Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lewis Hamilton Dominates Hungarian GP Qualifying

Photo Credit: Pirelli Photo Service

The 2.722-mile (4.381-kilometer), 16-turn Hungaroring race track contains the cars of the 2012 Formula 1 tour practicing for what will be 70 laps on Sunday. A week after the German Grand Prix, the Hungarian Grand Prix is leading the drivers and teams into a summer break which will not see the Formula 1 cars return to action until September. The long layover between grand prix events implies that team performances in Hungary will have a lingering effect into the latter stage of the 2012 season.

Qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix favoured 2008 Formula 1 driver's champion and two-time winner at the Hungaroring Lewis Hamilton sweep quickly around the tight race circuit. Hamilton proceeded as the leader through the first two qualifying sessions into Q3 group where his McLaren-Mercedes ripped out a 1-minute, 20.953-second lap time to take pole at the Hungaroring. The McLaren Formula 1 team owns 10 Hungarian Grand Prix victories since the event was added to the premier open wheel racing series in 1986 including 4 of the past 5 race runnings.

Over 4/10th of a second slower than Lewis Hamilton, the Lotus F1 Racing team's Romain Grosjean continued his impressive breakout season in the Formula 1 season with a second place in qualifying on Saturday. “Qualifying was very tight and it was difficult to see where we would end up so on the front row is fantastic." said Grosjean.

 Photo Credit: Lorenzo Bellanca/ LAT Photographic

Behind the Renault-powered Lotus, Sebastian Vettel placed his similarly-propelled Red Bull Racing car starts third in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Vettel has yet to win on the Hungaroring in Formula 1 competition but teammate Mark Webber was victorious in a Red Bull-Renault race car in 2010. Mark Webber struggled in qualifying Saturday only able to muster a 11th place run.

The second McLaren-Mercedes of Jenson Button and the Lotus-Renault of Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top-5 fastest in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying. Winner of last week's Formula 1 at the Hockenheimring Fernando Alonso was 0.056 seconds ahead of Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa on the time sheet for a 6th place. In 8th and 9th place, the Williams-Renault race cars of Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna paired-up for the start in Hungary. Nico Hulkenberg driving for Force India fills out the top-10 for the Hungarian Grand Prix starting grid.

The 70-lap Hungarian Grand Prix is slated to run tomorrow at 2pm local time (8am Eastern time). Conditions for racing is expected to be very hot for Formula 1 teams and fans with a high probability of thunder showers Sunday.  

2012 Formula 1
Hungarian Grand Prix
Qualifying Results

Pos # Car #/ Driver/ Car
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
2 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
4 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
5 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault
6 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari
8 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault
9 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault
10 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes
11 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
12 11 Paul di Resta Force India
13 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
14 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari
15 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari
17 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP
18 16 Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rosso-Ferrari
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault
20 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault
21 25 Charlie Pic Marussia-Cosworth
22 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT F1
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT F1

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