Red Bull's Webber wins 2010 Hungarian F1 GP

Red Bull’s Webber wins 2010 Hungarian F1 GP

Mark Webber turned the Hungarian Grand Prix into a nail-biting gripper when a safety-car intervention on the 15th lap upset the form that Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel had established from the start.

The German sprinted into the lead from pole position, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso bulling up to snatch second from Webber as Felipe Massa in the second scarlet car just held off Renault’s Vitaly Petrov and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel streaked away and had built a 11.7-second lead by the time a rash of pits stops was prompted as the safety car was deployed while debris was cleared away. Webber was the only front runner not to pit, and seemed to have been hung out to dry. But as Vettel came out in second place Webber and the team opted to stay out as long as they could on the super soft Bridgestone tyres.

The Australian’s day was made when Vettel was given a drive-through penalty for falling more than 10 car lengths behind him and holding Alonso back while running behind the safety car. The German said he could not hear his radio, and simply got caught out. That changed the complexion of the race, for now Webber was intent on building a lead of 19 or more seconds over the Ferrari driver in order to make his pit stop. Alonso, for his part, was containing Vettel, as Massa held a watching brief in fourth.

Lap by lap Webber achieved his mission, and when he swept into the pits on the 43rd lap he had 23.7s in hand and was easily able to retain his lead. More than that, on fresh medium-compound Bridgestones he then rebuilt that 23s-lead as Alonso kept an increasingly frustrated – and extremely angry and disappointed – Vettel at bay.

The German was not the only unhappy driver. It was a disastrous day for McLaren. Hamilton picked off Petrov quickly and had taken fourth from Massa in the pit stops when his MP4-25 rolled to a halt on the 24th lap with no drive. Webber’s fourth victory of the season moved him back into the championship points lead at his expense, 161 to 157, with Vettel on 151 and Alonso 141. Jenson Button had a lacklustre race to eighth place, sandwiched by the BMW Saubers of Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi, and thus has 147.

In the constructors’ stakes, Red Bull have moved back ahead of McLaren, with 312 points to 304, and Ferrari have 238.

Williams’ Rubens Barrichello was also spitting bricks. He ran in fifth place for a long time, having started on the harder tyre, and then came out behind Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes to fight for the final point on soft tyres after a pit stop on lap 55. On Lap 66 he moved alongside his former team mate on the pit straight, and just squeezed by as the German seemingly moved over on him and nearly put him into the pit wall. The stewards will investigate that manoeuvre.

Webber was not the only happy man, though. Petrov drove brilliantly for fifth place, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, who also did a great job for Williams.

Robert Kubica, however, had a dire day for Renault as he was released from the pits directly into the path of the incoming Force India of Adrian Sutil during the rash of stops, the resultant contact leading both to join Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguesuari (engine failure on the opening lap) on the retirement list. That list also contained Nico Rosberg, who was fighting for sixth until the right-rear wheel fell off his Mercedes as he left the pits on the 15th lap. The errant wheel bounced down the pit lane and eventually struck Williams mechanic Nigel Hope in the back. He was attended to in the medical centre, but was well enough to rejoin colleagues in the pits before the end of the race.

Behind Schumacher, Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi beat Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi by six-tenths of a second after a race-long duel, and Heikki Kovalainen just fended off Lotus team mate Jarno Trulli by eight-tenths to ‘win’ the new teams fight. Timo Glock was 16th, nearly half a minute behind for Virgin, followed by Bruno Senna’s HRT, Lucas di Grassi’s Virgin which led the newbies for a while, and Sakon Yamamoto’s HRT.

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