|© AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky
Despite all the records he has set, Sebastian Vettel had never won the Hungarian Grand Prix and that statistic remained intact after Sunday’s race in Budapest.
Former champions Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen proved to be a nuisance to Vettel’s attack hindering the Red Bull driver from mounting a challenge to Lewis Hamilton, who went on to win the race.
Starting from second on the grid, Vettel trailed Hamilton before deciding to pit on lap 12 to discard the soft tyres for the mediums and rejoined the circuit behind Jenson Button.
The McLaren driver had started the race on the primes and despite being on the slower of the two compounds, managed to keep the German behind for 12 laps, with the defending champion losing plenty of ground to the Mercedes as a result.
"I was surprised to see Sebastian and the others get stuck behind Button," Hamilton said about his former McLaren teammate. "I guess he did me a favour there."
On lap 17, Vettel made a desperate lunge into the inside of the McLaren at Turn 2 but he not only locked up and backed off, but also damaged a part of his front wing affecting the handling of his car, for which he took responsibility.
"I should have done a better job with Jenson in the beginning and especially not damaged my front wing - and then it could have been a different race," admitted Vettel, who passed Button on lap 24.
If that wasn’t enough, Vettel’s second stop on lap 35 brought him out behind Button again but this time managed to pass the 2009 champion two laps later.
After his final pit stop on lap 54, Vettel started chasing Raikkonen for second place and although he caught up with the Lotus driver he just couldn’t pass the Finn.
Two laps from the end, Vettel drove up along the outside of Raikkonen heading into Turn 4 but ran wide on the exit of the corner. He complained to his team over the radio that he wasn’t given enough room.
"I told him (Raikkonen) but he was laughing only," said Vettel, who finished third but extended his championship lead to 38 points. "In the heat of the moment it was quite tight getting into there, I tried to prepare the next corner but nearly lost the car. That’s racing."