Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hamilton Flies High in Hungarian GP Qualifying

Photo Credit: Pirelli Photo Service

As the 2013 Formula 1 season passes its halfway point, the Hungarian Grand Prix sits in an unusual spot in the schedule. Last competing three weeks ago at the Nurburgring in Germany, the late July trip to Hungary will be Formula 1 teams' final outing ahead of a nearly one month break for the open wheel tour. The 2013 Hungarian Grand Prix is held as the closest event to the middle of the summer season in the northern hemisphere frequently taking place in hot conditions.

A tight 4.381-kilometer race course placing a heavy premium on car handling, the Hungaroring remains favourable to top the Formula 1 race teams who can adapt to the circuit through the weekend. In qualifying, the Hungaroring served in the creation of more of the same results we've grown accustomed to witnessing as the 2013 season progresses.

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, the summer heat baked the Hungaroring with an air temperature of 33 degrees Celsius at the beginning of Formula 1 qualifying (rising through the latter sessions up to 35 degrees). Battling the heat and tricky Hungarian race track, the Mercedes AMG's Silver Arrows soared to another time trial triumph. With a lap time of 1 minute, 19.388 seconds, Lewis Hamilton claimed a narrow advantage over Sebastian Vettel. Lewis Hamilton has won the last three pole positions and four overall in the 2013 Formula 1 season. However, the 2013 Mercedes AMG newcomer is still chasing his first victory for his new team. Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes AMG car recorded a fourth-fastest time in Q3 after leaving the Q2 session at the top of the time chart.

While Mercedes AMG cars have taken ownership of the pole through the 2013 Formula 1 season, second-place in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull-Renault has remained remarkably consistent through the 10 events. Winning three pole overall this season, Vettel has only missed the podium place starting spot once at the Chinese Grand Prix. Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying allows Vettel to extends his top-three in qualifying streak to seven consecutive race weekends.

Demonstrating a swift qualifying pace once-again, Romain Grosjean has placed his Lotus-Renault race car third on the starting grid for Sunday's main race. A driver connected to controversy planned on his erratic performances on the race track, Grosjean's third place qualifying was almost taken away by race stewards because of a technical infraction. His Lotus-Renault's floor failed a post-qualifying examination but it was ruled the surface was caused by damage when Grosjean ran over a curb. Quickest in the third practice session ahead of qualifying, the Hungaroring is proving to be one of the Frenchman's more favorable tracks. Last season, he claimed a third-place spot on race day.

Lotus F1 Team's more veteran pilot Kimi Raikkonen will start the grand prix on the third row in sixth place. Raikkonen is sandwiched by Scuderia Ferrari cars with Fernando Alonso in fifth and Felipe Massa slotting into seventh place on the grid.

A 70-race event for Sunday, the Hungarian Grand Prix is shaping up to be a test against the dog days of summer. The temperature highs for Sunday's race day forecast is scheduled to reach a scorching 36 degrees Celsius. Pirelli estimates that teams will make two or three pit stops. Out of the top-10 qualifiers in Hungary, Only ninth place Sergio Perez recorded his grid position on medium compound tires. Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber did not record a lap in Q3 allowing the 10th place team to select their preferred tire compound for Sunday.

2013 Formula 1
Hungarian Grand Prix
Qualifying Results

Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine

1 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault
3 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault
4 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Mercedes-Benz
5 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault
7 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari Ferrari
8 19 Daniel Ricciardo Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
9 6 Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes-Benz
10 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault
11 15 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes-Benz
12 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari
13 5 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes-Benz
14 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari
15 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1 Renault
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams F1 Renault
17 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari
18 14 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes-Benz
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham Renault
20 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham Renault
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth

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