Ferrari lockout front row for Hungarian Grand Prix

There’s no doubt that a track can certainly make the difference but that isn’t intended to marginalize what Ferrari achieved on Saturday for the Hungarian Grand Prix nor is it to suggest that Mercedes fell short of a development opportunity.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel claimed pole position for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix with his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, right behind him in second and it represented the first Ferrari lockout of a qualifying front row since 2004.

For Mercedes, the advantage they had two weeks ago at Silverstone seemed to have stayed in Silverstone as both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas struggled to keep up with the Ferrari’s in all three Free Practice sessions and qualifying.

Photo by:

The session also saw a resurgent Red Bull in the hands of Max Verstappen who will start 5th and Daniel Ricciardo in 6th. The upgrades for Red Bull were working well and the tight nature of the track meant that a team with a good chassis could overcome any power deficit it may have as evidenced by McLaren’s 7th and 8th place performance.

Lewis Hamilton struggled with vibrations and radioed his team several times about the balance of the tires but I found it interesting that he was still pushing the limits of the track in FP3 and finding it difficult to stay on the island. Clearly Lewis was struggling and trying to make something from a car that didn’t quite have the pace of the Ferrari’s.

Pole position is one thing but winning the race is another and we enter this weekend with the specter of reliability issues on older engine parts as well as the possibility of a bad start or even the flying Dutchman who could spoil someone’s race in his own quest for a podium finish.

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m16.276s
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m16.444s 0.168s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m16.530s 0.254s
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.707s 0.431s
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m16.797s 0.521s
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m16.818s 0.542s
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m17.549s 1.273s
8 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m17.894s 1.618s
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m18.912s 2.636s
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m18.415s 2.139s
11 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m18.495s
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m17.468s
13 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m18.639s
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m18.771s
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m19.095s
16 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m18.538s
17 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m19.102s
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m19.839s
19 Paul Di Resta Williams/Mercedes 1m19.868s
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m19.972s