Sebastian Vettel has come away from the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend with his tail between his legs after struggling to seventh place in a race that included an uncharacteristic spin.
The defending world champion has never won at the Hungaroring, and although he was never in contention to this weekend, he may have hoped for better than seventh place from the front row of the grid.
After dropping behind Valtteri Bottas off the line, Vettel was pitted one lap too late by Red Bull during the first safety car period. Upon the restart, his car was in the wrong mode, causing him to lose yet more time. A spin at the final corner very nearly brought his race to an early end, but he eventually struggled home to seventh place at the flag.
“It wasn’t a great race,” Vettel said. “I spun, which was my mistake, and before that I was unlucky with the safety car in the first stint. The timing meant the first four cars lost positions to those running behind. Unfortunately we were then in the wrong mode for the restart and I lost two positions.”
Vettel’s result contrasts heavily with that of Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who clinched his second win of the season today after a superb display. The Australian driver now leads Vettel by 43 points in the drivers’ standings, and unless there is a dramatic change in fortunes for the German, that gap may remain until the end of the season.