It should be an exciting battle as HAM is just one point behind ROS in the Drivers’ Championship following the (much delayed) penalty for ROS at the British GP.
Mercedes have signed a 2-year contract with ROS
The FIA clarified the radio rules, which VET called “a joke” (and some other words which had to be bleeped).
There are sensors on Turns 4 & 11, which means if a car has all four wheels off track they’ll be penalised.
- FP1: HAM (1:21.347), ROS, VET, RAI, RIC
Track was a bit damp initially, after some heavy rain overnight.
A few spins in the final turn.
- FP2: ROS (1:20.435), RIC, VET, VES, HAM
ALO waiting for McLaren mechanics to finish work on his car – replacing the floor
HAM spins off, sideways into the wall; red flags; HAM gets his car back to the pits but that’s the end of FP2 for him
Close call in the pit lane – Sauber released right in front of Force India
NAS has to park his smokey Sauber, just as SAI spins behind him
SAI parks his Toro Rosso – “something wrong with the rear”
Radio from KVY complaining PER is blocking him
- FP3: ROS (1:20.261), VES, RIC, HAM, RAI
HAM’s car is rebuilt after his off in FP2
It’s pouring down in Budapest, with a treat of thunderstorms, just ahead of Qualifying.
Is it too wet to start the session, or will they need to qualify on wet tyres?
5mins before the start of Q1, it’s announced they’ll delay the start by 10 minutes… and another 10min delay
Rain has stopped; drivers are getting ready; hopefully race control will confirm Quali start at 20mins past the hour
Start confirmed for 1420 local time
There’s more rain forecast during the hour, so it’s going to be critical to set a time before it starts again
Air temperature 20°C; track 26°C
Drivers will try to avoid the white lines while they’re wet, so we probably won’t see any penalties for deliberately running wide in T4 or T11
Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Long line of cars heading out of the pits, led by MAS; everyone on full wets of course
Radio for PER – “there’s still a chance of more rain after 5 minutes”
Radio from VET – “heavy, heavy rain”
Red flags suspend the session with 13:08 left of Q1
Bottom 6 are ERI, RAI, WEH, ROS, HAM, HAR
Q1 restart is scheduled for 1440 local time
VES and HAM head up the queue at pit out
Radio for ROS – “expect rain to stop in 7-8 minutes”
Radio from HAM – “quite a lot of smoke coming out my right radiator” (hopefully it’s just steam)
Green light for the restart, with 13:08 remaining for this session
VES a little tentative as he starts his quick lap
ROS runs wide in Turn 2
Radio from VET complaining it’s “silly” just running around in traffic
HAM to P9 – not great but at least out of the relegation zone
ERI is off at T10, into the tyre wall
Red flag; 9:00 left on the clock
Rain has stopped; sun is drying the track; could be time for inters soon
Tyre wall is reset
Medical car is in the pit lane to drop off ERI, just as cars emerge from their garages to queue for the restart
Q1 restarts, for a third attempt at completing the session
Looks like most are going out on full wets; a couple on inters (RIC, VES, VET)
HAM runs wide, across the gravel
MAS in the wall, on inters
Red flags again! 5:20 still remains of Q1, and we’re just coming up on an hour from the original planned start of the session
Replay shows MAS just touched the white line and lost the rear end
Track continues to dry, so expect inters for the restart
OK, 4th attempt at completing Q1; air temperature 23°C; track 32°C
Looks like just MAG on full wets, playing it safe but unlikely to improve much on his P17 time
MAG pits for inters as everyone else starts their quick laps
HAR is off on the grass
Red flags yet again!
With just 1:18 left, that’s effectively the end of Q1 … finally!
Replay shows HAR lost the rear end under braking for T10
Race control confirm session will not be restarted
Back of the grid: PAL, MAS, MAG, ERI, WEH, HAR
OK, so we can move on to Q2 now then 🙂
Qualifying session 2
There’s a dry line in many places but it’s inters still because a couple of corners are still wet
Replay of VET touching a white line on the outside of the final corner and throwing up lots of water
Inters need a lap to cool down before another quick lap; nearly time for dry tyres?
BOT pits for slicks – supersofts
Radio for BUT – box this lap and we’ll get three (laps) on drys; BUT says “it’s sooo difficult – there are still a lot of wet patches”
Everyone pitting for dry tyres
BOT 1:30.647 – proof that it was the right decision
4mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are KVY, VET, ALO, PER, GUT, NAS
BOT was set for a P1 time but pitted instead
2mins left; bottom 6 are BOT, GUT, RIC, NAS, RAI, KVY
RIC runs wide in T1; ruins that lap
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are PER, HUL, SAI, BOT, GUT, RIC
RIC to P3; HAM now P10
Middle of the grid: GRO, KVY, PER, RAI, GUT, NAS
Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between VES, ROS, RIC, ALO, HUL, VET, BUT, BOT, SAI & HAM
RIC P3 despite running quite wide in the final turn
Order so far: HAM, ROS, RIC, VES, SAI, HUL, BUT, ALO; no time from VET or BOT
ROS improves his time but still P2
VET P5 – also ran wide in the last corner
Radio from VES – lost sync again
3mins left of Q3; order is HAM, ROS, RIC, VES, VET, ALO, BUT, SAI, HUL, BOT
ALO spins in sector 2; HAM has to back off
ROS 1:19.965 – he wasn’t effected by the yellow flag
Front of the grid: ROS, HAM, RIC, VES, VET, SAI, ALO, BUT, HUL, BOT
Provisional grid: ROS, HAM, RIC, VES, VET, SAI, ALO, BUT, HUL, BOT, GRO, KVY, PER, RAI, GUT, NAS, PAL, MAS, MAG, ERI, WEH, HAR
Almost 2 hours to complete Qualifying!
Replay of ROS’ last lap shows he did slow for the yellows (ALO’s spin) so there shouldn’t be an issue with that pole time.