NOTEBOOK – Hungarian Qualifying

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Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix after beating his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen. The German put in a stunning lap going one tenth faster than his team-mate.

Vettel looked form throughout the session topping Q1 and looked in good form in the session

Pole Lap – S. Vettel

Here we see Sebastian Vettel hugging the apex as he exits the final corner crosses to the outside where he stays as crosses the line to begin the lap. He stays on the outside, breaking around fifty metres then crosses to the apex for Turn One. He then runs to the outside through Turn One A, running along the inside before breaking on entry to Turn Two. He runs to the inside briefly before switching to outside before turning into Turn Three.

He builds up the speed as he enters the second sector before he breaks slightly throwing the car through Turn Four. He then goes to the inside, running along the kerb. Crosses the track briefly before hugging the apex at Five, running to the outside of the track. Stays there before breaking just before 50m board. Through the chicane at Six and Seven before going to the inside for eight running nicely through the corner. Though Nine, goes to the outside keeps his foot down through Ten, breaks around 100m for Eleven good again.

Goes to the outside on the run to Twelve, goes back to the inside before breaking hugging the apex before running along the inside switches back to hug the apex of Fourteen. Runs to the outside crossing the line with a 01:16.278.

Ferrari locks out front row

Ferrari has again locked out the front row which we hinted at last night, this is no surprise as they have the better aero package. I suspect this was a race they were targeting to come back at Mercedes, but this could be there chance to open the gap. They need to as Spa and Monza I would say are Mercedes tracks.

The gap between Vettel and Raikkonen was a tenth, Vettel set lap early on in the session as well as he messed up his last run in Q3. We now that Raikkonen say that he had a mistake at Turn Six on his fastest lap and says he “threw away” the pole.

“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.” Said Raikkonen.

Mercedes still on back foot

Mercedes have appeared all weekend as if they have been on the back foot as the circuit does not appear to suit their car. We expected this as we been saying all weekend this circuit is not about speed it is about good aerodynamics and this circuit is often throws a surprise up.

Valtteri Bottas starts third because of Lewis Hamilton, who normally is superb around here, appeared to struggle with tyre vibrations meaning he failed to get the lap together.

Massa out, Di Resta in

After FP3, Williams announced that Felipe Massa was withdrawing from the rest of the weekend because he was taken ill last night. He did try to drive in the session but he felt sick and dizzy at the end of Friday’s running at the Hungaroring. He was passed fit to drive this morning, but as soon as he got back in the car he felt ill again.

So Williams has brought in Paul Di Resta to race on Sunday. He had a respectable qualifying in nineteenth. Yes, we know that the Williams and Di Resta are capable of doing a lot better than that. However, there was no expectation for him and the facts were he hadn’t driven the car this year and he had no practice time.

I think Di Resta will want to use the race as a platform to remind people of what he can do with the view to returning to the sport next year.


Di Resta’s team-mate Lance Stroll wasn’t going much better he failed to get out of Q1. Williams I suspect was a bit pre-occupied by the Massa problem but all weekend they have not been performing at a level we expect them to be.

Stroll was also impeded by Daniil Kvyat when he closed up on him after spinning. But, we will never know if that was the deciding factor.

Edging to race ban

Daniil Kvyat has been handed a three place grid penalty and awarded another point on his super licence after holding up Lance Stroll in Q1 meaning the Canadian failed to make it into the second part of the session.

The Russian had been heading back to the pits because of vibrations from his flat-spotted tyres, but the stewards believed he should have made a greater effort to move out of the way.

A statement read “the stewards examined video, driver radio communications, timing data, telemetry and car positioning data evidence and heard from Daniil Kvyat, the driver of car 26, Lance Stroll, the driver of car 18 and the team representatives,” a stewards statement read.

“The stewards determined that Kvyat was on an exceptionally slow lap having spun earlier and damaged his tyres. The stewards acknowledged that he was warned by the team very late of the approach of Stroll who was on a fast lap.

Kyvat pulled as far to the right as he could as soon as he saw Stroll. However, the stewards considered that these were not mitigating factors.

“Kyvat was driving exceptionally slowly and taking the racing line at the end of Q1 when other drivers were attempting to set fast laps and this led to the unnecessary impeding.” The Russian claims he had no warning and believes the stewards are simply trying to make an example out of him.

“I hadn’t received any call from the team radio. They did not tell me that anybody was coming and I was asked to bring the car in slowly because of the vibrations.

“The approach speed was so different that when I saw him I went on the grass almost, but for them that was not enough, event that. They like to make an example out of me.”


Both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne made it into Q3, with Alonso eighth and Vandoorne ninth. This was expected to be a circuit where McLaren had been expected to go well and they have performed well this weekend.

Alonso said “it’s been a positive weekend so far for us as a team. We knew the top three teams would effectively be out of reach, so fighting for seventh and eighth was the maximum target we could aim for today. And, indeed, that’s where we’ll start tomorrow.

Vandoorne said “We pretty much got everything out of the car today. We’d been looking strong all weekend, so it was good to get both cars in Q3 and to carry our pace through into qualifying. My car felt quite strong – it felt pretty good in the corners. I think we maximised the package we had today.

Race Preview

Ferrari have set themselves up in a very strong position locking out the front row which allows them to control the race. They know starting at the front gives them the advantage as over taking is difficult here, remember last time they did that was in Monaco where they won.

But, this isn’t Monaco its easier to overtake and Mercedes / Red Bull will be looking to put Ferrari under pressure. Ferrari have not coped that well under pressure recently and that could mean the could comeback


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