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Hungarian GP 2010

JULY 31, 2010

Qualifying Report - Vettel takes comfortable Hungaroring pole

Sebastian Vettel, Hungarian GP 2010
© The Cahier Archive

Sebastian Vetel (1:18.773) took a dominant pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix as Red Bull Racing once again locked out the front row. Vettel was the only driver to lap below 1m19s as team mate Mark Webber stopped the clock in 1:19.184, the 0.41s margin between the pair bigger than usual.

"It was a good day for us and it's been good all weekend," Vettel said. "We felt comfortable yesterday and we improved the car again overnight. I said on the radio to the boys, 'this is your moment, enjoy it, you built it and it was a pleasure to drive.' I didn't have a smooth run in Q2 with the option tyre, didn't feel 100% but I had a lot of confidence in Q3."

The clean side of the grid, traditionally, is even more important in Hungary than elsewhere and Vettel said: "Ideally I'll just be able to go straight. We found the problem from last week, where I didn't have a good start, and I'm confident we will have a good one tomorrow. We know how important it is -- I was second last year, Fernando was on pole and if I'd been on the clean side it would have been a different race. But 70 laps is tough for the cars and drivers and there's no points for Saturday."

Webber managed to pip Vettel by four hundredths in Q2 but said of his Q3 effort: "I did my best, it wasn't the cleanest lap but that's the way it goes. Seb did a good lap and it wasn't my day. I didn't get the tyre preparation right on my final run. It was similar to Barcelona here, we knew it was going to be between the pair of us and tight."

Fernando Alonso (1:19.987) was the closest challenger to the Red Bulls but the Ferrari was fully 1.2s from Vettel's pace. Alonso's only hope of splitting the Red Bulls looks to be the possibility of getting a better start from the clean side of the grid, something the Spaniard said was vital in Hungary.

"We found a big gap to Red Bull from yesterday practice and I think maximised our potential," Alonso said. "Hopefully tomorrow we can make it a difficult race for them. The start is important we know at Hungary it's hard to overtake and the first corner and first lap will be 60-70% of the final result, so hopefully we can do a good start as we did at Hockenheim last weekend. Last weekend the Ferrari was the quickest car in the race, here we are 1.2s off, which is a surprise, but others are worse."

Felipe Massa (1:20.331) put the second Ferrari fourth on the grid, 0.16s clear of Lewis Hamilton (1:20.499) who is the only McLaren representative in the top 10, reigning world champion Jenson Button starting the race from 11th, the first man with freedom of tyre choice.

Nico Rosberg (1:21.082) put the first Mercedes sixth on the grid, team mate Michael Schumacher never happy with the feel of the car around the twisty Hungaroring and 0.82s from Rosberg in Q2, which translated into a starting position of 14th.

Vitaly Petrov (1:21.229) outqualified Robert Kubica (1:21.328) for the first time this season after the Pole made a mistake in sector one on his lone Q3 run and eventually set his grid time on the second flying lap with the option rubber past its best.

Pedro de la Rosa (1:21.411) did a strong job to put the first Sauber ninth, with Nico Hulkenberg (1:21.710) completing the top 10 with the first Williams-Cosworth, two slots ahead of team mate Rubens Barrichello.