Vettel breaks Hungaroring lap record to earn 48th career pole

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel achieved his 48th career pole position in Formula 1 and led a Scuderia Ferrari one-two at the Hungaroring.

Vettel was fastest in final practice earlier, leading the way in Q1, and was the first driver to lap under under one minute, 17 seconds in Q2, before Hamilton made a second run.

The four-time champion then set a time of one minute, 16.276 seconds best on his first run in Q3 to take pole, which proved enough to get the job done despite Vettel lapping slightly slower on his second attempt.

Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen snatched a brake at Turn 1 on his first run in Q3 so was down in fifth, but The Iceman improved dramatically on his second run to leap into second position, within two tenths of Vettel’s mark.

Hamilton went off at the fast Turn 4 on his first run in Q2 and did so again in Q3. He struggled for grip throughout qualifying, complained of vibrations through the tyres, and ultimately wound up only fourth quickest, more than four tenths of a second off the pace.

Mercedes struggled in the first sector of the lap compared to Ferrari and Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was only third fastest, 0.163 seconds clear of Hamilton.

Max Verstappen was second quickest in Q1 and third in Q2, but Red Bull faded from the pole position fight in Q3.

Verstappen was fifth fastest, a tenth behind Hamilton, while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was sixth, only 0.021 seconds adrift despite missing most of final practice with a hydraulic problem.

Nico Hulkenberg lapped quicker than Ricciardo in Q2 and ended up best of the rest for Renault in seventh, just under a tenth clear of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda.

Stoffel Vandoorne made Q3 for the second race in a row and qualified ninth, three tenths behind Alonso.

Carlos Sainz Jr’s Toro Rosso rounded out the top ten.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer was P11, missing the Q3 cut by a tenth of a second thanks to a superb final flying lap in Q2 from Sainz.

Esteban Ocon was best of the Force Indias in P12, ahead of Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, Ocon’s Force India team-mate Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean’s Haas.

Grosjean’s Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen matched Perez to the thousandth of a second in Q1, but missed the Q2 cut by account of setting his best time later than the Force India driver.

Lance Stroll’s Williams was only 0.007 seconds further back in P17, while emergency stand-in team-mate Paul di Resta outstandingly split the Saubers of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson to qualify P19 for his first Grand Prix since 2013.

Paul di Resta achieved this despite not having driven a 2017-spec Formula 1 car before, and only turning his first laps of the weekend in qualifying after Felipe Massa fell ill in final practice.

The former Force India racer gradually worked down to a time 0.766 seconds slower than Stroll, only 0.029 seconds slower than Wehrlein, and over a tenth clear of Ericsson. Williams rightly called this a “fantastic job” in difficult circumstances.

The Sauber drivers ended up more than seven tenths adrift of Stroll’s Williams, despite planning to run their year-old Ferrari engines at full power for the first time this season, after having cooling updates fitted to the cars.

So a fantastic result for Ferrari. A front row lock-out for the red cars. Sebastian Vettel is in prime spot to extend his championship lead but never discount Lewis Hamilton. Despite qualifying in fourth position, the Mercedes is still the car to beat. Bring on the racing action.

Hungarian Grand Prix, qualifying positions:

1    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m16.276s
2    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m16.444s
3    Valtteri Bottas    Mercedes    1m16.530s
4    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m16.693s
5    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    1m16.797s
6    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m16.818s
7    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1m17.549s
8    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1m17.894s
9    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m18.311s
10    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1m18.415s
11    Esteban Ocon    Force India-Mercedes    1m18.495s
12    Nico Hulkenberg    Renault    1m17.468s
13    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Renault    1m18.538s
14    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m18.639s
15    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m18.771s
16    Kevin Magnussen    Haas-Ferrari    1m19.095s
17    Lance Stroll    Williams-Mercedes    1m19.102s
18    Pascal Wehrlein    Sauber-Ferrari    1m19.839s
19    Paul Di Resta      Williams-Mercedes    1m19.868s
20    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m19.972s

7 thoughts to “Vettel breaks Hungaroring lap record to earn 48th career pole”

  1. Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying review as reported by

    Championship leader Sebastian Vettel was in scintillating form as he took his second pole position of the season in Budapest on Saturday afternoon. Kimi Raikkonen underlined Ferrari’s strength as he lapped just 0.168s slower than his team mate to complete the Italian team’s third front row lockout of the season and confine chief rivals Mercedes to the second row.

    Valtteri Bottas was the quicker of the two Silver Arrows drivers, lapping 0.2s slower than Vettel, with Lewis Hamilton looking ragged as he came home in fourth, a couple of tenths down on his team mate.

    Next up were the Red Bulls who were never quite in the mix for pole, with Max Verstappen edging Daniel Ricciardo to fifth, before a big gap to Nico Hulkenberg, who qualified his Renault seventh but will drop five places on the grid thanks to a gearbox change.

    The top ten was completed by the improving McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne and Carlos Sainz’s Toro Rosso.

    Vettel had outlined his credentials by setting the pace in Q1, albeit by just 0.022s as Verstappen kept him honest. But the undoubted star of the opening segment was Williams stand-in Paul Di Resta.

    Called up to drive at the last moment as a replacement for the unwell Felipe Massa, the Scot – who hadn’t driven an F1 car in anger since the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix and had only tested the team’s 2017 car on the simulator – worked down to 1m 19.868s within just 11 laps.

    That left him P19 – just two spots and seven tenths down on the other Williams of Lance Stroll and one place ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson. Kevin Magnussen was unlucky not to advance to Q2 after tying with Sergio Perez on 1m 19.095s, but having set the time later than the Mexican he was the first driver eliminated. He was joined by Stroll in 17th and the Saubers of Pascal Wehrlein and Ericsson who sandwiched Di Resta.

    Hamilton, who had been targeting a record-equalling 68th pole, had been fastest in Q2, but only after going out on a second set of supersofts was he able to move ahead of Vettel and Verstappen, who had stayed in the garage after their first runs. Hulkenberg put in a mighty lap as he went sixth, but team mate Jolyon Palmer could only manage P11 as Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz took the last spot in Q3.

    The Briton was eliminated along with Force India’s Esteban Ocon, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, the other Force India of Sergio Perez and Haas’s Romain Grosjean.

    It could scarcely have looked closer between Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull going into Q3, but in the end the red cars proved untouchable.

    Vettel’s blistering pole lap – a new outright lap record for the Hungaroring – came on his first run in Q3, with the German initially followed by Bottas, Verstappen, Ricciardo and Raikkonen as Hamilton, having complained of tyre vibrations, abandoned his first run after sliding off the road at Turn 4.

    The Briton was the first to head out for a second run and improved to P3, but Raikkonen subsequently leapfrogged both him and Bottas to take second place and put Ferrari in the best possible position to score maximum points heading into the summer break.

    With penalties applied, the grid will form thus: Vettel, Raikkonen; Bottas, Hamilton; Verstappen, Ricciardo; Alonso, Vandoorne,; Sainz, Palmer; Ocon, Hulkenberg; Kvyat, Perez; Grosjean, Magnussen; Stroll, Wehrlein; Di Resta, Ericsson.

  2. Claire Williams admits that Paul di Resta faces a tough challenge after taking over from Felipe Massa in the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    Di Resta will take over the car, which will run as number 40, from the start of qualifying after Massa felt unwell.

    Di Resta has not driven the FW40 on track, although he does have some knowledge of hybrid technology after driving the 2014 FW36 test car used by Lance Stroll.

    Williams believes that the Scot has the experience with which to deal with his last-minute substitution role.

    “I’m sure he’s probably fairly nervous,” said Williams. “But Paul is an experienced driver, and I couldn’t feel happier actually that we have someone of Paul’s calibre and experience.

    “Even though he may not have taken part in a race weekend for a couple of years, he’s driven this era’s hybrid cars, he’s driven in our 36, so I have confidence.

    “Of course it’s going to be tough. He hasn’t had any practice, and he’s got to get straight into qualifying in an hour’s time.

    “I’m sure there are some nerves there, he hasn’t had much time to get ready, but I have utter confidence in him that if anyone ca do this, Paul can.”

    Williams said that modifying the car for di Resta was not a big issue despite the lack of time before qualifying.

    “It’s not as complicated as you probably imagine,” she said. “There are a few changes to make inside the cockpit.

    “Obviously Paul’s a little bit taller than Felipe, but they rehearsed it last night, and it takes about 40 minutes to make the changes.

    “Paul has his licence, that’s all sorted, and obviously in preparation last night we knew that potentially this could be an option for us. So we made sure everything was in place.”


  3. Mercedes says Q3 error cost Lewis Hamilton an opportunity for pole position. has the full details.

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes his team should have been in a fight for pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton, had the Briton not run wide on his first Q3 effort.

    Hamilton went off the circuit at Turn 4 during his first run and then failed to match the pace of the Ferraris in his second and final one.

    Wolff believes the mistake stopped Hamilton from fighting for pole.

    “Throughout qualifying we improved and I think we would have been in the fight for pole position,” said Wolff.

    “But obviously the mistake in the second to last lap compromised Lewis’ final run. So I’m actually OK [about the pace gap to Ferrari].”

    Hamilton complained through the session of tyre vibration, although he did set the fastest time in Q2.

    Wolff said that the team would have to analyse what caused the issue.

    Hamilton added that his chances of challenging Ferrari in Sunday’s race would come from strategy, as the circuit is renowned for overtaking being virtually impossible.

    “You can’t overtake here. It’s most likely going to be a train unless we can do something with strategy,” Hamilton said.

    “Getting past the Ferraris is going to be an almost impossible task, unless they have problems. We shall see, we’ll give everything we can and at least get some points.”

    Wolff reckons the best chance for his team lies with the start of the race, with Valtteri Bottas starting one spot ahead of Hamilton in third.

    “It [overtaking] is very difficult,” said Wolff. “The start is the best possibility to jump them, the run down to the first turn is very long. Strategy wise I guess there is not a lot of possibilities.”

  4. Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen admitted he “threw away” a great chance of pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix. His team-mate Sebastian Vettel grabbed P1. has the news story.

    Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen believes he could have beaten teammate Sebastian Vettel to pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, but for a mistake under braking for the chicane.

    Raikkonen qualified 0.168s slower than pole-winner Vettel, and rued a big moment at the Turn 6 chicane.

    “Actually not too good,” said Raikkonen of his fastest lap. “I mean, the start was good, and the end was not too bad, but in the chicane I braked on the outside kerb and got loose and really threw it away there.

    “It was decent enough still for second place, but it’s a bit disappointing, I felt I had it, but I couldn’t really finish it.

    “You try to always find a better way of driving, so it’s very normal to discuss something like that, and I was pretty happy with the last lap apart from going into the chicane, where I got sideways and lost some time. But it is a great [result] for the team,

    “Yesterday wasn’t the easiest day and definitely today we can be pretty happy with things. In qualifying, I must say we are happy how we’re handling [it] now.

    “So far so far good, tomorrow will be a long race and hard battle. We have to keep this going.”

    Vettel scored his 48th career pole, despite failing to match his opening run by 0.002s on his final Q3 lap.

    “It was seamless in terms of we didn’t have any problems,” said Vettel of his qualifying. “I felt quite good with the car straight away from Q1 onwards, we did the laps we had to, I was confident.

    “We had debate about what to do with the car, I was happy with it but knew there was more from the car, so went flat out – but arrived in last sector and maybe asked too much from the tyres early on.

    “Happy with first lap, second could be better.”

  5. Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo says he won’t have “many friends” in the Hungarian Grand Prix due to his aggressive approach in the race. has the details.

    Daniel Ricciardo believes he won’t have “too many friends” after the Hungarian Grand Prix as he plans to get aggressive to move up the order.

    The Red Bull driver was disappointed to qualify sixth on the Formula 1 grid, but he has vowed to attack the leading cars ahead of him.

    “We’ll find a way to be quick tomorrow,” he said. “If we can get track position we can help ourselves. It will be a fun race. I’m not sure I’ll have too many friends after the race but that’s OK.

    “Because I’m at the tail of that pack I need to force my way through, so if I am going to move forward it will take some nice moves.

    “I don’t need a good start to move forward. I’ve had fun around here in the past overtaking. If I carry this fire into the race tomorrow I should be fine.”

    Ricciardo believes he paid the price for missing out on a full session in FP3, when a hydraulic problem stopped his Red Bull on track.

    “I realised from the out lap in Q1 that it would have been nice to get that extra running time,” he added. “We had to guess a bit. We did what we thought was going to work but it wasn’t quite optimised come qualifying.

    “The car was a bit of a handful and then we managed to hustle it better in Q3 but still not enough to make me satisfied.

    “This morning the track changed quite a bit and Ferrari in particular found a chunk of time.

    “It just seemed we couldn’t evolve with that like they did. We were on the back foot but we don’t have a massive explanation.”

  6. With a late call to replace the unwell Felipe Massa, Williams reserved driver Paul di Resta stepped up to the challenge of driving the 2017-spec racer despite no experience with the hybrid formula.

    The last time di Resta raced was in 2013. However, di Resta produced a solid performance in qualifying and Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff hopes “unbelievable job” will restarts di Resta’s Formula 1 career. has the news story.

    Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff says that his DTM driver Paul di Resta did an “unbelievable job” in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

    The Scot replaced the unwell Felipe Massa at Williams after the Brazilian pulled out of the event following third practice.

    Di Resta had never driven the FW40 before the start of qualifying, although he did have some prior experience of the 2014 FW36 test car that the Grove team has been running for Lance Stroll.

    Despite being out of F1 since 2013, he qualified ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson in 19th place, 0.76s behind Stroll, having run just five flying laps in Q1.

    “Unbelievable job, honestly,” said Wolff. “To be put in this car in qualifying, never having driven it, having done a handful of laps in a 2014 car to give some comparison for Lance, and driving a touring car regularly.

    “And he’s been catapulted into an F1 car, and is within seven tenths of his teammate, and doesn’t look ridiculous at all, is a major achievement. I’m really happy for Paul, because that was in my opinion against all odds.”

    Like the other Mercedes DTM drivers, di Resta will be looking for work when the marque pulls out of the series at the end of 2018.

    Wolff said that he would be happy if the Scot, who is still only 31, could find a way to return to F1.

    “I think everything is possible. Let’s see how he does tomorrow in the race. He’s a very decent driver, you can see that in DTM. If this can be a relaunch of his F1 career, I would be the first one to cheer.”

    Wolff also suggested that di Resta could now be considered as a potential reserve driver for Mercedes, should the team need a last minute replacement.

    Although the works outfit does in theory have access to Pascal Wehrlein, if the team were to require a driver change on Saturday it would be too late for the German to transfer across.

    Asked who Mercedes would use in such circumstances, Wolff said: “It’s a good question. Probably after today, Paul.”

    Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe also hailed di Resta’s performance, and defended Massa’s decision to drive in final practice despite having felt unwell already on Friday.

    “It was really amazing,” he said of di Resta’s showing. “Clearly it would have been ideal for Paul to get P3 but it absolutely the right thing.

    “Felipe thought he would be ok, he was signed off and we all wanted that to work but clearly he wasn’t ready to drive but it did mean we lost P3 for Paul.

    “All the doctors said he was fine as well, so there was no question that he shouldn’t drive P3 but it didn’t work.

    “But it did mean Paul was in at the deepest of the deep ends. These are arguably the quickest Formula 1 cars ever, thrown into the quickest F1 car in history – well, unfortunately not our particular one – but the formula.”

  7. Lewis Hamilton is predicting an “easy breeze”‘ to victory for Ferrari in the Hungarian Grand Prix, after admitting there is little chance of Mercedes challenging its main rivals.

    Although Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton were only a few tenths adrift of pole position as they locked out the second row, Ferrari’s consistently strong form throughout Saturday suggests it should be just as quick in the race too.

    And Hamilton has no doubts that Ferrari will be fully in control of proceedings at a venue where overtaking is notoriously difficult.

    “They have generally been quite good,” he said in reference to Ferrari’s race form. “I think it is going to be an easy breeze for them tomorrow.”

    While Mercedes’ fortunes in Hungary have not been helped by the tight and twisty layout suiting the Ferrari better, Hamilton reckons that talk there was potential to beat the Maranello outfit is wide of the mark.

    “I don’t there was any moment that we had the shot on pole. We couldn’t match the Ferrari’s time today,” he said.

    “It looks like their car maybe just suits the track more; it looks like the car isn’t moving anywhere. It looks like they might have more downforce on, and they were able to apply that in Monaco as well.”

    While Hamilton conceded that things were not helped by him to having to deliver his Q3 effort with a single run at the end – having gone wide on his first attempt – he thinks that trying to keep up with Ferrari meant he was having to push his car much harder than he would have liked.

    “When you drive it to a certain limit the car feels fine, but then you see Ferrari’s time, you think you need to push further,” he said.

    “So you drive 100 percent and the car is more on a knife edge. You are taking it into places you don’t want to go.”


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