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Recap & Analysis

  • The dogged Aussie takes the title lead

    The Overview

    Mark Webber took a well-deserved and commanding win at the Hungarian Grand Prix to take the lead in the race to become World Champion in 2010. A poor start saw the Aussie saw him slip behind Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari and allowed his teammate Vettel to disappear down the road in the lead. It looked like Mark had no chance of taking the victory.

    However that was all set to change on Lap 15 after the Safety Car had been brought out to clear a piece of body work left on the track. Chaos ensued in the pits with Rosberg losing a wheel and Kubica and Sutil colliding into each other. The key point to all this was that Webber stayed out while both Alonso and Vettel pitted. This gave Mark track position from which he was able to build enough of a gap back to Alonso to pit and still retain the lead. From there on nobody but Webber was going to win the race.

    Sebastian Vettel’s chances of winning the race were scuppered after he collected a drive through penalty for failing to keep within 10 car lengths of Webber at the restart.  

    Overall in my opinion it wasn’t a bad race. Considering that this is Hungary and apart from Valencia it’s my least favorite race of the year, simply because nothing ever happens. However this year we had a strategy battle, crashes and suspense, which overall kept me interested. Ok so I may be a little biased as it’s the first F1 I’ve been able to watch live in well over a month, but who’s counting!

    That said there were a few things in that race that I thought I’d pick out.

    First Things First – Safety!

    Hungary has thrown up some serious safety concerns after several incidents that in my mind should never have happened. Rosberg’s wheel flying off, Sutil and Kubica’s coming together in the pits and finally Schumacher’s horrific attempt at holding Rubens back from overtaking him. 

    These were all very much ‘OMG’ moments and it’s made me think just how they could ever be allowed to happen. At the time of the pit lane incidents I can understand the sheer confusion and tension with all the cars coming in and out of the pits so rapidly, even in some cases both cars in the pits at the same time. 

    However it is for that exact moment that all the pit lane rehearsals and practices are done for surely. So that in the moment when the ‘**** hits the fan’ and everything goes haywire the mechanics are instinctively trained on what to do.  Not go ‘Sorry Nico, my bad, I forgot to put the wheel nut on mate, better luck next time’!

    Now I may be coming down a little bit hard on the teams and I can slightly understand their position. Hungary is a difficult circuit to go racing at. Its not the most up to date state of the art facility we usual see at places like Abu Dhabi or China. The pit lane is small and space for the teams to work in is limited. But that just means that safety should be taken all the more seriously. 

    I do feel that this incident is a combination of a lot of minor events that have all collected into one extraordinary event, which could not have been predicted and I don’t think we can correctly blame one thing for causing them all. However that does not stop me thinking there may need to be a look into the pit lane safety regulations!

    My next bit of safety is that of Schumacher! Watching the F1 forum afterwards, I found myself agreeing with DC, Eddie (doesn’t happen a lot) and Martin. Schumacher left space on the right, which Rubens went for; Michael after already moving once to indicate that he did not want Rubens to try down the inside continued to move over and effectively tried to run the Brazilian off the track. 

    As soon as Rubens was along side Michael should have yielded and known the game was up, but he didn’t. That was wrong and it’s not just the case that it was a bad decision on Michael’s part, but it could have been so much worse. If Rubens had been forced into that wall and a crash ensued, it would have been one mother and father of a crash!

    I admit I had never been a fan of his ‘Schumacher-ness’ in the olden days, however I was starting to warm to him this year, he has an air of being a no hoper about him and I liked supporting that, willing him to do well. I suppose that is why I supported DC for so long, but my point is that those kinds of moves should not be allowed to happen and a 10-place grid penalty is a fairly light punishment for him. I only hope that he realizes his mistake, ok maybe not admit it, but realize it and hope he doesn’t try it again.   

    Sebastian Vettel – Spoilt Brat?

    Now I don’t know about you but my opinion of the young German ‘vunda kid’ is rapidly going down hill. His squeaky clean F1 image as the driver who always smiles, gives interviews and goes out of his way to be nice to the journalists to me is changing into an immature, spoilt brat who chucks his teddy out of the pram every time things don’t go his way.  

    I understand he is an F1 driver and that they are perhaps the most selfish people on this planet, but Vettel is becoming the worst of the lot. Time and time again this year a result or race hasn’t gone his way, he looks like he wants to commit suicide. That it is everybody else’s fault but his. Monaco was perhaps the first sign of this after he was forced to place second fiddle to Mark Webber, but it was clear to be seen in Turkey and again here in Hungary.

    Other drivers have bad days but treat the situation with a pinch of salt or take it on the chin. Why can’t Vettel do the same? I can appreciate that the title pressure may be getting to him and that he is still a rather young and inexperienced racing driver compared to his other title challengers. But that said every time he has a bit of a cry and a hissy fit I just want to give his head a shake and say ‘grow up’! 

    Hungary’s Great Drive

    Mark Webber may have won the race in strong form, but for me the drive of the weekend has to go to that of Kamui Kobayashi and the Sauber Team. The Japanese driver came from 23rd on the grid to finish a very impressive 9th. He wasn’t picked up at all by the cameras during the race, but he’s showed a little bit more of what we glimpsed at the end of last season. That coupled with Pedro coming home in 7th makes it a double points finish for the Sauber team and after such a torrid start to 2010 for them I think it is a result that is well deserved. Kudos!

    The Summer Break

    Just as I get back from my exploits and am able to start watching F1 full time again we move into the seasons summer break! Rubbish . That said at least part of my prediction is coming true and Mark Webber really is solidifying himself as one of the top title contenders. 

    I am surprised by Ferrari’s improved form and I am interested to see whether it will last or not – I don’t think it will. Certainly with McLaren having a horrific weekend the scarlet cars were well placed to pick up some solid points.  Jenson’s early season form seems to have deserted him and that is mainly due to poor qualifying. He will need to put that right as we move into the final 7 rounds of 2010.

Tagged with...
  • Mark Webber
  • Robert Kubica
  • Adrian Sutil
  • Renault
  • Force India
  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Red Bull
  • Michael Schumacher
  • Mercedes
  • Nico Rosberg
  • Kamui Kobayashi
  • Sauber
  • Hungarian GP 2010
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Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel on the 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix Podium - © BridgestoneMotorsport

Mark Webber stands on the top step for the 4th time in 2010 © BridgestoneMotorsport

Position Driver Team Time
1 M Webber Red Bull 1:41:05.571
2 F Alonso Ferrari +17.8 secs
3 S Vettel Red Bull +19.2 secs
4 F Massa Ferrari +27.4 secs
5 V Petrov Renault +73.1 secs
6 N Hulkenberg Williams +76.7 secs
7 P De la Rosa BMW Sauber +1 Lap
8 J Button McLaren +1 Lap
9 K Kobayashi BMW Sauber +1 Lap
10 R Barrichello Williams +1 Lap
11 M Schumacher Mercedes +1 Lap
12 S Buemi Toro Rosso +1 Lap
13 V Liuzzi Force India +1 Lap
14 H Kovalainen Lotus +3 Laps
15 J Trulli Lotus +3 Laps
16 T Glock Virgin +3 Laps
17 B Senna HRT +3 Laps
18 L Di Grassi Virgin +4 Laps
19 S Yamamoto HRT +4 Laps
DNF R Kubica Renault +44 Laps
DNF L Hamilton McLaren +46 Laps
DNF N Rosberg Mercedes +52 Laps
DNF A Sutil Force India +52 Laps
DNF J Alguersuari Toro Rosso +68 Laps