Ravenous Vettel feasts on pole position in Hungary


Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix in a qualifying session completely dominated by his Red Bull team.

During qualifying it looked as though Mark Webber would push his Red Bull teammate to pole position but Vettel topped the timesheets by eight tenths of a second.

Fernando Alonso leads an all-Ferrari second row, but qualified over a second behind Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton made the most of a tricky McLaren car to claim fifth place on the grid, alongside the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. They both out-performed their respective teammates Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher, who both failed to make it out of Q2.

Vitaly Petrov out-qualified his Renault teammate Robert Kubica for the first time this season as the team locked-out the fourth row. Pedro de la Rosa and Nico Hulkenberg make up the top ten.

Red Bull had already topped all of the free practice sessions going into qualifying, and their gave another indication of their pole credentials early on, with Sebastian Vettel topping the timesheets ahead of teammate Mark Webber in Q1.

Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button and Robert Kubica all flirted with the bottom seven places in the final minutes of Q1, but they all escaped from danger just as the chequered flag fell. It was Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber who ended this part of qualifying in the ubiquitous eighteenth session, thanks mainly to Bruno Senna, who looked to ruin the Japanese driver's final flying lap.

Timo Glock was fastest of the new teams, and will start tomorrow's race in nineteenth. Heikki Kovalainen will start alongside the German on Row 10, and Jarno Trulli, Lucas di Grassi, Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto make up the tail end of the grid.

With the competitive midfield and the struggles of McLaren and Mercedes heading into qualifying, upsets were expected in Q2 today, with some big names missing out on the top ten. In particular, Michael Schumacher, who finished third practice this morning down in twelfth, and Jenson Button, who was ninth in the same session.

As it happened, both drivers failed to make it through to Q3. Button will start the Hungarian Grand Prix from eleventh, and Schumacher – who has now failed to get through to Q3 four times in five races – will start fourteenth, behind Button, Rubens Barrichello, and Adrian Sutil. Sebastien Buemi will start tomorrow's race fifteenth, ahead of Tonio Liuzzi and teammate Jaime Alguersuari.

It was Webber's turn to top the timesheets in Q2, four hundredths of a second ahead of his teammate, and eight tenths faster than third place man Alonso. The fight for pole position looked certain to be just a fight between the two Red Bull drivers…

Alonso was first to set a time for the pole position shoot-out, a 1:19.987, slower than both the Red Bull's managed in Q2. With nearly half of Q3 gone, Webber put in a 1:19.184 – the fastest time of the weekend so far. Vettel responded with a 1:18.773 to take provisional pole.

All runners competing for pole position dived back into the pits for a fresh set of super-soft tyres. Alonso and Webber left the pits straight away, while Vettel lingered in the garage for a few moments – preparing for his final assault on pole position.

Webber had a poor middle sector and couldn't even beat the time he set earlier in the session. Vettel, behind his teammate on the track, knew that he had beaten Webber, and did not beat his original time on the final run either. However, both of the German's laps in this session would have been good enough for pole position.

For Vettel, what seems like the easy part of the weekend has been completed. Now the Red Bull driver has the more difficult task of turning pole position into a win.