All the drivers used the Yellow soft tyre to get through Q1, with the exception of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who used two sets of P Zero White medium, which is theoretically around 1.8 seconds slower per lap. Nonetheless, last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix winner still managed to set 12th fastest time overall in Q1 and P4 on the grid – underlining the promising pace shown by Red Bull in free practice yesterday.
For the rest of qualifying all the drivers used the soft tyre, in order to extract the maximum performance possible for their cars. However, Q2 was interrupted with five minutes to go after the McLaren of Fernando Alonso stopped on the circuit.
Having gone quickest in all three sessions, Hamilton claimed pole with his second run in Q3 with a time of 1m22.020s: considerably faster than last year’s pole time of 1m22.715s (which was already broken in Q2). Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was the only driver in the top 10 to save a new set of soft tyres for the race, having completed his first Q3 run on a used set.
The extra speed of soft compound is likely to push the teams towards a two-stop strategy for the race tomorrow, with two stints on the soft tyre followed by a final stint on the more durable medium. This is assuming that conditions stay broadly similar to those seen today: slightly cooler weather is expected on Sunday.
2015 HUNGARIAN GP - QUALIFYING
P. DRIVER TEAM TIME GAP 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:22.020 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG 1:22.595 + 0.575 3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:22.739 + 0.719 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:22.774 + 0.754 5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:23.020 + 1.000 6. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:23.222 + 1.202 7. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:23.332 + 1.312 8. Felipe Massa Williams 1:23.537 + 1.517 9. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:23.679 + 1.659 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:24.181 + 2.161 Q2 Fastest Time: Lewis Hamilton 1:22.285 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:23.826 + 1.826 12. Carlos Sainz JR. Toro Rosso 1:23.869 + 1.901 13. Sergio Perez Force India 1:24.461 + 1.950 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:24.609 + 2.027 15. Fernando Alonso McLaren No time Q1 Fastest Time: Lewis Hamilton 1:22.890 16. Jenson Button McLaren 1:24.739 + 1.849 17. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:24.843 + 1.953 18. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:24.997 + 2.107 19. Roberto Merhi Manor 1:27.416 + 4.526 20. Will Stevens Manor 1:27.949 + 5.099 107% time: 1:28.692* 2014: Nico Rosberg - Mercedes AMG - 1:22.715