Earlier in the year qualifying used to be extremely dull. The misguided new system was soon ditched and the sport went back to the exciting and unpredictable format of the past. Saturday’s qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix proved to be another dramatic event as Nico Rosberg took pole position.
Bad weather certainly played its part with qualifying beginning on a soaking track after heavy showers. To say it was an eventful qualifying session is the only way you can describe it with four red flags – three of them because of crashes that had taken place.
It looked pretty certain that it was going to be Lewis Hamilton who would start on pole. However the bad luck that made his life a misery earlier in the season struck again. The defending world champion looked to be set for a lap that would give him pole as he was way ahead of his previous times but then had to slow down due to the McLaren of Fernando Alonso which had spun across the track at Turn Nine. No such problems for Rosberg and he finished ahead of the British driver. That’s despite the German driver having yellow caution flags displayed on his lap.
Hamilton seemed pretty relaxed over the incident when talking to the press after qualifying. “I was a bit unfortunate with Fernando but these things happen. I’m not too disappointed and we still have a long race ahead of us.”
Red Bull are again leading the challenge to Mercedes with Daniel Ricciardo in third and Max Verstappen fourth on the grid. The Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel will start in fifth (no grid penalties for a change) with Carlos Sainz in his Toro Rosso in sixth.
What of Kimi Raikkonen? He’s starting 14th on the grid after being eliminated in the second session.
The past year has been pretty rough for McLaren but for the first time since starting their relationship with Honda, both their drivers are in the top ten with Alsono seventh and Button eighth. At one stage in the first session Alonso was third behind the two Mercedes and fourth in the second session.
So what’s likely to happen on Sunday? Well, again it’s going to be Mercedes up front of course. Hamilton needs to finish ahead of his team mate to go top of the drivers’ championship. Or will Rosberg get back in winning ways and open up the gap again? Can McLaren possibly push for a top five spot? It promises to be an exciting GP so enjoy your racing and I’ll be back next week with another F1 blog.