Hungarian Grand Prix: Qualifying Report

July 27, 2013 in F1 2013, Hungarian Grand Prix

Hungaroring - pit lane

Hungaroring – pit lane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Red Bulls looked particularly dominant on Friday, topping the timesheets during FP1 and FP2, however failed to do the same in FP3 when Romain Grosjean finished fastest. 

It was not to be though, as Lewis Hamilton stole pole position from Sebastian Vettel after the chequered flag fell.

Prior to the start of qualifying there was a flurry of activity around the McLaren of Sergio Perez, as they worked hard to fix his gearbox which he damaged in a crash shortly before the end of Q3.

Q1 

Esteban Gutierrez was the first driver out on track aiming to get as many laps in as possible after only managing to put in a formation lap during FP3 thanks to an engine issue. His first timed lap of the session was a 1.23.998.

Force India’s Adrian Sutil, who is celebrating his 100th race this weekend, was the second driver to set a timed lap and did a 1.25.660, proving that it’s still taking a couple of laps to get the tyres performing at their best.

With only a few minutes of the sessions left, the big boys decided the track had warmed up enough to head out onto track. Fernando Alonso was the first of the driver from the big teams to set a timed lap doing a 1.20.652, which was beaten seconds later by Romain Grosjean who was looking very quick during FP3.

Sergio Perez’s gearbox issue was fixed and was able to set a timed lap just two minutes before the end of Q1.

Mark Webber was reported to be suffering from an electrical problem, which seemed to be hindering his performance as he was only able to manage 13th fastest.

di Resta was the surprise of the session as he struggled with the tyres and failed to get into Q2. The Scot was joined by the usual suspects, both Marussia’s and Caterham’s along with Gutierrez who also failed to get into the next session.

Out in Q1 

22. Max Chilton – Maruussia

21. Jules Bianchi – Marussia

20. Giedo van der  Garde – Caterham

19. Charles Pic – Caterham

18. Paul di Resta – Force India

17. Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber

 

Q2

Kimi Raikkonen is the first man out on track on the soft tyres and sets the first timed lap of the session, 1.20.987. His teammate was able to go half a second faster than Raikkonen and set a 1.20.442.

The current world champion, who is yet to win here in Hungary, threw down the gauntlet dipping into the 1.19′s for the first time this weekend, with a 1.19.992.

The McLaren boys were late to the party, leaving it until there were six minutes of the session left to set a timed lap, neither of which managed an incredibly competitive time.

A mad dash towards the end of the session saw both Ferrari’s and Webber head out on track to ensure they secured their place in the final qualifying session.

Daniel Ricciardo, one of two drivers Red Bull are looking at to replace Webber with, managed to get himself through into Q3, while his teammate could only manage 11th place which wasn’t enough to get him through to the top 10 shootout.

McLaren were another team who only managed to get one driver into Q3, with Jenson Button qualifying in 13th place.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg set the fastest time of the session, with his teammate Lewis Hamilton second fastest.

Out in Q2 

16. Valtteri Bottas – Williams

15. Pastor Maldonado – Williams

14. Jean-Eric Vergne – Toro Rosso

13.  Jenson Button – McLaren

12. Nico Hulkenberg – Sauber

11. Adrian Sutil – Force India

 

Q3

Perez wasted no time setting a lap and manages an 1.24.842, which was four seconds slower than the fastest lap set during Q2. The Mercedes show the young Mexican how it’s done getting down into the low 1.20′s.

Vettel goes 0.8s faster than Hamilton getting back into the 1.19′s again.

With two minutes left to go, Webber gets out of his RB9 choosing not to set a timed lap, luckily for the Australian the team will be able to fix the KERS issue before tomorrows race.

Perez seemed to be struggling for pace and decided to pit with seconds before the chequered flag fell, and will qualify in ninth place due to Webber choosing not to set a time.

Hamilton steals pole position after the chequered flag falls, taking his fourth pole position in Hungary, with Vettel starting alongside him.

Qualifying Results

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  2. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull Racing
  3. Romain Grosjean – Lotus
  4. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes
  5. Fernando Alonso – Ferrari
  6. Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus
  7. Felipe Massa – Ferrari
  8. Daniel Ricciardo – Toro Rosso
  9. Sergio Perez – McLaren
  10. Mark Webber – Red Bull Racing
  11. Adrian Sutil – Force India
  12. Nico Hulkenberg – Sauber
  13. Jenson Button – McLaren
  14. Jean-Eric Vergne – Toro Rosso
  15. Pastor Maldonado – Williams
  16. Valtteri Bottas – Williams
  17. Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber
  18. Paul di Resta – Force India
  19. Charles Pic – Caterham
  20. Giedo van der Garde – Caterham
  21. Jules Bianchi – Marussia
  22. Max Chilton – Marussia

With very warm track temperatures predicted for tomorrow, it will certainly favour the likes of the Lotus drivers who are able to manage their tyres much better in warmer conditions.

Share your predictions for tomorrows race in the comments below. 

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