Vettel was keen to make up for his home grand prix last weekend and get himself back out in front and in charge – but with so many people confident of having a chance, it wasn’t going to be easy.  Here’s how qualifying played out today…

Round 1 – Team Lotus are getting closer

The first round saw the usual culprits taking up the spots at the back of the grid, but Team Lotus’ upgrades have come good with both Jarno and Heikki looking more cheerful and only a spot of tenths off nipping into round 2.

Pastor Maldonado did a great job for Williams to get himself through to round 2 in the dying moments of the session, pushing out Sebastien Buemi in the process.  Buemi also has a 5 place grid penalty following his incident with Heidfeld in the German GP, so he’ll start 23rd on Sunday.

Knocked Out:

  • 18th – Sebastien Buemi
  • 19th – Heikki Kovalainen
  • 20th – Jarno Trulli
  • 21st  -Timo Glock
  • 22nd – Tonio Liuzzi
  • 23rd – Daniel Ricciardo
  • 24th – Jerome d’Ambrosio
Buemi - not a good start to the weekend - credit: Octane Photos

Round 2 – Perez Pops his Sauber into the Top 10

Much of the mid-field have such similar performance around the Hungaroring, so it was always going to be close.  Perez did the business for Sauber, Sutil out-performed di Resta to get his Force India in to round three.  Maldonado failed to set a time and will start 17th, and here’s how the rest of the mid-field will line up.

The major upset here was with Renault, a team that clearly should be up in the top 10 and working towards fighting at the front, but instead have their drivers in 12th and 14th.  Both drivers have plenty of work to do on Sunday.

Knocked Out:

  • 11th – Paul di Resta
  • 12th – Vitaly Petrov
  • 13th – Kamui Kobayashi
  • 14th – Nick Heidfeld
  • 15th – Rubens Barrichello
  • 16th – Jaime Alguersuari
  • 17th – Pastor Maldonado
Heidfeld - looking for a better Sunday for Renault - credit: Octane Photos

Round 3 – Pole Position Shoot Out

As expected, following McLaren and Ferraris catchup on Red Bull, we finally had a good fight for pole position.  Lewis Hamilton looked to be favourite, but when it came to his final lap, it didn’t quite work out for him, as he’ll line up 2nd behind Sebastian Vettel, who’s back where he likes to be – ready to lead into the first corner.

Felipe Massa managed to out perform Fernando Alonso for the first time all season to snatch 4th behind Jenson Button.  Mark Webber had a tricky day to only take 6th in the same car that’s on pole.

Rosberg was again best of the rest in 7th, with Sutil maintaining his impressive performance in Germany with 8th, ahead of the ever struggling Michael Schumacher.  Perez elected to save tyres and not set a time so he lines up 10th.

Top 10:

  • POLE – Sebastian Vettel
  • 2nd – Lewis Hamilton
  • 3rd – Jenson Button
  • 4th – Felipe Massa
  • 5th – Fernando Alonso
  • 6th – Mark Webber
  • 7th – Nico Rosberg
  • 8th – Adrian Sutil
  • 9th – Michael Schumacher
  • 10th – Sergio Perez