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'Sleeping' Sebastian Vettel frustrated by Hungarian GP

Sebastian Vettel

Vettel confused by drive-through penalty

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel could barely hide his frustration after a drive-through penalty cost him a chance of victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The German was penalised for failing to keep within 10 car lengths of the safety car early in the race, allowing team-mate Mark Webber to go on and win.

Vettel eventually finished third and said: "At the restart I was sleeping.

"It's been explained to me, but I still don't understand it. We're unlucky - it would have been a walk in the park."

The 23-year-old's penalty, taken on lap 32, meant he re-emerged behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who defended superbly to hold his position until the end and ensure Vettel secured just 15 points.

It was also the sixth time out of seven this season that Vettel has failed to convert pole position into a race win.

And it follows a weekend when Red Bull were far and away the fastest cars out on track. Indeed, at the time the safety car emerged, Vettel had already built a 12-second lead from first on the grid - only to see that whittled away during the safety car period that eventually cost him victory.


That, and the fact that he now sits 10 points off Australian team-mate Webber and six behind McLaren's Lewis Hamilton in the world drivers' standings, only added to his grievances post-race.

"I didn't understand what was going on and why I was penalised. I still don't," Vettel added.

"At the restart, I was probably relying too much on the radio. I lost the connection and didn't hear anything. I had problems with the radio throughout the race.

"I didn't see the lights, and also usually the leader drops back a bit but Mark was very close so I was sure we had another lap. When I saw quite a big gap to myself, I noticed the safety car was coming in so I lost a lot of momentum.

"I was pretty unlucky I would say, and I'm very disappointed because it could have been a walk in the park. After that I was behind Fernando but they are faster than us on the straights so I knew it was impossible to get past.

"But then I saw a big gap to myself, I saw the safety car pulling in and lost out, then I had the drive-through [penalty].

"Without the drive-through something very unusual would have had to have happened for me not to win this race.

Mark drove a blinding race. His middle stint was quite amazing, to build the gap he needed for the pit stop

Red Bull boss Christian Horner

"To finish third is very, very disappointing."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was more reasoned in his reaction, with his team now leading both the constructors' and the drivers' championships.

"The safety car came out at exactly the wrong time really," Horner said. "We elected to split the cars [bringing Vettel into the pits and leaving Webber out] and I think that was the right thing to do.

"Unfortunately for Seb for whatever reason he dropped too far behind, outside 10 lengths, and got a penalty. It's one of those things, the rules are the rules, and we can have no complaints.

"But Mark drove a blinding race. His middle stint was quite amazing, to build the gap he needed for the pit stop.

"It's a fantastic result to get a first and third. McLaren had a difficult day with Lewis [Hamilton] failing to finish, and we managed to capitalise at what was our 100th Grand Prix."

It's an incredible day for us

Mark Webber

Webber, himself, meanwhile was understandably delighted with the win - his fourth of the season.

"Second looked to be the best I could hope for early in the race so it was a bit of a gift," said the Australian. "But I've not had many of them, so I'll take it.

"To maximise your opportunities is always good, irrespective of what happens to our rivals.

"It's nice to have more points than anybody else, but we're not getting ahead of ourselves as there are some big events coming up. All offer different challenges for us and technically for the cars.

"It's an incredible day for us."

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Hungarian Grand Prix

RaceLast updated: 15 Nov 2012 12:34 UK
Position Country Driver Race Time
1 australia M Webber 1:41:05.571
2 spain F Alonso 1:41:23.392
3 germany S Vettel 1:41:24.823
4 brazil F Massa 1:41:33.045
5 russian federation V Petrov 1:42:18.763
6 germany N Hulkenberg 1:42:22.294
7 spain P de la Rosa lapped
8 great britain J Button lapped
9 japan K Kobayashi lapped
10 brazil R Barrichello lapped

see also
Schumacher danger move punished
01 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Button bemoans season low point
01 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Webber seals vital win in Hungary
01 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Hungarian GP as it happened
01 Aug 10 |  Formula 1
Flying Vettel takes Hungary pole
31 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton defiant on title hopes
31 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso surprised by Red Bull pace
31 Jul 10 |  Formula 1
Qualifying pain frustrates Button
31 Jul 10 |  Formula 1

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