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GP Week : Issue 207
QUALIFYING There was little doubt that lewis Hamilton was ‘on it’ this weekend – everything was looking well on-track at the Hungaroring ... until qualifying began. Okay, there was Pasto Maldonado grinding to a halt, again, in the first few minutes of Q1 – it’s becoming a regular feature – but no, three minutes further into the session and there’s a Mercedes belching flame. “I’ve got fire,” a pragmatically calm Lewis was telling his team. Despite their suggestion that he should stop at the nearest marshalls’ post, you could sense that Lewis, with a dead engine, still wanted to try and coast into pit lane – it was a mere couple of hundred metres away. You never know; whatever it was might have been fixable. It wasn’t. He didn’t. Car 44 finally eased to a halt in the pit lane entry, Lewis got out, and marshalls did their best, but that Mercedes was cactus, very badly damaged. Out on track, or even off it, there was more Q1 drama to come. The guns were comfortably through on Mediums, but Kimi was uncomfortably in 15th. “We’ll be fine,” the team said, “Are you sure?” “Yes.” Ooops. As Kimi sat in the garage, Jules Bianchi improved his own future Ferrari prospects by hurling his Soft-shod Ferrari-powered Marussia around just over six-hundredths quicker than Kimi’s time. The Iceman climbed out and walked away. The rest of qualifying returned to near normality. Well briefly. Q2 was straight-forward, then it showered as Q3 started. Out they raced on slicks, desperate to get a lap in before the track possibly got wetter. First car, Rosberg, overshot Turn 1; second car, Magnussen, locked both fronts and ploughed straight on into the barriers ... there’d be a third car now starting from a congested pit lane ... Once the McLaren was retrieved, and the session recommenced, some normality returned, the track dried, and Nico Rosberg did what he should have done with Lewis already headed for his hotel. His pole was, understandably, mixed with sympathy for Lewis’ plight as far as the team was concerned. Paddy Lowe updated the situation: “I am absolutely gutted that we have let Lewis down again and given him such a tough job on another Sunday afternoon - so soon after his fantastic drive in Germany. We are still stripping the car to understand the cause of the fuel leak but the symptom Timing is everything fORMuLA 1 Round 11 huNgARiAN gp – Qualifying POS # DRIvER TEAM Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS 1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.227 1:23.310 1:22.715 20 2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:25.662 1:23.606 1:23.201 16 3 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:25.690 1:23.776 1:23.354 19 4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:25.495 1:23.676 1:23.391 18 5 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.087 1:24.249 1:23.909 17 6 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:26.592 1:24.030 1:24.223 19 7 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.612 1:24.502 1:24.294 21 8 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 1:24.941 1:24.637 1:24.720 19 9 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:26.149 1:24.647 1:24.775 22 10 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.578 1:24.585 13 11 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 1:25.361 1:24.706 14 12 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:26.027 1:25.136 12 13 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:25.910 1:25.211 11 14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:25.709 1:25.260 10 15 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:26.136 1:25.337 16 16 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:26.728 1:27.419 14 17 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:26.792 5 18 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:27.139 10 19 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:27.819 7 20 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:28.643 10 21 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes No time 2 22 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault No time 1 Pit lane start for Hamilton and Maldonado, with Stewards' permission to start the race (no 107% time) 27 GPWEEK.com // 27 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> HUNGARY PARTNERS: