Formula 1 News

Hamilton takes "surprise" pole in Hungary

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start the Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position after a performance in qualifying that surprised even his own team
Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 27th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - "We're as surprised as you, mate" was what Lewis Hamilton's race engineer said to him on the radio after Hamilton set the fastest time in qualifying for tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix. Hamilton was just 0.038 seconds clear of championship leader Sebastian Vettel. Romain Grosjean will start third for Lotus.

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Q1 saw the bottom two teams eliminated as usual. They were joined by the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez and a very frustrated Paul Di Resta in his Force India. Di Resta struggled for grip and could be seen fighting his Force India in every corner of the lap.

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Mark Webber suffered a KERS failure during Q2, which cost him some pace. It's been a recurring issue for Red Bull over the last couple of seasons, particularly on Webber's car. Although he made it through to Q3, Webber did not set a time in the final part of qualifying, presumably due to the technical issues on his car.

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Both Ferrari drivers looked like they were struggling with understeer in Q2, but both managed to make it into Q3. The drivers eliminated in Q2 were Adrian Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg, Jenson Button, Jean-Eric Vergne, Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas. Although they are starting 15th and 16th, Williams will be pleased to have both cars in Q2 after struggling to achieve that in previous races. Nico Hulkenberg and Adrian Sutil are in a strong position to challenge for much-needed points for their respective teams.

Sebastian Vettel managed to get through Q1 and Q2 on just one set of soft tyres, which meant he had two sets available for Q3, while most of his rivals completed their first run in Q3 on scrubbed tyres before pitting for a new set and going for pole. Vettel's initial time on fresh tyres was a full eight tenths quicker than any of the drivers on scrubbed tyres, and at that point it seemed impossible that he would be beaten to pole position. But Lewis Hamilton had other ideas, and surged across the line right at the end of the session to take pole by a whisker from the championship leader. Romain Grosjean completed an impressive Saturday by qualifying third after topping FP3 this morning.

Nico Rosberg could not quite find the same pace as Hamilton in the Mercedes, and qualified fourth, a third of a second down on his team-mate. Fernando Alonso was fifth for Ferrari ahead of the second Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen, who was followed by Felipe Massa in the other Ferrari. Daniel Ricciardo will start eighth ahead of the McLaren of Sergio Perez, who opted to set a time on medium tyres in order to run a different race strategy to those around him. Mark Webber completes the top ten after failing to set a lap time in Q3 after a KERS failure left him stuck in the Red Bull garage.

Full qualifying results:

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.363 1:19.862 1:19.388 15
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:20.646 1:19.992 1:19.426 12
3 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:20.447 1:20.101 1:19.595 15
4 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:20.350 1:19.778 1:19.720 16
5 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:20.652 1:20.183 1:19.791 15
6 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:20.867 1:20.243 1:19.851 17
7 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:21.004 1:20.460 1:19.929 15
8 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:21.181 1:20.527 1:20.641 14
9 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.612 1:20.545 1:22.398 16
10 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:21.264 1:20.503 No time 13
11 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:21.471 1:20.569 17
12 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:21.028 1:20.580 13
13 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.131 1:20.777 10
14 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:21.345 1:21.029 12
15 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:20.816 1:21.133 15
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:21.135 1:21.219 13
17 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:21.724 11
18 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:22.043 11
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:23.007 8
20 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:23.333 7
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:23.787 8
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:23.997 8
Q1 107% Time 1:25.974

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