Red Bull’s “joker” put Sebastian Vettel right back on track at the Hungaroring.
Each team can break the mechanics’ late-night paddock curfew four times before a penalty applies, and Red Bull used one of theirs overnight to apply major setup changes to the RB7 after a difficult Friday in Budapest.
It seemed to work perfectly on Saturday as championship leader Vettel returned to pole, although teammate Mark Webber was just sixth.
“No way I could do that (Vettel’s) lap time,” the Australian told the BBC. “Strange one.”
Nurburgring winner Lewis Hamilton was also wondering how his McLaren had dropped behind the pace of the leading Red Bull.
“Today they (Red Bull) seemed to pick up a little pace, but for me and Jenson (Button) to be in the first two rows is a good job,” said the Briton.
German Vettel meanwhile hailed the long night endured by his mechanics.
“It seems we have done the right thing and I am a lot more comfortable (now),” he said. “The boys worked pretty hard and didn’t get much sleep but a result like this today is the best way to say thanks.”