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Red Bull Racing had an eventful day at the Hungarian Grand Prix today as Sebastian Vettel came in a feisty fourth place, with Mark Webber finishing 8th. The squad did not quite have the quickest car in the race forcing the team to gamble on strategy for both cars.
Sebastian Vettel began third on the grid, jinking right, then left in his bid to overtake Lotus' Romain Grosjean. Amid the fight he was forced to go off throttle after turn 1 as Grosjean closed the door, leading Jenson Button to pounce and take the position. Vettel kept up with the McLaren through the first period of the race, with both keeping the positions after their respective pitstops. With the German on the faster soft tyres on this stint, McLaren called in Button for a change of rubber, enabling Vettel to make the jump. At the end of the second stint Vettel was able to catch the Lotus of Romain Grosjean. Pitting on lap 39 forced Grosjean to follow suit on the next lap, but the Lotus was able to stay ahead. Red Bull tried a final roll of the dice when they pitted Vettel for softs on lap 59, and attempting to overhaul an 18 second deficit in 9 laps. That proved not to be as Vettel ran out of laps in that quest for third.
A disappointed Vettel shared after the race, â€œI think our overall speed was better than the actual result we got today. I was stuck behind Jenson in the first stint; he was slower and we lost some time there, but of course you can't just pit and come out in clean air, there's traffic, so there's not much we could have done. The tyres were not too bad at the end, but we thought that we should try something, the tyres on the cars in front could have fallen off, but it didn't happen. The race pace was very good, so now it's up to us to do better in qualifying and at the start; then it's a different race.â€
Mark Webber was the only driver among the frontrunning teams to begin his race on the medium tyres. He had a solid start from 11th, making his way up to 7th by the end of lap 1. He spent much of the race in that place behind Fernando Alonso. His first two stints were on the harder rubber, and post the second stop he switched to the softs to take Alonso. The quickly degrading tyre however was not to last the distance, forcing the Australian to pit again on lap 56, coming in 8th behind Bruno Senna.
Webber said, â€œWe were hoping people would be in a bit more trouble with their tyres at the end. We were in fifth place and had a nice cushion, but we've had plenty of times this year where the tyres had stopped working towards the end of the race. Today it didn't really work out that way and we lost places through trying something different. I was quicker in the closing stages, but it's hard to overtake here and I couldn't get the job done. Still, we moved up three places from the start, we have good points and it's very open for the rest of the year.â€
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner was also dissappointed with the outcome of today's race, but chose to look at the positives: "We go into the Summer break 53 points in the lead in the Constructors' Championship and second and third in the Drivers' Championship with nine races still to go and an awful lot of racing to do. I think everyone deserves a well earned break and will come back in Spa in a month's time fully re-charged.â€œ
The race sees Vettel move up to two points behind Webber in the Drivers' Championship on a score of 122.
- 04/08/2012 14:28 - Coming Up After the Break...
- 29/07/2012 18:17 - Hamilton hangs on to win Hungarian Grand Prix, Raikkonen and Grosjean complete perfect podium for Lotus
- 29/07/2012 18:15 - Racy Lotus robust in Hungary, both cars on the podium