2010 Hungarian Grand Prix (Hungaroring, Round 12, July 31st)

Hungaroring track layout. © FIA

3rd Free Practice
Having rained heavily overnight, the tight and twisty Hungaroring regained its green and gripless nature, but that did not stop the Red Bull’s from once again romping away at the top of the time sheets. With such incredible ease, both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber lead the way with the Australian out on top by 0.5 of-a-second, while Fernando Alonso was next up over 1 second behind – a phenomenal performance and a worrying indication of what might be in store for qualifying.

The McLaren pair struggled during the session for grip and found themselves on the leaning edge of the fast drivers – the British team now the only squad using the F-duct on one of the slowest circuits of the season. There were other issues for teams as well – a blown engine in an early morning Formula BMW race left a huge trail of oil and concrete dust down through the turn 4/5 section, thereby making even the faster turns difficult. Mercedes suffered stability issues with their new rear wing – particularly on Michael Schumacher’s car and Force India’s hard weekend continued when Vitantonio Liuzzi’s car was pulled in early following a driveshaft failure.

This was a foregone conclusion long before qualifying even started. The Red Bull’s were easily the fastest cars on track, but it was a question as to which one would be on top – no one else was even close. Sebastian Vettel topped the time sheets, well up on front row compatriot Mark Webber, while the young German was a full 1.2 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso in 3rd place. Felipe Massa didn’t quite make it ahead of his controversial Spanish team mate, but still did enough to line up on the second row.
It was an all Mercedes-powered third row as Lewis Hamilton secured 5th spot ahead of the Mercedes work driver of Nico Rosberg. The Renaults locked out the fourth row, but it was Vitaly Petrov heading the yellow machines this time around – a first for the Russian driver. Pedro de la Rosa and Nico Hulkenberg line up 9th and 10th respectively.

Behind the top ten, it was probably no real shock that both Force India’s and Toro Rosso’s dropped out of Q2, but few could have foreseen Jenson Button not make the final session – the McLaren driver fell only 0.017 of-a-second shy of Hulkenberg. The second Williams was not able to proceed through; Rubens Barrichello secured a row six spot beside the reigning champion and his former team mate. Michael Schumacher failed to make the final session once again, as fellow Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg comprehensively beat his time.

The three new teams fell short again at the very back; however the real battle was focussed on 18th place – the final drop position. Both Toro Rosso’s and Force India’s ran exclusion close, but it was the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi that did not go through. The Japanese driver found himself baulked very badly by the Hispania of Bruno Senna on his final lap, an act that ruined any chance of going through to the second session – Kobayashi also broke the red light on the way back to the pits; a penalty awaits.

Hungary, Qualifying (July 31st)
3rd Session
1  VETTEL        Red Bull      1m18.773s
2  WEBBER        Red Bull      1m19.184s
3  ALONSO        Ferrari       1m19.987s
4  MASSA         Ferrari       1m20.331s
5  HAMILTON      McLaren       1m20.499s
6  ROSBERG       Mercedes      1m21.082s
7  PETROV        Renault       1m21.229s
8  KUBICA        Renault       1m21.328s
9  DE LA ROSA    Sauber        1m21.411s
10 HULKENBERG    Williams      1m21.710s
2nd Session
11 BUTTON        McLaren       1m21.292s
12 BARRICHELLO   Williams      1m21.331s
13 SUTIL         Force India   1m21.517s
14 SCHUMACHER    Mercedes      1m21.630s
15 BUEMI         Toro Rosso    1m21.897s
16 LIUZZI        Force India   1m21.927s
17 ALGUERSUARI   Toro Rosso    1m21.998s
1st Session
18 KOBAYASHI     Sauber        1m22.222s
19 GLOCK         Virgin        1m24.050s
20 KOVALAINEN    Lotus         1m24.120s
21 TRULLI        Lotus         1m24.199s
22 DI GRASSI     Virgin        1m25.118s
23 SENNA         HRT           1m26.391s
24 YAMAMOTO      HRT           1m26.453s

Hungary, 3rd Free Practice (July 31st)
1  WEBBER        Red Bull      1m19.574s
2  VETTEL        Red Bull      1m20.058s
3  ALONSO        Ferrari       1m20.724s
4  KUBICA        Renault       1m21.066s
5  MASSA         Ferrari       1m21.264s
6  HAMILTON      McLaren       1m21.376s
7  PETROV        Renault       1m21.399s
8  ROSBERG       Mercedes      1m21.422s
9  BUTTON        McLaren       1m21.473s
10 HULKENBERG    Williams      1m21.513s
11 BARRICHELLO   Williams      1m21.705s
12 SCHUMACHER    Mercedes      1m21.939s
13 DE LA ROSA    Sauber        1m22.151s
14 KOBAYASHI     Sauber        1m22.337s
15 ALGUERSUARI   Toro Rosso    1m22.427s
16 BUEMI         Toro Rosso    1m22.508s
17 SUTIL         Force India   1m22.918s
18 LIUZZI        Force India   1m23.708s
19 DI GRASSI     Virgin        1m24.547s
20 TRULLI        Lotus         1m24.576s
21 KOVALAINEN    Lotus         1m24.623s
22 GLOCK         Virgin        1m24.805s
23 SENNA         HRT           1m26.479s
24 YAMAMOTO      HRT           1m27.176s

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