Webber wins Hungarian GP

Sunday, August 1, 2010

BUDAPEST - Mark Webber of Red Bull claimed victory in an action-packed Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix Sunday to move to the top of the drivers’ championship standings.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished second while Sebastian Vettel in the second Red Bull threw away his chances of victory when he incurred a stop-go penalty while leading for exceeding the allowed 10 car lengths to the safety car.

Felipe Massa claimed fourth spot in the second Ferrari with Vitaly Petrov of Renault fifth.

Webber now has 161 points after 12 of 19 races, four clear of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who was forced to retire because of a gearbox problem. Vettel sits third on 151 points, followed by defending champion Jenson Button of McLaren on 147 and Alonso on 141.

Vettel had made sluggish starts from pole at Silverstone and Hockenheim already this season but made a perfect start at the Hungaroring, holding off Alonso going into the first corner.

Alonso started from third but easily passed second-placed Webber at the start, although the Ferrari driver was unable to keep pace with Vettel in the early stages, losing on average nearly a second a lap to the 23-year-old German.

Webber kept pace with Alonso without attacking the Spaniard while Massa also maintained his distance in fourth.

The safety car was deployed on lap 15 to remove debris from the track and caused a flurry of activity as Vettel, Alonso, Massa and Hamilton all pitted.

Massa was forced to wait for Alonso to pit first, leading the Brazilian to lose fourth place to Hamilton while Robert Kubica later received a stop-go penalty as Renault released him straight into the path of Force India driver Adrian Sutil.

Mercedes are certain to face the Hungaroring race stewards after Nico Rosberg’s race ended in the pits as the German lost his back right tyre halfway down the pitlane, which bounced dangerously before being caught by a Sauber mechanic.

Webber was the only one of the leading cars to stay out during the safety car phase and it paid dividends as he took over the race lead from Vettel.

Hamilton was forced to retire on lap 24 due to gearbox problems while Vettel received the news five laps later that he had incurred a stop-go penalty for exceeding the allowed 10 car lengths to the safety car.

A clearly angry Vettel came in on lap 32 to serve his penalty, returning in third place behind Alonso but ahead of Massa.

Webber finally pitted at the end of lap 43, coming out ahead of Alonso to retain his race lead.

The 33-year-old Australian pulled away from the rest of the field in the closing stages to register a comfortable win while Vettel was unable to put enough pressure on Alonso to force the Spaniard into making an error.

Michael Schumacher’s season took a further dive as the Mercedes driver was knocked out of the points by a late overtaking manoeuvre from Rubens Barrichello.

F1 now takes a small summer break before returning for the Belgian Grand Prix on August 29 at Spa-Francorchamps.

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