Formula 1

Vandoorne Feeling ‘Unfortunate’ after Q1 Elimination in Budapest

1 Mins read
Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren F1 Team - Hungaroring
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

McLaren F1 Team driver Stoffel Vandoorne feels he was “unfortunate” to be eliminated in Q1 for Formula 1’s Hungarian Grand Prix, believing he had the pace to match team-mate Fernando Alonso. 

In a wet/dry/wet qualifying session at the Hungaroring, Vandoorne set the sixteenth fastest time in the first eighteen-minute segment, meaning he dropped out at the first hurdle for the fifth consecutive race, while also failing to out-qualify Alonso for the seventeenth successive grand prix.

After poor performances in previous grands prix was traced back to a chassis problem, the Belgian driver was afforded a brand-new chassis, as well as various technical upgrades to the MCL33.

As a result, he believed that a much stronger qualifying result was possible, and the combination of an unfortunately timed pitstop and a drying track was the main reason behind the early exit.

It was quite tricky out there today – especially at the start of qualifying – to know what tyre to be on,” reflected Vandoorne.  “And [to] make the right call about slick tyres, because the track was still quite hot from the sun during the day.

“Every time we crossed the line on a timed lap we were competitive, in the top 10 on both the Intermediates and on the slicks as well. It was all about being on track at the right time.

“We were just a bit out of sequence as we had to box the car about one minute before the end of Q1 so we didn’t get that final lap, right when the track was at its driest,” he explained.  “That just wasn’t enough to get through to Q2.”

It’s always a bit of a gamble in these conditions, as it can play out to be good or bad. It’s unfortunate, but these things happen. We tried hard.”

While Vandoorne qualified in sixteenth position, team-mate Alonso was also caught out by the increasing rain intensity in Q2, and set his best time on the first runs in the segment.

The double world champion will start the race in eleventh, just behind Romain Grosjean and alongside Daniel Ricciardo on the sixth row of the grid.

Avatar photo
115 posts

About author
Jake Nichol is a motorsport journalist writing about the Formula 1 world championship for The Checkered Flag. He is currently freelancing for Autosport, where his work includes IndyCar, NASCAR and UK-wide national race meetings.
Related posts
Formula 1

PREVIEW: 2024 FIA Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix

2 Mins read
Formula 1 heads to Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend! Mercedes are in form, but Verstappen and Norris will be fighting back. Tight midfield battles are heating up too as the Hungaroring challenges teams and drivers. Read our preview to find out more ahead of the weekend!
Formula 1

RB vs Haas: The Battle for Sixth

5 Mins read
With the F1 season halfway through, the fight for sixth in the Constructors’ Championship is intensifying between Visa Cash App RB and MoneyGram Haas F1 Team. Haas’ recent resurgence, fueled by car upgrades and strong driver performances, has closed the gap on RB who are struggling with a problematic upgrade package. The battle is set to be thrilling, with potential driver changes adding another layer of intrigue.
Formula 1

3 Talking Points from the 2024 British Grand Prix

4 Mins read
The 2024 British Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton return to the top step for the first time since 2021, but what other talking points came from the weekend? We discuss Mercedes’ resurgence, Lando Norris’ missed opportunity, and Sergio Perez’s growing pressure.