F1 Hungary Race Results & Report: Webber Victorious, Vettel Petulant, Schumacher Under Investigation


What Happens When Pit Lane Chaos Takes Over

9:42am EST — Mark Webber won a sometimes chaotic 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix, with Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel joining him on the podium.  A lost endplate from Tonio Liuzzi’s Force India brought out a Safety Car that led to mass pit stops, which gave rise to a lose wheel from Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes bouncing through the mechanics.  At about the same time, Renault let Robert Kubica exit his box directly into the path of Adrian Sutil, who was pitting into the box just ahead.  The two cars were stuck together.  The restart further added excitement, as Webber, who had not pitted, led off into the distance, with Vettel holding up Alonso.  He incurred a drive-through for being more than 10 lengths behind Webber.  Felipe Massa, and Vitialy Petrov completed the top five finishers.  It was a bad day for Mercedes power, with Button finishing eighth, Hamilton out with a driveshaft issue, Schumacher eleventh after losing the final point to Rubens Barrichello, despite driving the Brazilian to the pit wall in an incident to be investigated after the race, and Rosberg out due to his lost tire.

It was all Red Bull, all the time as Sebastian Vettel started from the pole.  He beat teammate Mark Webber to the position by four tenths of a second, with the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa the second row, and well back from the Red Bull pace.  Lewis Hamilton qualified fifth, though his McLaren teammate Jenson Button did not advance beyond Q2 and will start eleventh.  It was another instance of Mercedes power not doing so well in Hungary, as Nico Rosberg will start sixth but teammate Michael Schumacher only qualified fourteenth.  Vitaly Petrov just pipped Renault teammate Robert Kubica for seventh, leaving the Pole to start eighth.  Pedro de la Rosa had a lovely qualifying session for Sauber, to start ninth, with Nico Hulkenberg rounding out the top ten starters for Sunday’s race.  Kamui Kobayashi had a five-place grid penalty for not stopping for scrutineering after qualifying.

The cars got away on a sunny afternoon, with Vettel taking the lead, while Webber tried to block a good-starting Alonso, who went on to attempt a pass on Vettel; he was unable to do so despite getting a wheel ahead.  It was Vettel, Alonso, Webber, Massa, and Petrov who had gotted around Hamilton to make the top five.  Kobayashi got a fantastic start to move up to sixteenth from his penalized start in twenty-third.  Hamilton made his way around Petrov on L2.  Meanwhile, Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso let go of its engine on the racing line, with oil and possibly bits of debris spewing behind.  By the end of L2, Vettel had a two and a half second lead over Alonso.  No one else, except for di Grassi about two seconds behind Buemi had a  gap in front or behind of more than a second on L2.

Little jostling for position had ensured beyond the start, particularly at the front.  Vettel led Alonso, Webber, Massa, Hamilton, Petrov, Rosberg, Kubica, Barrichello, and Hulkenberg as the top ten.  Button , after a terrible start and drop to fourteenth from eleventh had radioed that Schumacher in front of him was on the softer tire and the team should consider strategy.  By L6, Vettel’s lead was up to 6.3s.  Schumacher was having issues with “spongy” brakes, so the team told him there was no indication of an issue, but he should be careful of them anyway as their might be a caliper issue.  There was no stopping Vettel, who was gaining nearly a second a lap over the rest of the field and setting race fastest laps each lap.  Rosberg looked as though he might be holding up quite a few drivers from seventh position, with Kubica less than a second behind and many cars behind.

Webber looked to be closing on Alonso just slightly by L11, with Massa and Hamilton just able to see the fight for second ahead of them, sometimes.  The closest men on the circuit were Sutil chasing de la Rosa for eleventh, with just of a half second between them.  While the cars glistened beautifully in the sun, Button was the first to pit, with Liuzzi joining him, both on L15.  Liuzzi had a nose change, having left his endplate on the track.  The Safety Car was deployed on L15, as the pit lane became the busiest place.  Vettel dove into the pits across the kerbing, with Alonso, Massa, Hamilton, Petrov, and another third of the field all pitted.  Alonso had a slowish stop on the left front, and Hamilton got around Massa on a quick stop by McLaren.  Sutil and Kubica managed to to collide as Renault released Kubica in a completely unsafe manner into the path of Sutil; they became stuck together.  Meanwhile, Rosberg was sitting near the end of the pit lane with a wheel having come off.  Webber had not stopped, leaving him in the lead.

The restart was a bit nutty, with Vettel neatly holding up the field so Webber got away well while an HRT was stuck in the middle of the pack and in many drivers’ way.  It was Webber, Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Massa, Barrichello, Petrov, Hulkenberg, de la Rosa, and Button as the top ten.  Kubica was going very, very slowing, but appeared to simply be letting everyone around as he was a lap down.  Sutil did not rejoin, nor did Rosberg, whose wheel went through the Sauber crew, and bounced up, up, up, and down the pit lane, though the various crews.  Webber, at the front, had a 4.6s lead over Vettel by L19 and kept setting race fastest laps as his teammate had while he was leading.  Webber, Barrichello (in sixth), Trulli (fifteenth), and Kovalainen (sixteenth) were the only drivers not to have pitted as Trulli stopped for the first time on L21.

Webber’s not-stopping strategy could be the wisest move of the race, or a disaster, depending on how long and how much speed he could get from the softer tires.  After the SC, the field remained too bunched up for a stop.  On L22, he was only 10 seconds ahead of Alonso in third, not enough to make a stop without losing position feasible.  As Bridgestone press officer Andy Stobart noted on Twitter, “the prime has the higher temp working range, but the option works better as rubber is laid, and rubber is laid better when hot.”  Kubica was served a stop/go penalty for the pitlane debacle on L24.  Hamilton pulled off at Turn 3, ending his race.  Soon after, Vettel was labeled as under investigation for dropping too far back behind the SC, with the rule apparently stating that there is to be no exceeding ten lengths behind the SC.  The team radioed the German, essentially telling him to get a move on as they were under investigation. Kubica retired after another lap around the Hungaroring.  Ferrari informed Alonso of the Vettel situation, saying “I want you to push, but I also want you to be wise.”  When Webber stopped and if Vettel were penalized, Alonso would lead the race.

Webber still led without having stopped, with nearly seven seconds on Vettel, who was five and a half seconds ahead of Alonso, with the same gap back to Massa in fourth.  Barrichello, who also had not stopped, was another eleven seconds back.  L28 brought a drive-through for Vettel, having been far more than ten car lengths behind Webber on the restart.  Quite a lot could happen with the race not quite halfway over.  Vettel seemed quite frantic on the radio wondering why he had the drive-through, with the team also sounding a bit stressed.  He kept gesturing angrily the entire way through the pit lane whilst serving his penalty, with a not so friendly gesture for the officials as he went past though the pit lane, a trip through the pit lane that appeared perhaps faster than it should.  He kept in front of Massa, with Webber still leading and fourteen plus seconds over Alonso in second.

At the halfway point, five drivers had retired, Webber had yet to pit on his soft tires and was setting back-to-back race fast laps.  Alonso, Vettel, Massa, Barrichello, Petrov, Hulkenberg, de la Rosa, Button, and Kobayashi were the top ten, with Barrichello also having not yet pitted.  Hamilton’s issues was drive-shaft related and the Williams mechanic who caught Rosberg’s errant tire was off to the medical center with rib pain and a likely concussion.  Webber was working on pulling out more of a gap on Alonso, with 17.6s on L35.  The Spaniard was setting personal best laps, but it was looking increasingly likely that Webber would manage gap to have the twenty, twenty-one second pit stop time to keep the lead on his stop.

While Webber was pulling out time in front of Alonso, Vettel was catching him up, only a second behind him at the end of L39.  It was a 22.8s gap a lap later, with Webber catching up traffic.  Vettel was in the far quicker car and quite close behind Alonso, though not close enough to make a move.  L43 brough Webber into the pits for harder tires, with a 23.7s lead.  The mechanics gave him a beauty of a stop, and he stayed the leader with quite a bit of track space (6.1s) between he and Alonso, who had Vettel getting ever closer.  Webber set race fastest lap his first lap on the harder tire, with his own gap ever-growing.  Christian Horner had a tiny chat with Vettel, telling him to “focus on Alonso, Seb.  You’re a lot quicker than him.”  The race began to settle back down, just as it had right before Liuzzi’s lost endplate brought out the SC earlier in the race.

Twenty laps were left, with the order unchanged and Webber’s gap back to Alonso ever-growing whilst teammate Vettel’s gap ahead to the Spaniard resting around seven tenths and no place to get around for the hope of a Red Bull 1-2.  As they approached traffic on L54, Vettel, who had just run wide, likely hoped for advantageous holding up, but was unable to make hay.  With Kovalainen ahead (they had just passed Trulli), Vettel went very wide and off again, losing a bit more time and likely adding to his own stress levels, when he should have been adding to those of Alonso.  Barrichello finally pitted from fifth on L56, losing position and rejoining in eleventh, putting Schumacher into the points.

Vettel was able to catch up Alonso through the turns, but on the straights and out of the corners, there was no match for the two-time world champion.  By L59, Webber had lapped all but the top nine, putting Schumacher a lap down in tenth with ten laps to go and a more than twenty second lead.  In an unsung but very promising race, Kobayashi had down very well, moving up to ninth after starting twenty-third.  He was only a second behind Button, who had three seconds to de la Rosa in seventh.  The closest fight was between Barrichello and Schumacher for the final point, with the German in control of it with eight laps to go, but Barrichello hungry for points and on the softer tire.  Webber continued to lap the field, taking Kobayashi and Button, as Vettel just was not close enough to pass Alonso with five laps left.

Barrichello passed Schumacher along the front straight, with the German shoving Barrichello right to the pit wall, and nearly into the grass on the pit re-entry.  Barrichello have him a bit of a push back once clear as word came from the Williams garage that the injured mechanic was back and, while bruised, alright.  The stewards were investigating the Barrichello/Schumacher incident, with Barrichello calling for a black flag for the German over the radio after the, as he called it, “horrible” incident.  Webber began to hold off a bit, losing just a tenth or two on his gap back to Alonso, who had gained on Vettel, the German presumably having realized he could not pass and saving the car and the points.  Webber took the checkered flag but not the race fastest lap, Vettel having taken in from him.  Vettel was still, apparently, fuming about his penalty, with the team having to tell him on the radio to not say anything and to keep his head.  Which he didn’t, running into his number three sign in parc ferme and having quite the discussion with an FIA official before the podium celebrations.  It was the first race of the season where all six cars from all three new teams finished the race.

Final Positions for the 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix:
1. Webber
2. Alonso +17.8
3. Vettel +19.2
4. Massa +27.4
5. Petrov +73.1
6. Hulkenberg +76.7
7. de la Rosa +1 Lap
8. Button +1 Lap
9. Kobayashi +1 Lap
10. Barrichello +1 Lap
11. Schumacher +1 Lap
12. Buemi +1 Lap
13. Liuzzi +1 Lap
14. Kovalainen +3 Laps
15. Trulli +3 Laps
16. Glock +3 Laps
17. Senna +3 Laps
18. di Grassi +4 Laps
19. Yamamoto +4 Laps
Hamilton
Kubica
Rosberg
Sutil
Alguersuari

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3 Comments

  1. a big well done to sauber for getting points. rubens for his bravery/insanity (delete as applicable) and yamamoto for not ruining the first all-new-all-finishers!

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