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GP Week : Issue 93
Team-By-Team: Hungarian Gr Things could scarcely have gone worse for McLaren in Hungary on Sunday, as they left Budapest with a mere four world championship points and with both championship leads wiped out by Red Bull. Fourth place should have been possible for Hamilton only for a gearbox failure to sideline him on lap 24 after driving well from fifth on the grid. Team-mate Button had an early pitstop, one lap before the safety car was deployed, to thank for eighth, after dropping to 15th on the first lap. Red Bull should have scored an easy 1-2 finish in Hungary but instead had to be happy with a 1-3 after a radio problem meant Vettel copped a drive-through penalty for his driving behind the safety car. He dominated the first stint after Webber was passed by Alonso, but dropped behind the Spaniard as a result of the penalty. Webber, who had not pitted behind the safety car, drove like a man possessed to open a 24-second cushion to Alonso before pitting to retain the lead and go on to record a dominant win. A bitter-sweet outing for Renault saw rookie Vitaly Petrov record a solid fifth-place finish, a career best, as team-mate Robert Kubica failed to finish following a pitstop blunder. Petrov made up two places at the start, and although he soon lost a place to Hamilton, the Briton later retired to hand fifth to the Russian. Kubica was running eighth before he pitted under safety car conditions, but collided with Sutil in the pitlane when he was released too early. He later retired with suspension problems from the accident. Zero points and a ten-place grid penalty for Schumacher was the result of Mercedes' exploits in Hungary, as the German marque struggled to perform yet again. Nico Rosberg only made it until lap 15 before having to retire when his right-rear wheel came loose after his pitstop, costing him a potential seventh place. Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, will go to Belgium at the end of the month with a 10- place grid penalty after his over-aggressive defence against Rubens Barrichello in the closing laps was acted upon by the stewards. Williams recorded their second double points finish of the season in Hungary, with Hulkenberg and Barrichello finishing sixth and tenth to close within seven points of Force India in the championship. Barrichello, starting on the medium compound tyre, had a blistering start to jump from 12th to 9th, before pitting late in the race and overtaking former team-mate Michael Schumacher for 10th in the final 10 laps. Hulkenberg had an uneventful race and after gaining places during his pitstop, he rose to sixth at the flag. Fernando Alonso's second place finish was a welcome bonus for Ferrari as they continued to close in on McLaren in the title race. They had expected to finish where they qualified in third and fourth behind the dominant Bulls, but were lucky for Vettel to be penalised which allowed Alonso through to second, and for Hamilton to retire, allowing Massa through to fourth. With seven races remaining, Alonso is just 20 points behind in the championship, although Ferrari are still a mammoth 74 adrift in the constructors' race. 32