Mark Webber triumphs in Hungary as Michael Schumacher gets penalised

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Mark Webber triumphs in Hungary as Michael Schumacher gets penalised
Mark Webber won his fourth race of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix yesterday as Red Bull resumed control of both the Formula One drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

The Australian now has a four-point lead over McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who failed to score any points after retiring with a gearbox problem.

Webber’s victory was not the main talking point of the weekend, however, as Michael Schumacher was given a 10-place grid penalty for the next grand prix in Belgium after coming close to forcing Rubens Barrichello into the wall at 200mph.

Schumacher was up to his old tricks again, but this time he went too far, and he chose the wrong man to try the move on. Barrichello had played second fiddle to Schumacher during his time at Ferrari, with the pair not seeing eye to eye. The outrageous move angered Barrichello.

“It was a go-kart manoeuvre,” he said. “If he wants to go to heaven - in the event he is going to heaven - I don't want to go before him. Thank God I was lucky the wall finished where it did because I was millimetres from it. I said to the stewards we are two of the most experienced guys out there, and if Michael does that, it means kids can do that too. That is where it is wrong in my opinion. But I am just very glad and very lucky we are here to talk, honestly.”

Barrichello found a way through with three laps remaining, but while he was left fuming, Schumacher defended his move.

“Well, there's not much to say. He obviously had fresher tyres, my job was to get the last corner spot on, I had a line of about five centimetres, and I was making it obvious to him to go on the other side,” said the seven-time world champion.

"There was more room there, but he chose not to. We know certain drivers have certain views, and then there's Rubens. As far as I was concerned there was enough room for him to get through. But it's clear I wanted to make life for him as difficult as possible,” Schumacher added.

Webber was able to take the win thanks to the safety car. He was jumped by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso at the start and was unable to find a way through. Sebastian Vettel held onto pole position, he led and was almost a second a lap faster than Alonso.

It was looking like Vettel would win, and when the safety car emerged on lap 17, Webber didn’t pit, while Vettel did and came out behind Webber, who was in first. However, Vettel was going to take the lead once again when Webber would pit. When the safety car went into the pits and the race resumed, Vettel was given a drive-through penalty for not being 10 car lengths behind Webber, who produced amazingly quick laps, and was able to pit and come out ahead of Alonso, while Vettel had to settle for third place as he couldn’t overtake the Ferrari.

Webber admits he was fortunate to collect the win on Red Bull’s 100th grand prix weekend.

“The start we always knew was going to be a bit tricky on that side. I knew once I'd got the primes [tyres] on and these guys had already done 20-odd laps, it was in the bag. It was a bit of a gift for me, but I haven't had many of them.”

Both Red Bull drivers have been at each other’s throats for most of the season, and on a special occasion, Webber firmly has the upper hand over Vettel. “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,” said Webber.

When serving his drive-through penalty, Vettel gestured angry inside his cockpit and couldn’t understand why he was penalised. However, after the race, all was made clear.

“During the race, I didn’t understand why I got the drive-through penalty, but I understood after the race what happened,” he said. Vettel was the fastest driver over the course of the weekend, and he was upset with himself about throwing the race victory away.

“I was sleeping at the restart. 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,” he said.

After Ferrari were fined $100,000 for implementing team orders at the German Grand Prix, Alonso salvaged second for the team in Budapest, while Felipe Massa returned to the track where he suffered a fractured skull in 2009 by finishing fourth.

Alonso felt he got the best out of his car and was not quick enough to challenge the Red Bulls. “I got a great start, first of all managing to get past Webber and then getting alongside Vettel going into the first corner, but I was not able to complete that move. Then, we did not have the speed to stay with the leader and so I had to think mainly about defending my position. Clearly, we have to improve our car if we want to be in with a chance of fighting for the title, here the Red Bulls were unbeatable.”

Five drivers are separated by just 20 points heading into the final seven races of the season.




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