Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel was disappointed after missing out on the victory in the F1 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix today, but the German conceded it was his own fault he picked up a drive-through.
Vettel, who started from pole, dominated the early stages of the race, and prior to the safety car period, he was comfortably in front, having pulled out more than 10 seconds on Fernando Alonso, who was running second.
However at the re-start, the 23-year-old failed to keep within the mandated ten car lengths of the safety car and this proved crucial, with the penalty dropping him behind Alonso and costing him any chance to take the victory, which was claimed by his team-mate, Mark Webber.
"During the race, I didn't understand why I got the drive-through penalty," Vettel said. "But I understood after the race what happened.
"The start was fine; we knew it was a long run to the first corner and Fernando got the tow, but we were able to defend and had a good first stint. When the safety car came out, it was a late call for my pit-stop, so I only just managed to come in.
"After that it should have been straightforward, as we knew we had the pace advantage. I was sleeping at the re-start though, I had lost the radio and was waiting for an instruction of when the safety car would come in. I didn't see the lights in my car. Mark was close to the safety car, so I thought we had another lap. But then I saw the safety car come in and I was caught out.
"I lost a lot of momentum and then I got the drive-through. I am disappointed, as I hoped to win today. I was third, so it was a good result for the team, but I am disappointed on a personal level."
Team boss, Christian Horner meanwhile conceded it was 'a great shame' Vettel got his penalty, however with the team finishing 1-3 and moving ahead in both championships – now 8 points up on McLaren in the Constructors' - he still had plenty to smile about.
"A fantastic 100th Grand Prix weekend for Red Bull Racing. It was a really dominant performance from us to win the race today," Horner added. "The safety car came out at probably one of the worst times in the race. We split the strategies, as the only way to get Mark back ahead of the Ferraris was to outrun them at the safety car restart. Unfortunately, at the re-start, Sebastian dropped too far behind Mark and got a penalty as a result.
"Mark then got his head down, as he had to pull out a twenty second lead to Fernando in order to do the pit-stop and stay ahead. He drove an awesome 20 laps to achieve the required gap and win the race. For Sebastian, it was a great shame to receive the penalty. He pushed Fernando as hard as he could for the remaining thirty laps, but it's very difficult to overtake here.
"A one-three finish puts us in the lead though of the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships going into the summer break, which will give the team a chance to recharge their batteries in preparation for what will be a very intense final third of the Championship."