Mark Webber made the most of his team-mate’s drive-through penalty to take his fourth victory of the year in Hungary.
The Australian made use of a 43-lap stint on a prime tyres to emerge from his pit stop ahead of Fernando Alonso, after a chaotic first corner had seen the Spaniard emerge ahead.
Webber’s victory took him to the top of the drivers’ standings, after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire with gearbox issues
Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel, who led the opening stages of the race; saw victory snatched from his grasp after exceeding the maximum gap between himself and the safety car.
Despite his anger at the penalty, the German still managed to third place, giving Red Bull control of the constructors’ championship heading into the summer break.
Mark Webber – 1st: “Not an easy Grand Prix today. We knew the start was crucial, especially at a venue like this where it’s difficult to overtake. I knew I would be on the back foot fighting with Sebastian and Fernando at the start. I settled into the first stint, but then it was a chess game as to how we would jump Ferrari. The safety car opened up the race and we went off strategy and did something completely different to Fernando. When the safety car came out and I was told to stay out I hoped Fernando would go in to pit. When I saw him go in I knew we had a chance to do something good. I then settled down on the soft tyre and worked on getting a twenty-second lead to Fernando. After I came in for my pit-stop I was able to control the race. It’s a nice way to celebrate my 150th race and a great day for us as a team on our 100th race weekend. This result is a credit to the team, they made a good call on the strategy and the car was bomb proof. The next race is Spa, which is a beautiful circuit. I’m looking forward to that race, but it will be nice to have a few days off in the break beforehand.”
Sebastian Vettel – 3rd: “During the race, I didn’t understand why I got the drive-through penalty, but I understood after the race what happened. The start was fine; we knew it was a long run to the first corner and Fernando got the tow, but we were able to defend and had a good first stint. When the safety car came out, it was a late call for my pit-stop, so I only just managed to come in. After that it should have been straightforward, as we knew we had the pace advantage. I was sleeping at the re-start, I had lost the radio and was waiting for an instruction of when the safety car would come in. I didn’t see the lights in my car. Mark was close to the safety car, so I thought we had another lap. But then I saw the safety car come in and I was caught out. I lost a lot of momentum and then I got the drive-through. I am disappointed, as I hoped to win today. I was third, so it was a good result for the team, but I am disappointed.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal: “A fantastic 100th Grand Prix weekend for Red Bull Racing. It was a really dominant performance from us to win the race today. The safety car came out at probably one of the worst times in the race. We split the strategies, as the only way to get Mark back ahead of the Ferraris was to outrun them at the safety car restart. Unfortunately, at the re-start, Sebastian dropped too far behind Mark and got a penalty as a result. Mark then got his head down, as he had to pull out a twenty second lead to Fernando in order to do the pit-stop and stay ahead. He drove an awesome 20 laps to achieve the required gap and win the race. For Sebastian, it was a great shame to receive the penalty. He pushed Fernando as hard as he could for the remaining thirty laps, but it’s very difficult to overtake here. A one/ three finish puts us in the lead of the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships going into the summer break, which will give the team a chance to recharge their batteries in preparation for what will be a very intense final third of the Championship.”
Fabrice Lom, Renault, Principal Engineer Track Support: “What an incredible race to finish the first part of the season. It was an action-packed race and despite our very quick car, our opponents had some opportunities. Fortunately we won and scored a lot of points. We are now in the lead of both championships, which is a very good result. All the guys at the factory can go on holiday with a clear mind. We will aim to continue with this momentum in the second half of the season. Congratulations to Red Bull on it’s 100th race weekend and congratulations to Renault.”