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

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.

Q1

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.

Q2

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?â??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.

Q3

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

  1. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 1st August 2010, 2:38

    Many surprises today most important of them is Button failing to go to Q3, but what bout the Red Bulls once again they are on pole & again like Spain they just blew their rivals.

  2. Jared404 said on 1st August 2010, 2:48

    I bet Vettel does his normal “try to run somebody off the road” start. Just who will it be this time?

    • Alex Bkk said on 1st August 2010, 4:08

      What Seb need to do is drive in a straight line regardless of how good a start Webber gets. If he tries to pinch Webber then Alonso will eat Seb’s lunch.

  3. Nixon (@nixon) said on 1st August 2010, 8:00

    Massa might make yet another great start and might be able to overtake Alonso, same thing geos to Vettel. It might be a good race.

  4. Alias J said on 1st August 2010, 10:01

    I am a Schumacher supporter, ever since his Senna days. Regarding his performances this year, I simply can’t explain it too, and its a bit confusing, amusing and stressful at the same time.

    On one hand, there were the majority of races where he was extremely slower than Rosberg, 4 tenths, 6 tenths or 8 tenths – consistently slower! Naturally, at first everyone assumed it due to him being rusty (Lauda, Prost), then perhaps that he simply wasn’t used to the tires (Sutil, Hamashima), perhaps that the car totally opposes his driving style (Button, Herbert) and everything he tries to set-up around it simply makes it extremely worse (Schumacher), or perhaps he’s simply lost the fire and the determination he had before (Hamilton), and so on. However, then eventually as the races pile up and the bad results pile up, people start to give up and concede, – yeah, perhaps he’s simply ‘lost’ it (Stewart, Irvine, Moss, Webber, et al).

    But then, what about the races when he’s equally quick or even quicker than Rosberg? Australia, Spain, Turkey, Monaco, Germany, where either he was faster, or else the difference was simply 0.00XX of seconds between them? I mean, – what happened here? What went right here that went so wrong in the other races? Did the car transform itself? Did Rosberg have a poor day? Did Schumacher have a good day? Did he catch up with the tires situation? Was it a fluke? Considering that Australia was only just the second race of the year, and only Schumacher’s second race in four years, and he was only 0.014 seconds slower – which is almost a hair’s width. How quick is that?

    Now there are also a group of people who think that Schumacher is actually doing a pretty good job, hasn’t lost it yet and just don’t write him out (Vettel, Hakkinen, Haug, Hill, Alonso, etc) and that the true gap is actually much closer that it seems (Rosberg) and soon it will become more and more difficult to beat him.

    Therefore I can’t explain the logic and actual causes behind all this. But given all my experience with him, from reading all about his biographies (Hilton, James, etc), and trying to study the man in detail, the only conclusions I can give at the moment is that..

    1) In terms of the driver – Schumacher hasn’t lost it. He’s pretty close to what level he was before (Brawn). F1 is highest level of motor racing in the world, and to quantify it in numbers, considering before he even turned a wheel in the Mercedes, in his retired, dormant form, lets assume his driving ability dropped down to 80% (of maximum), then it took him fifty laps (in March) to reach 85%, another hundred laps (in April) to reach 90%, (which I think is his present level), it would probably take him another thousand laps to reach 95% and another five thousand laps to reach 99%.

    2) In terms of the car – I’m pretty certain that it is like some kind of ‘cultural shock’ to Schumacher. He never drove such a car like this in his life before. It is not perfect for Rosberg either but I think suits him more than it suits Schumacher. Moreover, I believe Rosberg’s engineering team are doing a better job of setting-up the car for Rosberg (Jock Clear), and that Schumacher’s team are still unable to set things up for him (Andrew Shovlin), or else I won’t blame his engineering team, but it is Schumacher himself who is trying out extreme set-up settings which often just makes the car worse for himself (Gary Anderson). And I think Schumacher doesn’t mind it himself too, he simply wants to experiment, try out things he never tried before, enjoy, have fun, and take his time to ease into his return.

    Although it is true, that Schumacher drove brilliantly in the under-performing 1996, 97 Ferraris (Eric Bernard), but at that time he was at his peak driving ability. I don’t believe that Irvine wasn’t good, because Irvine drove with Barrichello at Jordan and they were equal, and Barrichello then drove with Button and they were equal too. Therefore in summary, to conclude things ..

    This is a 41-year old, 90% ability Schumacher, less ruthless and lesser ambitious, driving in an under-performing car, without the benefits of testing, and he’s still ABLE to match Rosberg – 5 out of 10 races, (50% of the time).

    It is a scary thought, – but just think how good he must have been, and how good he CAN still become.

  5. Allie500 said on 1st August 2010, 17:03

    @Tom

    Tom said:

    “Oh, the same people that cleared RBR’s wing?

    So why are you complaining? Not McLaren enough for you?”

    So you’re telling me that RBR told the FIA: “hey we have this wing that will pass scrutineering as far as ground clearance and rigidity, but it flexes when its on track. That’s cool right?”

    I highly doubt it. They lied to the FIA about what the wing does and how it behaves. Great it passes muster when it’s parked but it sure as hell doesn’t pass when its on track. So if they told the FIA that it flexes against the spirit of the rules and the FIA shrugged and said “ok”. Then I have no problem with it. Problem is, I doubt they told the FIA exactly what it does.

    • ‘but it sure as hell doesn’t pass when its on track’ – what are you on about?

      It flexes in the test, by an acceptable amount (and the FIA have the right to change what is acceptable, but have deemed it not required).

      It’s impossible to have an infinitely stiff wing, and the FIA has tests to mandate what is acceptable. RBR’s passes, so there is no issue.

      Whether there is a system actuating changes behind it is irrelevant, it meets the regulations (and IMO is far less significant than F-Ducts/double diffusers that the FIA has ruled acceptable).

      • Allie500 said on 1st August 2010, 17:33

        I never said anything about it being “infinitely stiff”. It’s stiff enough to pass the tests and its obvious on camera that it is flexing on track in excess of what the rules deem acceptable. Apparently, then the FIA needs to come up with a better test.

        “Whether there is a system actuating changes behind it is irrelevant”

        Irrelevant? Really? So you are basically saying that you don’t care if a team is cheating. Good to know. So I guess it would be cool if say Lotus decides to put on an active suspension and maybe even a turbo charger b/c you know…who cares what the rules say.

        Anyways, I’m done with this. We just disagree on it and that’s that.

        Congrats on your team’s win today.

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