Hamilton beats Vettel to Hungary pole

Hamilton beats Vettel to Hungary pole

Formula 1

Hamilton beats Vettel to Hungary pole


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. But Red Bull had the advantage of still having fresh soft tires for both Q3 runs, whereas its rivals were all saving their rubber for their final lap.

At first, Vettel remained too fast to catch, with final practice pacesetter Romain Grosjean getting closest in his Lotus. Then Mercedes driver Hamilton produced a 1m19.388s to depose Vettel, and although the world champion was also improving his pace, he fell 0.038 second short.

That was far better off than his teammate Mark Webber. Vettel’s closest rival on Friday had a KERS failure early in qualifying. Webber struggled through to Q3 but did not run in the final segment so will start 10th in the second Red Bull. Grosjean held on to third, joined on row two by Hamilton’s teammate 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 teammate Jean-Eric Vergne.

Sergio Perez was the other Q3 contender in ninth, sticking to medium tires rather than going for pole. His McLaren teammate Jenson Button understeered to 13th.

Given his practice three engine problems, Esteban Gutierrez’s Q1 departure was little surprise. But Paul di Resta ending up 18th was a shock to both the Scot and Force India, left baffled by the performance of his final set of tires.

Di Resta’s teammate Adrian Sutil missed out on the top 10 by just 0.042s and joins Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber on row six.

Caterham proved comfortably quicker than Marussia in the tail-end fight, while brief late-Q2 top-10 appearances by both Williams drivers proved deceptive as they were shuffled back to 16th and 17th.

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  +3.010s10.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault             no time setQ2 cut-off time: 1m20.545s                             Gap ** 11.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1m20.569s  +0.791s12.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        1m20.580s  +0.802s13.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1m20.777s  +0.999s14.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m21.029s  +1.251s15.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1m21.133s  +1.355s16.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      1m21.219s  +1.441sQ1 cut-off time: 1m21.612s                              Gap * 17.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1m21.724s  +1.374s18.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1m22.043s  +1.693s19.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      1m23.007s  +2.657s20.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      1m23.333s  +2.983s21.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth     1m23.787s  +3.437s22.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     1m23.997s  +3.647s107% time: 1m25.974s* Gap to quickest in Q1** Gap to quickest in Q2