Sebastian Vettel calls for Red Bull rethink after Hungarian GP

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Sebastian Vettel

World champion Sebastian Vettel expressed concern about Red Bull's drop in form after a third race without victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The German, who has an 83-point championship lead, started on pole at the Hungaroring but finished second behind McLaren's Jenson Button.

"We tried to win, there had been a chance but we didn't use it," said Vettel. "We need to look into that.

"We've seen how quickly things can change so we need to win again."

Vettel built his championship lead by winning six of the first eight races in a breathtaking start to the season.

But the defending world champion's last victory came in Valencia and since then Fernando Alonso has won in Britain for Ferrari with McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button taking a victory apiece in Germany and Hungary.

"It's fair to say that in the last couple of events Ferrari and McLaren on race pace have made a step forwards," Vettel added. "We need to have a look why.

"But we also need to have a look at ourselves, there is plenty of stuff to learn and things that we can improve without looking at the others. That has to be a target for the next race and for the second half of the season.

"I felt the pace was in the car, especially after last week [in Germany]. I think we made a good step forward and I felt much more comfortable, but I start the race to win and not to finish second or third. I think we could have been a bit smarter.

"With so many races you have to be prepared and you shouldn't be surprised if you face some difficult races. But the target for the next race is to attack completely and try to win again."

At the start of the race, Vettel struggled to warm up the intermediate tyres in cool conditions and was passed by Hamilton when he ran wide.

The 24-year-old's three-stop strategy, with a final choice of the more durable 'prime' tyres, rescued second place but Vettel felt a slightly different plan could have secured the win.

"Both times [coming in] a lap earlier would have helped us a bit," Vettel said. "It would have given us a bit more time. I felt the pace was there on the last stint, I had some issues with brakes and Jenson wasn't slow either.

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Highlights - Hungarian Grand Prix

"Today I'm not 100% happy as I started from pole and I had a feeling that I could have won the race, pace-wise it was not impossible. It was a difficult one with the conditions but the target is to win and not to come second. Still I know they were good points today.

"There are still many races to go so our target has to be to win. We still feel hungry to win races, full stop."

Alonso also rescued his race after finding himself swamped by the Mercedes off the line and down in fifth.

His team-mate Felipe Massa also underlined the car's underlying performance as he finished sixth but set the fastest lap of the race ahead of Hamilton and Alonso.

"The little chances we had for victory disappeared in the first 30 laps," said Alonso. "But this is good again for us. We reached another podium and that is a good target for the next weekends.

"We are confident that we can have a good second half of the season, we are fighting for podiums and pole positions. The competition is quite fun with three teams able to win races."

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Hungarian GP - top three drivers

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said the focus at the next race in Spa at the end of August would be to improve Ferrari's performance on Saturdays.

"In terms of qualifying we need to improve our Q3 [the final phase of qualifying] because there is something that is still not there," Domenicali said. "But we will have it.

"In race pace [the car] is not too bad at all. We are all there. Fernando has had more points than anyone else in the last four races.

"We need to keep pushing with the development of the car because we have a track like Belgium where we can have a good race and at Monza, a special package, we can also do a good job.

"The chance for the world championship is very difficult but the only thing we can do is try and win the next couple of races."