Mark Webber says he will bounce back in Hungary after a low-key run to sixth place in Germany. The result left the Aussie equal on points with team mate Sebastian Vettel, but his superior win record means that he is technically ahead – which will be handy if the team has to make another call on who gets new parts!
Webber lost a place to Lewis Hamilton at the start, and later lost out at the stops to Jenson Button. In the end dropping back wasn’t such a problem, as he had to nurse the car to the flag, and he was happy to at least bag eight points for sixth place.
“I was actually enjoying the first part of the race, a good little scrap with Lewis,” said Webber. “He didn’t look so comfortable on the option, and I was getting held up. I thought we’d take the race to the pit stops. I thought he might come in with me, but he stayed out a lap longer. The guys did a good job in the pit stop but we came out in traffic, which was a little bit of a gamble to try and jump Lewis. So we lost obviously a bit of track to him, and obviously Jenson tried a different strategy and went longer so he jumped me as well.
“Then after the race turned in a different way because we had an oil consumption problem, so we had to get the car to the end. I was watching the race on the big screens and seeing what was happening further down the road. Unfortunately I wasn’t in it today, but I’ll be back.
“Sixth in the old days was a disaster, but these days you still get a few points. It’s competitive at the front, but that’s how it should be.”
Fortunately the team expects to be able to use the Hockenheim engine again, despite the problem.
“He had an oil issue that he managed very, very well,” Christian Horner told this blog. “It was important points for him. Renault managed the problem throughout the race and did a good job, because that engine has further to go. It was its second race, so it still has a bit of mileage to do on it.
“But there was no damage, it was just a question of ensuring that it didn’t put any unnecessary heat or friction into the engine. It was always going to be very difficult for him to pass Jenson with their straightline speed advantage, we took a prudent approach to say let’s get the points, finish the race, and make sure it’s still in the allocation.”
Meanwhile Sebastian Vettel never quite had the pace with which to challenge the Ferraris, although he improved his championship position relative to the McLaren drivers.
“Sebastian was quicker as the fuel came out of the car. But it looked like he might have picked up a little bit of damage passing a backmarker at the hairpin when they all got a bit mixed up. It was close, and if he had made the start, I think he would have been fine.
“He’s closer to the McLarens and we took another point out of them in the constructors’. The race was dictated at the start today. He had a fantastic pit stop, a really quick stop, but the first 500m dictated the outcome of our race. But unfortunately not Felipe Massa’s!”