It’s time for the eleventh qualifying of the season on the Hungaroring. It was the first qualifying of the year that started and ended on a wet track. It promised to be exciting with a lot of slipping, sliding and spray.
During the first session, we saw all the drivers coming out of the pits with Intermediate tyres. After half of the session, the track was as good as dry, so many drivers changed to the Ultra Soft compound. Sainz drove an unexpectedly fastest time in sector two, when it started dripping again. The Spaniard drove the session of his life and could even beat the best teams on a certain moment by driving the fastest lap with only seven minutes to go. Ricciardo waited till the last moment to push through to the second session and that made a lot of fans concerned. In the end, he was able to still continue his qualifying, while we had to leave Vandoorne, Leclerc, Ocon, Perez and Sirotkin behind.
Moving on to the second session, we got to know that it rained in the last sector of the track. Although it was still safe to drive with normal compounds at the start of the session, we could see Vettel driving with Intermediate tyres and that was a very good move of Ferrari! All of the other drivers had to pass by their team to change to the Intermediate compound after their outlap, while Vettel had the track for his own and completed a flying lap with all of the sectors in purple.
The doors of heaven were open and the rain streamed down. Grip was nowhere to be found and the drivers slid and spun all over the track. Stroll even lost his front wing by ending up in the wall with low speed. Ricciardo did the same thing as in the first session, though it was not a smart move this time… anything but smart actually. There was too much rain on track in the end and due to aquaplanning, he couldn’t set a proper time. We went to the last session without Alonso, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Ericsson and Stroll.
The two Haas and Toro Rosso drivers got through to the last session. The drivers came out on Wet tyres again in the heavy rain. The cars turned into boats, especially in the extremely wet third sector. It was rather a battle to stay on track, than for the pole position. Raikkonen drove an outstanding lap that came out as the time to beat to gain the pole position for the 33th Hungarian Grand Prix. In the end, the two Silberpfeilen were able to beat him with some great laps!
Lewis Hamilton took the pole position with Bottas completing the first row for Mercedes. The second row is for Ferrari with Raikkonen starting from the third place with 0.024 seconds advantage on Vettel from the fourth. The top ten was completed by Sainz, Gasly, Verstappen, Hartley, Magnussen and Grosjean.