Mercedes’ driver, Lewis Hamilton will certainly be in the driving seat when the FIA Formula One 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix gets the green light tomorrow, after the Englishman pipped Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel to the all-important pole position spot at the end of today’s qualifying session.
Hamilton stands in good stead for race day as he holds a successful track record at the Hungaroring having previously been on pole and taken race victory there on several occasions.
Second place man ahead of the race tomorrow, Vettel, had his sights firmly set on clinching the top spot in Q3 which he held momentarily, until Hamilton suddenly crossed the line and dashed the German’s hopes of being in pole position and aiming for his maiden victory at the circuit.
Lotus Renault’s Romain Grosjean was another surprise during qualifying as a whole and towards the end of Q3. The French man not only out qualified his team mate, Kimi Raikkonen, but also claimed third place in the line-up for the grid tomorrow.
Hamilton’s team mate, Nico Rosberg seemed to lack a bit of pace compared to the pole sitter and as a result qualified in fourth place.
The Ferrari duo also found themselves slightly out of the limelight whilst others had their time to shine. Fernando Alonso ended up a bit more better off than his team mate, as the Spaniard will line up in fifth place and Felipe Massa will start the race from seventh position.
With a Ferrari positioned either side of him on the grid, Raikkonen will begin the race sandwiched between the two prancing horses as he secured sixth place ahead of tomorrow’s racing action.
Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo impressed with his performance in qualifying as he got himself the top 10 shootout and finished the session in eighth place.
McLaren’s Sergio Perez was the sole car left flying the flag for the team in Q3 as his team mate, Jenson Button unfortunately got knocked out of the proceedings as Q2 came to a close. Perez will begin the race from ninth place ahead of Red Bull’s Mark Webber, while Button will have the opportunity to choose the tyres he would like to start the race with having qualified in 13th place.
Aside from the usual four drivers that line up that make up the back of the grid, Button was accompanied outside the top 10 positions in qualifying by the likes of the Force India pair of Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta, with the latter driver falling at the first hurdle of the Q1 part of the session. The Williams team consisting of Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado, had a promising start in the early stages of qualifying but it ended up in disappointment as they made an early exit following the Q2 part of the session.
Ricciardo’s team mate, Jean-Eric Vergne also joined those who failed to make the grade for the Q3 action, together with Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg and his team mate, Esteban Gutierrez, who missed out on participating in final practice due to a problem with his car that led to an engine change and his situation sadly did not improve once qualifying arrived.
Qualifying may be done and dusted for today, but now the drivers and teams will focus on race day tomorrow when the results really do count in terms of both Championships at stake. Pole sitter, Hamilton in particular, will more than likely be hoping that history will repeat itself tomorrow as he not only began last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix from first place but took the chequered flag as the winner. Hamilton and his team mate Rosberg, have successfully achieved numerous pole positions between them and front row lockouts in qualifying sessions this season but on some race days have not been able to maintain them.
Whilst Hamilton may have his own desire to win tomorrow, he will also have Vettel alongside him as the race gets underway and the German has everything to play for, as he lost pole position to Hamilton today and will be aiming to secure his maiden victory at the circuit.
Hamilton and Vettel may have a battle against each other at the start of the race, but there is also the matter of the rest of the field to consider, as some drivers are misplaced and they will be making their way to the front, which could spoil the party for one or both of those on the front row, as well as the midfield drivers in the mix at the same time.