Webber charges to Hungarian GP win

Mark Webber took the lead of the Formula 1 world championship with victory in an enthralling Hungarian Grand Prix

Webber charges to Hungarian GP win

The Australian was bundled down to third at the start behind his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.

But a combination of a perfect strategy call from his pit crew and some exceptional speed throughout the middle of the race helped him to beat Alonso to the chequered flag by 17.8 seconds.

Key to Webber's victory was the deployment of the safety car on lap 15 to enable the recovery of debris between turns 13 and 14.

While most drivers pitted for their mandatory tyre changes, Red Bull pulled a strategic masterstroke as Webber was left out on the circuit and moved into the lead.

As the race resumed Webber led from Vettel, Alonso, Lewis Hamilton's McLaren and Felipe Massa's Ferrari, the Australian knowing that he would need to pull out enough of a gap in the remaining laps to enable him to make his tyre change under green flag conditions.

His task was made easier when Vettel was given a drive-through penalty for failing to keep within 10 car lengths of his team-mate while behind the safety car, which dropped the German to third behind Alonso.

When Webber did eventually make his tyre change, on lap 43, he had built up a lead of over 23s, and that enabled him to rejoin the circuit still with 4s in hand over the Ferrari. It was an advantage he extended all the way to the finish and to his fourth win of the season.

Hamilton, by this time, had retired with a suspected gearbox failure. That ensured that he lost his championship lead to Webber, who now has a four-point advantage over the Briton.

Massa was no match for the front three, but finished an untroubled fourth.

Vitaly Petrov drove a sensational race in his Renault as he took a career-best fifth place, one spot ahead of his 2009 GP2 Series title rival Nico Hulkenberg.

Hulkenberg's Williams team-mate Rubens Barrichello held sixth for a long time, but made his tyre change late and dropped down the order.

The Saubers of Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi finished seventh and ninth, sandwiching the McLaren of world champion Jenson Button.

Michael Schumacher looked on course to round out the top 10, but came under late pressure from Barrichello, who had far fresher rubber in the latter stages of the race.

Barrichello closed onto the tail of the Mercedes looked set to pass Schumacher heading down to Turn 1 with a few laps left.

Schumacher squeezed him against the pit wall - for which race stewards will investigate him after the race - but Barrichello held his nerve and took the final points position.

Another man with the pace to finish in the top 10 was Robert Kubica, but his race was effectively ended by a pitlane collision with Adrian Sutil while the safety car was on-track.

Kubica was released by the Renault team into the path of Sutil's Force India, which had already begun to turn into his own pit stall.

The Pole continued, only to be given a 10s stop/go penalty for causing the incident. He retired a few laps later.

Sutil, however, was out on the spot and so too was Nico Rosberg, whose Mercedes shed its right-rear wheel just seconds earlier and left him stranded at the pit exit.

The only other retiree was Jaime Alguersuari, who pulled his Toro Rosso off the track with smoke pouring from its engine bay on the second lap.

PROVISIONAL RACE RESULTS The Hungarian Grand Prix The Hungaroring, Hungary; 70 laps; 306.663km; Weather: Sunny. Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 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 Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:22.362 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 25 Kubica Renault 25 Rosberg Mercedes 17 Sutil Force India-Mercedes 17 Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2 World Championship standings, round 12: Drivers: Constructors:  1. Webber 161 1. Red Bull-Renault 312 2. Hamilton 157 2. McLaren-Mercedes 304 3. Vettel 151 3. Ferrari 238 4. Button 147 4. Mercedes 132 5. Alonso 141 5. Renault 106 6. Massa 97 6. Force India-Mercedes 47 7. Rosberg 94 7. Williams-Cosworth 40 8. Kubica 89 8. Sauber-Ferrari 23 9. Schumacher 38 9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 10 10. Sutil 35 11. Barrichello 30 12. Petrov 17 13. Kobayashi 17 14. Liuzzi 12 15. Hulkenberg 10 16. Buemi 7 17. De la Rosa 6 18. Alguersuari 3 All timing unofficial 
shares
comments
Drivers play down dirty grid situation
Previous article

Drivers play down dirty grid situation

Next article

Barrichello slams 'crazy' Schumacher

Barrichello slams 'crazy' Schumacher
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022