Ferrari technical director James Allison insists that, while the team's Hungarian Grand Prix victory wasn't expected, it marked a welcome return to form after a handful of 'sub-par' outings.

Sebastian Vettel took full advantage of a good start to get ahead of polesitter Lewis Hamilton and, when the Mercedes driver's race fell apart in the opening stages, was able to remain out front for the entire 69 laps. Allison admitted that Hamilton's absence - and Nico Rosberg's own struggles in the second Mercedes - made life easier for the four-time world champion, but pointed out that Vettel still needed to make the most of the unexpected opportunity to add to his equally surprising early-season win in Malaysia.

"I think the similarities are that, if you get away well at the start and you are in free air and can have your race without compromise, it makes a lot of difference to the overall race time," he rationalised, "Another similarity is that the fastest of our competitors, Hamilton, was not there at the start because of his own difficulties and that was also the case in Malaysia.

"But I think probably the best similarity is that, at both of those tracks, the car had good pace and, when you have got good pace, you can do good things. I think that the last two or three races have been a bit sub-par for our team. We haven't brought home what we should have done with the opportunities we had. This was more of a return to what we hope for in a weekend - with some additional bonus thrown in by the difficulties of the people in front of us."

While declining to explain what happened with Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari when a 1-2 appeared possible for the Scuderia - "I will only say that we had a problem with the power unit that meant we had to retire the car" - the Briton played down any thoughts of greater success in the future.

"We have said throughout that our car isn't good enough to challenge for any championship this year," he noted, "We will do our best to get more and more competitive race-by-race, but you have to be realistic about where we are working from.

"I am completely delighted, of course, with the victory - I am sure you have seen the joy on all the team's faces when they win and it is amplified to an even greater level when you are wearing red, so I'm completely happy with the victory. Over the season as a whole, I think we can be happy that we have demonstrated that we have stepped up from last year, but there is an awful lot more for us to do as a team before we can feel that we are really showing a Ferrari that everyone can be completely proud of."

Given the importance of Vettel's start in Hungary, Allison was also quick to point out that the regulations governing that part of the race will change as soon as F1 returns from its summer break in Belgium next month.

"The starts are an extremely important part of the race, still more so at a track like this, which is one of the hardest to overtake at," he confirmed, "We do work very well at them - you seek to minimise the variability through the year, but it is a reality that all teams have. What you hope for at the end of the year is that you have the best batting average, that you have, on average, done the best starts of all the guys on the grid.

"We now face the challenge, from Spa onwards, that the starts are going to change a little and working out how we respond with whatever we can do to help within what is now permitted, to give [the drivers] as competitive a start as they can have."


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