Sebastian Vettel has admitted that he was not quite on the ball when the Hungarian Grand Prix restarted this afternoon at the Hungaroring.
The race had gone into a Safety Car period after a piece of bodywork was left on the track by a Force India, and Vettel immediately pitted. Catching Mark Webber up behind the Safety Car, Vettel did not maintain a reasonable speed behind his team-mate, exceeding the ten car lengths permitted.
The stewards found Vettel was guilty of backing the pack up, perhaps in order to assist his team-mate, and gave him a drive-through penalty. Webber went on to win the race.
“It was a very easy race because we had a pace advantage. At the restart I was sleeping and I was probably relying too much on the radio. In the first stint I lost the radio and didn’t hear anything. I was waiting for an instruction when the first car was coming in,” said Vettel.
Also Mark, when the safety car is coming in the leader usually drops back, but he was very close.
Then when I saw Mark and the safety car very close to each other and the safety car was going into the pits I realised what was going on.
I am very disappointed because it would have been a walk in the park today.”