Red Bull’s performance advantage was visible from first practice at the Hungaroring. It reached a peak of 1.214 seconds per lap – the gap between pole-sitter Vettel and third placed Fernando Alonso in qualifying.
But the flexing front wing which helped them achieve such amazing speed is likely to be outlawed at the next race.
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)
|Average race lap
Vettel usually looked able to get better performance out of the super-soft tyre than his team mate. So it proved in qualifying, where Vettel claimed yet another pole position.
He kept his lead at the start and disappeared from the chasing Fernando Alonso at up to a second per lap.
But his cruise to victory was interrupted by the appearance of the safety car. Struggling with a radio that was only working intermittently, he failed to keep up with Webber and was handed a drive-through penalty.
That left him third behind Alonso and unable to get close enough to the Ferrari to pass. At one point he had the gap down to just 0.4 seconds but under-steered off at turn four, struggling in Alonso’s slipstream.
His facial expression on the podium said it all as he contemplated another opportunity to take the lead of the championship lost.
He was beaten to pole position by his team mate, then beaten to turn one by Alonso. But a smart strategic gamble by his team and a series of red-hot laps by Webber won him the race.
It’s a testament both to the capabilities of the car and its driver that Webber was able to pull out a 22-second lead over Alonso in 25 laps using tyres which covered more than half the race distance.
Webber’s fourth win of the year put him back in the lead of the drivers’ championship.
But the FIA have announced that as of the next race in Spa the teams’ front wings will be subject to new load tests. This may make it impossible for Red Bull to use their front wing which is clearly deflecting greatly at high speed and providing a significant performance benefit.
2010 Hungarian Grand Prix