Fourth pole for Hamilton but win will be tall order

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix pre-race analysis

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2013Lewis Hamilton is on pole position for the fourth time this year in Hungary.

But he is yet to score a win so far this year and given Mercedes’ performance in practice that looks unlikely to change despite having the best starting position.

Mercedes’ tyre wear problems as well-known and in the punishing heat of Hungary are likely to be as severe as ever. When the race gets started it will surely be a matter of when, not is, Hamilton and Nico Rosberg find themselves under pressure.

The start

Hamilton enjoys the benefit of starting from the clean side of the grid at a track where the different between the two sides is significant.

But it’s a long 610m run to the first corner and the Mercedes hasn’t been the best car off the line this year. On average Hamilton tends to lose places at the start this year while Sebastian Vettel, who starts alongside him, gains them.

If the top four starters run true to form then it’s looking good for Vettel, as he’s the only one of them whose gained places on lap one on average so far this year.

Fernando Alonso, fifth on the grid, is also eyeing the chance to make gains: “It is hard to overtake in the race and so it?s even more important to try and make up ground immediately, particularly if we want to prevent Vettel from increasing his lead,” he said.

Strategy

Two or three stops are expected to be the order of the day in Hungary. But Pirelli’s medium and soft tyres will take a pounding as track temperatures are again expected to be in the 50C region.

Mercedes are expected to struggle in the heat but Lotus should thrive in it. Romain Grosjean had strong pace at the Nurburgring and should put Vettel under pressure from third on the grid.

Alonso and the other Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen are not far behind. But whether they can get on terms with Vettel will depend on how quickly they all make their way past the Mercedes drivers. In Germany Raikkonen lost time behind the W04s and needed a Safety Car to bring him back into contention.

Pirelli believes that drivers who start on the medium tyres will not be disadvantaged over the race distance. Sergio Perez, ninth on the grid, is the first driver who will start on them. Mark Webber, tenth, has a free choice of tyre having not set a time in Q3.

Qualifying times in full

Driver Car Q1 Q2 (vs Q1) Q3 (vs Q2)
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’20.363 1’19.862 (-0.501) 1’19.388 (-0.474)
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’20.646 1’19.992 (-0.654) 1’19.426 (-0.566)
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1’20.447 1’20.101 (-0.346) 1’19.595 (-0.506)
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’20.350 1’19.778 (-0.572) 1’19.720 (-0.058)
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’20.652 1’20.183 (-0.469) 1’19.791 (-0.392)
6 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1’20.867 1’20.243 (-0.624) 1’19.851 (-0.392)
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’21.004 1’20.460 (-0.544) 1’19.929 (-0.531)
8 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1’21.181 1’20.527 (-0.654) 1’20.641 (+0.114)
9 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’21.612 1’20.545 (-1.067) 1’22.398 (+1.853)
10 Mark Webber Red Bull 1’21.264 1’20.503 (-0.761)
11 Adrian Sutil Force India 1’21.471 1’20.569 (-0.902)
12 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1’21.028 1’20.580 (-0.448)
13 Jenson Button McLaren 1’21.131 1’20.777 (-0.354)
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1’21.345 1’21.029 (-0.316)
15 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1’20.816 1’21.133 (+0.317)
16 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1’21.135 1’21.219 (+0.084)
17 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1’21.724
18 Paul di Resta Force India 1’22.043
19 Charles Pic Caterham 1’23.007
20 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1’23.333
21 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1’23.787
22 Max Chilton Marussia 1’23.997

Sector times

Driver Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3
Lewis Hamilton 28.549 (1) 28.600 (5) 22.239 (2)
Sebastian Vettel 28.833 (5) 28.341 (2) 22.146 (1)
Romain Grosjean 28.841 (6) 28.299 (1) 22.330 (5)
Nico Rosberg 28.614 (2) 28.684 (8) 22.242 (3)
Fernando Alonso 28.763 (4) 28.597 (4) 22.431 (8)
Kimi Raikkonen 28.944 (7) 28.611 (6) 22.296 (4)
Felipe Massa 28.757 (3) 28.677 (7) 22.484 (10)
Daniel Ricciardo 29.219 (14) 28.759 (9) 22.364 (6)
Sergio Perez 28.991 (8) 28.945 (11) 22.609 (13)
Mark Webber 29.528 (19) 28.589 (3) 22.386 (7)
Adrian Sutil 29.029 (9) 29.093 (14) 22.447 (9)
Nico Hulkenberg 29.074 (10) 28.962 (12) 22.544 (12)
Jenson Button 29.173 (12) 29.079 (13) 22.525 (11)
Jean-Eric Vergne 29.231 (15) 29.144 (15) 22.636 (15)
Pastor Maldonado 29.164 (11) 28.943 (10) 22.640 (16)
Valtteri Bottas 29.199 (13) 29.214 (16) 22.675 (17)
Esteban Gutierrez 29.312 (16) 29.483 (17) 22.616 (14)
Paul di Resta 29.383 (17) 29.582 (18) 23.078 (18)
Charles Pic 29.460 (18) 30.304 (21) 23.218 (19)
Giedo van der Garde 29.710 (20) 30.139 (19) 23.281 (20)
Jules Bianchi 29.862 (21) 30.184 (20) 23.608 (22)
Max Chilton 29.899 (22) 30.418 (22) 23.543 (21)

Speed trap

Pos Driver Car Speed (kph/mph) Gap
1 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 301.0 (187.0)
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams 299.0 (185.8) -2.0
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 299.0 (185.8) -2.0
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 299.0 (185.8) -2.0
5 Adrian Sutil Force India 298.5 (185.5) -2.5
6 Pastor Maldonado Williams 298.5 (185.5) -2.5
7 Charles Pic Caterham 298.1 (185.2) -2.9
8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 297.6 (184.9) -3.4
9 Felipe Massa Ferrari 297.4 (184.8) -3.6
10 Sergio Perez McLaren 296.9 (184.5) -4.1
11 Paul di Resta Force India 296.3 (184.1) -4.7
12 Jenson Button McLaren 295.8 (183.8) -5.2
13 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 295.4 (183.6) -5.6
14 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 295.2 (183.4) -5.8
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 295.0 (183.3) -6.0
16 Max Chilton Marussia 294.9 (183.2) -6.1
17 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 294.8 (183.2) -6.2
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus 294.2 (182.8) -6.8
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 294.1 (182.7) -6.9
20 Mark Webber Red Bull 293.8 (182.6) -7.2
21 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 293.5 (182.4) -7.5
22 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 292.9 (182.0) -8.1

Over to you

Who do you think will win in Hungary? Does Hamilton have a realistic chance? And will Lotus and Ferrari have the pace to challenge Red Bull?

Share your views on the Hungarian Grand Prix in the comments.

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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44 comments on Fourth pole for Hamilton but win will be tall order

  1. Little_M_Lo (@pezlo2013) said on 28th July 2013, 2:55

    I really want Grosjean to win, after all he’s been through, he’s now showing his potential in the elite class

    • pSynrg (@psynrg) said on 28th July 2013, 11:17

      Yep, I’m up for a Hamilton or Grosjean win. They both deserve one, Hamilton possibly a bit more but as it would be Grosjean’s first win that’d go down great too.

      Alas, I think Vettel will walk it…

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