Sebastian Vettel claimed his eighth pole position of 2011 after an exciting qualifying battle with Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton was quickest in the first part of Q3 but Vettel’s final lap was enough to snatch pole pole position by a tenth of a second.
The six drivers in the top three teams were easily able to get through Q1 without having to use a set of super-soft tyres.
Vettel led the times initially before being knocked from the top spot by Lewis Hamilton.
But it was Fernando Alonso who set the fastest time in this part of the session with a 1’21.578.
That left both HRT drivers outside the 107% time. But improvements from Vitantonio Liuzzi and Daniel Ricciardo not only got them into the race, but relegated Jerome D’Ambrosio to last place.
Both Lotus drivers dropped out as usual, though Heikki Kovalainen was three-tenths of a second behind Sebastien Buemi.
The Toro Rosso driver, who already has a five-place grid penalty from the last race, did not use super-soft tyres and was knocked out by Pastor Maldonado on the Williams driver’s final lap.
Drivers eliminated in Q1
|18||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’24.070|
Alonso was fastest again in the second part of qualifying, lowering the best time of the weekend to a 1’20.262 on super-soft tyres.
Almost every other driver followed him in his choice with two exceptions. The first was Pastor Maldonado, who didn’t set a time.
The other was Hamilton who, unusually, progressed to Q3 without using a set of the softest tyres. His 1’21.105 was just a hundredth of a second slower than Vettel’s effort on super-softs.
Ahead of Vettel were Webber and Button, the latter second-fastest with a 1’20.578 set on super-soft tyres.
Drivers eliminated in Q2
|11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’22.258|
|16||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’22.979|
|17||Pastor Maldonado||Williams-Cosworth||No time|
Hamilton went into the final part of qualifying having done little running on the super-soft tyre. He aborted both of his runs on it in final practice and didn’t use it in Q1 or Q2.
That being so, his first lap on them in Q3 was even more impressive as he became the first man to lap the track in under 80 seconds.
He took provisional pole position off Alonso with a 1’19.978, much of his advantage coming in the final sector of the lap. Vettel claimed second, less than a tenth of a second behind Hamilton.
Schumacher, Rosberg and Sutil went out for their first runs, joined by the other six doing their second laps as the clock ticked down. Sergio Perez stayed in the pits, settling for tenth place.
Vettel and Hamilton traded fastest sector times in their final laps, and it was Vettel’s faster middle sector that proved decisive. Hamilton was fractionally quicker over the final third of the lap, but it wasn’t enough to keep Vettel from his eighth pole position of the year.
Button moved up to third and Massa claimed fourth, out-qualifying Alonso for the first time in 17 races by just three-hundredths of a second.
Webber, pole sitter in the last two races, could do now better than sixth ahead of the Mercedes-powered trio of Rosberg, Sutil and Schumacher.
Top ten in Q3
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’19.815|
|6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’20.474|
|8||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’21.445|
2011 Hungarian Grand Prix