Sebastian Vettel displayed impressive pace yet again, taking pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix. His team mate at Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen, confirmed the Scuderia's form by going second fastest, ahead of both Mercedes who are set to start from the second row.
Qualifying saw a quiet start of the first session, seeing the track remain empty for two minutes before Bottas and Hamilton opted to venture out.
Williams's Paul Di Resta, who replaces an ill Felipe Massa rapidly joined, as he was eager to complete some laps to acquaint himself to the track and the car. Di Resta did not drive in a 2017 car yet, and also did not compete in any of the free practice sessions this weekend.
All top drivers went out to do several laps on their tyres, with the second usually faster than the first one. For Vettel and Hamilton in particular this brought improvements while Raikkonen failed to do better on his second attempt in the first session. This saw Vettel top the times with a 1:17.244, ahead of Raikkonen and Hamilton.
Red Bull sent their cars out a few few minutes later and allowed them to make use of a slightly emptier track. Verstappen thereby rounded the Hungaroring in 1:17.266 to go second fastest while Ricciardo ended up 5th fastest, ahead of Bottas.
As in the free practice sessions, McLaren and Renault made up for the remaining 4 spots in the top 10, with Hulkenberg ranking ahead of Alonso, Vandoorne and Palmer around 4 minutes from the end of the session.
At the end of the session, several drivers saw their attempts blocked by a big mistake by Kvyat at Turn 4. The Russian was extremely lucky to keep it out of the barriers, but also caused a brief yellow flag situation in that section of the track.
Di Resta had just passed that corner, and still managed to complete his final flying lap, enough to get ahead of Ericsson, and hence not be last on the starting grid. Still, Williams's troubled weekend continued as such, with both its car eliminated, along with the Saubers and Kevin Magnussen.
Q2 saw a similar pattern emerge, with Vettel again lightning fast, 0.226s ahead of Verstappen, and 0.392s ahead of Hamilton. Raikkonen and Bottas were next, followed by Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Alonso and Vandoorne. Before the last few attempts in the closing minutes of the session, Ocon sat in 10th, pushing Palmer out by 0.048s.
While not necessary for progress through to Q3, both Mercedes still opted to go out for another run. Bottas improved slightly while Hamilton cut a big chunk out of his previous best to go fastest by 0.109s to Vettel.
The only real change in term of eventual classification was Sainz's lap that ensured him a position in Q3, pushing out Palmer and Ocon.
In the final part of qualifying, Vettel opened up the battles by immediately going fastest with a time of 1:16.276, another 6 tenths faster than the previous best. Bottas slotted into second, ahead of Verstappen, Ricciardo and Raikkonen.
Lewis Hamilton went wide through Turn 4 on his first flying lap, and subsequently returned to the pits. He did set a purple first sector, but saw that annulled by going too wide on the exit of Turn 4. Carlos Sainz opted not to go out at all, opting for a single run at the end of the session.
While Vettel didn't improve more in his second run, Raikkonen did, and jumped up from 7th to 2nd. Valtteri Bottas as such ended up in third, with Hamilton ending up in 4th.
|3||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:18.058||1:17.362||1:16.530||18|
|4||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:17.492||1:16.693||1:16.707||17|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:17.266||1:17.028||1:16.797||14|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:17.702||1:17.698||1:16.818||14|
|8||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||1:18.395||1:17.919||1:17.549||17|
|9||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||1:18.479||1:18.000||1:17.894||17|
|10||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:18.948||1:18.311||1:18.912||19|
|12||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:18.843||1:18.495||-||16|
|13||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:18.702||1:18.538||-||15|
|14||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:19.095||1:18.639||-||15|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:19.085||1:18.771||-||15|
|16||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:19.095||-||-||9|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:19.102||-||-||9|
|18||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber Ferrari||1:19.839||-||-||9|
|19||40||Paul di Resta||Williams Mercedes||1:19.868||-||-||11|
|20||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:19.972||-||-||8|