SEBASTIAN VETTEL (Red Bull) took the 23rd pole-position of his career in the qualifying session for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring.
The reigning world champion’s Q3 time of 1:19.815 (122.684-mph) was just quick enough to bump last weekend’s German Grand Prix winner, Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), into second place after the Englishman set a 1:19.978 on his first run, but couldn’t go faster on his second hot-lap.
Hamilton’s team-mate, Jenson Button, will start his 200th Grand Prix from third on the grid after setting a 1:20.024.
For the first time this season, Felipe Massa out-qualified his Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso. Massa will start the race from fourth, Alonso fifth.
Sixth to tenth on the grid are: 6th) Mark Webber (Red Bull), 7th) Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), 8th) Adrian Sutil (Force India), 9th) Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) and 10th) Sergio Pérez (Sauber) who didn’t set a time in Q3.
Q2 saw grid slots 11-17 filled by: 11th) Paul di Resta (Force India), 12th) Vitaly Petrov (Renault) in his de facto home Grand Prix, 13th) Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), 14th) Nick Heidfeld (Renault), 15th) Rubens Barrichello (Williams), 16th) Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso) and 17th) Pastor Maldonado (Williams) who also didn’t set a time.
The last seven places on the grid, 18-24, were decided in Q1. The drivers who will fill these placers are: 18th) Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus), 19th) the returning Jarno Trulli (Lotus), 20th) Timo Glock (Virgin), 21st) Vitantonio Liuzzi (HRT), 22nd) Daniel Ricciardo (HRT), 23rd) Sébastien Buemi (Toro Rosso) who actually qualified 18th (still failing to make it out of Q1) but has a five-place grid bump for causing the accident between himself and Heidfeld in Germany last Sunday, and 24th) Jérôme d’Ambrosio (Virgin) who’s time of 1:26.510 was nicely inside the 107% Rule time of 1:27.288.
With his pole today, Vettel is now tenth on the all-time list for most pole-positions in a career, and is one behind Niki Lauda and Nelson Piquet – both three-time world champions. However, with a strike rate of 31.5%, Vettel is still way off the next man up who just so happens to be Ayrton Senna, who’s strike rate is 40.1%.
As for who is going to win tomorrow, I have a sneaky suspicion that Hamilton will win. That’s put the mockers on him you watch.
Previous winners of the Hungarian Grand Prix on the grid:
- Michael Schumacher, four times (most wins of the Hungarian GP): 1994 (Benetton), 1998, 2001* and 2004 for Ferrari. *Schumacher won his fourth world title at this race and equalled Alain Prost’s then record of 51 wins.
- Lewis Hamilton, twice: 2007 and 2009 for McLaren.
- Rubens Barrichello, 2002 for Ferrari.
- Fernando Alonso, 2003 for Renault. This was Alonso’s first win and made him (at 22 years and 26 days old) the youngest ever F1 winner at the time.
- Jenson Button, 2006 for Honda. This was Button’s 113th Grand Prix and his maiden victory.
- Heikki Kovalainen, 2008 for McLaren. This is Kovalainen’s only F1 win of his career so far. He also became the 100th driver to win a Grand Prix.
- Mark Webber, 2010 for Red Bull. This is the last race that Webber has won.