To many, Sebastian Vettel started the qualifying session as the underdog but the Red Bull man showed his single lap prowess once again to deny McLaren their first pole position of the season. Lewis Hamilton looked like the man to beat after getting through the two knockout sessions on the prime tyre, but Vettel made the difference when the super-softs were bolted on for the last run.
As the drivers ventured out for their final efforts, it was Hamilton who was defending pole position after his 1:19.978 proved too quick for Vettel's first effort. But the World Champion delivered the quickest lap of the weekend when it mattered most to snatch pole by 0.163s.
Jenson Button leapfrogged Fernando Alonso to take third on his final attempt, and with the Spaniard having a difficult lap, it opened the door for teammate Felipe Massa to out qualify him for the first time this year.
By his own admission, Mark Webber was unable to match the pace of his teammate and will start on the dirty side of the grid in sixth, six tenths behind. Nico Rosberg took the honours for the Mercedes team, with Adrian Sutil separating him from teammate Michael Schumacher, while Sergio Perez settled for tenth after opting to sit out the final session.
Paul Di Resta came agonizingly close to getting both Force Indias into Q3 but lost out by a fraction of a second. The Briton will start 11th with both Renaults behind him after a miserable session for the Enstone team. Vitaly Petrov finished down in 12th ahead of Kamui Kobayashi with Nick Heidfeld a disappointing 14th.
Williams struggled too with Rubens Barrichello venting his frustration on the team radio on his way to 15th, Jaime Alguersuari will start alongside in 16th with Pastor Maldonado choosing to save tyres in the second session to qualify 17th.
Sebastien Buemi was the big scalp in Q1 as Toro Rosso looked to save their sets of Super-Soft tyres for tomorrow's race. The Swiss driver was pushed out of the top 17 in the dying seconds by Maldonado who produced a 1:23.847 on his final lap to save himself.
Team Lotus lost both drivers in the first session but will have been encouraged to be within half a second of the Toro Rosso ahead of them. For HRT and Virgin, simply qualifying for the race was a triumph after they had struggled to get within 107% of the pace in the morning.
Hungarian Grand Prix: Qualifying Result
|1||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Red Bull Racing Renault||Option||1:19.815|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||McLaren Mercedes||Option||1:19.978|
|3||Jenson Button||GBR||McLaren Mercedes||Option||1:20.024|
|6||Mark Webber||AUS||Red Bull Racing Renault||Option||1:20.464|
|8||Adrian Sutil||GER||Force India Mercedes||Option||1:21.445|
|10||Sergio Perez||MEX||Sauber Ferrari||n/a||No Time|
|Eliminated in Q2|
|11||Paul Di Resta||GBR||Force India Mercedes||Option||1:22.256|
|13||Kamui Kobayashi||JAP||Sauber Ferrari||Option||1:22.435|
|15||Rubens Barrichello||BRA||Williams Cosworth||Option||1:22.684|
|16||Jaime Alguersuari||SPA||STR Ferrari||Option||1:22.979|
|17||Pastor Maldonado||VEN||Williams Cosworth||n/a||No Time|
|Eliminated in Q1|
|18||Sebastien Buemi*||SWI||STR Ferrari||Prime||1:24.070|
|19||Heikki Kovalainen||FIN||Lotus Renault||Option||1:24.372|
|20||Jarno Trulli||ITA||Lotus Renault||Option||1:24.534|
|21||Timo Glock||GER||Virgin Cosworth||Option||1:26.294|
|22||Vitantonio Liuzzi||ITA||HRT Cosworth||Option||1:26.323|
|23||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||HRT Cosworth||Option||1:26.479|
|24||Jerome D'Ambrosio||BEL||Virgin Cosworth||Option||1:26.510|
|Q1 107% Time – 1:27.288|
*Five-Place Grid Penalty