Sebastian Vettel was firmly out of reach of his rivals on Saturday in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, as he clinched his 48th career Formula 1 pole position.
Vettel set a new track record for the Hungaroring in Q3 with a time of 1:16.276s, putting him over a tenth and a half faster than his team mate Kimi Raikkonen who joins him in a Ferrari front-row lock-out.
Valtteri Bottas will line-up in third place. He starts alongside his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton, who struggled with vibration during each stage of qualifying. The team also appeared concerned about floor damage to the W08 after he ran wide over the aggressive kerbs in turn 4 during Q1.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo took the third row of the grid, with Nico Hulkenberg seventh fastest in the Renault. However, the German driver will have to serve a five place grid penalty for a gear box change.
That means Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne will move up to make the fourth row an all-McLaren affair, the team’s best performance of the season so far. Also making it through to the Q3 was Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer had been just a tenth shy of Sainz at the end of Q2. It meant he narrowly missed out on joining the top-ten pole shoot-out, along with Force India’s Esteban Ocon. However Palmer will still start tenth, and Ocon 11th, after Hulkenberg serves his penalty and drops to 12th.
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Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat had made it into the second round despite spinning off at the end of Q1, and will start Sunday’s race from 13th.
In the Force India, Sergio Perez failed to make it into the final round for the first time since Bahrain in April. Slowest in Q2 was Romain Grosjean, with Haas continuing their struggle for performance at the Hungaroring.
Grosjean’s team mate Kevin Magnussen failed to make it through to the second round of qualifying, despite being tied on time with Perez. The tie-breaker was who had set the flying lap first. Also eliminated at the end of Q1 were Williams’ Lance Stroll and Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein.
Filling in for an unwell Felipe Massa, last minute stand-in Paul di Resta qualified 19th fastest. The Williams development driver was one place ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, despite lacking any time in the car before the session.
Hungarian Grand Prix – Qualifying results
Paul di Resta
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