Vettel steals pole from Hamilton in Hungary
30 July, 2011
Jul.30 (PVM) Sebastian Vettel has not started a Grand Prix from pole position since Valencia over a month ago, but tomorrow he will start from top spot on the grid after snatching pole in his final run during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring.
The reigning world champion, and runaway 2011 championship leader, showed his intent a few hours earlier with a strong showing in the final free practice after playing second fiddle to Ferrari and McLaren on the first practice day.
But overnight curfew breaking slog by the Red Bull crew and a concerted effort when it mattered most gives Vettel the edge for the start of the race tomorrow. He will start from pole for the eighth time so far this season.
The German said afterwards, “After yesterday, when these boys [Hamilton and Button] were a little bit quicker than us, it seems we have done the right thing and I am a lot more comfortable this morning. We changed a lot on the car overnight. The boys were working pretty hard and the boys didn’t get much sleep but a result like this today is the best way to say thanks. I have the confidence back and I am feeling comfortable in the car. I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
Lewis Hamilton was looking most likely to secure top spot, so optimistic was he that in Q2 he opted for one run on medium tyres, saving a set of super softs. In Q3 was quickest in the first run, also the first driver to break through into the 79 seconds zone.
On the second run Alonso attacked Hamilton’s time first but to no avail, then Vettel flew over the line to go top of the timing screens where he stayed as the McLaren driver had no answer to the Red Bull driver’s time of 1 minute 19.815 seconds. Hamilton was short by 0.163 seconds.
Hamilton reflected, “We knew we had good pace. Today they [Red Bull] seemed to pick up a little pace, but for me and Jenson to be in the first two rows is a good job and I think we can pick up some good points tomorrow.”
Jenson Button, was quick on his final run, and made it a good afternoon for McLaren by nabbing third place on the grid, heading up row two directly behind Vettel.
Fifth fastest, and out qualifying his Ferrari team mate for the first time this year, was Felipe Massa who also upped the ante with his final run. Alonso led out the pack in the final onslaught on Hamilton’s early best time in Q3. But to no avail.
Starting sixth will be Mark Webber , way down by his lofty standards, after all he started from pole in the past two races.
The Australian admitted, “No way I could do that lap time. I did my best. Strange one. We see how sensitive the tyres are and today I didn’t extract enough out of it to be further up the grid. Yesterday was nip and tuck, today there’s a gap. We need to look at it and do our best tomorrow.”
Whatever the case you could throw a blanket over the top half dozen as a mere 0.659 seperated them at the summit of the timing screens.
Best of the rest, as is becoming customary, was Mercedes GP driver Nico Rosberg who will start from seventh and will share the fourth row with fellow German Adrian Sutil who was eighth fastest for Force India.
Michael Schumacher will head-up the fifth row, again out-qualified by his team mate, the seven times world champion will start from ninth. Both Silver Arrows drivers opting for only one run in Q3.
Impressing again was Sergio Perez, best of the rookies, who made it into Q3 and will start from tenth, opting not to have a run in Q3 to save tyres. His highly rated Sauber team mate, Kamui Kobayashi, will start from 13th.
Force India’s Paul di Resta just failed to make it into Q3 and will start the race from 11th. He said afterwards, “I had a messy run on Q1 on the super softs but on the prime I was happy with my car. My lap in Q2 wasn’t quite there and maybe I could have been more adventurous. But it’s a reasonable position to be in and we’re also on the clean side of the grid.”
Saturday, 30 July – Qualifying
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:21.740||1:21.095||1:19.815||14|
|6||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1:22.208||1:20.890||1:20.474||16|
|7||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||1:22.996||1:21.243||1:21.098||12|
|8||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India||1:22.237||1:22.000||1:21.445||19|
|9||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP||1:22.876||1:21.852||1:21.907||17|
|11||15||Paul di Resta||Force India||1:22.976||1:22.256||13|
|16||19||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||1:23.285||1:22.979||10|
|18||18||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso||1:24.070||9|
|21||24||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing||1:26.294||10|
|24||25||Jerome d’Ambrosio||Virgin Racing||1:26.510||8|
|Q1 107% Time||1:27.288|