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Is it me or does it look as if Webber has stolen Vettel’s Red Bull?

MARK WEBBER of Red Bull won this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix (1 August) which was held at the Hungaroring near Budapest. With this victory (his forth of the season), Webber now leads the drivers’ championship and Red Bull the constructors’ championship as F1 goes on its summer holiday. I’m also on my summer holiday, which is why this post is so late.

The Australian won the 70 lap event in a time of 1:41:05.571; an average speed of 113.094 mph. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished the race in second place, with Webber’s Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel close behind him in third. Vettel set the fastest lap of the race with a lap of 1:22.362 (118.890 mph).

Vettel started the race from pole with Webber alongside him, but as the lights went green Alonso took Webber’s second place and challenged Vettel for the lead. The German just did enough to keep the Spaniard behind him. Elsewhere, Russian driver Vitaly Petrov (Renault) took fifth place from Lewis Hamilton (McLaren). Defending World Champion Jenson Button (McLaren) who started 11th had a poor start and found himself down in 15th place.

Hamilton took fifth place back from Petrov on the second lap. The Renault driver struggled to get traction out of turns one and two, meaning that the 2008 World Champion and twice Hungarian GP winner Hamilton could pass him around the outside of turn three.

By lap ten Vettel’s lead over Alonso was just over 8.5 seconds. Nothing looked like stopping Vettel in the race, but fate had other ideas.

On lap 15 Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi lost a part of his front wing in turn 11. No marshal could safely run onto the track and pick it up, so race control had no choice but to deploy the Safety Car.

Practically the entire field poured into the pits on lap 16 to do their pit stop. Then chaos took over F1. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) lost his right-rear wheel as he drove down the pit lane causing him to retire from the race. The wheel sped through the pit lane and then took to the air, striking a Williams mechanic. Said mechanic was unhurt save for a couple of bruises. Seconds later the Renault lollipop man released Robert Kubica straight into the path of Force India’s Adrian Sutil who was just about to make his stop. Sutil was forced to retire from the race and Kubica was given a ten second stop-go penalty. I didn’t know you could still get those. Kubica had to retire later in the race because of the damage his car received during the crash with Sutil. Because of their pit lane antics, both Renault and Mercedes were fined $50,000.

F1 thanks its lucky star yet again.

The SC came into the pits at the end of lap 17. Mark Webber – who didn’t stop – was now in the lead with Vettel in second. But Vettel was hanging well back from Webber near the end of the lap as he tried to hold up Alonso.

Meanwhile, on lap 24 Lewis Hamilton was forced out of the race when his transmission kicked the bucket. This duck in Hungary for Hamilton would dramatically affect both championships at the end of the race.

One lap later Vettel was declared to be under investigation for violating Article 40.9 of the regulations. The young German had failed to keep within ten car lengths of the car in front of him during the SC period. He was soon afterwards hit with a drive-through penalty, and at the end of lap 31 a visibly angry Vettel served his punishment. He rejoined the race in third behind Alonso, and with victory out of reach he tried his upmost to catch and pass Alonso for second for the rest of the race. He caught Alonso, but couldn’t pass him.

Webber pitted at the end of lap 42 and rejoined the race still in the lead. He kept going in the lead until the end of the race to add his sixth winners’ trophy to his cabinet.

But the biggest talking point of the race came just before the end, and once against proved that Michael Schumacher is not the greatest driver in the history of the sport.

Rubens Barrichello (Williams) didn’t pit during the SC either, and waited until the closing laps of the race to make his stop. He came out in 11th place, just out of the points scoring positions. In tenth place and then scoring one point was his old Ferrari team-mate, Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)…and he was in the Brazilian’s sight.

The world watched on the edge of its seat. Despite being team-mates for years at Ferrari they were never allowed to race each other. But now they could. And they were racing each other. Barrichello tried to pass Schumacher but to no avail. It seemed as if Schumacher was closing the door just a little bit too late. But the world knows that that’s how Schumacher used to race. But what the world didn’t see coming came just a few laps from the end.

Schumacher exited the final corner poorly, allowing Barrichello to pull right up behind the Mercedes. Rubens went up Schumacher’s inside and was pulling alongside his former team-mate. Schumacher then pulled right, trying to pin Barrichello against the concrete pit wall. With just millimetres to spear, Barrichello took the place from Schumacher. He was later heard screaming over his radio that Schumacher should be black flagged.

If this makes you cringe...

I’d hate to think what seeing this does to you.

Former driver and race steward Derek Warwick later said that if the race had more laps left to run, Schumacher would have been disqualified. Triple World Champions Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda both publically condemned Schumacher for his actions, and he has been given a ten-place grid drop for the next race in Belgium.

Personally, I say he should have been banned from the Belgium GP (29 August). If Barrichello had panicked, or Schumacher had squeezed him a tiny bit more, we would have witnessed a massive accident (both cars were doing over 175 mph at the very least) and possibly even a death.

Barrichello told the BBC after the race that this had been the most dangerous moment in his Grand Prix career, which is by far the longest in history. I wouldn’t be surprised if he saw a picture of his wife and two young boys flash across his eyes.

PS:  Congratulations to Vitaly Petrov, Nico Hülkenberg (Williams) and Pedro de la Rosa (Sauber) for finishing: fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. These are there best results of the season.

We must now wait until the end of the month for one the races on calendar. The Belgian Grand Prix from the legendary Spa-Francorchamps.

DRIVERS’ STANDINGS (12/19 GPs)

Pos

Driver

Constructor(s)

Points

1

Mark WEBBER (AUS)

Red Bull

161

2

Lewis HAMILTON (ENG)

McLaren

157

3

Sebastian VETEL (GER)

Red Bull

151

4

Jenson BUTTON (ENG)

McLaren

147

5

Fernando ALONSO (ESP)

Ferrari

141

6

Felipe MASSA (BRA)

Ferrari

97

7

Nico ROSBERG (GER)

Mercedes

94

8

Robert KUBICA (POL)

Renault

89

9

Michael SCHUMACHER (GER)

Mercedes

38

10

Adrian SUTIL (GER)

Force India

35

 

CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS (12/19 GPs)

Pos

Constructor

Engine

Points

1

RED BULL (AUT)

Renault

312

2

MCLAREN (ENG)

Mercedes

304

3

FERRARI (ITA)

Ferrari

238

4

MERCEDES (GER)

Mercedes

132

5

RENAULT (FRA)

Renault

106

6

FORCE INDIA (IND)

Mercedes

47

7

WILLIAMS (ENG)

Cosworth

40

8

SAUBER (SUI)

Ferrari

23

9

TORO ROSSO (ITA)

Ferrari

10

Yet to Score

LOTUS (MAL), HRT (ESP), VIRGIN (ENG)

Cosworth (All)

0

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2 Comments

  1. Found another picture of the Schumacher Barrichello incident, it’s scary just to look at, and I’ve rarely said that in F1:

    Though having said that, I’m not sure the stewards could have found reason to disqualify Schumacher, without a collision actually taking place. If they had collided, Michael would be gone for a long time.
    On another note, enjoy your summer holiday 🙂


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