| Source: autosport.com |
Lewis Hamilton denied Sebastian Vettel Hungarian Grand Prix pole in a superb battle at the end of qualifying.
Vettel seemed to have put himself out of reach with an incredible first flying lap in Q3 that was 0.8 seconds clear of the rest of the field.
Grosjean held on to third, joined on row two by Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Ferrari was not a factor in the pole fight, with Fernando Alonso fifth and Felipe Massa seventh.
Kimi Raikkonen was briefly on the provisional front row as he completed an early final run, but his Lotus ultimately fell to sixth.
Raikkonen’s rival for a 2014 Red Bull seat Daniel Ricciardo maintained his strong recent form to put his Toro Rosso eighth, six places ahead of team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m19.388s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m19.426s +0.038s 3. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m19.595s +0.207s 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m19.720s +0.332s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m19.791s +0.403s 6. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m19.851s +0.463s 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m19.929s +0.541s 8. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m20.641s +1.253s 9. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m22.398s +3.010s 10. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault no time set Q2 cut-off time: 1m20.545s Gap ** 11. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m20.569s +0.791s 12. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m20.580s +0.802s 13. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m20.777s +0.999s 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m21.029s +1.251s 15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m21.133s +1.355s 16. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m21.219s +1.441s Q1 cut-off time: 1m21.612s Gap * 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m21.724s +1.374s 18. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m22.043s +1.693s 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m23.007s +2.657s 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m23.333s +2.983s 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m23.787s +3.437s 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m23.997s +3.647s
Kimi Raikkonen will start the Hungarian GP from only sixth place, three spots behind Lotus team mate Romain Grosjean.
Raikkonen, who missed the Silverstone test, admits that he’s struggled to get fully on top of the new tyres.
“Not ideal, but I think it’s been a difficult weekend so far for me,” said the Finn. “With the new tyres it’s more hard to get the car as I want. Qualifying wasn’t too bad, but I’m still missing a little bit of speed.
“We’ve seen a lot of places won or lost in the race in the past years. We’ll do our best, and if we can make the car work well on the tyres, we can make a lot of places, or it can go either way.”
Asked how he though the tyres would last, he said: “I have no idea, we’ll see tomorrow.”
KR: “I think it is a combination of the new tyres, the front tyres, they are a bit like last year and they are not as strong as the last ones we ran – that is not ideal for me. We’ll try to work on that. In qualifying it was not too bad, we should have probably run a bit more front wing and been up there at the front. But I am much happier now than I was earlier in the weekend. It is not a disaster, but it is not as we want. We just have to do some changes and improve it. We have some ideas but we didn’t have much time to do different things over a race weekend so we have to make some plans.”
Romain Grosjean – 3rd: “It’s been a good weekend so far with the car consistently showing strong pace. Setting the fastest time in practice this morning was a good sign, and the car was handling really well throughout each qualifying session. Lewis set a very quick time, but we’re not too far from Sebastian [Vettel] and anything could happen in the race depending on the tyres. I think tomorrow will be very open and a lot will depend on strategy, traffic and things like that, so if we can put everything together there’s the strong possibility for a good result.”
Kimi Raikkonen – 6th: “It hasn’t been the easiest weekend for me so far. Maybe the new tyres are a bit different – especially on the front – so it’s been hard to find a good setup. We’re getting there little by little and the car was definitely better in qualifying than at any other point this weekend. Obviously P6 is not ideal, but it’s better than we have seen sometimes so we’ll try and see what we can do tomorrow. It’s not so easy to overtake here, but we have seen in past years that if you can run with the tyres well you can make a lot of places, so let’s see what we can do.”
Alan Permane – trackside operations director: “We’re reasonably happy but – of course – we always want more. Everything went pretty much as we expected. For Romain, his single lap and long run pace has been strong and Kimi is much more on top of his car than yesterday. From third and sixth there’s no reason why we can’t have a strong race with both drivers. We see Sebastian Vettel as our main challenger in the race. The Mercedes did go well in Monaco on a tight and twisty circuit – in the race as well as in qualifying – but here tyre degradation should be more of a factor. This should help us in our fight for a good result. It happened a couple of times and certainly makes for nice slow motion television. He has complained of the rear sliding which has been something we’ve focused on eliminating through setup tweaks. Third is actually almost as good as second here as you start on the clean side of the grid and it’s a very dusty circuit. Lewis [Hamilton] and Sebastian were just too strong for us in qualifying, but there’s potential for us to have a very good race tomorrow.”
Videos: Boullier and Kimi on SkySports, BBC post-qualifying interview