The F1 championship battle moved into its acutely psychological phase on Sunday with Mark Webber going into the mandatory mid-season cost-saving factory ‘lock down’ on top of the world with four wins to his credit, twice the personal tally achieved so far by Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel or either Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button.
Webber drove a simply storming race to win in Hungary while his young Red Bull team-mate Vettel had any prospect of victory defused by a drive-through penalty imposed by dropping too far behind the safety car when it was deployed to clear debris from the track in the opening stages of the contest.
Vettel blamed his drive-through on the fact that he had suffered a glitch with his radio and had been ‘sleeping’ when the safety car came in. “It would have been a walk in the park without that,” he said wryly.
For his part, Webber admitted: “It was a bit of a gift for me today, but I haven’t had many so I will take it.” Ultimately Vettel may have more instinctive genius flowing from his finger tips than Webber, but the rugged Australian seems to get better with every racing mile which passes beneath the wheel of his Red Bull RB6.