This week’s qualifying report was almost brought to you by the delights of 5 Live Extra. Yes, I’m looking at you, Sky. The naughty corner is over there*. Good, now then. But it does make you appreciate that up until the late 1970s the average F1 fan’s experience of the sport was through the medium of radio or, if they were very lucky, through the experience of being at the races themselves. Luckily, Sky pulled out it’s finger in the nick of time for qualifying session 1 at the Hungaroring…
Qualifying Session 1 – Go Go Grosjean
After a crash in free practice 3, McLaren’s Sergio Perez spent most of Q1 in the pits but managed to get out on track with about 5 minutes to go … and he squeezed his way into Q2 by the skin of his teeth. It was generally a slow start for most of the field during Q1 – the sort of session where you just know that the drivers are holding their trump cards close to their sponsor-covered fire proof overalls. Bring on Q2!
Surprising Q1 form = Grosjean (3rd)
Disappointing Q1 drop out = Paul di Resta (18th)
Qualifying Session 2 – Masterful Mercedes
KERS failed for Webber, but not to worry – he still made it to Q3.
McLaren, traditionally so dominant at this circuit, got Perez through to Q3 (just) but Button was left languishing in lucky no. 13th place. Especially disappointing when you remember that this was the site of Button’s inaugural win for Honda way back in 2006. Sad face.
But it was the usual suspects, Mercedes and Vettel, who dominated the top of the table – with Nico Rosberg fastest in Q2 followed closely by team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Vettel in 3rd.
Qualifying Session 3 – Mercedes: “P1, Lewis” – Lewis: “Is that pole?”
The Hungaroring: another track Vettel has never won at (I know, it’s surprising, right?) … and he set an intimidatingly quick time around half way through Q3. With 2 minutes to go, the time looked unbeatable … many drivers crossed the line and failed … then Hamilton stole the pole, but then Vettel appeared right behind him ready to steal pole back … but not today! The Mercedes team radio told Hamilton the good news: “P1, Lewis”, to which Hamilton responded: “Is that pole?” Yes it is Lewis, yes it is.
* And no, “We are currently experiencing technical issues. We can’t talk to you right now” is not a valid excuse.
|2||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:20.646||1:19.992||1:19.426||12|
|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|
|18||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:22.043||11|
|20||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:23.333||7|
|Q1 107% Time||1:25.974|