone bevore he leaves.


Any ideas what Webber and Charlie Whiting we looking at in the cockpit in parc ferme?


I offer my sympathy to those drivers in inferior machinery who lost out to Button as a consequence of the safety car deployment. The eighth place that he ended up with seriously flattered his performance.

We keep hearing how Prost-like Button is – will this twaddle now end? With the exception of 1991, where a variety of factors were at play, when did Prost put in a performance as woeful as that displayed by Button at the Hungaroring? This was typical of what Button managed in the second half of 2009. Back then, his acolytes and many journalists claimed that he was in ‘cruise-and-collect’ m ode. The same excuse can surely not be postulated this year.

It is time for this cerebral driver to figure out where and why he is slower than his team-mate, and do something about it. This, of course, assumes that he has the ability to out-perform his team-mate.

At the Hungaroring we once again saw that Hamilton drives the car, whereas Button is driven by the car.


Actually i kind expected more mistakes from teams this year at the pit stops. With the no refuelling and the fast stops, also many cars stops on the same lap specially when the safety car is out, it´s very tricky .

I think the penalty for Mercedes should been more arsh. That situation was very dangerous, with the wheel coming off like that and jumping arround the pits.

It´s a shame that a car got to be arround 3 seconds faster than the car in front to be able to challenge the position.Barrichello was arround 3 seconds faster than Shumacher and it was still very dificult to overtake him. Alonso and Vettel fight could have been epic.

Hungary always bring some drama and that has been the best part of the weekend:

The safety car.

Lewis DNF( very sad for that)

The accident caused by renault in the pits.

The jumping arround wheel.

Vettel´s taking a nap.

Shumacher´s being himself.

Great race by Mark, he probably thinked that he was again on the wrong place when the safety-car came out but he made it work and the soft tyre performed beautifully.

Actually that was my expectation for the race, watching who would have the guts to take the soft for a long stint since the harder would take some laps to warm up but the safety car enabled that for us.


I know the safety car is necessary and spices things up, but I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for Vettel. He had a blinding start, was comfortably in the lead and the race was his. Then through no fault of his own, the safety car comes out and wipes it all away. I know that it was his fault he was caught napping, and that was a bit daft, but even so, he wouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place. I know the safety car disadvantages different people at different times, Ferrari at Valencia for instance, but it does seem that there should be some sort of fair way of compensating people. Maybe a point for every place lost? Don’t get me wrong by the way, I like Webber better than Vettel and am glad that he won, just a little sorry for Vettel on this occasion!


Gee I neally went to bed after the first 5 laps.Best race of the year I was on the edge of my seat from lap 15 to 43. James will Hamilton get a 5 grid penalty for changing his gear box for the next race?


Not if he retired from the race


Lets connect Hungary and Germany:

Hungary: the rule Vettel broke by lagging way a long way behind the car in front (his team mate), was put in place to stop teams manipulating the race result by having one car hold the field back, while allowing the other driver/car to gain a large advantage at restart. Team orders manipulating the race result in other words. Outcome: Immediate drive through penalty, and loss of race position, from (probable) 1st to 3rd.

Germany: as everybody saw, Ferrari employ team orders to manipulate the race result, allowing one driver to get an advantage. Outcome: a modest fine, no loss of position. no drive through penalty.

surely FIA need to equalise this inequality? Demote Alonso TWO positions I say. One to put him back where he was, another as punishment, and restore the public’s faith they are watching a genuine race.



BOTH rules were put there to prevent teams manipulating the race outcome. BOTH incidents broke the rules, regardless if you agree with them or not.

Vettel/RBR broke the safety car rule, and paid a suitable penalty.

Alonso/Ferrari broke the team order rule, and paid nothing in terms of position or points.

I too hope FIA corrects this, and hands Alonso/ Ferrari a penalty in points, not just money.


What a great drive reminds me of when Shuey had to do a 3 stopper an pull out a second a lap. Stand up and be proud Australia


Well, as an aussie fan of F1 it is always sweet to watch a race that Mark Webber wins.

Bad luck for Vettel, and to his credit, he took it pretty well in the end – he will mature – and he will win.

As we know well in F1, anything can happen and Mark was able to capitalise.

He was under a lot of pressure to build the gap on those tyres and he did really well – a deserving victory that we enjoyed very much – congrats Mark!

Personally I think we witnessed the final, shameful demise of Michael Schumacher today. He will never be able to live down what he did today.

In stark contrast, a great, great milestone will be celebrated at Spa when Rubens lines up for his 300th race.

Congratulations Rubens on a magnificent achievement, you are a true hero and champion in the sport of motor racing!


I don’t agree this season will be decided by who “loses the most points” completely. It’s a harsh way to look at it, even thoough it holds some truth.

F1 is so strict – the rules, the regulations on components and especially tyres, the pressure on teams and drivers, the closeness of the car performance, the lack of overtaking due to reliance on aerodynamic grip… not to mention the gar. I’m not saying it hasn’t alwasy been a tough game, but gee it’s getting tougher in my opinion.

I’s a wonder that these cars finish races at all.

Who ever wins this champship will be well deserving. I’ll be disappointed if it’s a McLaren as they’ve been very lucky IMO to have come away with so many podiums, but at the same time, consistency is everything, even if you’re not winning every race.

It’s a war of attrition in every aspect, and the best team/driver will win.


I was intrigued by Vettel. While it is hard to overtake, he showed that his car was very quick. He did get overexcited and instead of pressuring Alonso into a mistake, an uncharacteristic relatively slow and steady but exceedingly accurate drive seemed to push Vettel into a sequence of mistakes. The question on Vettel’s race craft remains.

I’m not sure whether Red Bull made a big mistake in not telling him his penalty was deserved, even if accidental. The rules on keeping together were to deal with drivers interfering with the re-start, and with Vettel not keeping pace, Alonso (and the fans) was deprived of the opportunity to attack both Webber and Vettel on the restart, even if it was an unlikely chance of the Red Bulls tripping over each other or Vettel being affected by Webber’s slipsteam. His reaction after the race was yet again that he simply could not understand why he should have got a penalty. If that is the case, he has got a big problem, or Red Bull should be advising him properly as it makes him look silly.


Isn’t it curious how the “safety” car tends to provoke situations which are ten times more dangerous than whatever brought it into use ?

I know it woke the race up, but was is really necessary today ? Don’t you think that they bring it out for any old reason, and it has more to do with tarting up the race than “safety” ?

Does someone really have to get hurt from some of these 15 cars in the pit-lane at the same time tripping over each other for this

to be reconsidered ?


I do have to say, the drivers seem to be able to react to debris on the track pretty well and sometimes accidents happen off track that don’t seem necessary to bring out a SC.

Everyone is concerned about safety but the cars’ “safety cells” seems pretty damn reliable as evidenced by Kubica in Canada ’07 and Webber in Valencia ’10.

Wouldn’t it be great if they just allowed them to race and used a yellow in the area ?? Similar to blue flags, I think they should just let the drivers race. The Prototypes in Le Mans seem able to handle slower traffic and it definitely spices things up. Then the front runner’s wouldn’t get a free pass to pull away from the rest of the field and start lapping everyone.


well noted been thinking about this as well thin the pits should be closed during safety car periods as no need to re-fuel.


Marginally off topic, but it winds me up when you hear phrases like ‘Red Bull’s 100th Grand Prix’ The team has been in existence in F1 since 1997 as Stewart, then Jaguar and now Red Bull, in that time, it has had the same factory base, and many of the core personnel have remained with the team throughout. The current success has been as a result of all of that evolution, indeed you could make an argument that it has been building on its days in FF2000 with Coulthard about 20 years ago. Just because the Austrian fizzy drink guy started picking up the tab 100 races ago doesn’t mean that previous history was erased.

If you follow English football you will be familiar with the notion that Sky put about that top flight football started with the premiership, instead of over 100 years ago with the foundation of the football league.


Enjoyable race… far better than expected! Great drive from a lot of people. But one thing I jut don’t understand. Vettel could drive over a second faster per lap vs Alonso and still I did not see one attempt to go for second. I really wonder if the situation was reversed if Alonso would be driving the same way; or if Hamilton would be in such a car if this would happen. There’s been a lot of talk in the past about the difficulties to overtake but this was for me very strange. It looks to me that Vettel just hasn’t got “it” yet and therefore for me doen’t quitte deserve a title this year.


We missed what could have been an epic battle between Webber and Vettel. Webber having completed his superb stint on soft tyres would have just joined ahead of Vettel, who would have quickly closed the gap between himself and Webber.


Vettel wasn’t even able to attempt a move on Alonso who was more than one second slower, so do you really think we missed an epic battle with Webber?


A much better race today with all of the variables coming in to play, to make it more than a mere procession. A great race from Mark Webber who does appear to be a hard working down to earth Aussie who is now really fired up to deliver the best result possible given the prevailing circumstances. The change in the points system this year is also making it a much closer game for the drivers championship in 2010.


Schumacher’s defence was dangerous and he has rightly been penalised for it. So how come Vettel has got away with similar manoeuvres at the start of races this season? Surely there is a risk of an even greater accident at the start of the race or is it just ignored because it is the start of the race?

Secondly, Senna premeditated a collision with Prost to win a world championship and yet is held in extremely high regard for his win at all costs attitude. Schumacher has also had this kind of attitude throughout his career and is seemingly hated for it. I don’t really understand F1 fans’ logic in this? Could someone please explain? Or is it simply a case of the Senna days being remembered through rose tinted specs.


I remember how Senna drove. Almost ran Prost into a concrete wall at 190 mph. His win at all costs attitude was a complete turn off, as is Schumacher’s attitude. In the states, Dale Earnhardt was that way in stock cars.

Although I appreciate the talent all three had, I lost a lot of respect for all of them because they were dirty drivers. In all three cases, they didn’t have to drive like that, they had the talent to be champions without dangerous and unsportsmanlike stunts.


After watching the entire race I believe that Vettel lost the race cause of team orders. Had there been no team orders vettel would never have left such a big gap between him and webber even for the argument of warming up tyres. He would have tugged to webbers rear constantly cause the last thing he would want is being beaten by his team mate. Cause Vettel started to up his pace in order to built a gap between him and Alonso once steward intervened.Till then he never made an attempt to close gap of 6 to7 sec to Webber i.e assuming he mistimed safety car exit.Immediately after stewards decesion he set fastest lap. RedBull gambeled for Webber getting ahead of Alonso at the expense of Vettle which they will regret after they lose the WDC championship to Alonso cause their drivers are taking points of each other which will in turn benefit Alonso.


I disagree for a couple of reasons.

Firstly all driver comms are now monitored and in the wake of AlonsoIsFasterThanYouGate if RBR tried to manipulate the result we probably would’ve heard it by now and the press would be in a lather.

Secondly, there’s just no way Seb would help out his team mate to salvage a bag a points even if the team told him to. He just wouldn’t, especially given that Mark is now driving Seb’s old chassis.

Finally, as a general rule if the root cause of a suspicious situation is a choice between conspiracy and incompetence, it’s usually incompetence. Even in F1.


There is a pattern here re: Vettel. He is extremely fast on qualifying and when he has no traffic, but in race conditions he simply loses it when he is being pressured by other drivers. He appears to lack the mental toughness and the cool that would be necessary to become a champion. I don’t think this year will be his and would put my money on Webber. It is a shame that Hamilton had that breakdown, as he does have the necessary talent to be pressuring Webber for the points race. Alonzo may blip here and there, but he is driving more and more as a spoilt child. He is not untalented, but he needs to get over his sense of entitlement. Massa seems to have fallen into the role of second driver which actually fits him well. He is also not champion material, but he makes a hell of a second driver for a top team (all in all a sweet deal, given that he drives a Ferrarri and gets a hell of a paycheck).


What a load of nonsense about vettel you need to watch the race well he was just unlucky and didnt you read james post come on!

Zobra Wambleska

Not paying attention to what’s going on can’t be classified as unlucky. Maybe he’s unlucky to have attention deficit disorder?


Alonso, not Alonzo. Always blipping.


Sorry,I don’t have the energy to read through all the comments but I would just like to say that that was another race fixed by race control and the safety car.


Few tweets going around about Shuey:

Schumacher has a car bumper sticker that reads “If you can read this then I haven’t put you in the wall yet”

Schumacher penalised 10 spots on the grid for attempted murder

Schumacher on the radio today: “Why is Rubens passing me? Tell him to stop!”. Brawn: “He’s not on our team Michael…..”

Michael Schumacher texts Felipe Massa the phrase “Number two driver” every half an hour.



I think what was interesting is that Sebastian first seemed to blamed his team (radio problems?!?) and then his team-mate for driving away quickly as the Safety Car pulled in before grudgingly admitting that he might have been the one at fault. Being quick to blame others does not a World Champion make. Perhaps Red Bull should put their support behind Mark to see off the challenge from Fernando (and, hopefully, McLaren) in 2010.

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