Piquet gets Hungaroring pole as Hamilton spins

Brazilean racer Nelson A. Piquet took the pole position for race one of the GP2 Series on the Hungaroring circuit in Budapest, Hungary. Jose Maria Lopez from Super Nova came up in second place followed by Michael Ammermuller for Arden ...

Brazilean racer Nelson A. Piquet took the pole position for race one of the GP2 Series on the Hungaroring circuit in Budapest, Hungary. Jose Maria Lopez from Super Nova came up in second place followed by Michael Ammermuller for Arden International.

Piquet's championship aspirations where handed a boost today, not only for the pole position, but the Piquet Sports driver's main rival in the title chase spun off track. Lewis Hamilton's spin on his first lap caused him to go off and he did not set a qualifying time. The Brit will start from last place for tomorrow's race.

"I'm really happy, but I didn't expect to be six tenths up. It wasn't a very good lap. I knew it was quick, but I didn't know I was that much quicker. The car was working very well and I was fortunate not to get too much traffic, which is usually a problem here," Piquet said.

Piquet, who also dominated the morning`s free practice under wet conditions, set a time of 1.29:464 to achieve his fourth pole of the season, earlier this year he held the pole at Valencia, Nurburgring and Catalunya.

Lopez' best lap of 1.30:081 completed a full Latin American front row and the Argentinean looks in good shape to try and get his maiden victory this season after he lost the chance in the last lap in Hockenheim`s sprint race.

"I'm very happy. We've definitely found the speed of the car since Ricard, but qualifying was hard for me. possibly the hardest of my career. I spun on my second set of tyres and was struggling with the rear. On my lap I had four or five moments, and I couldn't believe I was P2 at the end," López commented.

It is the third time that Lopez has taken a front row start this year after second place in the qualifying session in San Marino and pole position in Magny-Cours.

German racer Ammermuller put Arden back in the fight for good points after several races with no strong results for the team. "I think we found some pace in Hockenheim as we hadn't been competitive for the last few weekends," he explained. "Now I think we're back and I hope tomorrow we'll have a good race pace, and I hope to be on the podium at the end of the race."

Ammermuller clocked 1.30:275 to snatch the third place slot and will be followed by Racing Engineering`s Adam Carroll.

ART Grand Prix`s Alexandre Premat was fifth fastest but will start from 15th due to the penalty handed down after the Hockenheimring's feature race. Trident Racing`s Gianmaria Bruni will start fifth on the gird after qualifying with the sixth best time of the activity.

Standings leader Hamilton is having his worst weekend so far in GP2. The British racer started the activity in the morning wet free practice by damaging his Dallara-Renault.

Later in the qualifying session, Hamilton's first lap spin seemed fairly innocuous, with the Brit keeping the car tidily on track, but he stalled and immediately signaled to the nearby marshals to give him a push. The marshals swarmed around his car but were unable to do anything, pushing Hamilton across the track and back onto the racing line as the rest of the grid came around for the first of their timed laps, but he was soon by the side of the track, out of both the car and the session.

"I made a mistake myself and got caught out on cold tyres, and that was it. It's just a unfortunate, because the team did a fantastic job to repair the car after free practice, but I'm sure we'll have a strong race tomorrow," Hamilton mentioned.

Now Hamilton and ART Grand Prix have in front of them the challenge to recover places on a racetrack that is known by it low chances of passing other cars. Tomorrow at 15.45 local time will start GP2 series race one in Hungaroring and the drivers must complete 184 kms. in the 42 laps of competition.

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About this article
Series FIA F2
Drivers Gianmaria Bruni , Lewis Hamilton , Adam Carroll , Alexandre Prémat
Teams ART Grand Prix , Racing Engineering , Trident , Arden International