Grand Prix of Hungary – Qualifying

Two weeks on from the British GP at Silverstone. Red Bull continued to complain that HAM’s penalty wasn’t enough, forgetting how VER has done the same and worse in the past.

The news since Silverstone has all been about the VER/HAM collision; Christian Horner continued to whine and exaggerate; Red Bull lodged an appeal with the FIA, expecting them to increase HAM’s penalty; the FIA rejected the appeal. Can we just move on now, please?

Points standings: VER=185 points; HAM=177, NOR=113, BOT=108, PER=104
Red Bull=289, Mercedes=285, McLaren=163, Ferrari=148, AlphaTauri=49

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: VER (1:17.555), BOT, HAM, SAI, GAS, ALO, LEC, PER, NOR, STR
    TSU put his AlphaTauri backwards into the tyre wall, bringing out the red flags to suspend the session
    Birthday boy ALO had also spun in Turn 4
    The media tried to make a big deal of VER leaving his garage just ahead of HAM, suggesting they were close to colliding again but actually this wasn’t anything unusual
  2. FP2: BOT (1:17.012), HAM, VER, OCO, PER, GAS, ALO, VER, NOR, STR
    VER complaining about the balance of his Red Bull
    Track temp was over 60°C but that probably wasn’t the cause of MAZ’s problem, who said his feet were burning
  3. FP3: HAM (1:16.826), VER, BOT, SAI, LEC, NOR, PER, RIC, ALO, STR
    LAT’s left mirror cracked
    SCH lost the rear of his Haas in Turn 11, slid off into the barriers; red flags suspend the session
    GIO was released from his garage right into the path of STR; GIO stopped just in time

Alfa Romeo received a €5,000 fine for the unsafe release of GIO into the path of STR

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
The Haas mechanics are still rebuilding SCH’s car after his FP3 crash; he’s already received a 5-place penalty for a gearbox change
Air temperature 29°C; track 60°C; 48% humidity; 10% chance of rain during Quali
Green light marks the start of Q1
TSU 1:18.163
RAI 1:17.963
BOT 1:16.610
HAM 1:16.424
VER 1:16.214
SAI tried to stay out of the way of TSU, but he was on the apex and the AlphaTauri had to go wide to avoid him
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are TSU, RUS, LAT, MAZ, SCH*
*SCH’s car is still being rebuilt, plus he has a penalty so it’s unlikely he’ll run in Q1 and instead will need to appeal to the stewards to be allowed to race
Haas release MAZ right in front of TSU
HAM and BOT both heading out of the pits on used soft tyres
Radio from LAT reporting “a lot of engine cuts”
Chequered flag
RUS stays P17
Back of the grid: TSU, RUS, LAT, MAZ, SCH*
*SCH will have to appeal to the stewards for permission to race

Qualifying session 2
Mercedes pair are on medium compound tyres
HAM 1:16.553
(BOT P2)
(VER P2)
Looks like it’s only Merc and Red Bull on mediums; everyone else on softs
(ALO P3) – that’s impressive for Alpine
SAI slides off, into the tyre wall – yellow flags almost immediately replaced by red flags – Q2 suspended
SAI is ok; “I crashed, sorry guys”
He’s trying to limp back to the pits but the front wing is stuck under the car; he gets out of his broken Ferrari
There’s 6:40 left on the clock for Q2, so the session will restart once SAI’s car is removed and the tyre wall rebuilt
Current order: HAM, LEC, VER, ALO, VET, GAS, BOT, PER, OCO, RIC, NOR, STR, RAI, SAI, GIO
Session restarted but everyone remains in the garage, presumably aiming for a single fast lap
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are NOR, STR, RAI, SAI, GIO
Everyone heads out for a final flying lap, although the front runners may well abort their laps if they can to save tyres
They’re all on softs except BOT on mediums
(BOT P2)
(LEC P2)
GAS 1:16.394
VER 1:15.650
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are NOR, STR, RAI, SAI, GIO
STR P8, RIC P11
RIC P8, PER P11
NOR P2, VET P11
PER P4, STR P11
VET P10, RIC P11
RAI P13
GIO P14
Middle of the grid: RIC, STR, RAI, GIO, SAI

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between VER, NOR, GAS, PER, ALO, HAM, LEC, BOT, OCO and VET
They all (except VET) head out of the pits on softs
NOR 1:16.877
GAS 1:16.699
OCO 1:16.660
ALO P3
LEC 1:16.646
VER 1:15.984
BOT 1:15.734
HAM 1:15.419
PER P4
Order after first run: HAM, BOT, VER, PER, LEC, OCO, GAS, ALO, NOR; no time yet from VET
Radio from VER complaining of “massive lack of grip”
VET has the track to himself; goes P8
Time for a final run
VER comes out right behind HAM, so HAM slows right down and VER can’t pass him in the pit lane – is there a minimum pit lane speed? 🙂
Chequered flag
PER didn’t make it across the line in time to start a quick lap
NOR P6
Front of the grid: HAM, BOT, VER, PER, GAS, NOR, LEC, OCO, ALO, VET

The booing is pretty childish; HAM says it fuels him, which causes the crowd to quiet down 🙂

Provisional grid: HAM, BOT, VER, PER, GAS, NOR, LEC, OCO, ALO, VET, RIC, STR, RAI, GIO, SAI, TSU, RUS, LAT, MAZ, SCH*
*SCH will have to appeal to the stewards for permission to race

[2021 calendar] [2021 line-up] [Points standings]

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