BUDAPEST, Hungary – Lewis Hamilton stole the pole for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix from Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel in the final moments of qualifying on Saturday at the Hungaroring.
Ironically, Hamilton didn’t even realise that he’d done it until he was completing his slow-down lap.
As the track temperature swung between a sweltering 47 and 49 degrees Celsius, Vettel set the initial Q3 pace with a lap of 1:19.506, with Hamilton closest to him at 1:20.324, but on their second runs the German only improved slightly, to 1:19.426, and that was not quite enough to dislodge Hamilton, who had taken his Mercedes round the Hungaroring in 1:19.388.
Behind them, Grosjean’s strong weekend form took him to third place with 1:19.595, just ahead of Nico Rosberg. Surprisingly, Fernando Alonso pushed his Ferrari ahead of Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus, the Spaniard’s 1:19.791 just shading the Finn’s 1:19.851. Felipe Massa completed the quick runners with 1:19.929 in the second Ferrari for seventh in the line-up.
Daniel Ricciardo again showed his raw qualifying speed with 1:20.641 for Toro Rosso, while Sergio Perez lapped his McLaren in 1:22.398, the only Q3 runner on medium compound tires. At the back Red Bull’s Mark Webber was hampered by an inoperative KERS and slow upshifts in his Red Bull, and did just one lap, so that he can start Sunday’s race on whatever tires he and the team choose from his 10th-place grid slot.