Lewis Hamilton has secured yet another pole position by narrowly edging out Sebastian Vettel in the closing seconds of today's qualifying session. Romain Grosjean will start from 3rd, aside of the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.
Temperatures for this qualifying session have risen even further with 32°C ambient and 48°C on the track.
The action on track however takes a little while to ignite with only the backmarker teams opting to go out early on in the session. Several drivers even choose to do a run on the medium tyres, even though it looks like that will by far not be sufficient for qualifying under these conditions.
Halfway into the session, Raikkonen and Alonso as the first big guns to set times. Alonso is 2 tenths faster than the Lotus driver but is soon after topped by the other Lotus of Grosjean. A few minutes later Vettel slots in between them to certify a place into Q2.
5 minutes from the end, Mercedes confirms it is again an important challenger during this qualifying as Hamilton first goes fastest, followed by his teammate who sets the second time. At the very end of the session, Maldonado surprised to take 6th in the troubled Williams. Bottas however also set the 11th time, showing signs of improvements for the team in its 601st Grand Prix.
Eliminated on the other hand at Gutierrez who missed FP3 earlier due to an engine problem. Sauber managed to get a new engine in, in time for qualifying, but unfortunately not for great success. Paul Di Resta is also out early. He was clearly struggling during his lap and was 0.5s slower than his team mate. Behind him are Pic, van der Garde, Bianchi and Chilton.
In Q2, Raikkonen is the first man out on track, but two minutes later there's action all over the place. Just like in Q1, Alonso soon tops Raikkonen and then gets trounced by Grosjean. The Mercedes cars are again at the upper end of the timesheet on their first laps as well.
At the halfway point, Vettel puts in a blistering lap and goes round the Hungaroring in 1:19.992, three tenths ahead of Hamilton.
Raikkonen's first lap later turns out to have been on used options, the same strategy at McLaren is deploying in Q2. 4 minutes from the end, after dropping down to 9th on the timesheet, Raikkonen goes 2nd and can go back to the pits, certain of a place in Q3.
Mark Webber meanwhile is in trouble. He's 13th and in the pits following a KERS problem. If the team cannot get him out again, he'll face an extremely tough race tomorrow.
One minute from the end, Rosberg goes fastest while many others are in pursuit of an improvement. Hamilton goes second fastest as Alonso improves to 5th, just behind Grosjean who improved a bit earlier as well.
As the chequered flag drops, Button improves but still is eliminated as Webber manages to improve to 7th. Massa follows suit to get through to Q3, Pushing Sutil out as well. This eliminates Sutil, Hulkenberg, Button, Vergne, Maldonado and Bottas. Perez also just managed to secure a place into Q3, a nice recovery following his shunt during FP3.
About a minute after the light goes green for Q3, Webber is the first to go out, obviously again on the soft tyres. Hardly 2 minutes later all 10 remaining cars are out on track.
Webber though didn't complete his flying lap and returned to the pitlane. Sergio Perez on the other hand did complete a flying lap but ran on the medium tyres, focusing on race strategy already.
Of the option runners meanwhile, Vettel emerged fastest with a 1:19.506. Hamilton is 2nd, ahead of Rosberg, Grosjean Raikkonen, Massa, Alonso, Perez, Webber and Ricciardo. Raikkonen and Alonso could still go a lot quicker as errors were seen with both drivers. Raikkonen got oversteer in the final turn while Alonso badly locked his left front in turn 2, subsequently failing to make the apex properly.
Ricciardo didn't set a time yet in the early stages of Q3 but gets into the mix in the final minutes nonetheless. Everybody is out on track one minute before the end bar Mark Webber who already stepped out of his car.
On the second flying lap, Raikkonen goes second fastest. Rosberg then also improves, just as well as Grosjean, Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton. The latter was stunned himself by his laptime and please to have beaten Sebastian Vettel who appeared strongest here thoughout the practice sessions.
|1||10||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||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|
|4||9||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||1:20.350||1:19.778||1:19.720||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|
|18||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:22.043||-||-||11|
|20||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:23.333||-||-||7|