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Qualifying highlights - Hungary 2013 - The fight for critical grid positions ahead of the race tomorrow

Published by Christine

Webber's troubled Saturday
Credit: Thompson/Getty

With high temperatures at the Hungaroring, teams weren't completely sure how their pace would manifest on the sweltering tarmac and revised tyres. However, Red Bull looked strong as the sessions began.

With some big name surprises, a few mechanical gremlins here and there, and some drivers really fighting to get the best out of their car, it all came down to the top ten shoot-out. And then it all came down to a top-two shootout.

Who got pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix? If you missed the action or want to relive any specific moments, here's lap by lap coverage of the entire hour of qualifying.

As it happened: Hungary 2013 - Qualifying

  • 12:32

    Hello there! Welcome. This is the Factbyte Factbox for qualifying ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. Pole position is super important at this track, so we're in for an interesting hour.

  • 12:35

    We've had another interminable three week break and after this race we're diving straight into the summer shutdown. So make the most of this race weekend... even if it is Hungary.

  • 12:37

    Sebastian Vettel is on top form at the moment, having taken victory at the last race in Germany. But the higher temperatures might mix things up a little. Lotus have been hoping for warmer conditions for a long while.

  • 12:38

    Friday practice had Red Bull dominating, whilst this morning's hour session saw Romain Grosjean on top.

  • 12:38

    Notably, Sergio Pérez had a crash right at the end of the FP3 session, whilst Esteban Gutiérrez sat the hour out as his car needed an engine change.

  • 12:42

    Adrian Sutil crosses a racing milestone this weekend, and has joined Twitter to celebrate!

  • 12:42

    TweetTweet from @SutilAdrian: I am ready for my 100th qualifying session, 20mins to go @clubforce #HungarianGP

  • 12:45
    2013 Pole Positions
    1S Vettel3
    2L Hamilton3
    3N Rosberg3
  • 12:50

    The Hungaroring is known for its twisting corners, many compare it to a go-kart track, and the lack of straights means overtaking is very difficult.

  • 12:51

    There's double DRS here this weekend, with the FIA adding an additional activation zone to the one detection. More information is available here:

  • 12:52

    White and yellow sidewallsTyres on offer this week are the medium (white) and soft (yellow). Pirelli have brought 2013 compounds on 2012 construction to alleviate the problems we have seen recently.

  • 12:57



    Wind speed0.7mps
  • 12:57

    Or in other words, hot, hot, hot!

  • 12:57

    There's music blasting from the Red Bull pit lane again. Keeping the mechanics motivated, no doubt, but a slightly relaxed attitude from them.

  • 13:00

    Fernando Alonso is wandering around the pit lane, having a chat with his engineer, looking at conditions and also looking very relaxed.

  • 13:00

    Green flagQualifying session 1 begins.

  • 13:01

    Esteban Gutiérrez heads out first, he's running low on laps after missing most of the hour practice this morning.

  • 13:01

    Pastor Maldonado is warned over the radio that traffic will be a significant problem, and he'll need to move out the way if people want to get past.

  • 13:01

    Sergio Pérez is still suffering the effects of his crash earlier, the mechanics are hard at work trying to get him ready to go out.

  • 13:02

    The track temperature is at the highest it has been so far this weekend, and presumably just going to get warmer!

  • 13:03

    Nico Rosberg leaves the garage to start his qualifying campaign, and Adrian Sutil follows soon after.

  • 13:04

    Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton is having an involved discussion on the pit wall as he readies himself to go out.

  • 13:04

    Mark Webber hasn't even got his overalls fully on yet, they're snugly around his waist. He's watching proceedings, judging the right time to go out.

  • 13:05

    TweetTweet from @OfficialSF1Team: #Guti puts in a first timed lap at 1:23.998 as #Hulk heads out on mediums #pushpush

  • 13:05

    Rosberg didn't set a time, heading back to the pitlane after an installation lap.

  • 13:06

    Five minutes gone, just the one time on the board. Sutil crosses the line to start his first flying lap, but team radio informs him the tyres may need one more lap to come to life.

  • 13:07

    TweetTweet from @pirellisport: Pic and Bottas have chosen to go out on the P Zero Yellow soft - the others who are out have opted for the White medium. #F1 #Pirelli

  • 13:08

    Valtteri Bottas moves up to P1 with a 1:21.532 as the times start to drift in. Ten drivers out on track now.

  • 13:09

    TweetTweet from @alanbaldwinf1: The track temperature has hit 50 degrees, according to timing screens. Cue round of applause in (thankfully cooler) media centre.

  • 13:10

    The two Williams drivers top the times then, with Jules Bianchi bringing up the rear. We're still waiting for any sign of Red Bull, Ferrari and the bigger teams.

  • 13:11

    Sutil moves up to third, and Di Resta slots in behind him in fourth - after getting some advice about when to use KERS from the pit wall.

  • 13:13

    Daniel Ricciardo has jumped up to P1, dropping the times by three tenths. Meanwhile, Mark Webber has a jaunt off track before heading back to the tarmac.

  • 13:14

    As those who have set a time come in to the pit lane, the stragglers head out. Red Bull, Ferrari and Jenson Button. Still no sign of Pérez or the two Mercedes though.

  • 13:14

    Just over five minutes left to go.

  • 13:15

    Grosjean crosses the line for P1, a 1:20.447 for the Lotus drivers.

  • 13:15

    Sergio Pérez has left the garage and joined the running, he's out on the softer compound and hoping to steer clear of the wall this session.

  • 13:16

    Most of the drivers are running the softer tyre at the moment, presumably saving medium compounds for the race.

  • 13:17

    Vettel's first meaningful lap time moves him up to P2, whilst Mark is told to do another lap, they "can see the problem." Whatever the problem may be.

  • 13:17

    Button crosses the line for sixth place, as the two Mercedes drivers start their laps.

  • 13:18

    It's odd that these big drivers have run the risk of absolutely no lap time until the last minute. We saw in FP3 that there can be a last minute incident that halts running.

  • 13:18

    The Mercedes duo manage to cross the line unscathed though, with Nico Rosberg in P1 and Lewis Hamilton slotting into second.

  • 13:19

    Williams mechanics recover their car from the weighbridge, via @Lotus_F1Team.

  • 13:19

    Daniel Ricciardo is in the garage, but his time is dropping as he sits 12th.

  • 13:19

    Meanwhile, the drop zone features the expected four, along with Gutiérrez and Di Resta.

  • 13:20

    Through the first sector, Paul di Resta locks up and finds himself down on the target time to move out of the drop zone.

  • 13:20

    There are more lockups for the Force India driver, and he can't improve! He may have squeaked across the line just in time to complete another lap though.

  • 13:20

    Chequered flagQualifying session 1 ends.

  • 13:21

    Gutiérrez crosses the line for 17th, his qualifying is over. It's only Di Resta that can make any difference here.

  • 13:22

    The top three in Q1 were Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean.

  • 13:23
    Qualifying Position
    17E GutiérrezSauber
    18P Di RestaForce India
    19C PicCaterham
    20G van der GardeCaterham
    21J BianchiMarussia
    22M ChiltonMarussia
  • 13:23

    That problem on Webber's Red Bull is reported to be an electrical problem, and it is frustrating the Australian but it's not session-ending just yet.

  • 13:24
    Qualifying Battle
    Force IndiaQualified Ahead
    A Sutil4
    P di Resta6
  • 13:27

    Green flagQualifying session 2 begins.

  • 13:28

    Interestingly, a marshal is waving a green flag at the end of the pit lane. We're not sure why but the session has started nevertheless.

  • 13:28

    Kimi Räikkönen heads out first, the only driver to emerge so far, via @burn

  • 13:29

    Looks like the pit exit light is broken. It was working on the side facing the camera, but for teams, it's all about the flag.

  • 13:29

    Nico Hülkenberg joins the running, both drivers are on used sets of the softer compound.

  • 13:30

    Seven drivers circling the track now, as Kimi heads through the second sector towards his first time of the session.

  • 13:31

    Team radioTeam radio to Mark Webber: "KERS has failed."

  • 13:32

    In pit lane exit news, the light is back on. You can relax.

  • 13:33

    It's a 1:20.987 for Kimi, and he returns to the pit lane after the single flying lap. Teammate Romain Grosjean pips him by about half a second to move up to P1.

  • 13:34

    Sutil splits the two Lotus drivers, with Bottas and Ricciardo settling in behind. The two Mercedes drivers are out on track together again though.

  • 13:34

    Nico Rosberg slips into second, as Lewis Hamilton jumps up to P1, with a 1:20.303.

  • 13:35

    Jenson Button has been told to "learn seventh gear." Not sure what that means!

  • 13:35

    Mercedes are only on top for a moment, as Sebastian Vettel becomes the first to drop the times down to 1:19.

  • 13:36

    Team radioTeam radio to Kimi Räikkönen: "Remember Kimi, you've got fuel for two laps if you need it."

  • 13:37

    With just over five minutes to go, the drop zone features Bottas, Ricciardo, Webber, Vergne, Hülkenberg and Maldonado.

  • 13:37

    All of those six drivers are in the garage at the moment, so they'll need to head back out again soon.

  • 13:37

    At the moment just two Lotus cars and two McLarens are out on track.

  • 13:38

    And the McLarens return to the pit lane too. Quiet for a moment before Rosberg and Sutil fire up and head on out.

  • 13:40

    Kimi has improved to second, but it's only for a moment as Romain Grosjean crosses the line for P2. No-one but Vettel has visited the 1:19s yet though.

  • 13:40

    Two minutes on the clock and the rest of the field start piling out of the pit lane. Vettel remains in the garage, happy with his time.

  • 13:41

    All eyes on Webber, really, as he's in the drop zone and needs to improve but is minus functioning KERS.

  • 13:42

    Both Williams drivers are in the top ten at the moment, but both McLarens are not.

  • 13:42

    Chequered flagQualifying session 2 ends.

  • 13:43

    Drop zone now features Williams, McLaren, Webber and Vergne. Who can improve?

  • 13:43

    Vergne improves on his own time but can only make it up to eleventh.

  • 13:44

    Lots of time changes there, a summary box coming right up. The top three in that session were Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

  • 13:45
    Qualifying Position
    11A SutilForce India
    12N HülkenbergSauber
    13J ButtonMcLaren
    14JE VergneToro Rosso
    15P MaldonadoWilliams
    16V BottasWilliams
  • 13:45

    Daniel Ricciardo has made it through to the top ten, that's the fourth race weekend in a row he's managed to do that.

  • 13:48

    TweetTweet from @McLarenF1: Checo goes through to Q3 in P10 with 1:20.545. Jenson's 1:20.777 puts him in P13.

  • 13:50

    Green flagQualifying session 3 begins.

  • 13:51

    The cars pour forth from their garages. Eight cars out almost immediately, with just Vettel and Massa huddling in the pit lane for now.

  • 13:52

    TweetTweet from @F1onNBCSports: Perez out on medium tires for McLaren, Webber, Raikkonen, Rosberg and Ricciardo on softs

  • 13:53

    QuoteInterview with Jenson Button: "The car and the tyres looked pretty good, I just couldn't quite get it in the last run. Disappointing because I hoped for a bit more here. We have got some good upgrades, I think it's just balancing them that we found a bit difficult this weekend. But I'm sure we can still have some fun tomorrow."

  • 13:53

    Webber didn't set a lap time, preferring to head back to the garage after his first lap. Ricciardo also returned to the pit lane.

  • 13:54

    Pérez sets the first time, knocked down immediately by Kimi Räikkönen with four seconds over the McLaren. Four seconds!

  • 13:54

    Rosberg heads to P1, with Hamilton knocking him down to take the top spot.

  • 13:55

    Replays show some rally drifts from Räikkönen around the corner, and a lock up from a Ferrari... I missed which one.

  • 13:55

    Sebastian Vettel crosses the line for his first lap time of the session - 1:19.506. Stunning lap.

  • 13:56

    It was new soft tyres for Vettel there. Everyone else is back in the pit lane picking their next compound. Unless they decide not to bother - how can they beat a 1:19.5?

  • 13:57

    There are eight tenths of a second in hand for Vettel over the two Mercedes. A whole second over fourth place Romain Grosjean. The next and final run about to start though.

  • 13:59

    Two minutes left to go, and Mark Webber is climbing from his car in the garage. He's ninth at the moment with no chance now to improve.

  • 13:59

    A brief glimpse of Webber as he exits the car and strides out the garage - no time to chat and probably no inclination to do so!

  • 14:00

    Chequered flagQualifying session 3 ends.

  • 14:00

    Räikkönen crosses the line for a 1:19.8 - that's second fastest for now.

  • 14:01

    Sergio Pérez pits, he's ninth now with Webber tenth.

  • 14:01

    Rosberg jumps up to P2, with Grosjean then topping him - down on Vettel's time by eight hundredths of a second.

  • 14:01

    Vettel heads out for his final run, via @InfinitiGP

  • 14:02

    Lewis Hamilton crosses the line to move in to P1, and now it's just Vettel left to cross the line and take it back.

  • 14:02

    StopwatchPole position for Lewis Hamilton with a time of 1:19.388.

  • 14:02

    Team radioTeam radio to Hamilton: "Well done Lewis, that's P1."


    "Yea, we're as surprised as you, mate."

  • 14:03

    Team radioTeam radio to Vettel: "We're in P2. Hamilton is on pole. Four hundredths of a second. Maybe less."

    Stony silence.

  • 14:05
    Qualifying Position
    1L HamiltonMercedes
    2S VettelRed Bull
    3R GrosjeanLotus
    4N RosbergMercedes
    5F AlonsoFerrari
    6K RäikkönenLotus
    7F MassaFerrari
    8D RicciardoToro Rosso
    9S PérezMcLaren
    10M WebberRed Bull
  • 14:05
    Gap Analysis
  • 14:08

    QuoteInterview with Ross Brawn: "We've been feeling our way with these tyres, I don't think we quite knew where we were with them... Obviously, Lewis managed to get it sorted out. Pretty impressive lap.

    "I think the difficulty will be judging the number of pit stops. If we end up on the three and Vettel's able to do two, it becomes a problem. We'll have to feel our way through the race and see what happens."

  • 14:15

    QuotePress Conference Quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "It is [challenging], especially with the temperatures, that makes it tough. I was surprised when I came across the line and they said I had pole, I was expecting Sebastian to get it... it didn't feel like that great a lap, so I was surprised.

    "As always, it's down to the, we bought some upgrades this weekend, the guys have been working really hard, they've done a phenomenal job. It's really difficult o follow here, it's a long way down to turn one, if you can get there first, it's advantageous. Looking after the tyres in these conditions is going to be trouble."

  • 14:16

    QuotePress Conference Quotes - Sebastian Vettel: "There wasn't much missing, Lewis did a good job, I put a strong lap in... Maybe on the second try I was losing out in the middle sector, it's very twisty, maybe I wasn't aggressive enough there. It's stupid now to sit here and say we should have done this, we should have done that. I was happy with my lap, it just wasn't quick enough.

    "Mercedes have a strong pace in qualifying, Lewis did an exceptional job today, you have to be fair and respect that. I would loved to be a little bit faster and be in pole, but it puts us in a great place for tomorrow. Shame that the other car, that Mark had an issue, he didn't have KERS... he was not in an attempt for the front first couple of positions. Still, we should have a good race tomorrow as the car feels fine."

  • 14:18

    QuotePress Conference Quotes - Romain Grosjean: "I quite like the circuit but that doesn't mean much. It's been a good weekend so far, I've been working hard with the team to get the best out of the car. Last lap was a pretty good lap, not missing much. These guys were very quick so it's good to be here. The race is long tomorrow, it's going to be very hot. We will see what we can do to get the best result we can get.

    "I think the option is quite a tough tyre to make last, but the medium was alright on our car. It was the case last race my first stint was very long, hopefully tomorrow that will be the case again, and I can try to have a go. We will decide when the time comes."

  • 14:20

    The top 3 in Hungary via @XPBImages

  • 14:25

    A slow burning qualifying session then, that got exciting as the final two cars crossed the line. The fight to the first corner will be crucial, particularly as Grosjean is up in the mix and... well, you know.

  • 14:26

    Mark Webber sounds very frustrated, claiming the problems "make us look stupid, it's embarrassing." He's not happy with the amount of work he'll have to do to get a good result, particularly at this track.

  • 14:28

    Paul di Resta also will have a difficult task tomorrow, whilst his teammate starts slightly higher up for his 100th race.

  • 14:28

    It should be a good one... as good as the Hungarian Grand Prix can be. Do join me back here tomorrow for more lap by lap coverage!

All content in the series Hungary 2013