Vettel seizes back initiative with pole in Budapest

Sebastian Vettel has qualified on pole position for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix with a record-breaking lap time. Vettel’s time of 1:16.276s was not beaten as his team-mate Kimi Räikkönen finished just 0.168s slower to make it an all-Ferrari front row.

Vettel was quickest in Q1, albeit by just 0.022s ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen. Paul Di Resta had not driven a Formula One car under pressure since Brazil in 2013 and had only lapped Williams’ 2017 car on the simulator. Jumping into the car for an unwell Felipé Massa, the Scot could only manage 19th place.

Kevin Magnussen was unlucky not advance to Q2. Having set the exact same time as Force India’s Sergio Perez, Magnussen showed up on the leaderboard after the Mexican as his time was set later. Magnussen, Lance Stroll, Pascal Wehrlein, Di Resta and Marcus Ericsson were all eliminated.

Despite making it into Q2, Perez struggled throughout the session and could only manage 14th place ahead of Magnussen’s team-mate Romain Grosjean. His team-mate Esteban Ocon qualified 12th ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat. Nico Hülkenberg set an impressive lap time to go sixth fastest and qualify for Q3 however, his team-mate Jolyon Palmer narrowly missed out on the top ten in 11th place.

In the final session, Vettel proved too good and set a new outright lap record for the Hungaroring to claim pole position. Bottas had set the first time of the session, but was subsequently surpassed by the German as Max Verstappen edged team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in third.

Lewis Hamilton, aiming for a record-equalling 68th pole, complained of tyre vibrations and abandoned his first run after sliding off the road at turn 4 having previously done so in Q1.

Reemerging for a second run, Hamilton improved to third behind Vettel and Bottas. Kimi Räikkönen was on a flier and jumped past him and Bottas into second after the chequered flag had dropped. Nico Hülkenberg finished best of the rest in seventh as the McLaren pair of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne made the top ten again. Carlos Sainz Jr. will start from 10th place.

The grid for the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix reads: Vettel, Raikkonen; Bottas, Hamilton; Verstappen, Ricciardo; Alonso, Vandoorne,; Sainz, Palmer; Ocon, Hulkenberg; Kvyat, Perez; Grosjean, Magnussen; Stroll, Wehrlein; Di Resta, Ericsson.

Q3

Session Over: A brilliant lap from Kimi Räikkönen sees him steal second place at the death. The order stands: Vettel, Räikkönen, Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Hülkenberg, Alonso, Vandoorne, Sainz.

1 minute to go: Bottas improves his lap time, but not enough to challenge Vettel.

Ricciardo crosses the line in fifth. He can’t beat Verstappen’s time.

2 minutes to go: Hamilton complains of tyre vibrations as he goes a tenth slower in the first sector.

The Briton can only manage third!

3 minutes to go: Hamilton rejoins the track for one last flying lap.

5 minutes to go: Max Verstappen slots into third place ahead of team-mate Ricciardo. Hamilton ran wide again at turn 4 which is why he abandoned his lap.

7 minutes to go: Lewis Hamilton was all set to match Vettel’s time, but he pulls into the pits! Ricciardo meanwhile goes third fastest.

8 minutes to go: Sebastian Vettel goes to the top with a staggering 1:16.276s lap time.

9 minutes to go: Valtteri Bottas sets the fastest time with a 1:16.631s lap time.

Q2

Session Over: Palmer, Ocon, Kvyat, Perez and Grosjean are eliminated.

1 minutes to go: Lewis Hamilton sets a new track record with a staggering 1:16.693s lap to take the lead from Vettel by a tenth!

2 minutes to go: Valtteri Bottas aborts his final run. Hamilton the only front runner on track.

5 minutes to go: Drop zone includes Palmer, Carlos Sainz Jr., Daniil Kvyat, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez.

6 minutes to go: Nico Hülkenberg goes sixth fastest ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. His team-mate Jolyon Palmer can only manage 11th place.

8 minutes to go: Max Verstappen moves into second place behind Vettel.

11 minutes to go: Kimi Räikkönen splits the two Mercedes cars in third. Replays show Hamilton ran wide at turn 4 on his fast lap.

Green Light: Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas first to set lap times, but Vettel blows them away. He is the first man to set a sub-1:17s lap time!

Q1

Session Over: Max Verstappen jumps to second just 0.022s behind Vettel. Magnussen, Stroll, Wehrlein, Di Resta and Ericsson eliminated.

8 minutes to go: Top 6—Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Räikkönen, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas.

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