Vettel on pole as Ferrari sweep the front row in Hungary

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying

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Sebastian Vettel took his second pole position of 2017 as Ferrari claimed the front row of the grid at a scorching Hungaroring.

Lewis Hamilton was quickest in Q2 but trouble with tyre vibrations in the pole position shoot-out meant he had to settle for fourth on the grid behind Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas.


While the front runners eased their way into Q2, led by Vettel, Paul di Resta had to use the first part of qualifying merely to get used to driving his Williams FW40. Despite zero preparation, Di Resta quickly began improving his lap times and his final effort got him within eight-tenths of a second of team mate Lance Stroll.

Neither was quick enough to reached the second part of qualifying, though both were inside last year’s pole position time. The same was true of the entire field bar Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber.

The unluckiest driver in Q3 was surely Kevin Magnussen. He matched Sergio Perez’s best effort of 1’19.095 to within a thousandth of a second. But while Perez progressed into Q2, Magnussen missed the cut as he set his time after the Force India driver.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’19.095
17 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1’19.102
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber-Ferrari 1’19.839
19 Paul di Resta Williams-Mercedes 1’19.868
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’19.972


All of the front runners chose to start the race on the super-soft tyre, which remained the preferred rubber for Q2. Vettel led the way to begin with, but Hamilton produced a superb response with his final run to establish a new top time of 1’16.693. Max Verstappen also put his Red Bull in the mix, lapping two-tenths slower than Vettel despite catching traffic at turn nine.

There was little change among the five drivers who found themselves in the drop zone after the first runs. Jolyon Palmer came close to joining his team mate in Q3, but his final effort left him a tenth of a second down on Carlos Sainz Jnr. That meant Renault and Toro Rosso each got one car in the final ten, Palmer and Daniil Kvyat failing to make it through.

Both Force Indias dropped out as well and Romain Grosjean made no further progress after locking his front-left in turn six on his last run.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’18.415
12 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 1’18.495
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’18.538
14 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’18.639
15 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’18.771


Hamilton’s challenge for pole position faded in the final part of qualifying as he hit trouble with his tyres. Beginning his first run Hamilton told his team to make sure his second set of tyres were better balanced, and an error at turn four left him on the back foot beginning their final runs.

Vettel set the benchmark time again with a 1’16.276, despite running wide of the apex at turn one and again at turn two, while Bottas took a provisional second place on the grid. But on the final runs Mercedes lost their grip on the front row entirely.

Hamilton began his final effort complaining of further tyre vibrations. His last effort was clean, if somewhat restrained, and he ended up four-tenths down on Vettel.

That translated to fourth on the grid after a last-gasp improvement by Raikkonen moved him up to second place. The Mercedes pair were relegated to row two, followed by the Red Bull drivers.

Row four will belong to the McLaren drivers after Nico Hulkenberg, who qualified seventh, takes his five-place grid penalty.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’16.276
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’16.444
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’16.530
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’16.693
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’16.797
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’16.818
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’17.468
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’17.549
9 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Honda 1’17.894
10 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Renault 1’18.311

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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51 comments on “Vettel on pole as Ferrari sweep the front row in Hungary”

  1. Since race pace of the top 3 is also very evenly matched, should make for an interesting pit window strategy race as I expect almost no overtakes among the top end. Hope I am wrong though!

  2. Massive effort by Ferrari and they did it in style.

    Vettel almost seemed likeable and his antics at Baku seem a distant memory. The old warhorse Kimi turned it up when it mattered and as evident from his interview he wasn’t pleased with 2nd.

    I believe VER will be in the mix tomorrow and the Mercs may fall behind as they dont work well in dirty air following the pack. Look forward to an exciting round – all set for a classic finale before the summer break.

  3. Great to see McLaren in the mix, and an all Ferrari front row. Well done Di Resta although Jenson Button pulled off a similar stunt at Monaco having not sat in a 2017 car either..

    1. Jenson button had sat in an 2017car for 4hours

    2. Yeah but Button had only been out for 4 races and had the whole weekend (including practice). Di Resta has been out for 4 years (!!) and din’t have any practice or setup work. I think he did a mega job all things considered

  4. Anthony Davidson sounded jealous of Paul’s seat :P Bottas going to try it again at the start tomorrow.

  5. Bottas is doing really well at Mercedes. Usually Hamilton is very strong on Saturdays. But not today. Lets see what happens tomorrow if after turn one Bottas is still ahead.
    The characteristics of Hungary track has suited Ferrari and more crucially both drivers have delivered.
    Expected at least one Red Bull to be in the second row. But that is not the case.
    McLaren are not bluffing when they claim that they have a decent chassis. Both in the top 10.
    Perez out qualified and Palmer delivers another 11th place. There is no gain any more in keeping Kyvat and Palmer. Brownies for DiResta, at least he is not dead last.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th July 2017, 15:29

      @pinakghosh Yeah but Bottas seems to do well when Hamilton can’t run in Q3 which is becoming the main issue.

      The Ferrari was the faster car but I think Lewis could have put it on pole but it came apart in the 3rd sector. Actually, he might be lucky he got a timed lap out of the car and very unlucky that the car couldn’t get pole with Lewis driving it.

      It has to be a pretty bad car if you sit and think about the fact that it can’t even do 1 lap in Q3 with Lewis behind the wheel:-) Even the McLarens were behaving better today.

      I guess you could say that Lewis could have just taken it easy and driven the thing slowly for P3 but he would never do that.

    2. Why the difference between the two Mercedes cars? Did anyone ask the question, or get a satisfactory answer? Hamilton’s radio messages in qualifying were made to let us all know what was going on.

      Bottas wasn’t heard complaining and so seems to have had the better car set up, yet he wasn’t good enough to beat the Ferraris. This isn’t the first time this has happened, where the ‘B’ driver has the advantage over his team mate, only for their championship rivals to out qualify them.

      Was this another case where Mercedes atttempts to micro manage their drivers, simply to shoot themselves in the foot?

  6. Great job by both Ferrari drivers, bit dissapointed with Hamilton’s performance. RedBull’s are still over half a second off though, dissapointing. Great to see McLaren and Renault improving too!

    1. Jake (@jagged-jake)
      29th July 2017, 14:46

      @jeffreyj what is a bit disappointing with Hamilton’s performance? Or he is the only driver who must excel even when the car is not to his preferred balance and suffering with vibrations on the day?

      1. Lewis gets paid to make up the difference in the car, so yes… he must excel.

        1. Jake (@jagged-jake)
          29th July 2017, 15:10

          We all know that drivers are paid, what a tired argument, he has excelled within the limits of a car, what about that? Or you wanted him to “overdrive” the car….

      2. Are you telling us that as soon as his car is not perfect he cannot deliver and finish behind his rookie teammate? He is supposed to make the difference when the car is not perfect because that’s what real champions do. He definitely isn’t from Schumi/Senna clothes…

        1. Jake (@jagged-jake)
          29th July 2017, 15:25

          I have not said he shouldn’t make the difference, re-read all my inputs carefully and comprehend, I was also not aware that Lewis has a rookie teammate, care to share the breaking news :) All I know is that Lewis is a three times champion, but I will leave it to you who is more qualified in the department of real champions, I am not…

          1. Bottas in Mercedes is a rookie in my book.

          2. Of course you aren’t…:)

      3. what is a bit disappointing with Hamilton’s performance?

        @jagged-jake That’s a bit like saying VET wasn’t at all disappointing in Silverstone (even pre tyre blow up – he was behind RAI, just like HAM is behind BOT here like after Qualy in Russia and Monaco (and in those 2 races, in the race as well IIRC)) and in that SC period in Baku.

        Which as a bit of a VET fan I’d find to be a bit of a stretch

    2. For all we know he did the best that could have been done in that car. Margins are razor sharp among the top six this weekend. It wouldn’t take much to make a difference

  7. Red bulls race pace will be very close to them though

  8. Neil (@neilosjames)
    29th July 2017, 14:26

    I especially liked the part where ‘PIT’ remained next to both McLaren drivers on the timing bar during the final runs in Q1…

  9. Regarding Hamilton asking his team to make sure his second set were better balanced … do the teams mount and balance their own tires?

    1. I think Pirelli mount the tyre, but the teams can add balancing weights I would assume.

    2. in my racing experience, pirelli mount and balance the tires on the manufacturer’s rims. But it could be an out of balance of the rotor and other wheel assemblies that has nothing to do with tires or rims.

  10. Out of curiosity, when was the last time at least one Mercedes customer didn’t make Q3?
    Feels like forever.

    1. javier javier
      29th July 2017, 15:29

      Force india didn’t make it today.. and William some races ago when Massa didn’t have the pace and stroll was where he is used to lol

      1. Paul (@frankjaeger)
        29th July 2017, 19:08

        I think he means when did all (FI & Williams) of the Merc customer teams not quality for Q3

        1. Exactly. Excuse my English.

          The last time there weren’t any Mercedes customers in Q3 was Brazil 2013.
          It has been forever.

  11. Jamesluke241988
    29th July 2017, 15:22

    I think this shows that maybe Ferrari have the better car but not engine as Mercedes engine advantage has disappeared on this track. Nice to see Ferrari at the front but can see Mercedes been bk on top in Spa.

    1. I agree with your conclusion, James. Ferrari were also quickest at Monaco weren’t they.

    2. The Mercedes car isn’t that bad either. In fact the 2 cars are very quick indeed but have different characteristics. The Mercedes have the edge on the straights (power) and in the high speed corners due to its long wheelbase, don’t forget that they were actually flying in Silverstone. Ferrari on the other hand is very strong in the medium and low speed corners (downforce) and in the direction change thanks to its short wheelbase.
      So its more down to the circuits that emphasize the strength of one car over the other. We can expect Mercedes to be strong in Spa and Monza and Ferrari to be strong in Singapoore

      1. your point of view was completely blown up today in qualifying….the wheelbase arguement is dead… hamilton was faster in the second sector than both Ferraris in Q3 qualifying…. thats the twisty section aka the downforce section…..that is completely contrary to the wheelbase fantasy being pushed by journalists who are guessing just like the rest of us.

  12. I couldn’t find the reason for Hulkenberg’s penalty. Was it a change of parts, or did he commit a faux pas?

      1. Thanks….I must be asleep today, to not find that.

  13. *Note to Leigh Diffey (NBCSN) – Please stop screaming out “THE ICEMAN!” at random times during the broadcast.
    That is all. Thank you.

    1. It’s funny how David Hobbs will then sometimes comment that Raikkonen often appears to be anything BUT the iceman given his radio outbursts.

      1. Funny and true. Unfortunately, it seems to be lost on Diffey.

  14. Bottas and Hamilton with Verstappen behind them on the grippy side, this will make for an interesting turn 1 through four. Then there’s the additional attraction of Alonso directly behind to pick up the pieces should they come to grief.

  15. Don’t be so harsh with Lewis; afterall he is not Schumacher, Senna, Prost, Clark or Fangio…

    1. True that, though harsh. He’s more like Nigel Mansell, minus the magnificent tash, or James Hunt, minus the shunt.

  16. So, Lewis did the same time in Q2 and Q3 1:16.693?

  17. Very exciting qualifying, saturday is my favorite F1 day, but IT COULD BE MUCH BETTER
    MR BRAWN/ FIA please please I WANT TO SEE EVERY CAR on their flying lap in Q3
    Not just glimses of a lap and a Picture jumping from car to car. and sometimes nothing of a VERY GOOD LAP
    like alonso and hulkenberg today. NOTHING on tv.
    it is HIGH TIME TO REINTRODUCE SINGLE CAR LAPS in Q3 so we can enjoy all the action
    With the STOPWATCH RUNNING on the screen. (like eg. in downhill skiing)
    Come on it`s an absolute no brainer for BETTER ENTERTAINMENT for us watching on tv
    And also POINTS SHOULD BE AWARDED FOR DRIVERS EFFORT. like 5,3,2,1 for the top 4.
    It would make qualifying even more exciting and significant and drivers would really have to GO FOR IT.
    Any else out there who agrees With me ? we should start a FAN CAMPAIGN for this.

    1. Caps lock is cruise control for cool.

      Rewarding points for effort? How would that work?

      1. top 4 would get awarded for their 1 lap qualifying speed with more than gridposition. beeing quick and a good race driver isn`t always the same thing

    2. Arnoud van Houwelingen
      29th July 2017, 23:50

      That would be unfair to the cars who have to start first because the track will get more grip because of more rubber every round a car goes round .. so not a good idea!

      1. well that`s even better if the track “rubbers in” like that. take the champinship standings of the 10 drivers in q3 and turn it upside Down let nr 10 go last and so on and we might get someone else than the top 3 teams up front even on pole. just a slight Natural advantage to the slower cars. no reverse grid or contrived system.

  18. I’m really disappointed the fact that Hamilton closed the gap to just one point. I love all formula 1 drivers. And Hamilton used to be one of my favorites. But I really don’t want him to win this year’s championship. Why? Well, His car is now a bit ahead. I hear some people arguing Ferrari isn’t the second best car. Come on, it is the second best car. At the beginning it was fine Ferrari were saying ok take qualifying but we will be evenly competitive on race day. Now the Mercedes is also a little ahead in the races since Canada. So from what I could understand Vettel is really having a hard time unable to qualify ahead of the Mercedes drivers. But he is doing his best to get them step by step. First he tries to split them in qualy then he tries to get the pole sitter at the starts. I’m really looking forward to Ferrari one two in Hungary. Who knows may be these tyre troubles are the only and the last misfortune Ferrari faces. Many people may feel I am against Mercedes. Let me be honest Yes but the question is since when? well since 2014. And i believe Hamilton and Rosberg have done nothing special to deserve a win every weekend.

    representing drivers by tyres


    Proof, Watch how they are performing in the under dog cars and compare them with their team mates. and imagine or ask yourself what if if they were in Mercedes.


    Proof, The statistics will tell you. they are as good as their order even though Hamilton’s more than 30 race wins has got to do more with luck rather than speciality. but he is truly one of the best qualifiers. Vettel’s has got to do with consistency. Riccardo with composure. Verstapen with maturity.

    Soft : V.BOTTAS

    Proof, Bottas has got the fastest car but not yet in the Super Soft level. and remember he was only better than Massa but he is coming to that may be soon he will be in that Super Soft level. Bottas has got to do with learning curve.

    Medium : K.RÄIKKÖNEN

    Proof, Rakkonen is may be a bit out of practice but he is confident and never gets carried away so who knows may be Iceman will be back to 2005,2006 Iceage. Räkkönen has got to do with optimism.

    But don’t take me the wrong way these are just temporary forms not class!!! Kim’s form now is medium. But we must not forget he is in the class of world champions. We shouldn’t support drivers just because they are winning and need to ask ourselves how the are winning. for example Hulkenberg has only got one pole position. But If you check the performance analysis. You will find him being quicker than Vettel and Hamilton. All smart people Know that except the stupid ones

    If there is someone who don’t agree with me. They should provide their opposite facts. Otherwise I don’t wanna waste my time singing “My favorite driver is the best driver” song without providing proof

    People should argue based on facts and explain their opinion truthfully without bias.


    1. I don’t understand how you want people to argue with facts when you’ve provided none yourself. You preach that Hulkenberg is better, based on what? Most drivers on the grid would be showing up Palmer, doesn’t mean they are suddenly the class of the field.

      Hulkenberg has certainly shown he’s a capable pair of hands and very quick on his day, but not to the level of Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Ricciardo, Verstappen etc.

      The cream inevitably rises to the top, which is why we arguably have the best drivers in the best cars right now, with the exception of Alonso, Raikkonen and the jury for me is still out on Bottas.

  19. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    30th July 2017, 0:02

    You are most welcome!

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      30th July 2017, 0:04

      Sorry, meant as a reply to S.Amanuel

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