Red Bull bidding to reassert dominance in Hungary

Red Bull will bid to reassert its dominance over Ferrari and McLaren at the Hungarian Grand Prix after its Formula One rivals found renewed confidence at the German GP.

Updated: July 28, 2011 17:22 IST
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Red Bull will bid to reassert its dominance over Ferrari and McLaren at the Hungarian Grand Prix after its Formula One rivals found renewed confidence at the German GP.

Sebastian Vettel still holds a commanding lead in the overall standings, but the defending F1 champion's absence from the podium for the first time this season at the Nuerburgring has dented his superb season.

Lewis Hamilton beat Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in a surprise victory for McLaren in Germany. Although the pair trail Vettel by more than 82 points, they believe they can defeat Red Bull again in Sunday's race at the Hungaroring circuit.

"We are back in the fight," said Hamilton, who will try for a third victory from five attempts in Budapest. "This is a massive step forward and I really hope that we, as a team, can really use this to propel us forward and to keep the momentum going."

"There wasn't much between McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull in Germany. It's going to be fascinating to see which team holds the advantage."

Expected hot temperatures and the track layout are set to favor Red Bull and its defending champion Mark Webber.

The Australian is 77 points behind Vettel in second place, but his inability to again turn pole position into a victory in Germany has raised questions over the team's pace come race day.

"The last three races it has closed up," Webber said of the gap between the leading teams. "We got beaten at the last race and we got beaten here, so you don't have to be Einstein to work out that we need to keep working hard. We know we have to improve the car on Sundays. It's an area that has been brewing the last few races and it is something that we need to try to address soon."

"We have had a phenomenal run ... keep our head down and press on (is the plan)."

Alonso has performed best in the past two races to rise to fourth in the standings. The two-time world champion is 86 points behind Vettel and four back from Hamilton.

"It is definitely a good moment of the championship for us. Next week we have another opportunity," said the Spaniard, who captured his first F1 victory in Budapest in 2003. "Red Bull will be extremely strong in Budapest as we saw last year, so it is challenging for us but we are looking forward."

Vettel came under some criticism after the race as pundits questioned the young German's ability to win when having to work through the field. Of Vettel's 16 career wins, only one has come when starting behind the front row, at Malaysia last year.

"You can't expect him to be perfect all the time," Hamilton said. "He's won a huge amount of races from the end of last year into this year. It's easy for everyone to criticize him just from one race, but he's been exceptionally consistent for a long time."

McLaren driver Jenson Button trails Vettel by 107 points in fifth place after the 2009 world champion was forced to retire for a second straight race.

Vettel has yet to win in Hungary, the last race before a four-week break. The season resumes with the Belgian GP at Spa on Aug. 28.

"There are a lot of bumps on the track, which means you can get shaken up a bit and, because the track has hardly any straights, you have almost no chance to rest," Vettel said. "That's what makes the Hungarian Grand Prix so exhausting."

Soft and supersoft Pirelli tires will provide an extra adjustment for teams following variable conditions in Germany and Silverstone.

Qualifying is on Saturday following practice, which begins on Friday.

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