|Red Bull Formula One driver Mark Webber of Australia celebrates after winning the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix on August 1, 2010. (REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger)
BUDAPEST, Hungary - Mark Webber capitalized on pit strategy and benefited from a mistake made by his Red Bull Racing teammate Sebastian Vettel to win the Hungarian Grand Prix and take over the points lead in the Formula One world championship.
Webber grabbed the lead when Vettel, the pole sitter, and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso pitted early in the 70-lap race. Then Vettel's drive-through penalty for a safety-car rule infringement helped Webber gain a sizeable lead over Alonso, who moved up to second. Vettel ran third after serving his penalty.
With a near 24-second lead over Alonso, Webber finally pitted on lap 44. The Australian went on to finish almost 18 seconds ahead of Alonso for his fourth victory of the season and the sixth of his F1 career.
"At the start, I knew it was going to be a little bit tricky on that side, but I ended up having a good start," Webber said. "You know around here it's going to be very difficult to make moves around the track unless someone makes a mistake, so it was not a surprise to see [Sebastian] disappearing and Fernando doing his absolute best, but I was just waiting for the crucial part of the race to see what would happen."
Webber has now accumulated 161 points, while Lewis Hamilton from McLaren trails Webber by four points after a disastrous 20th-place finish. Hamilton, who won this race last year, retired early due to a suspected gearbox issue.
"I was accelerating out of turn one when I felt a sudden vibration and then a loss of drive," Hamilton said. "I initially thought it was a drive shaft failure, but it now appears that it was a gearbox problem."
Alonso, last weekend's winner in Germany, finished second.
"It was a good weekend, knowing that the pace was not good enough," Alonso said. "The layout of this circuit was a help today, because I think on a normal circuit, it would have been impossible to maintain."
Race stewards penalized Vettel shortly after the young German exceeded 10-car lengths behind the safety car, which was brought out when Hamilton stalled his car on the track. While serving his drive-through penalty, Vettel expressed his frustrations by raising his fists in the air . He was never in contention from there, as he finished third.
"I didn't understand what was going on and why I was penalized, so it was a question mark for me, and I didn't understand it at the time," Vettel said.
Vettel has started on the pole in seven grand prix so far this year, but has just two victories to show for it.
"I'm obviously disappointed, because it would have been a walk in the park today, and we could have won the race, Vettel added.
Vettel is 10 points in back of his teammate.
Felipe Massa from Ferrari and Renault's Vitaly Petrov rounded out the top- five.
William's Nico Hulkenberg took the sixth spot, followed by Pedro de la Rosa from BMW Sauber and McLaren's Jenson Button, the defending world champion.
BMW's Kamui Kobayashi finished ninth, and Rubens Barrichello from Williams was 10th.
Mercedes GP's Michael Schumacher received a 10-place grid penalty for the August 29 Belgian Grand Prix, the next round on the F1 calendar. Schumacher was involved in an incident with Barrichello in the closing laps when the seven-time F1 champion appeared to move over on Barrichello and push him towards the pit wall.
Barrichello had attempted to pass Schumacher on the main straight before the incident occurred.
After a post-race investigation, stewards determined Schumacher had "illegitimately impeded [Barrichello] during an overtaking maneuver." Mercedes will not appeal the decision.
F1 will take a three-week "summer break" before returning to action in Belgium.