Hamilton snatches Hungarian Grand Prix pole from Vettel

Vettel and Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton achieved his third successive pole position in Formula 1 in a superb duel with championship leader Sebastian Vettel at the Hungaroring.

The Mercedes driver denied the triple world champion in the final moments of qualifying. His margin was less than four-hundredths of a second.

Vettel seemed to have put himself out of reach with an incredible first flying lap in Q3 that was eight-tenths of a second clear.

It was an impressive lap and Red Bull even had a fresh set of tyres for both Q3 runs. Their rivals were all saving their rubber for their final lap.

Initially, Vettel remained too fast to catch, with final practice pace setter Romain Grosjean getting closest in his Lotus.

But Hamilton was able to mount an attack with a time of one minute, 19.377 seconds to displace Vettel. The Red Bull driver improved his pace but fell short by just 0.038 seconds.

Still, this was far better than his team-mate Mark Webber. After setting the second quickest time in both Friday practice sessions, the Australian suffered a KERS failure in qualifying.

Webber struggled through to Q3 but did not run in the top ten shootout, so will start in tenth position.

Grosjean held on to third place, joined on second row by Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Ferrari was not a contender for the pole, with Fernando Alonso fifth and Felipe Massa seventh.

Kimi Raikkonen was briefly on the provisional front row as he completed an early final run, but in the end, the Lotus driver will start the Hungarian Grand Prix in sixth place.

Raikkonen’s rival for next year’s Red Bull seat is Daniel Ricciardo and the young Australian maintained his strong recent form to put his Toro Rosso eighth, six positions ahead of team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.

Sergio Perez was the other Q3 contender in ninth, sticking to his set of medium tyres rather than going for pole. His McLaren team-mate Jenson Button understeered to a disappointing P13.

Given his engine problems during the final practice session, Esteban Gutierrez’s Q1 departure was little surprise.

And yet Paul di Resta’s early exit in qualifying was a shock. The Scot and Force India were left baffled by the performance of the tyres.

Team-mate Adrian Sutil missed out on the top ten by just 0.042 seconds and joins Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber on row six.

Caterham proved comfortably quicker than Marussia in the fight at the back, while brief late-Q2 top-ten appearances from both Williams drivers proved deceptive as they were shuffled back to P16 and P17.

So a fantastic qualifying effort by Lewis Hamilton but will the tyres play a part in the overall race pace of the Mercedes come the Grand Prix? Overtaking is difficult around the Hungaroring as it’s tight and twisty but if Hamilton can keep his rivals at bay, we could see him score that dream win for Silver Arrows.

Qualifying times from the Hungaroring:

1.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1m19.388s
2.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1m19.426s
3.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1m19.595s
4.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1m19.720s
5.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1m19.791s
6.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault         1m19.851s
7.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1m19.929s
8.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m20.641s
9.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes      1m22.398s
10.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault     no time set
11.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1m20.569s
12.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        1m20.580s
13.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1m20.777s
14.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m21.029s
15.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1m21.133s
16.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      1m21.219s
17.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1m21.724s
18.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1m22.043s
19.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      1m23.007s
20.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      1m23.333s
21.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth     1m23.787s
22.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     1m23.997s

107 per cent time: 1m25.974s

6 thoughts to “Hamilton snatches Hungarian Grand Prix pole from Vettel”

  1. After grabbing pole position from his rival, Lewis Hamilton was left feeling amazed by his qualifying achievement at the Hungaroring. Autosport.com has the details.

    Lewis Hamilton admitted that he did not expect to be able to beat Sebastian Vettel to Hungarian Grand Prix pole position.

    He now suspects staying at the front of the field for the race will be a big ask.

    The Mercedes driver stormed to a last-gasp pole position with a 1m19.388s on his last lap, enough to knock heavy favourite Vettel off top spot.

    According to Hamilton, his fourth pole of the season came as a shock.

    “I was really surprised when they said I was on pole,” he explained.

    “I was expecting Seb to get it because he had shown serious pace before – that is why I was surprised.”

    Hamilton added that while pole was a good result, his Mercedes’ poor long-run pace could make life hard for him and the team in the race.

    “It’s great to have pole but doesn’t mean much for the race,” he said. “It will be tough tomorrow and that is the way it is.

    “It is a shame that we have got a good car, and if we didn’t have a tyre issue we would be able to compete.

    “We will do the best we can tomorrow. We will just try and get as many points as we can.”

  2. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel has admitted that Lewis Hamilton’s qualifying performance was “exceptional”. Autosport.com has the news story.

    Sebastian Vettel put his Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying defeat down to an “exceptional” performance by Lewis Hamilton.

    Vettel’s Red Bull was 0.8 seconds clear of the pack after the first flying laps of Q3.

    But Mercedes driver Hamilton fought back in the final shootout and defeated Vettel by 0.038s.

    With the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg 0.332s slower in fourth, Vettel said it was clear that Hamilton had produced a sensational lap.

    “At the end of the day I was pretty happy with my lap but it was just not quick enough,” Vettel admitted.

    “Obviously Mercedes have a very strong pace in qualifying.

    “I think Lewis did an exceptional job today if you look at the gap to Nico.

    “You have to be fair and respect that. I’m not arguing with that.”

    Vettel felt there was little wrong with his own qualifying runs.

    “There wasn’t much missing. I was pretty happy with both laps,” he said.

    “Maybe on the second try I was losing out a little bit in the middle sector. It’s very twisty and there’s a lot of corners in a short amount of time, and maybe I wasn’t aggressive enough there.

    “But it’s stupid now to sit here and say maybe we should’ve done this or that.”

    The world champion does not think starting behind the Mercedes will compromise his race chances too heavily.

    “Surely I would love to be a little bit faster and on pole, but it still puts us in a great place for tomorrow,” said Vettel.

    “We have a good car and good pace for the race.”

  3. This was a frustrating qualifying session for Mark Webber. The Red Bull driver said these car issues was “embarrassing”. Autosport.com has the story.

    Mark Webber described the problems with his Red Bull in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying as “stupid and embarrassing”.

    An electronic issue both prevented the car’s KERS from working, and affected its gearshift system.

    Webber still made it through to Q3, but Red Bull decided not to run in the pole segment due to the car problems. He will therefore start 10th.

    “KERS, gearbox, you name it… driving the car so far off the potential is unbelievable and so massively frustrating,” said Webber.

    “It’s stupid, it’s embarrassing and it’s a brutal circuit to be out of position.

    “We should be challenging for the front row and we’re bloody 10th. So, a pain in the arse.

    “It’s amazing… all the effort you go to and it’s two weekends on the bounce where you get that.”

    Webber fears it will be hard to achieve much from 10th at a circuit where overtaking is relatively difficult – especially if the car issues continue.

    “The team have got to get the car operating at the limit tomorrow,” he said.

    “It’s a long race and things need to be functioning correctly.

    “KERS was 50 per cent [of the problem] and there were other things.

    “So we managed to tick nearly every bloody box in qualifying and made it hard.

    “Hopefully we’ll get that sorted for tomorrow, but it’s going to be hard to get the result we should do.”

  4. Jenson Button remains optimistic about McLaren’s progress, despite not making it into Q3 during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    The Briton insists that the team has taken a step forward with its latest wave of upgrades, claiming that the understeer problems that stopped him from fighting for a spot in Q3 are a sign that the car is generating more downforce.

    “I hoped for a bit more here,” he said.

    “We have got some good upgrades here, it’s just balancing them that we found a little bit difficult this weekend.

    “The thing is, on old tyres, I had a good balance, but on new tyres I can’t get enough front end in the car. The front end is a limiting factor, and in a way that’s a good thing, because it means we’ve put downforce on the rear of the car.

    “This is just a very unusual circuit. At somewhere like Spa I think you’ll see a good improvement in terms of position.”

    Button added that some of the upgrades the team is working on for future races will be focused on 2014.

    “The bits that we have on the car over the next few races are development for 2014,” he admitted.

    “They’re not just throwing things at this year’s car, because obviously we care about next year a little bit more.”

    Button’s team-mate Sergio Perez, who qualified 10th, said he was confident in the team’s decision to run the medium tyre in Q3.

    “At the end we chose the prime, and given the pace we have I think that’s not bad,” said the Mexican.

    “Tomorrow we have the chance to fight for good points, given that we’re on a different strategy to everybody else. That has to be the aim, to bring some points home.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  5. Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen believes the new ‘safety’ tyres is hurting the car’s performance. Autosport.com has the details.

    Kimi Raikkonen believes Lotus’s form has been harmed by Formula 1’s switch to new Pirelli tyres from this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

    The Finn has been unhappy with his car throughout the Hungaroring weekend and qualified back in sixth.

    “I think it is a combination of the new tyres, the front tyres, they are a bit like last year and they are not as strong as the last ones we ran – that is not ideal for me,” said Raikkonen.

    “We’ll try to work on that. In qualifying it was not too bad, we should have probably run a bit more front wing and been up there at the front.

    “But I am much happier now than I was earlier in the weekend.

    “It is not a disaster, but it is not as we want.”

    Asked if he was concerned that Lotus was now going to struggle more in the coming races, Raikkonen said he was optimistic it could adapt.

    “We just have to do some changes and improve it,” he said.

    “We have some ideas but we didn’t have much time to do different things over a race weekend so we have to make some plans.”

    Raikkonen’s team-mate Romain Grosjean qualified third behind Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull.

    The Frenchman was more upbeat about his race chances.

    “The option [soft] is quite tough tyre to make last but medium was OK on our car,” said Grosjean.

    “It can change things a bit – hopefully tomorrow I can have a go.

    “It has been a pretty good weekend so far. There will be different strategies and we will try and get the best from the car when we get some clean air.”

  6. This was a difficult qualifying session for Ferrari and Fernando Alonso has even commented that this was a great achievement to qualify in fifth position. Autosport.com has the news story.

    Fernando Alonso labelled his qualifying fifth in Hungary “a little miracle”.

    The third row grid spot is the Spaniard’s best since the Spanish Grand Prix, with Alonso admitting that Ferrari lost its way during recent races.

    But he says the fifth place is a good foundation for rekindling some frontrunning form.

    “Yeah, definitely [a positive result],” he said.

    “It was a little miracle today to be fifth. I think it’s a track that’s not historically good for Ferrari with these low speed corners.

    “To be today a little bit closer to the pole position is good news, especially after being 10th on the grid in Silverstone, eighth in Nurburgring, coming back to the top five is good news.

    “We cannot hide that we have Mercedes in front of us, Red Bull, and Lotus, and when you have the fourth fastest car it’s a bit more difficult.

    “With no doubts we were a little bit lost in Silverstone. In Nurburgring we improved, but we were still not happy. Here, we are happier.

    “We were worried about not being competitive at all here, so this is a good boost in motivation that we can have a winning car soon after the summer.”

    Alonso added that he has not given up on taking points out of Sebastian Vettel’s championship lead in Budapest.

    “He starts second and we start fifth, so the first opportunity will be the first corner,” he said.

    Alonso’s team-mate Felipe Massa will start seventh, the Brazilian hoping to make progress during the race.

    “This track is tough for overtaking, but the race is long, it will be very hot, so many things can happen,” he said.

    “But talking about performance, we don’t have the fastest car on the track.

    “We normally gain a little bit from qualifying to the race, and I hope we can see that tomorrow, and be able to gain some positions. But we need to wait and see.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *