Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix 2014: Results, Times for Practice and Qualifying
Formula One heads to Hungary this weekend for the final grand prix before the summer break, with Lewis Hamilton looking to close the gap to team-mate Nico Rosberg at the top of the drivers' standings.
In Germany last time out, the local driver took the glory as he came through in first, extending his lead to the other Mercedes driver to 14 points after Hamilton crashed in qualifying.
However, Rosberg has yet to record back-to-back victories in his Formula One career and Hamilton will be hoping for his sixth victory of the season as the battle at the top continues.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas split the two Mercedes drivers in Germany and will be looking to carry on his run of three consecutive podium finishes in Budapest on Sunday.
Indeed, the Finnish driver is aiming higher even than simply a top-three finish, per Formula1.com:
We did everything perfectly and managed to keep Lewis behind in the end which got us an extra few points. But in the future, we are definitely aiming for more and this is not the maximum.
Bottas is currently sitting fifth in the standings with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso five points further up and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo sitting in third.
Both of those drivers will be eager to grab as many points as possible as the season looks increasingly like a race for third behind the two Mercedes.
Hamilton goes into the weekend as favourite based on his form at the track—he has won four times in his seven races in Budapest—but Rosberg will certainly run him close.
Read on for full practice and qualifying results as the drivers all look to finish the first half of the season well in Hungary.
Qualifying: Rosberg on Pole, Fire Curtails Hamilton Hopes
Nico Rosberg will start in pole position at the Hungaroring after a dominant qualifying performance. The Mercedes man will be joined by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel on the front row after Lewis Hamilton suffered qualification heartbreak for the second consecutive week.
The Brit has been quickest around this circuit all weekend, but he picked up a fuel leak and a subsequent fire in the first qualifying session, meaning that he will have to scythe his way through the field if he’s going to get in amongst the leaders for the second consecutive week.
The Mercedes man didn’t set a time either, so he’ll start from the very back of the grid or even in the pit lane. Here’s how Sky Sports F1 reported the incident:
Hamilton was understandably distraught, per BBC Sport:
There's a lot going through my mind, but I just have to try to turn it into positives until tomorrow.
I think it's getting to the point beyond bad luck - it's something else. We just need to do better.
Valtteri Bottas will start in third position in his Williams, while Vettel’s Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo will begin the race directly behind him in fourth. Fernando Alonso had a decent day in his Ferrari and was able to finish fifth, and on the third row with him will be his former teammate Felipe Massa, who will start in sixth in the Williams.
Two-time winner in Hungary Jenson Button will start seventh in his McLaren, while Jean Eric Vergne and Nico Hulkenberg will both be happy with their qualifying performances; they’ll begin in eighth and ninth respectively. Button’s teammate Kevin Magnussen will begin in tenth place.
As for Hamilton, he will be joined on the back row by Pastor Maldonado after the Venezuelan failed to set a time in his Lotus. The Caterham duo of Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi also dropped out, along with Max Chilton in the Marussia.
Jules Bianchi looked to be joining his teammate Chilton by going out at the first time of asking, but he produced a stunning lap to jump up into 16th place with the chequered flag dropped. The man who fell into the drop zone as a result? None other than Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
The second qualifying session got underway, and just as a host of the teams were set to start their flying laps towards the end of the session, there was an incident. Daniil Kvyat spun off after putting a wheel on the grass while braking, and the double yellow flags meant the drivers out on track couldn’t finish their hot laps.
Kvyat was one of the men who dropped out as a result, and he’ll start from 11th. Bianchi couldn’t continue his heroics and he will start in 16th place on race day and in front of him will be compatriot Romain Grosjean in his Lotus. Force India’s Sergio Perez will begin in 13th, sandwiched between the Sauber pairing of Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil, who will start in 14th and 12th place respectively.
Just as the the final qualifying shootout was about to begin, it started raining. Subsequently the queues began to form at the end of the pit lane as the drivers did their utmost to get out early and set a lap. But as the rain came hammering down, the drivers were unaware of how little grip there was around some of the corners, particularly into Turn 1.
And as the drivers careered down the hill, it became apparent that none of them had adjusted their braking appropriately. Rosberg ran wide but managed to avoid hitting the wall, but McLaren’s Magnussen was powerless to avoid crashing into the barriers and the session was temporarily red flagged.
On resumption, the rain had stopped and the track was drying out, so timing was going to be crucial. Pole changed hands regularly as the drivers rolled out of the pit lane, with Vettel setting the quickest of the initial laps to take provisional pole.
But Rosberg, just as he’s done so often this season, responded with aplomb. The German driver was too good for the rest of the field as he snaffled pole position from Vettel on his final lap, finishing just under half a second clear of his compatriot.
Rosberg admitted that the pole position felt a little tainted because he couldn't enjoy a battle with his teammate, per BBC Sport:
We need to work on that. That's reliability. I would prefer to be out there battling for Lewis, that would give me the maximum adrenalin rush.
I'm happy but it wasn't a gloves-off battle with Lewis. It takes away a bit of the happiness. Tomorrow will be a challenging race, especially with the weather coming, so it is all to play for.
Rosberg has a superb chance of extending his lead atop of the Drivers' Championship. And although the pole-sitter hasn’t fared too well at Hungary in recent years—winning just three of the last nine grand prix races—it’s a circuit that is somewhat difficult to overtake around.
That’s not good news for Hamilton of course, who’ll have be at this supreme best if he’s to trouble the podium places. He’ll be cursing his misfortune after a spell of rotten luck, but the Brit must be careful and composed, as he’s capable of getting into the top ten and keeping the deficit down to a manageable margin. Rosberg looks like he’ll be extremely difficult to beat around this tight circuit, though.
For full qualifying results click here, courtesy of Formula1.com
P3: Indomitable Hamilton Leads the Way Again
Lewis Hamilton recovered from a concerning start to the final practice session to top the timing sheets for the third successive time at the Hungaroring.
The British driver was struggling for grip in the early parts of the session and ran off the track into Turn 1 during his initial stint and complained to his team that he couldn't "seem to stop the car", per BBC. But he quickly found his feet in the latter stages of the session and was able to produce a blistering lap to top the tables in P3.
Trailing Hamilton's impressive time of 1:24.048 by 0.049 seconds was Hamilton's teammate and World Championship leader Nico Rosberg. The German driver was second in the standings, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in third.
Vettel—a four time World Champion—has endured a torrid season so far. But throughout the practice sessions of this Grand Prix there have been glimpses that the car is in better shape and that Vettel is beginning to get his swagger back.
The German's teammate Daniel Ricciardo trailed him in fourth place come the end of the session, while Valtteri Bottas—who performed so well at Hockenheim last time out—ended up in fifth.
It's worth noting that Hamilton spent a fair period of time practising his driving into the pits, upto his mark and then out of the pits too. The Brit has lost a fair bit of time in those types of situations in recent weeks, and he'll be hoping for a rounded performance at a circuit that he typically flourishes at.
Indeed, ahead of qualifying Hamilton will be well aware that a win on race day will see him become the most successful driver ever at the Hungarian circuit. Victory for Hamilton on Sunday would be his fifth in Hungary; he's currently tied on four Grand Prix wins at the Hungaroring with Michael Schumacher.
Qualifying is always important in a Grand Prix, but admittedly, it's not quite as important in Hungary. In the last nine years, the man starting in pole position has only won this race three times, with Hamilton being the victor on each occasion.
All the ingredients are there for an enthralling qualifying session and a fascinating race. If Hamilton can take pole, the rest of the chasing pack will feel as though they can get close to him. Alternatively, the Brit will be hopeful of replicating his previous performances here should he start at the front of the pack.
Full practice results via Formula1.com:
P2: Hamilton the Standard Bearer as Vettel Makes Gains
Lewis Hamilton went fastest again in the second practice session on Friday as preparations continued for the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.
The Brit's Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg was inevitably second-fastest of the pack as he finished the session 0.24 seconds back from Hamilton.
Mercedes' most likely challengers this weekend at the Hungaroring—if there are to be any—are the Red Bulls. Sebastian Vettel was third fastest on Friday afternoon, although over half a second down from Hamilton.
Meanwhile, the ever-consistent Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest once more, two spots ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who has made the podium in his last five visits to Hungary.
McLaren's Kevin Magnussen in fifth was over a second back from Hamilton's car as the Mercedes, once again, showed its far superior pace.
In-form Valtteri Bottas managed to make it into the top 10 having not done so in the morning session as he went eighth fastest, just behind Daniel Ricciardo.
It was a session of long runs as several drivers put in multiple laps in the heat on the option soft tyre as they aimed to get used to the track ahead of Sunday's race.
There were also plenty sliding as the likes of Magnussen, Hamilton and Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi all left the track at some point as they struggled for grip.
Williams' Felipe Massa took a spin on the chicane and seemed to be unhappy with the car's handling as he fought to scrape into the top 10 on Friday afternoon.
Marussia's Max Chilton also faced his share of struggles after an engine fire saw him miss most of the first practice session, but he eventually managed to get in a decent number of laps later in the day.
Hamilton has won four times from seven attempts in Hungary and is looking very good for pole position come Saturday's qualifying.
However, his teammate is not far back and, with Rosberg currently 14 points ahead of Hamilton in the drivers' standings, the pressure is all on the Briton to win this weekend in Budapest.
Just one practice session remains on Saturday morning before the pole-sitter is decided ahead of Sunday's crucial race.
Full practice results, via Formula1.com:
|3||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:25.111||0.629||33|
|7||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:25.983||1.501||29|
|13||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:26.789||2.307||39|
|15||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1:27.013||2.531||39|
P1: Hamilton Heads Rosberg as Mercedes Dominates Once Again
The trend of the 2014 Formula One season continued on Friday as the two Mercedes drivers topped the time-sheets in first practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton headed team-mate Nico Rosberg by 0.18 seconds as he went fastest, with Ferarri's Kimi Raikkonen performing well but still finishing more than half a second back from the Briton in third.
Fernando Alonso was fourth in his Ferarri as he continued his very solid season despite having a far inferior car to what he has been used to in the past.
The Red Bull of reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel was fifth fastest, the German eager to finally make some waves this weekend having been consistently out-performed by team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, per BBC Sport's Andrew Benson:
I always think there is a chance to win. It would be quite sad not to. Obviously Mercedes are very strong. Their drivers could probably go to the water park just outside the track on Saturday and still win the race. But they are not invincible. We have seen them have problems and then you need to put yourself in the best position to benefit. So there is always a chance.
Only one of the Williams drivers made it into the top 10, Felipe Massa just sneaking in as Valtteri Bottas sat 15th.
Britain's Jenson Button has fine memories of the Hungarian Grand Prix having finally won his first ever race in Budapest in 2006 and he had a satisfactory morning, finishing ninth, three behind team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
Marussia's Max Chilton had major trouble early on as his car caught fire in his installation lap, but the 23-year-old made it back out onto the track with five minutes of the first session to go.
A favourite track of Hamilton's, the 29-year-old made a perfect start to the weekend as he looks to close the gap on his team-mate at the top of the championship standings.
But there is a long way to go yet and the second practice session takes place later on Friday, giving all the drivers another opportunity to get up to speed ahead of Saturday's qualifying.
Full practice results, via Formula1.com:
|5||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:27.220||1.406||28|
|8||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:27.782||1.968||16|
|12||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.101||2.287||28|
|16||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.376||2.562||24|