Lewis Hamilton heads McLaren one-two (2008 Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

No pit lane problems for McLaren at the Hungaroring this year
No pit lane problems for McLaren at the Hungaroring this year

Lewis Hamilton will start the Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position for the second year in a row. McLaren banished memories of their disastrous performance at the same track last year by claiming the one-two they missed out on twelve months ago.

Ferrari struggled to match McLaren’s pace and though Felipe Massa took third Kimi Raikkonen could only manage sixth for the second race in a row.

Part one

Hamilton signalled his intentions with his first lap 0.6s faster than anything even his team mate could manage. The 1’19.376 was the fastest time of the weekend so far.

Ferrari’s drivers found themselves fourth and fifth behind the Toyota of Jarno Trulli – the only non-McLaren to get under 1’20 at first. But Ferrari chose to send Raikkonen and Massa out for another lap towards the end of the session – Massa improving to a 1’19.578 but Raikkonen failing to find any extra time.

The battle to escape the bottom five was between the Hondas, Force Indias and Williams. But Nick Heidfeld was struggling to stay on the pace of team mate Robert Kubica and matters took a turn for the worse when he was held up behind Sebastien Bourdais on his out-lap.

That allowed Jenson Button to snatch 15th with a 1’20.888, knocking Heidfeld out in the first round. The BMW driver joined Rubens Barrichello, Kazuki Nakajima and the two Toro Rossos on the sidelines.

Drivers eliminated in part one

16. Nick Heidfeld 1’21.045
17. Kazuki Nakajima 1’21.085
18. Rubens Barrichello 1’21.332
19. Giancarlo Fisichella 1’21.670
20. Adrian Sutil 1’22.113

Part two

Sebastien Bourdais reached Q2 but was accused of blocking Nick Heidfeld
Sebastien Bourdais reached Q2 but was accused of blocking Nick Heidfeld

Timo Glock headed the times early on with a 1’19.246 which was too quick even for Hamilton’s McLaren. Felipe Massa, however, beat them both with a 1’19.068 to go top.

Kovalainen and Raikkonen both did extra laps but neither were able to improve from fourth and fifth.

A late lap by Sebastian Vettel wasn’t enough to get him into the final part of qualifying as Nelson Piquet Jnr and Mark Webber relegated him to 11th. He joined team mate Bourdais and Jenson Button, who surprisingly beat David Coulthard with his final time. Nico Rosberg failed to venture out from his garage all session.

Drivers eliminated in part two

11. Sebastian Vettel 1.20.144
12. Jenson Button 1’20.332
13. David Coulthard 1’20.502
14. Sebastien Bourdais 1’20.963
15. Nico Rosberg no time

Part three

The final part saw both McLarens, Ferraris, Toyotas and Renaults plus Robert Kubica and Mark Webber.

The Toyotas went out first on the harder (prime) tyres with Glock beating Trulli by 0.6s with a 1’21.326. That time by Glock proved very competitive with only Hamilton able to better it in the first wave of laps, taking provisional pole with a 1’20.974.

His team mate Heikki Kovalainen lost 0.9s in the middle sector compared to his team mate and posted a 1’22.319 for ninth.

The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen slotted in third and fourth, but every driver returned to the track for a final effort.

Hamilton only improved by 0.08s but his first lap had been good enough for pole position anyway. Kovalainen nailed his final lap and took second place alongside his team mate.

Massa and Kubica also managed to push Glock back but the Toyota driver kept his position above Kimi Raikkonen, who took a disappointing sixth on the grid for the second race in a row.

Alonso, Webber, Trulli, and what looked like a heavily-fuelled Piquet completed the grid.

Top ten in part three

1. Lewis Hamilton 1’20.899
2. Heikki Kovalainen 1’21.140
3. Felipe Massa 1’21.181
4. Robert Kubica 1’21.281
5. Timo Glock 1’21.326
6. Kimi Raikkonen 1’21.516
7. Fernando Alonso 1’21.698
8. Mark Webber 1.21.732
9. Jarno Trulli 1.21.767
10. Nelson Piquet Jnr 1’22.371

Update: Sebastien Bourdais gets grid penalty

Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen celebrate McLaren\'s first front row of 2008
Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen celebrate McLaren's first front row of 2008

48 comments on “Lewis Hamilton heads McLaren one-two (2008 Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying)”

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  1. Another good write up Keith – I’m amazed at how quickly you can get this up after the race.

  2. Since their partnership began, Massa is usually faster than Raikkonen in qualifying… the thing is, since the last race, the gap is becoming bigger…

  3. Has the data come in from the practice sessions to support the idea that the Ferraris seem to be able to pull off the quick lap for qualifying but are having trouble sustaining it over multiple laps? I heard this mentioned in a blog, that the last three races have begun to show that pattern. Too much Ferrari panic? Or real issue?

  4. I heard today that one explanation might be that Ferrari is rushing to develop the car at the same vigorous pace as McLaren, but they can’t adapt their car setups to the development. That makes sense since, to my eyes, Ferrari doesn’t look slow, just unconfident on track.

  5. Kimi seems to be in big trouble with His red one. In Hockenheim there was oversteering and here it seems to be understeering. Why can´t He manage to setup car at least little better??
    Jyrki Järvilehto said that there can be something big wrong in car. Monocock could be broken or something like that which had not been noticed between races. Also admitted that if there´s this big troubles, there needs to be done something critical changes. Never know, Jyrki didn´t manage good in F1=)
    Gap is too big comparing to Felipe!! Mclaren is faster car,but felipe SHOULD not be faster driver with same equipment! Can´t get it……..where His speed has gone?

  6. Kevin,

    I think it’s pretty obvious that the reds are considerably behind the silver cars at the moment. I don’t think the issue is set-up adaptation. McLaren was probably already quicker in France, but it didn’t show due to their penalties and strategy errors there and in Montreal. I think McLaren is making a statement that they can develop an F1 car faster/better than Ferrari and they don’t need to know the reds’ design secrets to do it. And the 100M Euro fine needs to be made up somehow, and winning both championships this year will surely help them a lot.

    Lewis is going to walk the Hungaroring tomorrow and the only possible threat can come from Heiki.

  7. The other threat is obviously a safety car.

  8. Lady Snowcat
    2nd August 2008, 17:06

    The Ferrari’s are definitely slower in qualy trim… and it looks like Macca have a quicker car full stop….

    It’s only as time goes by and they get heat into the tyres and moreover don’t wear them out that Ferrari come into their own…

    In working hard to try to get a few tenths they have taken the car down a route leading to understeer which hurts Kimi a lot…

    I am almost wanting to skip watching the Lewis Hamilton show tomorrow….

  9. diseased rat
    2nd August 2008, 17:37

    It would be very annoying if they focus on Hamilton exclusively tomorrow, there is likely to be a lot of very watchable action going on elsewhere in the field.

  10. Lady Snowcat,

    just like in previous races, by the time Ferrari get their tires workning (in theory, they should, but then again what happened in Germany ?), Lewis (and possibly Heiki also) will be long gone. Just look at the practice-time data Keith posted y’day. The silver cars appear to be **at least** 3 tenths quicker per lap over at least a dozen laps. By the time the first stops come, around lap 19 for Lewis, he should be at least 7 secs clear of Massa. Heiki is likely heavier by one lap, but it is clear that he is no match for Lewis over a race distance.

    And (this is for Internet), Hungary is not a place that accidents happen, hence the likelihood of a safety car is very low. And even if there is one, the pace of the silver cars is simply too much for anyone else to handle.

  11. Lady Snowcat
    2nd August 2008, 17:44

    I don’t disagree…

    In fact that’s why my money, but not my heart, has been on a Macca 1:2 this weekend… since I was at Hockenheim in fact….

    I reckon that if Lewis doesn’t win he’ll be a fool…

    That car is built for him and fits him like a glove…

    Lucky boy….

  12. I think Fferrari for some reason built the car more towards Massa’s style?!?

  13. Lady Snowcat
    2nd August 2008, 18:31

    I think that the attempt to find quick fixes has sent it more that way…

  14. I fear a Massa banzai charge in the opening lap that may take either Heikki or Lewis as well as himself off track.

    He has shown excessive exuberance in the past when running from behind.

    Any chance of rain tomorrow??

  15. Lady Snowcat
    2nd August 2008, 18:41


    Excessive exuberance from behind?…


    But taking out Lewis and Heikki on the first corner sounds great…

  16. How does Alonso or Glock taking out Kimi sound? :)

  17. MacademiaNut
    2nd August 2008, 19:25


    It is interesting that a few of your headlines are really picked up by F1 website as well. Good going! :)

  18. Lady Snowcat
    2nd August 2008, 19:25

    That would sound like a Snowcat crying….

  19. @Lady Snowcat & Internet,
    Lets put it this way..Massa taking Lewis and/or Kovi and Glock taking KIMI.. ;)
    And finnaly a technical problem with BMW taking Kubica leaving Alonso-Webber-Truli/Heidfield on podium!!!!
    Sounds great!!!! :)

  20. …freak safety car period at Hungary,Massa hits a sandy spot and spins around three times and gets clipped moments later by Piquet…but,Heidfeld hits the pits moments before the accident and therefore is ahead of the pack when the entire field pits after the safety car period is HANDED his podium position that he was robbed of last race…..aahh!!..justice.

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