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Hamilton Takes “Surprise” Pole Position To edge out Vettel in Hungary
Posted By:   |  27 Jul 2013   |  2:49 pm GMT  |  282 comments

Lewis Hamilton surprised both himself and his Mercedes team as he took pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix with a sensational lap to beat pre-qualifying favourite Sebastian Vettel.

It is Hamilton’s third consecutive pole position – the first time he has managed that – and the 30th of his career.

Having stated that missing out on last week’s Young Driver Test at Silverstone, where their rivals tested the new Pirelli tyres, had hampered their chances of a strong result this weekend, Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg showed themselves as pole contenders from the outset of qualifying. The German was fastest in both Q1 and Q2. Rosberg had not been outqualified by a team mate here since his debut season 2006, but Hamilton put clear daylight between himself and Rosberg when the talking stopped at the end of Q3.

After the first runs of the top ten shoot-out Vettel seemed to have one hand on pole as he lapped 3/10ths faster than we had seen so far this weekend, and set a challenge to the Mercedes pair and the Lotus of Romain Grosjean.

And Hamilton duly obliged – setting a stunning first sector – as he took 3/10ths off Vettel’s time and waited for the German to complete his final lap.

Vettel improved upon his personal best but ended the session 4/100ths away from Hamilton’s pace.

After topping the final Free Practice session this morning Grosjean emerged as Lotus’ best chance for pole position and was on the pace throughout. Growing from his strong showing in Germany in the previous race, the young Frenchman claimed third position, putting himself in with a very good chance of at least a podium tomorrow. However his car failed a floor deflection test and he was sent to the stewards, but they let him off as Lotus was able to prove that the floor had been damaged.

The sister Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen did not have such joy as the Finn struggled to hustle his car through the lap in the way that his team-mate had. Grosjean set the fastest time in the long second sector, where as Raikkonen was 4/10ths off in that section alone.

Nevertheless, Raikkonen still starts the race in sixth position and his cars kindness to its tyres along with his supreme consistency should see him move up the field.

Between the Lotus pair is Rosberg and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Rosberg had been in touch with Hamilton in the opening stages of qualifying but could not pull the most out of the car when it mattered.

Keeping Alonso and Raikkonen at bay is key for his team’s Constructors’ Championship as Ferrari and Lotus sit close behind Mercedes, who are second.

Alonso continued his run of putting the Ferrari in its strongest possible position as they continue to lack the single lap pace of the Mercedes and Red Bull. His team-mate, Felipe Massa, will start seventh after a good showing.

The final three place in the top ten are filled by a trio who will have differing levels of satisfaction.

Daniel Ricciardo made it four consecutive races in which he has qualified in the top ten, once again beating his team-mate and improving his chances of a Red Bull seat in 2014.

And the man who’s seat he desires had a less successful afternoon. Mark Webber suffered an electrical issue in Q1, losing KERS in the process and opting to sit out of Q3 to give himself a free tyre choice for tomorrow.

That pair sandwich Sergio Perez in a repaired McLaren. The Mexican crashed in the final moments of FP3 and did not enter qualifying until the closing minutes of Q1. However, he out-qualified Jenson Button and rewarded his mechanics for their work.

Vettel’s long runs on both tyres have been very strong all weekend, however there is a question over the rear brakes overheating; all cars will be right on the edge for cooling tomorrow and we could well see a number struggling.

HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX, Budapest, Qualifying

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m19.388s
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m19.426s +0.038s
3. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m19.595s +0.207s
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m19.720s +0.332s
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m19.791s +0.403s
6. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m19.851s +0.463s
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m19.929s +0.541s
8. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m20.641s +1.253s
9. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m22.398s +3.010s
10. Mark Webber Red Bull no time set
11. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m20.569s +0.791s
12. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m20.580s +0.802s
13. Jenson Button McLaren 1m20.777s +0.999s
14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m21.029s +1.251s
15. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m21.133s +1.355s
16. Valtteri Bottas Williams- 1m21.219s +1.441s
17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m21.724s +1.374s
18. Paul di Resta Force India 1m22.043s +1.693s
19. Charles Pic Caterham 1m23.007s +2.657s
20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1m23.333s +2.983s
21. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m23.787s +3.437s
22. Max Chilton Marussia 1m23.997s +3.647s

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Tornillo Amarillo

HAMILTON on Pole! I told you: BELIEVE!

Dear Drivers, give Vettel a hard time on Sunday, NO MERCY!

He has a lot to lose. Just do what Perez did in Monaco… Vettel should back-off each time you put pressure on him.


Vettel starts from the dirty side of the track, this could be interesting

Tornillo Amarillo

GROSJEAN behind Vettel... and Alonso, Kimi, Massa... There's a possibility.


What did Perez do in Monaco?




And how will that be giving Vettel a hard time?


Lewis Hamilton is the fastest driver in the history of motorsport, the rest are just pretenders!


So why only 1 championship? Why so few conversions from pole to win?



That's why Marko didn't want Lewis exposing his protégé at Redbull.

A 'champion' that needs protection from real competition is indeed 'superficial'.

Bring anyone against Lewis (anyone!) and he'll emerge victorious.


I don't think he would beat Vettel in the same car. Here is a fair comparison: Titles: Seb 3 Lew 1 , wins: Seb 30 Lew 21 , poles: Seb 39 Lew 30 , fastest laps: Seb 18 Lew 14. The closest it gets is fastest laps, only 4 being the difference.


I have no idea whether Lewis would beat Seb, if they were in the same car, they are both very quick. However, your justification that you believe he wouldn't is complete nonsense. Surely you can appreciate that you are not comparing apples with apples. The car is far and away the most important part of the package - I have heard estimates from 80% right up to 95% of the performance attributed to the car. Of course teams choose the best drivers they can, but the car is the limiting factor, the teams know this which is why they spend so much money making their car go quicker - if that were not the case then please explain Seb's apparent dip in form and Lewis's improvement at Hungary. Or better still, explain Jenson's form at Honda and then Brawn 🙂


Playing dump again as usual....

Seb's stas are mainly just car (hence the need for protection).


You can only gauge Vettel against Webber...


I'm a big Lewis fan, have been since I watched him in Formula Renault, but even I think that's a daft statement.


That comment is proof positive that paper never refused ink - so to speak.


Fastest is such a subjective term. Most aggressive over one lap and a wonderfully savage overtaker - yes. All round fastest? Probably not. Depends on the day with Lewis - he's so up and down.

The most consistent qualifier is going to be Vettel. The most determined quick race driver is probably still Alonso.

Hamilton reminds me of AnchorMans sex panther '60% of the time it works every time...'


Not a consistent qualifier? he has the best average qualifying position this season and last.


I never said he wasn't a consistent qualifier? I said in terms of pole positions the 'fastest' by most markers would be Vettel. My point is fastest is a subjective term in motor racing. You have to specify what narrow margins you're talking about. I hardly said Hamilton was slow.


Agree! He is the fastest driver of his generation to say the least. Button recently says that "Hamilton pace will shock you once he settle with his new car".

Indeed it is true. He makes ROS lap time looks too slow.


Button said that? How convenient that he beat Lewis at McLaren, then?


2-1 in terms of championship position, more wins, more poles. Remove his worst season in F1 by a long way and take into account his bad luck in 2012.


Hamilton is indeed fast, but it's a shame he lacks the focus (and/or mental strength) to truly take advantage of it. He may be faster than Vettel and co over a lap, but Vettel, Raikonnen, Alonso (and to an extent even Button) don't make mistakes the way he does.


They can take a situation that's against them and turn it round to their advantage, whether by playing with strategy or just plain staying calm. Hamilton seems to have no settings beyond flat out and panic, with the end results being less wins than he should have (and no 2013 wins against Rosberg's two). There's more to being a great driver than 'just' being fast.


Win or bust driver.??

I mean, first half a season in a new team, 4 poles, 1 win and 40 points up on his team mate whose been there for years.



@Sascha, not really. He drove fast today, won a race, that doesn't nullify all the times he's binned it chasing someone else, or bounced off someone in a move that would have never worked, or torched his tyres and gone backwards.


Today he drove all out (his own words) from gun to tape, nothing went wrong for him, today was a flat out day. That doesn't mean that the next race won't see a return of panic Lewis flat spotting tyres or depositing bits of car on the track. He still needs to remove the all or nothing nature of his racing to get that second title, F1 now is too close (and the cars too reliable) to base a championship on win or bust driving.


@JHancock you post looks even more inappropriate now!


I think that's a highly simplistic view. I agree that Hamilton has made some high-profile needless mistakes that have cost him. The most glaring to me (and ones all down to Hamilton) were the back-to-back DNFs in 2010 at Monza and Singapore that cost him a real shot at the title - even forgetting the cruel wheel rim failure while running 2nd with 2 laps to go in Spain - when 24 pts at those two races was easy pickings.

In 2007 at China McLaren gambled needlessly, and Hamilton paid a very heavy price for it. I think it's rich for anyone to suggest that a rookie should've overruled his high-pedigree team, and come in early. Lewis had to rely on the team knowing what was best. It was a truly baffling move to me, considering how fast their car was that year. Even coming in early, they had enough pace to secure at least 5th in China, which would've eliminated Kimi from the DWC equation.

Hamilton is very good at holding a lead when he has a car capable of defending a lead. We only need to look at this race last year, when Lewis held off Kimi's faster Lotus. He did the same to Kimi in 2007 at this track.

As for Rosberg's two wins this year, he's done very well. Monaco basically hinged on qualifying, when Nico edged out Lewis by nine-hundredths. As for Britain, I think it was relatively obvious that Lewis had one over Nico there the whole weekend up until his tire blew. In an incident-free race, it was going to be either Lewis, Vettel, or Webber that was going to win that race. Incidents hit all three, and Nico was there to benefit. Very Button-esque, that win.


Sorry, but that is a very misguided view.

Lewis was comfortably the best driver last year, no matter what the circumstances.

He lost over 100 points because of team error and reliability and would have easily cruised to the title.

Lets all face facts, Formula One is 80% machine.

No matter how good the driver, it's nearly all down to the car unfortunately.

unF1nnished business

I'd say best qualifier this generation...but not the fastest on race day.


But what does this say about Vettel? Remember the guy has won more poles than Hamilton.


How is it that he has only one title?


Does he drive a redbull?


Hmm, maybe b/c he's only ever had the fastest car (and equal fastest at that, at best, with the Ferrari) in his debut year, when he was a rookie and Alonso the 2xDWC was his teammate!

The car in F1 is 80% of the equation. Hamilton had a very good chance to win the title in 2007 and 2008 (he took one), and an outside chance in 2010. His car last year had the speed at enough races to win in 2012, IF the reliability and pitwall/pit work were satisfactory, but alas they weren't.

The pole today was exceptional. Hamilton should've been nowhere near Vettel, given Vettel's car advantage in the last two sectors. The Merc is a great qualifying car, the fastest over one lap (not at Hungary, mind, but overall). It isn't the fastest *race* car by a long shot, and is doing horrible damage to Lewis' pole conversion percentage, b/c it's not kind to its rears.

Webber's KERS acting up again is as he said embarrassing. How does it always happen to him? It's beyond the realm of mere coincidence.


The KERS problems for Webber are worth investigating. Not because of the theories that RB would damage his car on purpose, obviously, but because Renault will rely a lot more on KERS for the next season, and should really sort this out. Does Webber deploy the KERS differently from Vettel (and the Lotus drivers, who use the same system)? Does Webber harvest energy at different points during the lap? I think Renault and Red Bull will be scratching their heads over this, I hope they get all the data.


Perhaps the Mercedes should trade some qualifying pace for race pace? Wouldn't that make much sense since the Points are distributed on a sunday?


I have a suggestion for Webber.


Tell the team you've had enough and suggest a seat swap with Ricciardo and Toro Rosso.

You might actually enjoy the last few races of your F1 career.

One imagines a few hysterics will accuse you of abandoning Vettel and his quest for another WDC, but mate, from where I sit you owe him and the team nowt.

The technical issues blighting Webber defy understanding.


In 2007 if the pitwall had listened to Bridgestone's director of motorsport tire development Hirode Hamashima, who advised Mclaren to bring Lewis in 5 laps earlier. Hamilton would have won the WDC in his rookie year.

Last year there was a chance of Lewis taking the WDC if it wasn't for breakdown's while comfortably leading 2 races. Losing pole postion in Spain, one of several pitstop mistakes, which cost him alot of points.


History books Show he didn't win 2007 nor did he win 2012. Others did. But it is an interesting Point you brought up. Imagine what if Kimi's engine didn't explode in 2005, or Schumacher's in Suzuka 2006, how many titles would alonso have? Zero? But reality is they did and that's exactly why Alonso is rated as a double WDC, because he won those titles fair and square.


Coulda, woulda, shoulda...

I think you can say the same for most drivers that finish close second. In the end the best man usually wins.


Tbf titles aren't always a good indication of how great a driver is. There are 4 incredible drivers on the grid atm, all in different cars and only 1 of them can win the title a year. If Lewis has won in 2007 or Alonso had won last year, it wouldn't make them or Vettel any better or worse, they are all brilliant. Kimi too!


I'm sick and tired of people suggesting that Hamilton would have won more titles if not for the Red Bull dominance.

Sorry, but this is BS. This argument only stands up if he has finished either second or third behind either 1 or both of the Red Bulls. This has never happened.

The simple fact remains - you are only as good as your results.

Hamilton has not finished any higher than 4th in the WDC for the last 4 years.

Vettel is NOT the only driver to finish in front of him.


If Lewis would have won 2007, for sure it would make him a greater Driver than he is considered now. Same goes for Alonso and 2010. Or Kimi. They did not. And that are Facts. Just imagine that winning the title is the greatest Goal in F1.


Sebee since you said "Hmmm…you mean one of them is winning it 4th year in a row. Which should allow for some conclusions" well there's no conclusion on that apart from that being the best car for the past 4 years. Also that particular driver has a team who only supports him.


I agree and all of them make the sport better. On the lighter side I'm loving the battle for pole between Lewis and Sebastian. Absolutely Incredible!!

47 mean one of them is winning it 4th year in a row. Which should allow for some conclusions.


i call that B.S.

7 pole out of 10 races so far.

And his teammate got 2 wins while he got none. Give some credit to the car fellow lewis fans.


Ha ha, yes, that was a real "surprise". The Merc's have won pole position in every single GP when it has been dry on Saturday, but each time people keep acting as if it's an astonishing development. Especially so if Hamilton is driving the Merc in question.


Well it was a surprise to red Bull at least. Marko got interviewed and said Seb made a few mistakes on his lap hence why he didnt take pole, so yeah seeing Lewis on pole is a bit of a surprise.

Tomorrow should be interesting. If seb gets past Lewis into turn 1 he'll walk it but if not...


I agree 100% Merc gets pole almost every race now. Poor Vettel gets no love from fans


SB and RBR only have themselves to blame.....


It's a shame Rosberg couldn't pull something out of the bag because if they'd both been up there they could have held up the field - alone I think LH will have his work cut out defending against the Lotus and Red Bull


But the Lotus have problems so Nico might start third which could be second after the first bench because he will be on the clean side then.


Rosberg's brake balance adjuster was stuck in Q3 which cost him the lap time. His time in Q3 was nearly identical to Q2 for as all the others except Riccardo where 0.4-0.5 quicker.

Radio, DRS, team error...It's just one thing after another on his side of the garage just like Webber at Red Bull.


Yet he's inherited one win from Hamilton getting a puncture and Vettel's car failing. Bad luck has struck the other side of the garage as well, but it would have been nice to see him in a fair fight for pole.


From the horses mouth so to speak.


"I hope we can have a good start even though I'm on the dirtier side of the grid. Qualifying did not go perfectly for me at the end, it didn't help that my brake balance adjuster got stuck, so I couldn't change it around the lap. That cost me a little, but the pole wasn't possible today"


Out come the rosberg fans trying to explain why rosberg is getting spanked in qualifying by hamilton , apart from the 3 races were nico did well, this is getting embarrassing for the so called one of the quickest over one lap, even rosberg admitted he couldnt have done the pole time regardless of brake adjustment probs


Since when Merc got pole is a surprise???

Vettel had some mistake on his 2nd attempt in Q3.

Grosjean did a great job.

What happened to Kimi?? He seems to be doing rallying stunt all the way thoughout the qualifying session....


You obviously did not watch Fp1 Fp2 Fp3 Q1 Q2 & Q3 in that order.

If U did. Then you will Know why it was a surprise that Merc got Pole. You may also want to take note of Nico Rosberg's Position. Should give you a better picture.


So... why is it a surprise that a Mercedes is on pole?


I watched. And what I saw was that Lotus won in FP3 with Vettel fourth. Then the Mercs finished one-two in Q1 and Q2. They almost certainly would have finished one-two in Q3 as well except for Rosbergs brake issues: his Q3 time ended up being almost identical to his Q2 time. So no, it was not in the least bit surprising that Mercedes got pole. It would have been a surprise if they didn't.


They were no where near lotus or the red bulls in FP1 and FP2 FYI. Vettel set a bench mark that no one expected it to be beaten including lewis himself. The mercs were not expected to be qualify ahead of the Red bulls or Lotus given the trends from the earlier sessions. Hence why there is so much of surprise.

For good measure, here is what your sebastian had to say. "Obviously Mercedes have a very strong pace in qualifying.

"I think Lewis did an exceptional job today if you look at the gap to Nico.

"You have to be fair and respect that. I'm not arguing with that."

Tornillo Amarillo


Facts and I love your interpretation.


Surprised? Why? 7 out of 10 pole positions for Mercedes 2013....

Oh, let me gues... it was the "almighty" Lewis...

it was not the merc, the quickest car in q3 over the whole season...


Seb was expected to take pole but he made some mistakes on his second Qualy time hence why he didn't improve his time much.

It's weird; the two times Seb made mistakes on his final Qualy were Monaco and today..two tracks where it's so hard to overtake! He can def still do it tho, turn 1 will be epic.


And also his qualy lap in China was bad. That's 3 mistakes in 9 qualys, not a nice score...


Not jiust turn 1, it will be interesting to see the different strategies unfold.


Sometimes I am shocked how limited some people are in their judgement and ability toanalyze. It is a surpsise pole not statistically, but consider how this weekend evolved. When vettel did 1.19.5 I thought that the rest of the field can go home, but shocked to see Hamilton taking the pole. Ferrari fan speaking.


@AlexD, I'm with you.


"When vettel did 1.19.5 I thought that the rest of the field can go home"

But... that's just you...


So did I actually....


Hmm, I thought that too. That time was 8-tenths faster than anyone to that point. I realize that Vettel did it on new tires (having saved an extra pair), while the others ran a banker lap on used softs, but it just looked as though the Merc's were quickly losing in the last two sectors whatever sector 1 advantage they had built up.

I'm more surprised that pole this year is 1.5 secs faster than last year's!!!

But, unless Merc are hiding something, it will be the same story of them moving backwards in the race, while RBR, Lotus and Ferrari go forwards. When asked in the Sat presser about Merc's long run pace for the race, Hamilton said:

"I'm not really looking forward to it. I was just saying to Sebastian, it's just a shame that we obviously have good pace... we've got a good car so I think if we didn't have the tyre issues we would be able to compete with the guys in the race. It sucks in the way that I'm not able to have a race with these guys but we will do the best we can tomorrow."

Sucks for the fans too. I wonder how the race would go with 2010 Bridgestones on at each corner.


Great! Very honest and rational comment. Lewis is a class act. He is the fastest guy out there. However race is a completely different story and I guess Vet, Gros and Ham will finish in that order.


Surprise because they were nowhere to be seen on Friday. Surprise because Merc sat out the YDT. Surprise because he beat his teammate in the same car by over 3 tenths. No surprise because Lewis Hamilton has proven to be consistently quick over one lap, like him or loathe him.


Well, the "other Merc is in 4th....and Rosberg is no slouch. So what is it? Lewis has an invisible 5th wheel?


Well, the "other merc" had break issues this time, he couldn't change the balance in Q3.... Surprise, surprise. Merc couldn't trick in the same way as in Germany 3 weeks ago. And no, they still have the fastest car at least in Q3. So there is no surprise...


@Krist -

If Merc have the fastest car in Q3, how come Vettel has the fastest combined time of all the sectors in qualifying? Please explain that. And how come Lewis won, even when RBR posted the fastes times in the race? Do give credit to where it's due.


don't make up Nico himself said ( and I quote from a previous poster above also)


“I hope we can have a good start even though I’m on the dirtier side of the grid. Qualifying did not go perfectly for me at the end, it didn’t help that my brake balance adjuster got stuck, so I couldn’t change it around the lap. That cost me a little, but the pole wasn’t possible today”

specifically read that last sentence..."that cost me a little but the pole wasn't possible today" i.e. even without the brake balance adjuster Nico himself says he couldn't make it...and yet here you are saying that the break balance was the only issue/ reason Nico couldn't pull out a pole in Q3. Feel free to disagree with Nico after all, all he does is drive the damn thing.

Still no matter how much we squabble, tomorrow will see the mercs fall backwards 🙁 and the rest move up....although I wish I was wrong


The other Merc had brake problems and set the same time in Q3 as in Q2. Looking at each drivers progression from Q1 through Q3, Hamilton did nothing special.


So Vettel calling Hamilton's lap exceptional means he's a fool?

It's remarkable to me that this is the first time that Hamilton's scored six consecutive front rows ... with McLaren he had 5 once, 4 three times, and 3 four times.

The first time getting 3 poles in a row was initially surprising when I first realized (after Nico did it in Monaco) that Hamilton had never done that, though thinking about it more, 2007 and 2008 were his best chances for it, and in 2007 he was a rookie with the champion as his teammate (and a fast Ferrari car to boot), and in 2008 there was again a fast Ferrari (Hamilton 7 poles to Massa's 6).

In 2008 he would've done it, had the sched been like it is now, with GER-HUN-BEL. But that year Valencia (w/Massa on pole) was between the Hungaroring and Spa.

In 2009 the car was slow for most of the year, though it did pick up in the 2nd half. He could've done it in the ITA-SIN-JPN stretch, but lost out to Vettel at Suzuka by two-tenths.

As for 2010 and 2011, the RB6 and RB7 were too strong to really have a shot at it. He was lucky enough to just scrape the one non-RBR pole in 2011, nevermind three consecutively!

He could've done it in 2012, though only during the HUN-BEL-ITA-SIN stretch (went the wrong way with setup in the FP rain at BEL).

It's safe to say that Hamilton and Vettel are the top qualifiers of the current grid ... they each have 55 first row starts (joint fifth all-time). The next highest on the current grid is Alonso with 37, from almost double the races.


"Hamilton did nothing special"

I guess the rest of the field were useless then since he beat them all with a not very special lap in the dying second of qualifying.

Also note, Vettel had two runs on new rubber while Hamilton's first run was on used tyres.


"Hamilton did nothing special" ... Quite right - anyone can do this!


Seriously man, I've been reading your comments for a while now. This is a site where people have a big knowledge of F1,and where there are a lot of unbiased fans. Try to do positive contributions, and if you can not because you still have quite a bit to learn, just keep reading and ask. But please, stop all this pro Vettel crusade by underestimating other drivers performances. Saying Hamilton did nothing special today, and trying to put Vettel's performance (today) on par with Hamilton's is almost an insult to people who comment here and know what F1 is about.


You will note that the pole time was a FULL SECOND quicker than the fastest Q1 and Q2 times.

Not that the fastest Q1 and Q2 times count for anything, anyway. Pole is all that counts.


I wonder what Lewis was thinking about that he was surprised at making pole. Maybe Nicole?

If he can make pole when half awake, then then he is really getting to grips with his Merc and we might be in for some Lewis magic (if only the tyres would allow).


I think he might have a very good chance as its going to be so hot the cars will struggle with engine cooling when running in the hot turbulent air too closely. If he can hold Vettle just till his tyres drop away and his car starts running hot then I don't think the RB has the sheer speed to make an easy overtake. Plus RB run their Renault engine very close to its cooling limit as we have seen problems crop up over the last couple of seasons.

It's gonna be a great race that's for sure.


@ clear view....

Weren't the Mercs trialing/testing (or what ever adjective you want to use 😉 ) a different strategy in practise yesterday to help with cooling?


Yes lift and coast on certain corners

That's why they didn't look as fast as they are


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts tomorrow on OneHd on Mark Webbers chronic KERs problems, if you could I'd love to hear a recap of all the problems that have occurred on Marks car this year so far, clutch bite setting in Melbourne, wheels falling off etc. do you think they could all be a coincidence or could RBR be trying to protect Vettle knowing Mark would not hold back in his last year. Another thought is that there is some parts swapping going on between the two cars. This has been going on for too long now to still be called conspiracy theory I think it's a genuine conspiracy. No one can be that unlucky.


Could the clutch bite and KERS problem be related, Seems to me when Marks car is setup for him to get away well he has KERS issues, they cure the KERS issues he bogs down on the line.


Yes, Vettel got Webber's KERS in Germany, and Webber's gearbox in Siverstone. The gas fill amount in Abu D 2012 was meant for Webber too. And donnot forget that Vettel got Mark's engine last time at Valencia. It cannot possibly be coincidence, can it?


Valencia was the alternator that failed. Engine was ok.


it's funny how Vettel fans have to struggle to come up with Vettel's list of problems this year while his teammate suffers misfortunes race after race. Mark's problems have been endless this year; from having race start problems in Australia; being ambushed by his own team in Malaysia; being underfueled in China, having to start from the pit lane, having a wheel loosely attached all in the same race; having race start problems again at Silverstone; having a wheel loosely attached in Germany and now this! Unbelievable from a WCC leading team. No wonder he has said his KERS issues in Hungary has made the team look "stupid". Strange that it's taken him this long to realize that.


A conspiracy theory there, mate?


Newey cars are right on the edge of reliability, that's why that kind of stuff happens. Look at 2005 or 2010 for example.


Just wait until he has an alternator failure or his gearbox gives up on him when he's leading.


Why wait till he is leading. He has had plenty of these as well. Austin last year and gearbox penalties this year. The issue is that webber has the majority of his problems in practice/quali thus destroying his race buildup. It must be very frustrating yet he will find a wy to get 5th or so and points for RB.

101 he at least finishes the races where has problems, that's what you're saying?


Won't happen. He gets the issues in quali so he never gets to lead the race 😛


Hi DY. I would love some evil character or plot to come out of this but at the end of the day it is either:

A. The KERs is packaged differently in Webbers car.

B. RB run different spec KERs in their cars from time to time...trial in Marks or Sebs.

C. Its a QA issue...the guys bolting the things together....

Team decision to cause it = NO


Your "explanation" does NOT make sense.

A. after the n:th failure, you could argue that they will change that packaging to a better one and done with. If this is the reason and they obviously have still failed to fix it, they do not want to fix it.

B/C. Excluding A - How come 90% of the failures are on Marks car then? Logic say that the failures should be more evenly distributed between the two cars...unless WEBs car does NOT have QA at all, which would bring us back to pointing at RB for deliberately...

(D). We all (well most of us at least) know that VET is the #1 at RB AND that WEB is leaving at end of current season AND that he has unfinished business with multi21-VET that he would love to finish before leaving. We know it and you can be sure Horner does as well. So, what would you do, being Horner, and rooting for VET to take the title?

Trivially simple....and quite ugly. WEB however deserves no better treatment so long he keeps his mouth closed about it.


The reason why Webber's car is more prone to breakdowns, and specifically KERS failures, could also be to do with his driving style and the way he harvests and deploys KERS energy. That would not be his fault (Renault / Red Bull have to sort this out), but I would not suspect any foul play.

Red Bull are paying Webber a lot of money to drive their car, and they need him to look good on TV to make it worthwhile, as well as to win points for the constructor's championship. But even if you think that Red Bull favour Vettel (which they may well do), Vettel's lead over Alonso and Raikkonen would be larger had Webber been able to drive his car without incidents.


If Vettel would be #1, would they want Webber to win in Malaysia? Most probably at RBR they have the most even Driver treetment out of all top Teams.


It's a no brainer really, RBR might testing new things on Webber's car.


He was pretty damn unlucky before Vettel even came on the scene. I remember him frequently being referred to as the unluckiest driver in F1 on numerous occasions as far back as his earlier years with Jaguar. Poor bastard just can't win at life. Even off the track. Has a bike accident that breaks his leg, the first ride back on a bike has another accident. He'll probably die by getting hit by an errant hot air balloon or something ridiculously uncommon.


Class.....pure class, Lewis. Hopefully the Pirellis will meet their end of the bargain...


I think HAM has mastered the art of sandbagging LOL


Daniel just keeps finding a way to put a car in the top ten, that doesn't really deserve to be there.


Off topic, but James, have you heard anything about Kimi not being paid by Lotus again?


Kimi seemed different this weakened. It reminded me of 2008.


Freudian slip there?


First or second half?


There is a rumour here on that, but I've not had a chance to find out the truth yet



This seems very strange. Let's say the rumour is true - then why haven't they paid him?

1) Lack of funds? Maybe, but not very smart. How exactly are they going to convince him to re-sign for next year with the promise of increased competitiveness when they haven't paid him for this year! And if this is the reason, then if RBR falls through, he will surely take his business elsewhere.

2) Something else. Maybe Kimi has breached his contract in some way? Or maybe there's a dispute about some of the performance based-money kicking in. i.e. Kimi reckons he has earnt it and Lopez disagrees.

I'm speculating because I find it hard to believe they would hold this money over him at a time when they are trying to convince him how awesome life at Lotus is going to be next year. Unless... his deal with RBR is done already...


Cash flow is the usual reason why people don't get paid

I don't think they have had money through from the new investors


Great pole by Hamilton, but it looks like that will not last long in the race with Mercs tire use. Not sure why Lotus sent Kimi out so early on the final run. Times were getting better and better but they sent him out a full minute before Grosjean... With that said, Grosjean could have his first win in the cards

Robert Gunning

I agree. I think, and hope, Grosjean will come of age tomorrow.


Long straight + to rocket starting Ferrari's + Merc tyres = game over.

I don't see Lewis coming in lower than 5th, though.

I wonder why my first "comment is awaiting moderation?" Its absolutely innocuous and ordinary.

Valentino from montreal

Prediction : Vettel muscles Hamilton early on , gets past him in the first 3-5 laps and then it's bye-bye into the sunset ... Both Mercs fall back as usual ...

Vettel wins the race and is 1 victory away to match Alonso's all-time wins stat ...

Here's looking at YOU Tim !


Lewis, Lewis, Lewis. .. Yeehah, Kimi, Kimi,Kimi- legend drive !



Hey Val, I am going to enjoy writing this post 🙂

What can I say, you couldn't have been more wrong if you had tried - do you really think predictions are in your skill set? I can't help feeling that you should stop embarrassing yourself 😉

Here's looking at YOU Val.....



Very very plausible.....

With Mark unable to "ride wing" for SB per Germany SB will be in a dog fight. Roman may be a "wild card" ( he worries me ). Alonso should also figure in the action. Could be an interesting start.


Perhaps Alonso might have the fastest car in race conditions. I expect a Podium from him. He can even win, he starts from the cleaan side too.


He never won in Hungary before. It would be be a new flag on his map of race wins.


Vettel muscles Hamilton early on - Good Notion

I am no Big fan of Lewis, yet today he did a tremendous job, Vettel had the pace to take pole in RBR today. He failed and simply looked slower than Lewis

Being a Alonso Fan it pains me to say this, yet Lewis is one of the quickest driver i have ever seen in F1

Bravo Lewis


Vettel is slower than Lewis, he simply has a better car!


Agreed. Hopefully Kimi will prove this statement next year matey!


Can you prove that Statement?


I'll take that story line.

Also, Webber makes it onto the podium with strategy. Why not?


Kimi just have Seb a driving lesson in a slower car


Val that's no news since Hamilton all but said that himself. Can we have a congrats to Lewis masterful quali ?- Even Alex Zanardi just tweeted that if he could have 2 legs it would be Hamiltons !- talk about respect.


Actually, he said he'd take one of Hamilton's over two "regular" legs, haha!


Yeah only cause gizelle bunchens were too long 🙂


Ham not easy to pass.


Remember the start of last race?


Horrible start from Hamilton there. Many on here seem to regard the dirty side at the Hungaroring a significant disadvantage ... not so sure myself.

Hope Grosjean doesn't push his luck, though he's entitled to have a (reasonable) go. He taken ALO and HAM out of races on the first lap. If he did the same to VET Holy Hell would rain down on him from Vettel, Horner, and the rest at RBR.

I would predict a Vettel win (5 mins to race start), but Grosjean could well win this one.


He probably won't do the same mistake again. But we'll see.


Pole position needs to translate to race win for Hamilton soon...


ask and yee shall receive 😉


Great lap by Hamilton. Well done. Whilst disappointed with his issues over the last few years he really has come back and I believe he is better over one lap than Vettel. However the merc is a great quali car at present, we just need that to be transferred into the race. Hopefully he will get great start and Grosjean as well.

Ricciardo has another great Q. He deserves the RB seat. The RB managers know the info all the arm chair critics don't and I think DR should get it..

Interesting that Vettel sounded down over Webbers KERs/gearbox issues?. Is Webbers KERs packaged differently to Sebs?..interesting point that Brundle made?. Can you find out more and enlighten us on this James??

Will they have to change gearbox in Webbers car?

Before all the vettels fans jump up and down, the big issue webber has is that the majority of his issues with KERs happen in Q, therefore compromising his start position and therefore his race.. Vettel has issues in the race but he is normally out front. Is it packaging, is it QA?. A team of RB ability should not have this imbalance as noted by Brundle and James and Alan Jones.

.....and finally, does Kimi want Webbers KERS, I mean, it is the same as Sebs.....!!!

Ferrari.......very quiet and it will be interesting to see how the heat will affect tomorrow's race.


"Vettel has issues in the race but he is normally out front."

So he's leading the race when he breaks down. I'm sure that's a great comfort to him.


Well in Germany he won despite a temporary KERS setback, look at Webber today, starting 10th! No possibility of winning


I wouldn't write him off just yet. With the heat and the different strategy he may opt to everything is possible. I expect a raace of high Attrition.

Andrew Woodruff

I didn't see it, but sounds like a pretty special lap from Hamilton, and makes it interesting for tomorrow.

Were Mercedes deliberately sand bagging in practice then?


Have you not seen them driving with two bags of a sand?

Andrew Woodruff

I thought I saw some concrete blocks in FP3, but put it down to bad eye sight


Concrete block on a chain to be used as a anchor/break if you abandon the car on fire. New safety rule after Germany.


is that how Nikki Lauda now refers to Lewis and Nico now?


Maybe they were not sandbagging but practiced with a higher fuel load?


It does seem that the Merc's don't just suffer from tyre deg, but lack race pace from the very first lap. This suggests that the car has very poor balance on full tanks and therefore the poor early pace. I.e. if it was just tyre deg, the Merc's should lead for the first 3 laps or so, but by my recollection, we're not seeing this (refer Germany's poor start). I assume that this is why the associated deg is so hard to resolve. So I guess what I'm saying is that it appears that Merc don't suffer a tyre problem, but a balance problem on high fuel. Exactly the reverse to Lotus. James, am I reading this right and does this make for a much bigger problem that just deg or are they just the same thing?

....Grojean for the win if he can beat Seb into the first corner.


Beat Seb to the first corner? Seb 'd better pray GRO doesn't take him out before turn 1.

Tornillo Amarillo

I'm sure GROSJEAN should be VERY aggressive (without being dangerous).


An off day by Di Resta compared to Sutil?

Grosjean on the clean side has a good chance to queue up number 2 behind Hamilton after the first corner. From there on control tyre wear wait for Mercedes to do 3 pitstops, and cover off Vettel Alonso.

But Vettel is looking strong in long runs. So Vettel will have a good chance to play the under cut to get ahead of Grosjean. But Vettel will have Alonso all over him on the first lap.

Lots of ifs and buts. Can't wait to see how the race unfolds.


Im not a Hamilton fan but that pole was just awesome 🙂


Webber had 2 or 3 DNFs due to technical failure since 2010.

Vettel had 7 or 8 DNFs since 2010 due to technical failure, while leading the race or fell back during the race.

Bahrain '10

Australia '10

Barcelona '10

Canada '10

Korea '10

Abu Dhabi '11

Brasil '11

Valencia '12

Monza '12

Silverstone '13

I'm sure RBR is manipulating Vettel's car. Proof of the facts.


Uh, out of those listed, he only DNF'd while leading in:

Australia '10

Korea '10

Abu Dhabi '11 (he led for 2 corners before having a puncture, not really conclusive)

Valencia '12

Silverstone '13 (after inheriting the lead from a RCI - race compromising incident - for Hamilton)

So that's 5 such incidents. I can recall 3 for Hamilton just last year (BRA, ABU, SIN). Seeing as Hamilton has only led 497 laps to Vettel's 1,719 since 2010 (i.e. less "opportunity" to DNF from the lead).

Of course F1 doesn't keep stats such as the RCI ... it would be good info to have. I'm sure Webber would be way ahead on the RCI count than Vettel. He's lost KERS so many times, either in quali or in the race, it's a joke! While losing KERS now significantly dents performance, next year losing ERS will be debillitating. Maybe F1 should start logging RCI's.


The fact is Webber got more than 8 tech issues this year, not 3 and half years

Wheel fallen off twice, uncountable times of faulty kers and gearbox and clutch issue

Go and study before u argue something



People love the Webber conspiracy theories, Vettel has more DNF's than any other driver whilst leading races, his post points would equal another championship!

The difference is Vettel gets on with it and is motivated to achieve even more, whereas Webber and Hamilton will throw every excuse under the sun for the media to play with...


Please remove link, accidentally pasted in error.


I have not checked those stats myself but at first glance they do not seem right....

Do you by chance have the stats for the number of incidents/"technical issues" that have had direct impact on qualy performance/grid position and the start performance itself (e g kers/clutch settings/tyre temperatures etc) for the two cars?

You see, if WEB starts way behind multi12-VET, RB will probably need not give WEB a team order during the race - one that RB know he obviously will NOT obey).


Off topic: Alan Jones mentioned tonight that Mark Webber had been 'stood down' by Redbull from the recent tyre test.

Any info around this James?


Webber was scheduled to test but that then changed. Autosport gave various updates on its website on the scheduled drivers. You might be able to look through it still to confirm for yourself.


Bravo to Lewis and the Mercedes team, they haven't stopped surprising me on Saturday and in this case because they missed the young drivers' test.

However, seeing as Rosberg is in 4th place, I think Lewis' talent made the difference here for Red Bull looked like they had pole easy.

Grosjean too did well taking into account the fact the Lotus looks jittery to drive especially at the last corner >>> And by the looks of it, Grosjean's lack of form in the early part of the season can now be attributed to the fragile Pirelli tyres.

Solid performance by Alonso but again he finds himself starting behind Vettel, maybe he can do something special at the start other than that, it appears a podium is all he can hope for.

Ricciardo has now proved beyond a doubt that he deserves the Red Bull seat, possibly even more than Kimi for he sure does have that 1 lap performance.

Furthermore, brilliant performance by Perez for having made it to Q3, all this after crashing out in FP3.

Shame about Webber car issues, his season is turning out similar to 2011. No wonder he was never happy at Red Bull.

Now, regards the Sutil/Di Resta in team battle, I will keep an eye on Di Resta for he has tended to have weaker performances in the second half of seasons leading to his teammates beating him.

All in all, a good qualifying session because it was surprising.


It was interesting to hear during the qualifying that RBR put it out there that in the YDT Ricciardo was 2-tenths faster in the RB9 than Vettel on fuel-corrected times (different days of course).


"However, seeing as Rosberg is in 4th place, I think Lewis’ talent made the difference here for Red Bull looked like they had pole easy."

Oh, for pity's sake - The Merc's have been the fastest in qualifying all year long, they were both faster than Vettel in Q1 and Q2, and Rosberg had brake issues in Q3 which lost him a lot of time. The car made the difference here.


Yes, you are right. Especially as Rosberg is soooo muuuuuuuch faster than Lewis. Damn that boy! 🙂


you're right this year the merc is quick in qually all year..but compared to last year's car it's flippin fantastic and that's partly why some folks are so, in one year can merc go from being so shoddy to having a qualli car?

In my humble opinion, thismis partly due to the team behind the scenes but also because of the two drivers who give feedback and drive the damn thing...after all with no driver, it don't matter how good the car is, it ain't going no for Nico's problem with adjusting his brake balance..the man himself admited that although it cost him some time, he would have still struggled to get pole...


“I hope we can have a good start even though I’m on the dirtier side of the grid. Qualifying did not go perfectly for me at the end, it didn’t help that my brake balance adjuster got stuck, so I couldn’t change it around the lap. That cost me a little, but the pole wasn’t possible today”

'That cost me a little, but the pole wasn't possible today' so there you have really isn't just because the car made the difference. It was Lewis in that car made it a pole sitter...i.e driver +car = pole...not as you seem to think car=pole


@Steve S. Give some credit to Lewis When its due. you do not have to remind us every time about rosberg's break balance issues. Even Seb gave lewis the credit (Qualifying Press Conference). NIco did admit pole was not possible regardless. That lap was beautiful. Period. It could have been better, when u put into consideration the fact that lewis said he felt there was a couple more tenths in there somewhere.

I know you are not a fan of him.But, at the very least, be fair.


Am not sure if this means anything but in the just concluded GP2 feature race, the number 10 car, driven by a British driver (Palmer) has beaten the number 1 car to the win.

The number 9 car came in a close 3rd.

Andrew Woodruff

Ferret and his statistics!


GFeret with his statistics are much part of my JA website experience! It's like a 2nd part to the articles, love it or hate it... Well, I love it...


It's getting a tad too much now


lol..I'm waiting for F1's version of Wisden to be published anyday now!!


No... it doesn't mean anything.


If anything, this qualifying session solidifies the notion that Lewis Hamilton IS the fastest man over a single lap in F1. No arguments.

There were 4 other drivers with cars good enough for pole today, but when it mattered, it was Lewis Hamilton who came up with the goods; even though he wasn’t comfortable with the car, nor did the lap feel that “great”.

An amazing pole lap given the competition he faced.

Lest anyone goes on about Mercedes being the fastetst qualifying car in the dry, it will be worthwhile to mention that with the kind of margins between the Red Bull of Vettel and Mercedes today, the cars were evenly matched. Rosberg was beaten by 3 other drivers; and he is no slouch!


"he wasn’t comfortable with the car"

How long are we going to keep hearing this "he's not comfortable with the car" line? He's had all of pre-season testing, ten GP weekends, plus the illegal tyre test to come to grips with the car. He's supposed to be one of the best drivers in the world - THE best driver in the world if you believe his fans. And yet he supposedly can never quite get to grips with the car?

If Vettel moves to Ferrari in a few years time and spends half the season complaining that he's "not comfortable with the car", I somehow suspect that his remarks will not get such a sympathetic reception.


If he says he is not comfortable, then he isn't. Why would you disagree with him? Are you the one driving the car?

Drivers take a while to adjust to a new enviroment, new team, new engineers, new car, new way of doing teams. His brake problems at Merc are well documented. Different teams will pose different challenges to drivers based of the way the cars/teams are and based on what the drivers is used too.

What you should be worried about is that he is not fully bedded in the car yet and is already beating his teamamte who has been in the team for 3yrs.


vettel sector times were

28.833+ 28.341+ 22.146 = 1.19.32

faster than hamilton by a little. he could have done better in his last attempt if he put all the sectors together. maybe he was complacent after seeing the lead he had after the first attemt.

regarding rosberg the brake balance adjuster got stuck, so he didn't extract the max from the car.



While a pretty good guide, you cannot necessarily put together all the sectors to get the best lap time. To give an example, in Barcelona it was vital to not go flat out in sector one or else the tyres would already be past their peak grip in sector three and even more time would be lost there. The Mercedes drivers and Perez most notably got this right. There was a lot of speculation about low speed traction, but Ross Brawn confirmed it was driver technique.

Less common but changes in wind direction can vary the sector times too.


There was only one other driver with a car good enough for pole position today - Rosberg - and he lost out due to car trouble.


You realize we're talking about 4-hundredths of a second, right? You're treating it like it was 4 seconds! Vettel himself said pole was possible.

Vettel is practical. He knows it's stupid to belittle what was a great lap by Lewis. Of course he doesn't like that he didn't get P1, but he's still in a great position for the race. Perhaps if the Merc had good race pace too, he'd be kicking himself more.


...sorry...again no that wasn't the only reason he lost out. Nico himself said he lost a little time but even then he wouldn't have made pole.


If your assumption were true, why is Hamilton only the second best of the current Drivers in the pole list?


When you look at the drivers in their seated positions, just look a little underneath them, and you'll have your answer. 😉

Even then, out of six seasons, Hamilton's only been beaten on the pole count in two seasons (2010 and 2011).


Merc is the fastest car in qualifying, no doubt even when they missed out the YDT. Rosberg's car brake balance was stuck, otherwise an all Merc frontrow would have been likely.


Talking about Rosbergs brake issues is stretching things quite a bit. Rosberg himself said despite brake issues, pole was outside his reach this weekend.

Considering that Lewis beat Vettel by just 0.085 sec, Rosberg himself is saying he couldn't have made front row, as to do that would have meant practically qualifying on pole pace.

Even Lewis himself and Merc were surprised at the pole, so I don't get some of the arguments people are making to rationalise positions (which seem entrenched, anyway).



Lewis pole was a full second quicker than Rosbergs fastest Q1 and Q2 times.

...And now, Lewis has gone and won the race as well! Double surprise!!! 🙂

That lad is gold.


What possible reason can there be for feigning surprise, it's not something they have done before and there is nothing to gain from it.

"As fake as a hooker’s smile" I have to bow to your superior experience on this topic.

Rosberg had a brake bias adjustment issue where he could no longer change the brake bias. This does not account for the 3 tenths. Hamilton won it on merit.


The surprise act and the great cheers after getting pole or winning a race are as fake as a hooker's smile.

After Rosberg already was fastest in q1 and q2 and had a brake balance problem in q3 yet finishing 0.12 seconds from 3rd place, less than 0.3 seconds from front row, the other Merc on pole... Merc is still the fastest car in qualifying.

Hamiltons lap was probably very good but it should not be overrated.


That's strange because everyone here in Budapest was impressed with it, rivals teams etc


When it matters...

2010 Monza or Singapore does it ring a bell? At the end of 2011 Whitmarsh said, McLaren had the fastest car over the year, but Vettel was better. Does that ring a bell?


@ Krist - Yes, but this is 2013. Hamilton did have a bad year in 2011, yet he won as many races as his team mae=te and annihilated him on poles. And in 2012, McLaren fluffed his championship hopes. Of course, Whitmarsh would say that to take the heat of himself. Lewis was simply the best driver of 2012, but RBR had the best team/driver combination. What exactly is the point you are trying to make.


Think you got some dates wrong. Maybe you meant 2012 instead of 2011, but even then, and I don't care what Whitmarsh said, the McLaren last year wasn't consistently fast at all the races. The Red Bull was always up there, usually in the top 3 at any given weekend, allowing them to score consistent top-5 points early on, until they made a 2-step advance coming out of Singapore (remember Vettel leading 205 consecutive laps, the 5th most all-time? Yeah, slow cars can do that, y'know).


@James Allen

In the first 30 minutes of FP3, Ferrari has only done 1 installation lap with Massa and 2 installation laps with Alonso.

Did they have technical problems?

Actually this is not the first time I see them start running very late in FP sessions, so maybe this has something to do with a particular way of approaching free practices.

From the outside it seems quite a "waste" of time.

Obviously they know what they are doing...but what are they doing??

James, can you shed some light on this?


I noticed this too... but then I realized it is all part of Domenicali's master plan you see. Its all part of his plan, blowing world titles, having slow cars, qualifying outside the top four, yes even hardly running in FP3. Don't question Domenicali.. he is a proven winner. Right?


Vettel says: "We should have a good race tomorrow and I am quite confident."



The two times this season when Vettel said he was confident after qualifying >>> Silverstone and Germany.


Whoops, correction:

The two places where Vettel said he was confident after qualifying were Canada and Germany.


Well, a Merc pole; as some have pointed out above, why is anybody surprised?

Ross Brawn likely raised on a beach, with is knowledge of sand management.

I'm hoping that Lewis can make it through the first lap in front, and maintain, thereby retarding Vettel's typical pull away from the crowd, for if he is not impeded, then the race, and championship start to look very predictable and grimly tedious for us, the fans.

I still think Lotus should run Grosjean, the lead qualifier, on a head to head racing strategy against Vettel; he's got the speed, and the reputation to keep the cocky munchkin in line, no overly optimistic passes on Grosjean.

Likewise, wile who knows what will happen in the first stint, but Kimi will be slowed; so should be on the tire-maximization strategy, risking one less stop then all of the top contenders, except Merc, who will take one more stop than the other top contenders.

I still think Perez is aiming for 4th, and could surprise. Perez is as aggressive as anybody in passing, and should be at it early on; let's face it, he really has comparatively little to lose; he should be good for providing spectacle in this race.

I expect the Mercs to fizzle in the heat, so it will only be a question of time before Vettel passes, the soonest being on the opening lap, the latest being at the end of Hamilton's first stint.

Alonso will capitalize, if possible on the Ferrari's strongest comparative advantage, launch from the line; realistically, Kimi's best chance is to slot in behind him, close, for the first lap, then hang on a pass him at his first stop, but he'll have Massa roaring up behind Alonso, so it's not a good situation for Kimi on the dirty side of the THIRD row, in Hungary.

Besides Perez, I expect Webber to be doing his Aussie balls-to-the-walls aggressive driving, passing as frequently as anyone, from early on.

Go Webbo! anyone who believes the dramatically skewed probability of Webber's Red Bull always getting the problems, by chance, ought to take a sort refresh on probability to find out that Vettel should be playing the lotteries every week with that kind of 'luck', were if for real!



Mercedes - one of the greatest results from an open cheat, in recent F1 history; no surprise with Ross Brawn, driving, and Toto Wolfe even Brawn's approach.

Importantly, Lewis drove a race, worthy of a victory; anybody paying attention could see that.

However, rightly, Mercedes should have been disqualified for the season, instead, the Mercedes-Hamilton package becomes the legitimate title challenger.

The tire construction/compound change has hurt Kimi, but he remains within striking distance. However, with the Mercedes qualifying advantage, the elusive top step is ironically reduced in probability.

What about Grosjean, the best package today.

I've not been a great fan of Grosjean, however, it's starting to look like the entire F1 governing system is aligned untoward, against him. I only saw the coverage that was presented during the race, but it did NOT look like a good call on the drive through, without which, there is a high probability that Grosjean would have won the race.

More interfering favouring Mercedes?

It's got me wondering.

Great race Lewy.


Who knows about the drive-thru for the Massa pass, but he got a 20 sec time penalty for edging into Button (right call, even GRO agrees), so doubt he could've won the race.

Grosjean still can't maintain total focus for a full race distance, methinks. I recall him harrying Lewis in Hungary last year, clearly quicker, but then he made a couple of mistakes while following, and dropped back. Before pre-season started, I would have said that he and Perez were nailed on certs to get their maiden wins this year. But I'm coming 'round to the view that Grosjean just can't manage it.


Well, I recognize your well thought out and coherent opinion; thank you.

I guess I was just so pleased to actually see him doing well; he's gone through more than most by this stage of a career.

I'm still thinking there's a Grosjean win before the end of the season; he looked great.


Massa is the one to watch off the start line, not Alonso. He easily makes 6-7 places off the start on most days.


BTW: great lap Lewy! You are trending towards one of the greatest qualifiers of all time!


New knickname for Lewis? Really? 😉


Vettel: 111 starts, 39 poles, 55 front row starts.

Hamilton: 120 starts, 30 poles, 55 front row starts.

Conclusion - "Hamilton is one of the greatest qualifiers of all time. Seb has the fastest car on the grid."

I'm not turned of by F1, but I am starting to lose patience with "F1 fans".


SteveS, your comment is interesting, but why not include race wins, in your stats; I suspect that they may be very relevant.

What is exactly, your point about the racers?

What exactly, is your point about the fans?


[mod] Hamilton. He has beaten all of his team mates in qualifying from his first race, Alonso, Kovalainen, Button and now Rosberg. He is clearly very fast in qualifying and always has been throughout the lower formulas.

Why are you even trying to argue?


Beats me!


You are right - some of Hamilton's car were real pigs.


How come Vettel has 111 starts and Lewis 120? Very strange when you consider that Vettel has actually been in F1 longer than Lewis. Eh?


Was that meant to be a serious question? Hamilton has "been in F1" longer than Vettel by about half a season. Consult wikipedia if you don't know the details.


Well, not in a race seat he hasn't. He was 3rd driver for BMW Sauber in 2006, after Kubica replaced Villeneuve midway through the year. He got decent running that year, as lower teams were allowed to run 3 cars in free practice.

Vettel's first race was USA 2007 with BMW-Sauber, then he replaced Scott Speed at STR for the last 7 races of the season. So he drove 8 races of a 17-race season, and there's your 9 race difference to Hamilton.


Depends what you mean. Hamilton had his first start earlier - the first race of 2007 as opposed to Vettel only taking part in the final third of the season - but Vettel had the odd Free Practice session towards the end of 2006.


Lewis had full season 2007 Sebastian only half.


Sorry but Vettel has had, for the large majority of races since mid 2009, the quickest car on the grid. It's not debatable


... and Steve S commits logical Seppuku, in full view of all.


Sorry, but Vettel has most emphatically NOT had "the quickest car on the grid" since mid 2009. He has not even had "the quickest car on the grid" this season - and he's still leading the championship.


Fastest laps since 2009:

1 Red Bull 34

2 McLaren 16

3 Ferrari 10

4 Brawn GP 4

5 Renault 4

6 Lotus 4

Poles since 2009:

1 Red Bull 49

2 McLaren 14

3 Mercedes 8

4 Brawn GP 5

5 Ferrari 4

Front-row lockouts since 2009:

1 Red Bull 19

2 McLaren 5

3 Mercedes 4

It's not debateable.


Your proof?


Christian Horner reports that Webbers car issues (KERs and Gearbox) was worth up to 0.8 sec in quali. It really would be so frustrating that for the last 3 years he had the majority of issues in qualifying ( not alone the race) with kers.....his fortitude is unbelievable. ......but he did keep signing on!


I always knew Lewis would be the won to beat at the Hungaroring. Regardless of P3. What blew me away was the speed of these new tyres . Everyone was more than a full second up from last year and in some cases 2 !

Im really surprised how Kimi was fighting his car a bit -normally he's captain smooth- perhaps theyve gone for more race set up.I actually never thought I would be happy to see Romain out qualify Kimi - but Im really pleased he's got his season back on track and could fight for the win. But it will be a real endurance battle and both Lotus will hopefully pull off their magic tomorrow.

I see the potential for chaos with Fernando and Kimi both having Vettel in sight and Grosjean wedged right in between. I would also be pleased if Lewis held position and took the win he's just about due I would say following my predictions last year that he would be out qualifying the terrific Nico and ahead by mid season.

Can't wait 20hrs now !


Kimi and Vettel will start from the dirty side of the track. It is going to be interesting tomorrow … Grosjean is Hamilton's real threat.

You gotta feel for Webber. On top of that, he will start from the dirty side as well.


It occurs to me that if the Hamilton fans really and truly believed that he was "the fastest driver on the grid", they would not constantly act so startled and amazed every time he does a good qualifying time in what has consistently proven to be the fastest car over a single lap this season. Instead they'd act the same way they do when Vettel takes pole position - with a shrug and a "What else did you expect?"


I think you're confusing being ecstatic with surprise mate

Tornillo Amarillo

Vettel could try to do poles in the future with another team to be fair.


Which Team?


Any other team in F1 would do.

As a matter of interest, do you know that Ricciardo was faster than Vettel on the same fuel in the just concluded Young Drivers Test? That's according to figures released by Red Bull. It just goes to prove the point the majority make, that the man is fast only because his car is a class act.


I just saw former F1 driver, Christian Danner commenting, he said: "Vettel was outqualified by Lewis because the temperature got colder by 5 degrees. Go and watch the Video on, if you understand German. Danner is often Hamilton-biased, why is that?


Sami recall it it dropped by 5 deg earlier and by end of Q3 it was back to 48/49


it's seems every year there are some people that's in awe of lewis hamilton performance , and the other people just have something crazy to say it's like mate where do they get this stuff from?? his performance has always been the same race after race year after year he pushing for pole and pushing for the win. there has not been a driver since ayrton senna that would push to get all he can from a car even if the car performance can't match the others . now look at mclaren they knew all the time who was the best driver now they looking at a chance of a winless season since 2006 a year before lewis hamilton started his rookie year !! if mercedes can get the car to match lewis hamilton performance there is no reason why he shouldn't be formula one world champion this year!!


Not to be offensive at all but your post makes no sense. If Hamilton was just THAT much better than his teammates he'd have destroyed Button on points at Mclaren (they were about even and he lost to Button in one year - which is hardly dominating) and this year he has zero wins to Rosbergs two and he's only just gone one ahead in the pole battle.

Hamilton is brilliantly talented but just lionising him against the facts is not entirely sensible.


mate remember button was just riding around track until Mercedes team boss ross brawn made him a star and if button was so much better why not go after him instead of Lewis Hamilton because button is only a number two driver. and for Rosberg and his two wins he is still behind Hamilton in championship points...


[mod] Hamilton is a brilliant driver but if he by far and away the best ever he doesn't have the results to show it. It's like saying webber is better than vettel but he's had more failures. It's just statistics.


I'm sure you will change your mind when you consider all factors in the cold light of day. Especially 2012.


Hamilton has had a number of problems on race day over the years, some of them of his own doing certainly, but more due to equipment failure which led to forced retirement whilst enjoying a commanding lead (I don't quite have the stats but I remember at least 2 occasions last year). Whereas this obviously does not contribute to your points tally, it definitely builds your stature as a driver which is why many fans are surprised that Button's points tally was actually close to Hamilton's.


any news on whether grosjean/ lotus passed scrutineering?


Did the damaged floor stay that allowed the floor to flex give him any speed advantage that would explain the gap to Kimi?


Yep, all good. The floor was damaged on a kerb in Q2. That makes it 'damage' which is ok.

Robert Gunning

Yes. It was force majeure (damage).


Romain Grosjean and Lotus will keep third on the Hungarian Grand Prix after stewards accepted that damage caused the floor infringement.


He is ok


Skysports have just tweeted - he's ok because the stewards said it was the result of an impact with the T11 kerb


Is it just me or is Kimi mumbling more than usual? I didn't understand a word of his post-quali interview on BBC.


You are just not used to him speaking.. 😉

Thread the Needle

Going by practice on Friday hamilton has little chance of the win, lucky if he can even get a podium, probably another vettel win

Hopefully next year with these new cars and decent Pirelli tyres, it will produce some excitement


if all goes well for Romain tmorrow then I feel it will 1. Romain 2. Vettel 3. Alonso (or lewis) on podium.


While LH did a great lap, so did NR in the other Mercedes despite being hampered with a brake balance issue in Q3.

Without that issue it would have been a close Mercedes 1, 2. Would NR have been quicker than LH as he was in Q1 and Q2, we will never know. But to praise LH to high heaven in the fastest Qualifying car and putting NR down at the same time is being a little disingenuous FAN-boys.


Praise where praise is due. If Seb had put his best sectors together in one lap he would be on pole. There goes your fastest car theory at this track on this day. Lewis just had a better lap when it mattered. I am not seeing any negative comment re Nico, in fact it is the Hamilton haters that talk up the rivalry as opposed to Hamilton fans.


i am a lewis fan for two reasons he has the ability to make a not so good car perform at the front and sense he came into f1 the races got more interesting , before we had DRS he was the one with the most overtakes each year,when he is not in the race doing his normal fighting style the race is dull just a bunch of cars following each other.

bravo lewis great job

tuff luck mark again !!! i'm sure you will make up lots of position tomorrow


While these tyres create pit stops they also create an unevenly competitive grid, and it must be utterly soul destroying when drivers are forced to conserve rather than being able to push. If a driver is in a Red Bull then no problem, but any other team is disadvantaged to a lesser or greater extent depending on whether the conditions suit the way a particular car interacts with the tyres. It's an utter farce and Vettel is simply going to stroll to another championship this year precisely for that reason. - He has little competition just needs to avoid mistakes, be conmsistent and hay ho he's there again.


Richard, are you reporting from the 2014 season? I'd love to hear more about it. You surely cannot be talking about 2013, where Red Bull are amongst the teams that have struggled with tyre wear, at least compared to Lotus and Ferrari.


Since 2014 has not happened yet how could I? I did not mention tyre wear, simply the cars interaction with the tyres with regard to thermal degradation. Red Bull have the best compromise now. They struggle a bit at the beginning but Newey and co have got on top of it some time back or didn't you notice that? Not that I think the 2013 tyres were any good I don't, and I'd sooner be shot of high degradation tyres full stop so that we could then start racing properly again. Red Bull have a distinct advantage in design excellence, and a very well run team.


Sorry Idon't know what your point is.

Vettel, (not a fan), is leading the championship despite the tyres. Had the cars been able to push to the limit Red Bull would be celebrating the double by now.


You have to understand what's going on. Vettel as well as having the most agile car also has a car with the best compromise in the way it interacts with the tyres while other drivers are at a disadvantage for one reason or another. Being a top driver he would find it quite difficult not to win. Bring back durable tyres that the teams can really push on rather than continue the current farce.


@Jake "Had the cars been able to push to the limit Red Bull would be celebrating the double by now."

Have to say I disagree there matey. ATM the RB and the Mercs are pretty even pace wise. The Mercs just can't handle on high fuel loads and overheat it's tyres.

So if we had more durable tyres then I think Lewis would edge it. I think Lewis even said this recently.


No question Merc have closed the gab but I still think the Bulls are the best all round package.


Interesting line up for tomorrow in the first 3 rows,more inriguing who has their thinking cap on come race day? Cars as we know start on tyres used in qualifying and the Hungaroring is tricky to pass even with DRS,Hamilton i fear chose the latter hoping he can keep others at bay during the opening laps,downside is he's probably destroyed the tyres by claiming pole so how many laps before he has to come in? Mercedes have not so far got on top of the tyre issue and i can see the car slipping back very early. RBR,Ferrari and Lotus will pounce come race day,no points for pole but it was a great lap from Hamilton.


Mr Allen do see any possibility for Monaco repeat i.e. Hamilton deliberately setting a very slow pace to save tries. This track is very hard to overtake, isn't it?


At Monaco it is extremely difficult to pass, although not impossible. Here passing is easier than Monaco, but still difficult overall. The start is where most overtaking will be done although many will try for the undercut at the pit stops.


The safety car in Monaco allowed the Merc to stay in front at the pit stop. That is not likely to happen here and will make Merc vulnerable at the pit stops.


The safety car almost cost Merc the win in Monaco, and very likely cost them a 1-2 there.


Would not have cost them the win as the safety car had to pick up the race leader, Rosberg, Hamilton lost second thru' his own error as he readily admitted.


With Monaco there were a few differences. The tyres were more wear limited rather than degradation affected, so there wasn't as large a difference between the cars. Here the tyres are more likely to heat degrade, which is more like Barcelona. Also being a two or three stop race, it gives the teams many more options to pass via the pit stops as there are more options to stop earlier than the car ahead can contemplate.


Harder to keep people behind you here!


So is Barcelona and we all seen how easy the Mercs were to pass there.

Tornillo Amarillo

Maybe will be Grosjean day, hopefully, I wanna see Vettel defending P2 from Grosjean while Lewis build a 1+ second gap to prevent Vettel using DRS.


Can anybody honestly believe anything that comes out of Lewis' mouth anymore?? Either he tries to play himself up by saying the car is nowhere or else he actually has no idea how to gauge his car's performance. Saying "we have no chance" every weekend and then sticking it on pole is getting boring. If you're as good as we all hope you are then say it and stick it to Vettel!!


Every race he goes to he says "this is the best fans" he just tries to win fans. Would you believe him.



One doubt and confusion. Was Vettel's Q2 time of 1:19.9 on new tyres or the tyres he used in Q1??

The team press release says Vettel had 2 new sets of soft tyres for Q3.

RBR are very clever in Q1. They don't push the tyres to the limits at all (his time was only 1:20:6) and appear to use the same tyre in Q2 as well. Whereas all other teams needed to use new tyres in Q2 as well.


Vettel used the same set in Q2 so he had 2 sets for Q3 yes

We called that as it happened on 5Live


Oh James. Just found that we can access bbc radio in India too. Thanks a ton. Looking forward to ur commentary later in the race. Cheers.


Cool, hope you enjoyed it!


Alonso says that Ferrari have improved, so let's hope so - I want to see a car with speed challenge the Red Bull. Still, Vettel should walk away with this race, like he did in Bahrain in the heat. People talk about Ferrari or Lotus, but Red Bull's tyre management is pretty good also!


Vettel and Hamilton are the kings of pole positions.

Sunday's race will be interesting with the so called improved tires. Gotta observe live timing for the drop off point for the softs and mediums with the heavy fuel loads.

If Vettel wins at Hungary, Alonso can kiss goodbye for the title fight. I hope not as it will become a bore fest for the remaining races. I know we can watch the fight for the runner up and so on, but it's kinda different. Nothing like watching the top contenders battling for the WDC.

Grosjean could be the dark horse? He's back to third on the grid after the floor board clarification.


A notable lack of FIA pit-lane tabards on the few seconds of tv we are allowed in the UK.

Neither Suzi nor Gary were wearing them.

I hope the R5Live engineer has got his/her plugs switches and faders sorted for the race, since we lost James for several periods while either another station or other reporters were faded up in his place. When we get no live tv we rely on R5Live (SE?)

Unfortunately Susy Wolff's soft Scottish tones are difficult to hear when compared to Alan McNish's somewhat harder tones. So please ask her to speak up.


Apologies for that. Somehow the line routed out of London got mixed with some OB from Leeds which no one was across.


Hungary is usually the most affected track for grip difference off the start line from odd side to even side.

Vettel on the dirty side of the grid = best hope for an exciting race! Nothing against Seb, but I hope he doesn't get the lead at the start or he'll be gone.

Grosjean into the first corner from third on the clean side of the grid will be interesting!


hamilton shows why he is the best f1 driver to have stepped foot in the sport.

he refused to change his diff settings while rosberg changed his towards the end of the race, adviced by his engineers. rosberg blew his engine and hamilton finished the race in front!

hamilton is also technically superior!

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