Hungarian Grand Prix: Qualifying Report

Qualifying for the twenty-first Grand Prix, from the Hungaroring circuit on the outskirts of Budapest started under patchy cloud. Rain is expected to fall following qualifying, conditions include a track temperature of 31 degrees, air temperature 26 with wind gusting to 5mps.

Qualifying One:

Adrian Sutil is the first to take to the track, setting a time of 1:24.479. With ten minutes remaining, Trulli sets a 1:21.442. Vettel runs wide and compromises his fast lap; however he still sets a time faster than team-mate Liuzzi on his debut.

With six minutes remaining, Hamilton sets a 1:19.570, the fastest lap of the weekend so far. Alonso and Massa opt to set their times on the softer compound, saving the harder compound for later in the session. Raikkonen completes two flying laps.

Two minutes to go and the top five include, Hamilton first, Massa then Alonso, Raikkonen with the lead BMW of Heidfeld fifth.

Fisichella blocks Yamamoto on his fast lap, after an encouraging weekend, the 25 year old drops to twenty-second and last.

Drivers knocked out:

17. Button
18. Barrichello
19. Sato
20. Vettel
21. Sutil
22. Yamamoto

Qualifying Two:

Wurz sets the first time of a 1:20.865. With eight minutes remaining Trulli goes fastest only for Lewis Hamilton to go faster 0.650 seconds faster on a 1:19.301. Raikkonen goes third with Massa setting the eleventh fastest time.

Alonso goes second with a time three tenths behind his team-mate. Massa emerges from his pit box and with four minutes remaining, stops in the pit lane. Ferrari mechanics run down the pit and retrieve the Brazilian. He takes to the track with two and a half minutes remaining, taking on additional fuel.

Everyone but Hamilton, Alonso, Trulli and Raikkonen take to the track to try and improve their time. Massa fails to make the cut; Kubica manages to overhaul Coulthard for tenth.

Drivers knocked out:

11. Coulthard
12. Kovalainen
13. Wurz
14. Massa
15. Davidson
16. Liuzzi

Qualifying Three:

Hamilton leads Alonso and Raikkonen out of the pit lane. Hamilton sets the first fastest lap with a 1:22.058, with Heidfeld bettering it with 1:21.822.

With seven minutes remaining, Alonso and Raikkonen enter the pits. Raikkonen leaves but McLaren hold the car of Alonso, perhaps for track position, only for a string from the tyre warmer to become caught around the front right wheel. He gets underway on harder tyres, team-mate Hamilton opting for the soft along with Raikkonen.

Raikkonen sets the first fastest time on a 1:20.930, eight tenths slower than he did during Q2 suggesting he s heavy on fuel. Heidfeld sets 1.20.922 to go faster than Kimi, with Alonso setting a 1:20.133 only for Hamilton to go four tenths of a second faster on a 1:19.781.

2:50 minutes remaining and Raikkonen takes to the track again for another run, Alonso sits in the pit box. Hamilton queues up and Alonso is strangely slow to leave the pit, leaving his team-mate insufficient time to complete another flying lap.

Raikkonen goes third ahead of the BMWs, only for Heidfeld to set a time a tenth faster. Alonso goes fastest and secures pole, meanwhile Ron Dennis is furious on the pit lane. Did Alonso mean to hold Hamilton up – discuss here.

Final positions:

1. Alonso
2. Hamilton
3. Heidfeld
4. Raikkonen
5. Rosberg
6. Schumacher
7. Kubica
8. Fisichella
9. Trulli
10. Webber