For the first time since the Malaysian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position, having today earned the McLaren team’s 150th pole position in the team’s history ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Having been quickest in two of the three preceding practice sessions, Hamilton was comfortably quickest in each of the three phases in qualifying, and secured pole position with his first flying lap in the final shootout in Q3. Rubbing salt in the wounds of his nine other rivals, he then lowered the benchmark on his final tour to win pole by over four-tenths of a second from Romain Grosjean.
For Grosjean, the result represents a career-best qualifying result. The Frenchman will start ahead of defending champion Sebastian Vettel and defending Hungary race-winner Jenson Button, who were third- and fourth-quickest respectively for Red Bull and McLaren.
In a good day for the Lotus F1 team, Kimi Räikkönen managed the fifth-fastest time in Q3, ahead of the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, while Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna got both Williams’ into Q3 for the first time this season. Nico Hülkenberg was the slowest of the Q3 runners in the fourth successive occasion that he has out-qualified Force India team-mate Paul di Resta.
The Q3 appearances of the less-fancied Massa and Senna served as the giant-killing performances that saw the likes of Mark Webber and both Mercedes runners eliminated in Q2. Webber was just bumped in the closing stages after he was unable to improve on his first flying lap in Q2, while Mercedes simply had a shocker. Nico Rosberg will line up 13th after missing out on Q3 by four tenths of a second, while Michael Schumacher was the slowest of all the runners in Q2.
The first phase of qualifying was an action-packed affair, and while it was little surprise to see the Caterhams, Marussia and HRTF1 entries assume a Noah’s Ark formation on the final three rows of the grid once again, this time it was Daniel Ricciardo who joined them for an early bath in qualifying.
Heikki Kovalainen gave some of the more fancied runners a scare in Q1 by getting close to making it into the top-seventeen, while further behind, Charles Pic once again outperformed Marussia team-mate Timo Glock to claim 21st position on the grid.
2012 Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Qualifying Session Times:
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:20.953|
|2.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:21.366||+ 0.413|
|3.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:21.416||+ 0.463|
|4.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:21.583||+ 0.630|
|5.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:21.730||+ 0.777|
|6.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:21.844||+ 0.891|
|7.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:21.900||+ 0.947|
|8.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW34||1:21.939||+ 0.986|
|9.||Bruno Senna||Williams Renault FW34||1:22.343||+ 1.390|
|10.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:22.847||+ 1.894|
|Q2 Cut-Off – 1:21.497||Time||Gap|
|11.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:21.715||+ 0.218|
|12.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:21.813||+ 0.316|
|13.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:21.895||+ 0.398|
|14.||Sergio Pérez||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:21.895||+ 0.398|
|15.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:22.300||+ 0.803|
|16.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:22.380||+ 0.883|
|17.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:22.723||+ 1.226|
|Q1 Cut-Off – 1:22.829||Time||Gap|
|18.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:23.250||+ 0.421|
|19.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham Renault CT01||1:23.574||+ 0.745|
|20.||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham Renault CT01||1:24.147||+ 1.318|
|21.||Charles Pic||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:25.244||+ 2.415|
|22.||Timo Glock||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:25.476||+ 2.647|
|23.||Pedro de la Rosa||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:25.916||+ 3.087|
|24.||Narain Karthikeyan||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:26.178||+ 3.349|
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