Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix 2015: Results, Times for Practice and Qualifying
Reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton is 17 points ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg heading into Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, a race that will take the 2015 season beyond its halfway point.
Hamilton eased to victory last time out, finishing 10.956 seconds ahead of Rosberg during the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
He has claimed five wins during the campaign, compared to Rosberg's three and Sebastian Vettel's one. The Ferrari man is the only non-Mercedes driver to have stood atop the podium this season, marking yet another year of likely domination for the German team.
Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso finished in front of Hamilton at the Hungaroring last season, with Rosberg claiming fourth in Budapest. However, Hamilton started from the back and drove spectacularly to grab a place in the top three.
Read on to find out how the practice and qualifying sessions shape up for this year's race.
Qualifying: Hamilton Takes Pole Position
Lewis Hamilton didn't let up after winning all three practice sessions. He followed those efforts by topping qualifying and taking pole position for the 2015 Hungarian F1 Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.
He was half-a-second faster than Rosberg over the final lap, according to Gary Rose, who provided a live blog for BBC Sport. Rose also noted how it was Hamilton's 47th-career pole win.
Hamilton is now well-positioned ahead of his professional colleague and rival ahead of the race proper. After leaving Rosberg and the rest of the pack trailing, he was in typically bullish mood, per BBC Sport F1 writer Andrew Benson: "I'm incredibly happy with the weekend, I can't remember having a performance as good as this."
By contrast, Rosberg bemoaned the inconsistent pace he felt plagued him during both the practice and qualifying sessions, per Benson: "It has been a bit up and down all weekend for some reason. We need to look into it tonight. I am definitely not happy with how it went today."
Hamilton took control starting with the second and ending with the third qualifying sessions after Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel had sprung an early surprise in the opening race.
It was a strong follow-up to his third-placed finish in the final practice session. Vettel was driving on soft tyres after enduring a few problems with his car earlier in the week, according to an earlier report from Benson.
Ultimately though, Vettel had to settle for another third-placed finish. After the race, BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard offered this blunt assessment of Ferrari's chances (h/t Rose): "Ferrari are just not good enough to take the battle to the Mercedes team."
Meanwhile, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo gave a good accounting. He came in fourth, barely shy of Vettel's car. Last year's winner will be a bigger threat in the race proper.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:22.774|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||1:23.332|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:23.679|
While Red Bull and Ferrari put on decent showings, there was nothing here to really convince that anyone other than Hamilton or Rosberg will be standing at the summit of the podium after the race.
FP3: Hamilton Blazes Final Practice
Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the third and final practice ahead of the 2015 Hungarian F1 Grand Prix. In the process, Hamilton predictably edged out team-mate Nico Rosberg, as Mercedes remained typically dominant.
Rosberg's car had to be checked for possible engine trouble at the end of the pit lane late on. Mercedes offered brief detail regarding the problem, per BBC Sport F1 writer Andrew Benson: "Mercedes tech boss Paddy Lowe said the engine stalled but he did not know why."
Hamilton won't care about any of that. He'll simply be glad to have built some momentum ahead of a bid to secure pole during qualifying sessions.
Sky Sports' Pete Gill reported how Hamilton has now made it a hat-trick of wins during the practice races. Yet the same report also noted how Rosberg cut the gap to "just a tenth of a second."
Assuming he puts the mechanical and strategic issues behind him, Rosberg will fancy his chances in the first qualifying session.
So will Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel. He pushed the Mercedes pair all the way. Vettel produced a good time driving on soft tyres.
That's welcome relief for a driver said to be unhappy with his car, amid a host of troubles for Ferrari, according to Benson.
Here are the full results and times from the session, per Sky Sports:
|4||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||1:24.215|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:24.326|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:24.483|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:24.678|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:24.929|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:25.393|
FP2: Hamilton Dominates as Red Bull Topples Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton continued to set the pace during the second practice session in Hungary, posting a fastest lap of 1:23.949. He shaved over a second off his morning time to underline his credentials for the win ahead of race weekend.
Nico Rosberg, who was looking to regain some ground on his team-mate after finishing second to him earlier in the day, could only manage the fourth-fastest lap. Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat flew along the Hungaroring to finish second ahead of his colleague Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo, who concluded the morning session with the fourth-fastest time, pulled his car off the track after a plume of smoke signalled engine failure with 20 minutes to go. He was third fastest when the problem occurred, a position he maintained until the end.
Things could have been much worse for Red Bull, as reported by Gary Rose of BBC Sport: "It was almost a double blow for Red Bull as (Team Principal) Christian Horner tells (BBC commentator) Ben Edwards that leaking oil from Daniel Ricciardo's car almost took out Daniil Kvyat's Red Bull."
Kimi Raikkonen once again got the better of Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who suffered a spin at the apex before managing to rejoin without an issue. As the session drew to a close, Vettel suffered another rear problem at Turn 1 to limit his progress. He ended his run in seventh, with Raikkonen in fifth.
Carlos Sainz enjoyed another impressive drive, sandwiching himself between the two Ferrari drivers to finish sixth for Toro Rosso. Fernando Alonso gained a little momentum in the McLaren Honda, moving from 11th to eighth across the two sessions. His team-mate Jenson Button continued to toil in 12th.
It is worth noting Force India opted against taking part in the second session after Sergio Perez's crash earlier in the day: "The investigation on the causes of Checo's crash is still ongoing—neither Nico (Hulkenberg) nor Checo will take part in FP2 at this stage," tweeted the team's official Twitter account.
Here's a look at the full standings from FP2, per Sky Sports:
|2||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Racing Renault||+0.351|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Renault||+0.502|
|6||Carlos Sainz||STR Renault||+1.650|
|8||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||+1.803|
|9||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Mercedes||+1.932|
|10||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||+1.971|
|11||Max Verstappen||STR Renault||+1.986|
|12||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda||+2.045|
|13||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus Mercedes||+2.141|
|14||Felipe Nasr||Sauber Ferrari||+2.430|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Lotus Mercedes||+2.493|
|16||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||+2.882|
|17||Roberto Merhi||Marussia Ferrari||+5.164|
|18||Will Stevens||Marussia Ferrari||+5.166|
FP1: Hamilton Sets the Pace in Dramatic Session
Hamilton once again set the benchmark during the first practice session on Friday, posting a best lap time of 1:25.141 to finish 0.109 seconds ahead of Rosberg.
Although the British driver complained of his car buzzing "sort of like a bee," reported by BBC Sport, he asserted his dominance by posting the time within the first 20 minutes of practice. Rosberg continued to push his team-mate across multiple laps, but he came up just short.
Kimi Raikkonen and Ricciardo finished behind the Mercedes duo, with Daniil Kvyat claiming fifth after a solid run in the Red Bull. Vettel could only manage sixth and was followed by Carlos Sainz in the STR Renault.
However, the morning session will be remembered for a frightening Sergio Perez crash at Turn 11, which saw the Mexican's right-front tyre dig into the ground, initiating a flip through the air. Perez walked away unharmed and complained of the track being "so dirty" to reporter Lee McKenzie, per BBC Sport. He finished with the eighth-fastest lap.
Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen made up the rest of the top 10. Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button could only managed 11th and 12th respectively in the McLaren Honda.
Another red flag was given as the session came to an end after Raikkonen drove into the kerb at Turn 12, puncturing his tyre in the process. Moments later, a marshal retrieved the Finnish driver's entire front wing in an embarrassing end to the session for the man who otherwise had a successful drive.
Here's a look at the full FP1 results, courtesy of Sky Sports:
|4.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Renault||+0.912|
|5.||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Racing Renault||+0.929|
|7.||Carlos Sainz||STR Renault||+1.586|
|8.||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||+1.635|
|9.||Valterri Bottas||Williams Mercedes||+1.684|
|10.||Max Verstappen||STR Renault||+1.793|
|11.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||+2.131|
|12.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda||+2.167|
|13.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India Mercedes||+2.176|
|14.||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||+2.240|
|15.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber Ferrari||+2.268|
|16.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||+2.591|
|17.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus Mercedes||+3.427|
|18.||Will Stevens||Marussia Ferrari||+4.552|
|19.||Fabio Leimer||Marussia Ferrari||+5.490|
|20.||Jolyon Palmer||Lotus Mercedes||No Time|