Hungary Grand Prix – Qualifying Results: 5th

Source: | | twitter

The blistering sun of Budapest shone kindly on Lotus F1 Team this afternoon in qualifying, as Kimi took a strong top five grid slot while Romain produced the best qualifying performance of his Formula 1 career to date.

Qualifying 1 – Key Moments:

0mins: Both drivers out on medium tyres
2mins: KR sets the early pace, RG building speed
10mins: Halfway point: KR P2, RG P3
14mins: Second run for RG on fresh medium rubber
16mins: Same routine for KR
20mins: Session ends; KR P9 RG P13

Qualifying 2 – Key Moments:

4mins: Both E20s burst out of the garage on soft tyres
6mins: RG sets the quickest time, ousted by KR shortly afterwards
12mins: RG follows KR for a second foray on fresh soft rubber
14mins: The pair improve, but tense moments as the remaining runners cross the line
15mins: Full time; KR P5, RG P9

Qualifying 3 – Key Moments:

1min: KR out of used softs for a banker lap
3mins: RG shadows his team-mate on the same rubber
8mins: Final dash for the pair; fresh soft tyres for both
10mins: Chequered flag; KR P5, stunning last gasp effort puts RG P2


The final showdown began in a somewhat subdued fashion, with each of the remaining ten drivers emerging on scrubbed rubber to put in a banker lap before settling down in the shade ready to launch a last gasp attack.

Kimi and Romain were naturally among them; the pair pouncing with just minutes to spare as the day’s action drew to a close. The Finn put in a strong lap to bring himself up to the sharp end in fifth, but was pipped right at the death by his team-mate; a stunning lap giving the Frenchman not only his best ever Formula 1 qualifying result, but the highest grid slot of the season to date for the team in second position.

Raikkonen still aiming for strong race

“We expected a bit more, the car has been good all weekend, but it was a bit more difficult in the last qualifying. I would rather be higher up, but that is how it goes.

“Usually our pace on Sunday is good, and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be here.”

“It was not a perfect qualifying but it is still a good place to start the race. You make your life a bit more difficult when you don’t make a good qualifying.”

Pos  Driver                Team                 Time          Gap   
 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m20.953s        
 2.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m21.366s + 0.413
 3.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m21.416s + 0.463
 4.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m21.583s + 0.630
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m21.730s + 0.777
 6.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m21.844s + 0.891
 7.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m21.900s + 0.947
 8.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m21.939s + 0.986
 9.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault     1m22.343s + 1.390
10.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes 1m22.847s + 1.894
Q2 cut-off time: 1m21.697s                                 Gap *
11.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m21.715s  + 0.655
12.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m21.813s  + 0.753
13.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m21.895s  + 0.835
14.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m21.895s  + 0.835
15.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       1m22.300s  + 1.240
16.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m22.380s  + 1.320
17.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             1m22.723s  + 1.663
Q1 cut-off time: 1m22.948s                                 Gap *
18.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m23.250s  + 1.456
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault     1m23.576s  + 1.782
20.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault     1m24.167s  + 2.373
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth    1m25.244s  + 3.450
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth    1m25.476s  + 3.682
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth         1m25.916s  + 4.122
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth         1m26.178s  + 4.384

Lotus team quotes:

Kimi Raikkonen, 5th – “Not a bad qualifying performance for sure, but it’s a bit disappointing I didn’t go faster when it mattered. The car feels good, but I didn’t get the crucial lap together at the right time. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

Romain Grosjean, 2nd – “Qualifying was very tight and it was difficult to see where we would end up so on the front row is fantastic. We came here after a difficult weekend at Hockenheim and to be honest I didn’t get off to the best start yesterday. We worked hard to improve things overnight and the car felt much better in practice this morning. I’m very happy and just a little bit surprised to be P2 on the grid. Today’s job is done, let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

Alan Permane, trackside operations director – “It’s great to be on the front row. It’s been a good day. It’s great to be on the front row with Romain. We’d like to have seen Kimi a little further up the order – especially as his Q2 time was better than he achieved in Q3 – but overall it’s been an excellent weekend so far; let’s hope that continues tomorrow. Our target has been to improve our qualifying performance; we’ve clearly demonstrated that today. We’re starting from the front row so there is good potential. It’s a difficult circuit to overtake on – one of the hardest next to Monaco and Singapore. A good start will clearly be very important. After the start, even with the DRS, the straight is not long enough to mount an overtaking bid unless a car ahead is suffering from tyre degradation or something else to slow them down. Both the medium and soft compound tyres have exhibited pretty low degradation so we have no worries or concerns about durability, even with high temperatures. Conditions similar to those we’ve seen over the last couple of days have been forecast. There is potential for some rain, but it’s so hot here there could be thunder showers like we saw on Friday. We’re ready for whatever the weather throws at us.”


4 responses

  1. linlin

    Wow what happen? Thought Kimi could easily be P2.


    July 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm

  2. kimi should have been p2, i think he had traffic on his final run


    July 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm

  3. Alex

    Kimi ALWAYS does better in the race than qualy -just remember 1 week ago he started 10th finished 3rd…let’s see tomorrow..


    July 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm

  4. rahim5077

    Honestly i’m very dissappointed…but in kimi’s words…thats racing…
    i just Hope Kimi Wins tomo….i’m just too desperate to see him win now…just pray someone!!!:)
    This time i could actually feel the old Kimi driving…but just when it mattered….:-(
    Tomo Victory…Just Victory!!! C’mon Kimaaaaayyy!!!!!!!


    July 28, 2012 at 4:19 pm

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