F1 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix: Surprised Hamilton Hungary for more
PUBLISHED: 22:03 27 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:56 28 July 2013
MERCEDES Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton will start the 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position after a sensational final lap in qualifying.
2013 Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying result
1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
2 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
3 Romain Grosjean (Lotus)
4 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
5 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
6 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)
7 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
8 Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)
9 Sergio Perez (McLaren)
10 Mark Webber (Red Bull)
Hamilton bagged his third straight pole for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team today (Saturday) with a phenomenal lap around the Hungaroring to snatch pole from Red Bull rival Sebastian Vettel at the death.
With track temperatures hitting 50C at the circuit near Budapest, the 28-year-old from Hertfordshire clocked a blistering 1m 19.388s, a performance that stunned the Stevenage-born motor racer.
Hamilton said: “I was really surprised when the guys told me over the radio that I was on pole today. It was a good lap but I thought Sebastian had done enough.
“So it’s fantastic – and also to get three pole positions in a row. It’s great to start from the front but, like we know, the race is where we score the points.”
It was the 30th pole position of Hamilton’s F1 career and his fourth at the circuit in Hungary. Hamilton’s third consecutive pole was also the Silver Arrows’ seventh in the 10 races so far this season, underlining Mercedes’ one-lap pace.
However, question marks remain over Mercedes’ ability to convert qualifying supremacy into race wins, with tyre-wear the team’s Achilles. Hamilton lined up on pole for both the British and German GPs – and finished fourth and fifth respectively in those races.
He said: “Looking to tomorrow, this is a tough circuit to overtake on but it’s also a long run down to the first corner, and both Seb and the Lotus cars will be really quick.
“We have a good car but the race will come down to how we use the tyres. We are working hard to improve in that area and we had some reasonable long runs yesterday [Friday].
F1 Hungarian Grand Prix
* Race distance: 70 laps (306.630km/190.531 miles)
* Start time: 14:00 (local)/12:00 (GMT)
* Circuit length: 4.381km/2.722 miles
* 2012 winner: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren MP4-27) 69 laps in 1hr41m05.503s (179.391km/h)
* 2012 pole: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren MP4-27) 1m20.953s (194.824km/h)
* Lap record: Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2004) 1m19.071s (199.461km/h)
“We’ll have to see how it goes because it’s going to be tough in these high temperatures. I would love to have a real race with the guys around me, a proper battle, and the goal has to be to collect as many points as we can.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes colleague Nico Rosberg qualified fourth in Hungary, but was hampered by his brake balance quick adjuster becoming stuck during his final lap.
He will line-up on the second row of the starting grid alongside Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, who was later investigated by stewards after his car failed a floor deflection test but the Frenchman was not penalised.
Rosberg said: “Our speed was a bit of a surprise today as the car set-up work was focused on good race pace this weekend. But it worked quite well in the hot temperatures. It’s great for the team to be starting from fourth and pole position.
“I hope we can have a good start even though I’m on the dirtier side of the grid.
“Qualifying did not go perfectly for me at the end, it didn’t help that my brake balance adjuster got stuck, so I couldn’t change it around the lap. That cost me a little, but the pole wasn’t possible today.
“Now we look forward to tomorrow and I’m confident that we look better in the hot conditions than in the previous race.”
Mercedes F1 principal Ross Brawn is looking for the team to enter the summer break on a high with victory in Hungary, but knows it will be tough ask.
Brawn said: “Lewis put in an exceptional lap at the end of qualifying, it was a really impressive performance. Nico did a good job too – all the more so considering he had a small car problem halfway through the lap – and the great thing about our driver pairing is how they consistently push each other to new heights.
“We know that we have a challenging race ahead of us tomorrow, with record temperatures forecast, and that will be the opportunity to see exactly what progress we have made.”
After being excluded from the recent Silverstone test, Brawn also praised the team’s hard work to regain lost ground.
He said: “I want to compliment the engineers, the drivers and our technicians back at the factory for the job they have done so far this weekend.
“We had a lot of work to do here in order to understand the tyres and we have made progress through every session, improving our understanding with every lap.
“We are still on a good upward slope of progress and hopefully there will be more room to improve tomorrow.”
Team boss Toto Wolff added: “We have a good basis for tomorrow with first and fourth positions representing a very strong team result.
“Lewis delivered a lap that seemed about perfect while Nico had a small car problem that certainly cost him some lap time.
“Now we need to wait and see tomorrow just how well we have prepared for the race and how we cope on these new tyres in the hot conditions.”
The 2013 Grand Prix of Hungary starts at 1pm BST on Sunday.