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Team-Mate Wars: Hungaroring

Wednesday 31st July 2013

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Team-Mate Wars: Hungaroring

Team-Mate Wars: Hungaroring

Because in F1 the first person you have to beat is your team-mate.

Red Bull Racing
Race: Vettel
Season: Sebastian Vettel 9 - Mark Webber 1
Last race Mark Webber was on for a great result, challenging Sebastian Vettel for the win, but then Mark's Lap 9 pit-stop debacle managed to separate the two of them quite conveniently. On Friday in Hungary, Mark showed every possibility of matching or beating Seb in qualifying - come Saturday, he picked up a KERS and a gearbox issue.

Those old Red Bull 'gremlins' keep on denying us a head-to-head between the two team-mates and the longer it goes on, the more you think there might be something in it. It'd be great if someone could work out the statistical likelihood of Mark getting technical problems at circuits where he is close to Sebastian on Friday and the similar likelihood at tracks where he can't match Seb's pace.

Vettel duly carved another notch.


McLaren
Race: Button
Season: Jenson Button 7 - Sergio Perez 3
McLaren are edging back into the TV pictures and in a couple of races should banish Force India to sixth place in the Constructors' table. In Budapest Sergio pulled off a great surprise by edging Jenson out in qualifying at a track where Button has been supreme in the past. That didn't last longer than the sprint to the first corner, but it was impressive in itself.

In the race Jenson had his car assaulted by Vettel and Grosjean yet Button chose to moan about the Frenchman and not the World Champion who could have easily given him a rear puncture. Had that happened It would have been essential for the stewards to give Vettel a drive-through for causing the collision, seeing as they were so picky about Grosjean's transgression of the white line.


Mercedes
Race: Hamilton
Season: Lewis Hamilton 7 - Nico Rosberg 3
Rosberg paid the price for a fairly wild start. In fairness, the Hungarian GP is known as a race where you have to make up places quickly or suffer (or stop fewer times) and so his first lap collision with Massa was caused by a desire not to get stuck behind Felipe's gearbox for eight laps. The result was a swift move down to 12th place from which he never recovered.

Lewis didn't have to make up places he just had to keep his nose clean and very sensibly he didn't charge away, edging out a gap from 0.5 to 0.5 to 0.7 and 0.9 in the first four laps. For a team that hadn't tested the new Pirellis going into the weekend it was a doubly impressive result.


Ferrari
Race: Massa
Season: Fernando Alonso 8 - Felipe Massa 2
Fernando's in big boss Luigi Montezemolo's bad books after suggesting that he'd like another car for his birthday. The Scuderia didn't take too kindly when Alain Prost described his Ferrari as "a truck", and the prospect of their 2011 and 2012 saviour walking off to their main rivals was like a red rag to a bull - or should that be 'the toerag' to Red Bull.

As George from Seinfeld (Luca Colajanni in the Ferrari press office) told the world's press, Fernando was "rebuked" and had his "ear tweaked".

Post-race, Fernando came up with gems like: "We didn't have the pace with the soft tyre and we didn't have the pace with the medium tyre." But he still had a lot more pace than Felipe Massa and a lot more of his front wing.


Lotus
Race: Raikkonen
Season: Kimi Raikkonen 8 - Romain Grosjean 2
As in Germany, it was a case of what might have been for Romain Grosjean. Unlike the Red Bull, the Lotus had no problem following other cars very closely and Romain was attached to the rears of Vettel and Button and Alonso at various stages in the race. His pass of Massa was epic and he deserved leeway for making sure he didn't come back too soon on Felipe who was on his inside. That was countered by the very clumsy overtake on Jenson Button.

Sky do all their in-depth post-race analysis and they should really be following their football coverage by analysing the incidents and asking why the referees (the stewards) punish someone like Grosjean twice yet Felipe Massa can be involved in two incidents where cars actually impact his Ferrari yet they're not investigated. Is it because in a race full of contact that there would be too many FIA messages on the screen?

Kimi said after the race that "we" paid the price for poor qualifying, but in Romain's hands the car was capable of third on the grid, so it's definitely down to him.


Force India
Race: Sutil
Season: Paul Di Resta 6 - Adrian Sutil 4
Sutil outqualified Paul Di Resta by some margin, but got a dog of a start, while Paul Di Resta was left moaning "what happened?" into team radio on Saturday, but got a slingshot of a start. Adrian was ahead when his hydraulics packed up, though the strategy hadn't played out.


Sauber
Race: Hulkenberg
Season: Nico Hulkenberg 9 - Esteban Gutierrez 1
Force India's sudden drop in pace has thrust them backwards into prime Sauber territory. Hulkenberg resumed hostilities with his former team, having brushed aside the challenge of team-mate Gutierrez.

If we thought that Esteban was young and inexperienced, Sauber have gone and signed a foetus for next season. The idea that Sergey Sirotkin should be allowed near an F1 race next year is an expensive joke. At the weekend Monisha Kaltenborn was trying to prepare the ground by saying that they brought Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa into the team at very early ages - but they were brought through because they had sheer talent not an oligarch's cash stuffed up their romper suits.


Williams
Race: Maldonado
Season: Maldonado 7 - Bottas 3
Bottas
Maldonado got a point for Williams. Given Pastor's ability around the tight, twisty Monaco circuit then it figures he should be at his best around tight twisty Budapest.


Torro Rosso
Race: Vergne
Season: Daniel Ricciardo 5 - Jean-Eric Vergne 5
Helmut Marko redundant because why develop new drivers if you're never going to employ them.


Marussia
Race: Bianchi
Season: Jules Bianchi 10 - Max Chilton 0
Max Chilton was only 0.2 behind Bianchi after qualifying but at times it's still like Carry On F1 for Max. In practice we got:
Max: The engine's gone
Engineer: Find a safe place to park up...
Pause
Engineer: (Who can see from the telemetry that it's still working) Is the engine okay, Max?
Max: I think I might have pressed the pitlane speed limiter by mistake...


Caterham
Race: van der Garde
Season: Giedo van der Garde 3 - Charles Pic 7
The Nutcase Brothers were at it again in Hungary. Giedo won out this time.


The Kimi is Disappointed File: "We gained a few points so it's always a bonus."

Star of the Race
Alonso 2, Hamilton 2, Sutil 1, Brawn 1, Perez 1, Rosberg 1, Vettel 1, Grosjean 1

Overtaking Move of the Race
Vettel 2, Grosjean 2, Raikkonen 1, Alonso 1, Button 1, Bottas 1, Webber, Hamilton 1

Dull vs Exciting GPs
Exciting 9 - Dull 1

Sat on the Naughty Step
Van der Garde 2, Maldonado 1, Vettel 1, Red Bull 1, Gutierrez 1, Hulkenberg 1, Grosjean 1, Hembery 1, Stewards 1

Media Watch
The BBC's excellent James Allen in commentary with technical expert Gary Anderson after Gary had just made the noise "Boof!" - "Boof! Boof! We like your Boofs!"

Jenny Gow talking to a Mercedes strategist in the minutes after Lewis had got his first win for Merc; "Surely this is the fruition of a moment when a door opens...?"
Now that's deep.

Andrew Davies

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