Red Bull claim front row and leave their rivals gasping (Hungarian GP qualifying)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2010

Sebastian Vettel will start from his fourth consecutive pole position of the year at the Hungaroring after Red Bull dominated today’s qualifying session.

He and Webber locked out the front row of the grid ahead of the two Ferraris – who were over a second slower than the RB6s.


The first 20-minute session showed how much some of the front-runners were struggling as McLaren and Mercedes had to do extra runs at the end of the session to ensure they progressed to Q2.

Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button made important improvements with their final efforts to spare them from the embarrassment of being knocked out in Q1.

Eventually Kamui Kobayashi fell into the critical 18th place, forcing him out of qualifying at the first hurdle along with the new teams. He was held up by Bruno Senna on his final lap.

The six new cars were headed by the Virgin of Timo Glock, who beat the two Lotuses by a tenth of a second.


Button was clearly concerned about whether he’d reach the top ten from the moment Q2 began. He went out on super-soft tyres while his team mate stuck with the medium compound.

Mercedes also doubted their ability to get through into Q3 and sent both their drivers out on the green-striped tyres.

When it came down to the final laps, Button struggled to improve on his second run on the super-soft tyres. At first it looked as though he’d been let off, as Rubens Barrichello failed to take advantage of his lack of pace.

But Nico H?‚??lkenberg was able to beat Button’s time and relegated him to 11th place.

Only one of the Mercedes made it through and one again it wasn’t Michael Schumacher, who could only manage 14th, 0.8 seconds slower than Nico Rosberg.

Webber was the fastest of the two Red Bulls in the second part of qualifying, beating Vettel by four hundredths of a second having been the last of the pair to set his time.

It looked as though what time the Red Bulls took to the track in Q3 might decide pole position. But it didn’t work out that way.


There was never much chance that anything other than a Red Bull was going to be on the front row of the grid. Fernando Alonso’s 1’19.987 lap was probably the bet his F10 could manage and he was best of the rest – but over a second slower than the pole sitter.

The battle between the Red Bulls was a brief affair. Vettel beat Webber with a lap four tenths of a second quicker than his team mate.

Webber couldn’t improve with his last effort and that left Vettel on pole position for the seventh time this year.

Several drivers couldn’t find more time than their second runs, including Lewis Hamilton, who nonetheless lined up fifth behind Felipe Massa.

Robert Kubica failed to capitalise on Renault’s performance and not only failed to beat Hamilton but was out-qualified by team mate Vitaly Petrov for the first time this year.

Red Bull have lost races from pole position already this year. But they’ve never had a performance advantage as great as this. Can anyone catch them tomorrow?

Full qualifying times

Pos. # Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’20.417 1’19.573 1’18.773
2 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’21.132 1’19.531 1’19.184
3 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’21.278 1’20.237 1’19.987
4 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’21.299 1’20.857 1’20.331
5 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’21.455 1’20.877 1’20.499
6 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’21.212 1’20.811 1’21.082
7 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’21.558 1’20.797 1’21.229
8 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’21.159 1’20.867 1’21.328
9 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’21.891 1’21.273 1’21.411
10 10 Nico H?‚??lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’21.598 1’21.275 1’21.710
11 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’21.422 1’21.292
12 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’21.478 1’21.331
13 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’22.080 1’21.517
14 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’21.840 1’21.630
15 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’21.982 1’21.897
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’21.789 1’21.927
17 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’21.978 1’21.998
18 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’22.222
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’24.050
20 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’24.120
21 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’24.199
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’25.118
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’26.391
24 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’26.453

2010 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images

90 comments on “Red Bull claim front row and leave their rivals gasping (Hungarian GP qualifying)”

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  1. Well done Petrov. Not well done Kubica. Half a second off the Q2 pace is rather bad. Why oh why did Renault decide to keep them in the garage for so long – the ‘I drive later than you do’ strategy is way too risky…

    I hope it rains and Vettel doesn’t win.

    1. Petrov did way better than i would have anticipated, good on him, well done that man.

      RBRs are absolutely fast compared to everyone else in qualifying its not funny anymore.

      only hope is Vettel misjudges his swing on Webber and they take each other out at the beginning.

      look forward to the start the rest i presume will be boring. no sure!

      1. Seems both Petrov and H√ľlkenberg are beginning to shed off their rookie mistakes and start getting to getting the most out of the car. Good job.

        Lewis Hamilton and Alonso also got the most out of what they have available.
        The RBR has so big an advantage, they should be feeling really bad not to be leading both championships by a comfortable marging.
        I just hope for some action at the start tomorrow so Vettel will not lead after the first corner. Otherwise it will be pretty boring up front.

    2. To be honest in Q2 Petrov was on fresh tyres while Kubica wasn’t. In Q3 Kubica killed his tyre by one mistake and that was it. They should release him early on old tyres first and then go for final lap on fresh tyres. Renault mistake.

      1. Exactly, Robert made a mistake in Q3 and Vitaly didn’t. I’m glad to see Petrov getting more and more comfortable with the car. I hope we will see both Renault drivers in the points for the rest of the season.

        1. Especially since Petrov was doing q3 on used soft tyres.

          1. Great result for Petrov! Renault should haul some points tomorrow.

  2. This is brutal!!

    RedBull-Ferrari gap = 1 second

    Ferrari_Mclaren,Renault gap = 0.8~1 second

    Mclaren,Remault – rest gap = another 1 second

    Even in Q3, the field is covered by more than 3 seconds!!

    F1 will become boring if these gaps don’t reduce

    1. I disagree. Just look at the 1970’s and the gaps between drivers at some races. The disadvantage/advantage from race to race kept things interesting and dramatic.

      1. Im with Ellott. Red Bull were always going to dominate this weekend. And thats the beauty of this season, as although Red Bull are amazing in qualifying trim, different tracks suit different cars.

        Fast forward a few weeks to Monza and Red Bull may have issues.

        1. But in the 70’s it was more about the driver than the car… not so much in the late 70s however. Today (almost literally lol) it is totally about the car apart from the very top 2 – 3 there really isn’t much to choose amongst the best drivers in the world.

          1. You don’t even have to go back to the 70’s. Nigel Mansell regularly took pole by over a second in ’92.

          2. And thus, we are back to the big argument that always occurs in F1. Technology or athleticism, its a balancing act. Do I think the current points standings in F1 reflects driver ability? I think not, but name the last season when this way the case.

  3. Nathan Bradley
    31st July 2010, 14:38

    It’ll be difficult for anybody to beat Red Bull, but the run to the first corner is fairly long so that might give Alonso/Hamilton a chance from the clean side.

    Also, watch out for the battle between Alonso and Massa. I don’t think Felipe will defer to Fernando at the start, could be interesting.

    Also, the chance of Jenson being on a different strategy from 11th, maybe start on softs, pit very early, then run the rest of the race on one set of hard tyres?


    1. I’d imagine Button would do the opposite. Start on soft and pit late. Seems to work quite well for him normally. The soft are clearly faster and seem to be lasting.

    2. Looking forward to see how the McLarens perform at the start. With neither Ferrari or Red Bull running an F-duct, I can see Hamilton being right in the mix at turn one, and Button making up a few places too.

      1. Ron in Michigan
        31st July 2010, 19:40

        Yeah, i keep thinking about that too. But the overwhelming pace of the Red Bulls, should he manage to get by one or both of them, means it will only be a matter of time b4 he is overtaken. Then again, this track is constantly changing and it will be difficult to overtake. Factor in how quickly the leaders will start to lap the slower cars, likely b4 the first pitstop, and the will be a very interesting race tomorrow.

        I have to admit F1 2010 season is shaping up to be a real cracker.

      2. mm, I think you are confusing F-duct with KERS.

        F-duct is not going to give you any kind of boost from the starting line to Turn 1 on Lap 1. Rather, it will help you later on in the race.

  4. Vettel won’t win… Even with Mark starting on the dirty side…

  5. Wow, I didn’t realise Jenson was just 0.02 of a second from coming 9th in Q2! Ouch.

    That Hispania car looks even worse than normal on this circuit. Watching Senna and Yamamoto trying to keep it on the road was painful. Must be frustrating for Senna to see the guys he beat in GP2 in 2008 in faster cars in F1.

    1. Great lap from Vettel. Stand out performances, De La Rosa and Petrov.

      Agree with EJ. Mclaren need to stop moaning at Red Bull and build a car that’s quicker.

      Hopefully Vettel will win to close the gap on the McLarens to make the title more exciting.

      1. Hopefully, Alonso can slip into the race lead at the start. That would make an exciting race. Just imagine a car that is a second a lap faster behind you for the entire race.

        1. lol. i dont even want to think about it :P

  6. Let me give a congratulations to the WHOLE design team who have had input and “say” in the concepts incorperated into the RB6. Everyone talks about how great the car is but the team of designers go unmentioned, as great as Newey is, he is head of a team and I think it’s unfair how the “Mclaren Development team” and “Ferrari Design team” get credit for their car’s evolution but the WHOLE group of designers get no mention. Please use “Newey and his team” or “RBR Development Team.”

    1. Well said.

      Newey might say “I’d like to try a blown diffuser again”, but it’s the team that goes away and makes it happen.

    2. Newey is the design guru in F1. This was a long time coming. Remember last year RB were fast and for most of the season they were lacking a blown diffuser.

      What I find shocking is Hamilton’s quote:

      “Our car is the best is it has ever been. I don’t know what the hell they are doing, but it’s incredible the pace they have here.”


      This coming from, in my opinion, the best driver on the grid is something.

    3. Yeah just like we always celebrate the mechanics and engineers who help set the car up and the strategists and computer whizzkids at base and Gary Paffet for his simulator work.

      The thing is we celebrate the people who bring the biggest speciality. That’s people like Hamilton and Newey.

  7. Younger Hamilton
    31st July 2010, 15:03

    Well done Lewis salvaging P5 for the McLaren Gooners but Jenson P11 its slightly dissapointing but i dont blame him, the car this weekend has been terrible Redbull have been aliens and untouchable this weekend 1.7 secs quicker than Lewis in Q3.McLaren has to pull out a lot of things after tommorrow and just get very close to Red Bull as possible.Like EJ said and i totally agree with him,STOP COMPLAINING AND GET ON WITH the Flexi wings if the FIA says its legal its declared Legal alright,then get on with the flexi legal wings design and stop Red Bull.Jesus Christ,Whitmarsh is really using the BBC to complain and thats not right.

  8. Yamamoto just a tenths behind Senna :|…

    1. Yeah, he put in a great lap right at the end there. He is obviously getting used to the car now. Although the Hispania car is clearly very very hard to drive this weekend and maybe a bit of a leveler, normally Senna is within touching distance of the Virgin cars, who have now pulled away.

  9. Younger Hamilton
    31st July 2010, 15:10

    Anyway both McLarens on clean side of the Grid and with F-Ducts onboard i think Lewis might get himself up to 3rd at best he will clear Felipe Easily,but i hope that Lewis gets on the Podium tomorrow.Jenson should get up to at least 7th same advantage as Lewis and its Likely that he’s gonna chose the Prime tyrs and try and go on a long run to cement up some places for himself.McLaren really need to save themselves again tomorrow.

  10. Petrov out-qualifies Kubica – on bad rubber!

    Makes me wonder what he could have managed if he hadn’t done his final lap in Q2; he was very safe then.

  11. Yes, but will the Red Bull be the fastest car to never win a WC? I agree Keith, they are so far ahead it’s a bit scary, except for the fact that they are RB, and they have been a bit inconsistent turning polls into race wins. Ummmm and notwithstanding the fact that I’m a blatant Alonso fan I didn’t pick them to win it.

    I’m so impressed with Rosberg that I’ve quit making excuses for MSC. That kid is fast! I’d love to see what he could do in a RB or a Ferrari.

    @ Christian that HRT was frightening to watch. I’ve never seen anything like that outside of Paris to Dakar. Watching that… I can almost think that Luca makes sense when he wants 3 car teams, but I’m not that drunk yet ;)

    1. The great thing about this year is it remains so unpredictable. Despite Red Bull clearly having the fastest car they’re still not leading the championship. Going into every race there are still question marks over them, will Vettel get a clean start? Will they have the quickest race pace? Will they break down? Will they crash into each other? Will Christian Hornder’s left foot ever stop shaking?

      They should run away with it tomorrow yet I don’t think any of us will be surprised if they completely mess it up

      1. Completely agree Ads21. I don’t get why people are complaining that it’s boring. Red Bull aren’t even leading the title and like you say more often than not mess up an easy 1-2 finish.

        Infact haven’t Mclaren got the last two 1-2 finishes this year?

        1. Ferrari had the most recent 1-2 in Germany last week.

    2. Agreed, that’s a good performance from Rosberg, I’d expected it to be close between him and MSC this year, but Rosberg has performed amazingly well :)

    3. That Hispania is indeed frightening to watch. I would not be surprised to see both cars beached or in a barrier at some point tomorrow.

    4. what about Newey’s own MP4/20?

      that was fast… and unreliable…

      1. The 1991 Williams car was very fast yet unreliable as well. Although with the 1992 car they sorted that out a dominated, they then dominated 1993 as well.

        Can Red Bull do the same?

  12. Was Petrov the surprise delight, or Kubica the surprise disappointment? Perhaps a bit of both. I actually don’t mind seeing Seb on pole now – with the memory of his last two starts fresh in his mind, the tension and pressure will feel like a mountain…on the contrary, Webber could use that to perhaps get the jump yet again, it’s a longish run down to that first corner. Even better if a shower washes away the advantage of the clean side…

  13. If Vettel or Webber do not win both, the WDC and WCC for Red Bull, I think they should be sacked.

    I dont remember seeing a car that superior to the rest of the field (except for a few reliability issues).

    1. The same goes for Christian Horner too.

      I don’t know how long you’ve been following F1, but Ferrari dominated from 2000-2004 with Michael Schumacher. In 2002 they won 15 of 17 races, ironically that had a team order controversy too.

    2. Mummm. Also.

      McLaren days with Prost and Lauda and Prost and Senna.

      1. Don’t forget the Williams heydey with Mansell and with Prost, if not for Senna’s accident it might have continued in 1994 as well.

  14. Jelle van der Meer
    31st July 2010, 16:00

    As mentioned on the blog – to my knowledge is the 1.18.770 the fastest time around Hungaroring since track was extended in 2003.

    More interestingy – adding Vettel’s best sectors together he even comes to a 1.18.636.

    1. No, it isn’t, Barrichello drove a 1:18.436 in pre-qualifying in 2004.

  15. polishboy808
    31st July 2010, 16:12

    Oh god, eager to impress his team, Petrov will be ruthless and wreckless with his attacks, I can see him clipping somebody, or worse, his own team mate!

    1. “Vitaly, Kubica is faster, do you understand?”

      For a guy who still fights for his contract he quite can’t refuse such “suggestion”, which in these circumstances can be given.

      1. I don’t think Kub has a shot at the champ though

  16. Vettels pole lap is simply astonishing!
    If Red Bull continue like this into next year, half of the grid won’t be able to start the Grand Prix because of the 107% rule!

    1. I think the exceptional circumstances would cover that one!

  17. If dry…Vettel for the win…
    If Wet…Petrov for the Win for Sure…

  18. Rosberg 0.8 seconds ahead of Schumi… that’s a huge difference. And Niko is very consistent these days, while Schumi is going through ups and downs.

    1. Yes, I agree. Still: says Schumacher actually used a set up geared towards race pace, or something. They gambled that the weather would be dreary, but lost when temperatures rose during the morning.

      Not sure what sort of setup that is, but while it reduces the lack of pace of Schumacher it again shows that he and Brawn are not anymore on top of strategy as they used to be. Maybe lack of testing gives them insufficient knowledge about the car and tires? I guess they are now counting on making good at the start.

  19. Watch Vettel because we all know he’s going to make a poor start and foul everyone up into the first turn meaning more people having to avoid him off the track as he goes wide…like what happened in Germany

  20. Three things worth mentioning:
    – Four of the last five Hungarian GPs have not been won from pole.
    – Red Bull have never managed to convert a 1-2 on the grid into a 1-2 in the race.
    – Not since 2005 has the driver starting 2nd in Hungary managed to retain his position at the start…

    1. …Therefore;
      – Sebastian will definately not win.
      – Red Bull will definately not get a 1-2.
      – Webber doesn’t have much of a chance against a certain someone in P3.

      Of course that’s only if things go by recent races and the history books!

      1. Or, Webber will pass Vettel, because it doesn’t say which way P2 goes now does it?

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