Webber storms to victory in Hungary thriller

Posted on August 1, 2010

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Mark Webber has stormed to the top of the drivers’ championship with a brilliant drive in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Will Mark Webber's fourth win of the season give him the momentum he needs to take control of title race? Credit: Getty Images/Red Bull Racing

The Australian took full advantage of a mechanical failure for McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and made a risky strategy work with a series of pulsating laps after a safety car intervention.

Webber did not stop during an early safety car period unlike all of his rivals and had to build at least a 20 second lead to make it work. He did so in thrilling fashion and later took the chequered flag with 18 seconds to spare.

Sebastian Vettel in the sister Red Bull had a much less satisfactory day, breaking the rules behind the safety car before the restart by falling too far behind. The German was rewarded with a drive through penalty for his troubles, leaving him behind Fernando Alonso. It was all a big foul up by Red Bull who should consider themselves fortunate to have come home with first and third.

Vettelk was furious, railing at race officials ahead of the podium ceremony, but it was a clear breach of the rules and he should have known better.

The pit stop period around the safety car incident was chaotic. Robert Kubica was penalised for driving into Adrian Sutil as he was released from his stop while at the same time, a rear wheel came off Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes, careering through the Williams and Sauber crews. Fortunately, no-one was seriously hurt but the chaos may prompt a further re-think of the pitlane rules under the safety car and Mercedes can certainly expect a fine.

McLaren’s luck has finally run out, with Hamilton retiring and Jenson Button being lapped. The British squad must arrive in Spa in four weeks time with something new or they will finally lose touch with Red Bull. At no stage this season have McLaren been fastest but they’ve been close enough and sharp enough to make it work, as well as pulling off miracles like we saw at Silverstone. No more.

Fernando Alonso was on the podium again but I still think he is too far behind to make a difference, especially while the Red Bull is so much faster. Webber was more than a second a lap faster when he needed to be this afternoon.

Michael Schumacher faces a likely penalty for a dangerous move against Rubens Barrichello. Credit: Mercedes GP

Another major talking point was Michael Schumacher’s reckless move late in the race as he tried to fend off Rubens Barrichello. He almost put the Brazilian into a concrete wall along the start-finish straight and it could have been a nasty accident. Schumacher is being investigated and will probably face some kind of penalty.

The momentum is with Red Bull and with Mark Webber with just seven races to go.

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Posted in: Formula One, Race