Sebastian Vettel’s pole position is only the third Ferrari have had this season. But every time they’ve taken pole they’ve also locked out the front row the grid.
Vettel’s rivals can draw some encouragement from the surprising fact that only two of the last nine Hungarian Grands Prix have been won from pole position. The SF70-H should be at least an equally competitive prospect in the race, however.
As was the case in Monaco Ferrari’s strong chassis is serving them well on a low power-sensitivity circuit with plenty of corners. But this isn’t the only factor driving their performance advantage this weekend.
Searing heat at the Hungaroring has swung the balance of power towards Ferrari – perhaps decisively. Red Bull led the way on Friday as track temperatures headed towards the mid-30s. But by final practice temperatures exceeded 50C and it was clear Ferrari were thriving in the hotter conditions. Their quickest rival was eight-tenths of a second behind them.
Mercedes made some progress with their set-up before qualifying and Lewis Hamilton set the quickest time in Q2. But as the pole position shoot-out began the asphalt was registering 56C.
Hamilton slipped off the track at turn four on his first run, resigning himself to a damage-limiting final lap to salvage fourth. Meanwhile Valtteri Bottas lost his grip on the front row.
The hike in temperatures is expected to last into tomorrow (and throughout next week’s two days of testing). The race stint simulations the drivers did on Friday were conducted on a significantly cooler track.
At present Pirelli believes a one-stop strategy is the best realistic option. Two stops are theoretically fractionally quicker, but the high risk of falling into traffic at a circuit where passing is difficult may put teams off it.
While the teams don’t know exactly what they’ll find in tomorrow’s hotter conditions, but Bottas has some expectations.
“For sure it’s going to be more tricky tomorrow than the long runs we did yesterday,” he said after qualifying. “But that’s going to be the same for everyone.”
“I think us, as a team, we have improved since some of the struggles we’ve had in hotter temperatures, it’s gone in a bit better direction.”
Bottas is the strongest-placed Mercedes on the grid, one place ahead of Hamilton and on the clean side of the track. In Russia he used the exceptionally long run to the first braking zone plus a headwind to get ahead of both Ferraris.
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The Hungaroring also has a long dash to turn one, though at 617 metres it’s significantly shorter than in Sochi. And Ferrari will no doubt be planning how to box him and Hamilton in around the slow corners at the start of the lap.
Red Bull and McLaren continue the neat rows of team mates on rows three and four respectively. The upgraded Red Bulls could give the Mercedes a headache, especially if they’re close enough to use the ‘undercut’ to attack.
Given how quickly the rest of the cars tend to drop back, watch out for Red Bull gambling on an aggressively early first stop to attack the Mercedes, knowing a second pit stop could be viable for them. That may explain why they’ve saved a fresh set of super-soft tyres.
Realistically, McLaren’s best hope is to hold on to those positions and profit from any retirements ahead, while resisting the rapid Renaults behind them: Nico Hulkenberg would have started ahead of the Honda-powered cars had it not been for his gearbox change penalty.
Qualifying times in full
|Driver||Car||Q1||Q2 (vs Q1)||Q3 (vs Q2)|
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||1’17.244||1’16.802 (-0.442)||1’16.276 (-0.526)|
|2||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||1’17.364||1’17.207 (-0.157)||1’16.444 (-0.763)|
|3||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1’18.058||1’17.362 (-0.696)||1’16.530 (-0.832)|
|4||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1’17.492||1’16.693 (-0.799)||1’16.707 (+0.014)|
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1’17.266||1’17.028 (-0.238)||1’16.797 (-0.231)|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1’17.702||1’17.698 (-0.004)||1’16.818 (-0.880)|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||1’18.137||1’17.655 (-0.482)||1’17.468 (-0.187)|
|8||Fernando Alonso||McLaren||1’18.395||1’17.919 (-0.476)||1’17.549 (-0.370)|
|9||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||1’18.479||1’18.000 (-0.479)||1’17.894 (-0.106)|
|10||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso||1’18.948||1’18.311 (-0.637)||1’18.912 (+0.601)|
|11||Jolyon Palmer||Renault||1’18.699||1’18.415 (-0.284)|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India||1’18.843||1’18.495 (-0.348)|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1’18.702||1’18.538 (-0.164)|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India||1’19.095||1’18.639 (-0.456)|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas||1’19.085||1’18.771 (-0.314)|
|19||Paul di Resta||Williams||1’19.868|
|Driver||Sector 1||Sector 2||Sector 3|
|Sebastian Vettel||27.499 (2)||27.126 (1)||21.479 (1)|
|Kimi Raikkonen||27.397 (1)||27.307 (4)||21.638 (3)|
|Valtteri Bottas||27.629 (3)||27.230 (3)||21.558 (2)|
|Lewis Hamilton||27.630 (4)||27.217 (2)||21.664 (6)|
|Max Verstappen||27.648 (5)||27.366 (5)||21.639 (4)|
|Daniel Ricciardo||27.688 (6)||27.419 (6)||21.658 (5)|
|Nico Hulkenberg||28.111 (11)||27.489 (7)||21.793 (7)|
|Fernando Alonso||28.031 (8)||27.568 (8)||21.797 (8)|
|Stoffel Vandoorne||28.113 (12)||27.741 (9)||21.973 (9)|
|Carlos Sainz Jnr||28.126 (14)||28.069 (11)||22.116 (11)|
|Jolyon Palmer||28.302 (17)||28.028 (10)||21.984 (10)|
|Esteban Ocon||27.999 (7)||28.182 (12)||22.228 (13)|
|Daniil Kvyat||28.068 (9)||28.250 (15)||22.202 (12)|
|Sergio Perez||28.098 (10)||28.312 (16)||22.229 (14)|
|Romain Grosjean||28.274 (16)||28.208 (13)||22.278 (15)|
|Kevin Magnussen||28.224 (15)||28.237 (14)||22.398 (16)|
|Lance Stroll||28.117 (13)||28.472 (17)||22.465 (18)|
|Pascal Wehrlein||28.579 (19)||28.783 (19)||22.448 (17)|
|Paul di Resta||28.521 (18)||28.794 (20)||22.553 (19)|
|Marcus Ericsson||28.780 (20)||28.635 (18)||22.557 (20)|
|1||Sergio Perez||Force India||Mercedes||313.0 (194.5)|
|2||Paul di Resta||Williams||Mercedes||311.7 (193.7)||-1.3|
|3||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||Ferrari||311.6 (193.6)||-1.4|
|4||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||Mercedes||311.5 (193.6)||-1.5|
|5||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||Mercedes||311.0 (193.2)||-2.0|
|6||Lance Stroll||Williams||Mercedes||310.5 (192.9)||-2.5|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||Renault||309.7 (192.4)||-3.3|
|8||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||TAG Heuer||308.8 (191.9)||-4.2|
|9||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||Ferrari||308.3 (191.6)||-4.7|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||TAG Heuer||307.9 (191.3)||-5.1|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Force India||Mercedes||307.7 (191.2)||-5.3|
|12||Romain Grosjean||Haas||Ferrari||307.2 (190.9)||-5.8|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||Ferrari||307.0 (190.8)||-6.0|
|14||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso||Renault||306.1 (190.2)||-6.9|
|15||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||Ferrari||303.5 (188.6)||-9.5|
|16||Jolyon Palmer||Renault||Renault||303.2 (188.4)||-9.8|
|17||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber||Ferrari||302.9 (188.2)||-10.1|
|18||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||Honda||302.2 (187.8)||-10.8|
|19||Fernando Alonso||McLaren||Honda||301.8 (187.5)||-11.2|
|20||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||Renault||300.2 (186.5)||-12.8|
Drivers’ remaining tyres
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||0||1||1||0||1||3|
|Max Verstappen||Red Bull||0||1||1||0||1||3|
|Sergio Perez||Force India||1||0||1||0||1||4|
|Esteban Ocon||Force India||1||0||1||0||1||4|
|Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||0||1||1||0||0||4|
|Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso||0||1||1||0||1||4|
Over to you
Will Vettel extend his points lead ahead of the summer break? Or will this be another Hungarian Grand Prix where the pole sitter loses his advantage?
Share your views on the race in the comments.
2017 Hungarian Grand Prix
- Vettel: No need for team orders at Ferrari yet
- 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix team radio transcript
- Alonso is eighth different Driver of the Weekend winner so far
- Dull Hungarian GP still gets better rating than last year
- Hamilton ‘paid it forward’ to his team mate but could Vettel do the same?
9 comments on “Vettel has chance to extend points lead as Ferrari thrive in Hungarian heat”
29th July 2017, 23:29
What are mercedes thinking? They only have 1 new set of soft tyres for the race and no more Ss. This completely reduces their flexibility even though it is likely to be another 1 stop race.
30th July 2017, 1:53
I think it might be a 2 stop race, and that’s why no top team split their drivers on q2. Considering a 2 stop is likely, you ought to start on the SS to help you on the start also to reduce undercutting, also to cover any race eventuality, then go for yellows, hope to last till the end, if not that’s not possible try to undercut with the SS if the tyres are not lasting put another set of yellows. RB has managed their allocation perfectly, though the SS doesn’t look like a great race tyre you never know.
29th July 2017, 23:55
Q2 laptime for Vettel is wrong, that’s pole time. 1’16.278 was his second best effort in Q3.
30th July 2017, 2:18
The last driver to win the WDC after winning Hungary was Schumacher in 2004.
Julian (Mr. Sakura) (@xiasitlo)
30th July 2017, 4:03
Pin me on this, if I’m right would I get COTD…? Wondering here…
If my theory continues to be right;
Kimi will win.
Ferrari got this in the pocket. If the Pirelli ghosts don’t come back.
Everything suits the Ferrari this weekend. The long wear, the track temps, the track characteristics, is it the best track for Ferrari probably this whole season. So they will make sure they won’t screw this up.
Mercedes won’t get near. Their rear – as expected is way too responsive.
Red Bull lacks so much in the kinetic units, such a shame. They will get problems during the GP with the engine.
The fun fact here is, the only thing that could create pandemonium will be Alonso and Vandoorne fighting with the leading 6 after their stops. It will even be difficult here to pass the Honda’s. So maybe with a early safety car, Honda could play a decisive role in the championship, otherwise it will be RB holding the early stops up.
But this will probably end up in a poor procession with Vettel overcooking his tyres, Ferrari leaving Kimi out to hold up and counter the possible soft tyre gamble and it turns out that the SS actually hold on fine so Kimi extends his stint, Bottas keeps trying to pass him but fails, Lewis asks to use Bottas as a prop again, Kimi stops way later and gets out in front of Vettel (who will get stuck behind either a RB or a McLaren depending on the time) and everybody here will be happy because he’ll get his revenge for Monaco.
Now the lotto numbers for next week are being revealed next monday.
30th July 2017, 10:47
@xiasitlo love it. it’s bonkers but still
30th July 2017, 6:16
Mercedes didn’t dominate.
red bull didn’t beat FERRARI.
FERRARI weren’t out-developed.
it wasn’t number 44’s track.
somebody said that FERRARI aren’t using spark-plugs, that they are using a flexi floor, that they are using steel printed pistons, that they are using anchor injectors, that they are using either or both HCCI and JET combustion system, that they are burning oil as fuel.
torpedo’s away! clear the bridge, dive, dive, dive.
30th July 2017, 10:58
Vettel and Raikkonen need to better their starts. Seb’s been saying the starts weren’t so bad – but they were below average. The start is Lewis’ and Valterri’s chance to turn this into a very difficult race for Ferrari.
F1 in Figures (@f1infigures)
30th July 2017, 11:32
Good analysis. I think, however, that at least Hamilton will preserve his tires in the first laps to stretch his first stint and to reduce the danger of the undercut as much as possible. The big question mark is Bottas’ race pace. In Russia and Austria he was pretty fast (at least in the early stages of the race), but in Monaco, for example, he was nowhere.
Comments are closed.