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Hot in Hungary: F1 Qualifying Review

The steaming hot track at Hungaroring was the F1 qualifying arena for the 10 round. But the you-can-fry-eggs-here track did not prove to be a deterrent as Lewis Hamilton swept past Sebastian Vettel to take pole, even as Romain Grosjean smiled his way to 3rd on the grid. But will Lew-Lew finally get the win he deserves? We need to wait and see, says Nikki Grubb-Clarke

Lewis Hamilton will start from pole at the race in Hungaroring tomorrow. Image courtesy Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team (for editorial use only)

Lewis Hamilton will start from pole at the race in Hungaroring tomorrow. Image courtesy Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team (for editorial use only)

I’m not going to lie, there are some tracks I don’t like. Some, because I just think they’re boring (Valencia, you can stop looking shifty, you know I mean you.) and others because I remember stuff that happened there, and it sends a shiver down my spine. Hungaroring falls into the latter category. Every time I watch, I just see Felipe’s very scared, very sore face after ‘that’ spring incident that left him a changed driver. How he comes back and drives there year after year I don’t know. Chutzpah in the extreme, and I doff my cap to him.

Anyhoo, Europe is SWELTERING right now (except parts of Scotland. Namely, the part I’m in.), and Hungary is no exception. Going into Qualifying we have track temperatures of 49 degrees celsius. You could fry an egg on that, if you wanted. Although it’d be a bit gritty. A beautiful day for watching 22 men throw the ultimate in automotive engineering round a track at a squillion miles per hour.

Qualifying 1

Mark Webber: The man with the chiseled jaw, a to-die-for smile and really, really bad luck. Image courtesy Red Bull Content Pool (for editorial use only)

Mark Webber: The man with the chiseled jaw, a to-die-for smile and really, really bad luck. Image courtesy Red Bull Content Pool (for editorial use only)

With the hottest track temperatures of the weekend so far, cars were drip fed onto the track, Esteban Guttierez first, until with 9 minutes to go, only 10 cars had set a time. It’s not the most fun you can have on your own when that happens that’s for sure, and I’m glad I had my coffee this morning.

As the Walking Wallet locked up and put a gorgeous flat spot on his tyres on his first lap out, David Croft was heard to mention that ‘Marussia say they’re happy with Max’. Well of course they are. Daddy is a ‘in-garage’ ATM. No having to walk to the other end of the high street at midnight for that team – no siree! I’m quite sure if my employee’s Papa was doing something similar for me, I’d be happy with them too.

Paul Di Resta is having a TORRID time of it. The team seemingly doing everything they can to nobble him at every turn. This time out, it’s the tyres. Unable to hook up the tyres even a teeny bit, Paul is languishing down in 18th. He seems to have caught Mark Webber’s Luck.

Speaking of which, I love Mark Webber, I really do. That chiseled jaw, the lovely accent, the laidback manner, the hating of Finger Boy…what’s not to love? But why does he have ALL the RBR bad luck? Yet again Finger Boy is flying, while a mechanic is saying to Mark, ‘We can see the problem’ (an electrical one, it transpires), and is lapping almost a second slower than his teammate. Darn you and your ridiculous good luck Finger Boy!

17  Esteban Guttierez – Sauber

18  Paul Di Resta – Force India

19  Charles Pic – Caterham

20  Guido Van De Garde – Caterham

21  Jules Bianchi – Marussia

22  Max Chilton – Marussia

Qualifying 2

Much to my own upset, both the Williams cars made it out of Q1. The team has been saying since the Young Drivers Test that they are looking forward to a good solid points haul. I’m hoping it’s the heat giving them delusions. A whole season with no points? I’d laugh more than those weasels at the end of ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ who die laughing. Thank heavens for Q2. Neither got through to Q3. I’d have cried if they had, I think.

Jenson Button and McLaren are plagued with issues this year. A sad state of affairs indeed. Image courtesy Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team (for editorial use only)

Jenson Button and McLaren are plagued with issues this year. A sad state of affairs indeed. Image courtesy Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team (for editorial use only)

The McLaren woes continue. Coming into this weekend, it really looked like they had made some headway. The FP times were better, and there was what one might almost construe as a hint of confidence about them. Until Q2. Oh its getting so frustrating!! I love this team, I really do, and I just want to give them a darned good shake! Button managed 13th, while Cheeky, having binned it in FP, pulled on his cahoonas and, with a last gasp effort, made it into Q3 by 2 hundredths of a second. It makes me kinda blue that such results for this remarkable team, who I am so used to supporting and seeing at the front, actually makes me smile. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Bring Back Ron Dennis!

11  Adrian Sutil – Force India

12  Nico Hulkenberg – Sauber

13  Jenson Button – McLaren

14  Jean-Eric Vergne – Torro Rosso

15  Pastor Maldonado – Williams

16  Valterri Bottas – Williams

Qualifying 3

Romain 'The Giraffe' Grosjean pulled his weight during Qualifying. Photo: Andrew Ferraro/Lotus F1 Team (for editorial use only)

Romain ‘The Giraffe’ Grosjean pulled his weight during Qualifying. Photo: Andrew Ferraro/Lotus F1 Team (for editorial use only)

THIS is gonna be fun. Through FPs Red Bull Racing have been breezing it. Through Quali, Mercedes have been taking it and pushing them. But don’t rule out Lotus. Smiley Giraffe has been absolutely kicking the behind out of it, but in the good way, and can’t be ruled out. Similarly his Magnum-loving Team Mate.

Finger Boy went out early and set a scorcher of a marker with a 1 min 19.506 – almost a full second quicker than Lew-Lew in second with 2 minutes to go.

Lewis Hamilton pulled off an almost Senna-esque Qualifying lap. Image courtesy Mercedes AMG Petronas (for editorial use only)

Lewis Hamilton pulled off an almost Senna-esque Qualifying lap. Image courtesy Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team (for editorial use only)

And there he stayed until the last…when a certain Briton, whose Senna-esque reputation for pulling an absolute STONKER out in Qualifying is growing with every race, came along and absolutely KILLED it. Lew-Lew effectively chopping off the readied Finger of the Boy to take another absolutely stunning Pole.

Of course, we’ve been there and seen it before. Can Lew-Lew FINALLY get the win he so deserves this season? Oh I do hope so!

1  Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes

2  Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull

3  Romain Grosjean – Lotus

4  Nico Rosberg – Mercedes

5  Fernando Alonso – Ferrari

6  Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus

7  Felipe Massa – Ferrari

8  Daniel Ricciardo – Torro Rosso

9  Sergio Perez – McLaren

10  Mark Webber – Red Bull

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