Lewis Hamilton on Pole – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix


Lewis Hamilton on Pole – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

Location: Hungary

Circuit: Hungaroring

Race Weekend: 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix

What a qualifying session we had today! The day started off with blue skies and warm temperatures however, around an hour before Qualifying – it all changed. The clouds gathered over the Hungaroring and it started to rain leaving both the teams and drivers unsure about their strategy for the session ahead.

Throughout the weekend, the Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s looked to be the faster cars with many saying that this weekend would be ‘damage limitation’ for the Mercedes team as this, typically, isn’t a track suited to them however with the weather change – so did the results and the silver arrows brought home a 1-2 for the start of the race tomorrow.

Tomorrow, rain has been forecast yet again however, as we saw today – we could see part of the track being dry and part of the track being wet so if the rain makes an appearance for the race, we should see something exciting as it’ll all be down to the correct tyre strategies and managing the car.

The Ferrari’s both looked determined to end the first half of the season on a good note, as do Mercedes who also want to go into the summer break with a little bit of a lead on the championship and boy – do we have a good race on our hands tomorrow for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

In the meantime, below you can see driver reaction straight after Qualifying along with photos near the bottom of the article.

MERCEDES – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix



Lewis Hamilton: “It’s a great feeling to lock out the front row, particularly with the tough weekend we’ve been having in the dry. I thought I would be lucky to get third, fourth or maybe even fifth as Ferrari have been quicker than us and Red Bull were fast too!”

“Then, the heavens opened and I knew that we were in the game. The rain levelled the playing field and gave us that opportunity to make a difference. I’m just really proud of the team, they did a great job today and brought their A game.”

“This has been a good track for me for years but for some reason, the last couple haven’t had that extra sauce to help me get ahead – if it’s dry tomorrow, it’s all about positioning as it’s so difficult to overtake here.”

“It’s a long run down to Turn 1 so we have got to try and make sure that there’s no space to get by.”



Valtteri Bottas: “On the one hand, today has been somewhat disappointing as I wanted to get on pole. On the other hand, I’m really happy for the team, a front-row lockout is the perfect result for us. This result would have been really difficult in the dry but the wet conditions gave us the opportunity to be better today than Ferrari and Red Bull.”

“It’s tricky to get it right in the wet – it’s not as easy to stay on the track, let alone be on the limit, trying to squeeze everything out of the car. It’s so tough if you know you only have one lap to do but everything just came together.”

“The team did an exceptional job with the timing and the tyre choices. As a team, we absolutely nailed it today. We now decide on the race strategy, there’s obviously two options for the start tyre – either it’s the UltraSofts of the Softs so we will analyse the situation carefully and then make our choice.”

“It’s great to start from P1 and P2 at a track like this where it’s so difficult to overtake, we will do everything we can to keep the Ferrari behind us and I’ll push hard to gain one position – it’s going to be a good fight tomorrow.”

TOTO WOLFF – Team Principal


Toto Wolff: “That was such a tough qualifying session, with a mix of the UltraSoft, Intermediate and Wet tyres at different points of the session – and the kind of day when it’s easier to drop the ball than not. Ferrari looked a little bit better than us in the dry and on the intermediate tyre, perhaps we had a small advantage when it came to the extreme wet.”

“The difference today was made by the human factors, not the machines. Our team responded with calm focus to the ever-changing conditions an we saw the storms popping up on the machine and reacted in the right way – then it all came down to one lap on the wet tyres.”

“We have given both Lewis and Valtteri everything and they nailed it – congratulations to both of them on a faultless job – we have given ourselves the best starting position for tomorrow and now we need to turn that into a strong result.”

FERRARI – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix



Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall this weekend the car has been really good in any conditions. In qualifying it was a bit tricky, but I enjoyed driving it a lot.”

“The speed was there and the car was working well in wet conditions. Today we were more competitive in the rain than we had been in other places. It was nice, I was pleased because this hadn’t been our strongest point lately.”

“In Q3 with used tires we were fastest of all, but with the new set we were a bit unlucky with the traffic; we got stuck a bit behind another car and with all the spray we could not have a clear lap.”

“There was nothing we could do, as we were limited on time. It’s a pity because there was a lot of grip on the new tyres, I’m sure we had the speed and everything else to get the first place but we have to be positively happy that now we can actually challenge for the front in wet conditions.”



Sebastian Vettel: “I don’t think it was an awful session overall we were just not quick enough. Conditions were tricky and it was hard to squeeze everything out of the car but I think my laps were generally fine.”

“In wet conditions, we weren’t so confident as we had been in the dry so we have some work to do. Today it was not a straightforward session but I think we managed it well until the end.”

“Obviously, we were missing a bit of something but that’s how it is. We’ll see what tomorrow brings: the start is important but the race is 70 laps long and I think we’ll be fine.”

“I’ll move off from the second row so we’ll focus on what we need to do starting from there however, we have a good car no matter the conditions and that’s the main thing.”




Max Verstappen: “My main issue today was a lack of grip, especially in Q3. The feeling on the Intermediate tyre wasn’t that bad but when we put the Wets on it was really tricky.”

“It seems at the moment that this year’s car struggles a bit in the wet and we need to look into why it is different to last year’s. We have already experienced that we struggle to get heat into the tyres and today that really showed.”

“Usually I feel comfortable enough to lay down a lap in these conditions but I just was not able to today. I feel, due to the rain, we have missed an opportunity to have a really strong Qualifying so that is a bit frustrating.”

“We weren’t happy this morning in the dry but we made some setup changes that I think would have made it better for Qualifying, had it not rained.”

“This gives me confidence tomorrow but starting from P7 here does not make it easy. I think it is supposed to be dry and really warm for the race.”

“That said we didn’t expect this today so let’s wait and see what we get tomorrow.”


Daniel Ricciardo: “It just seems we were unlucky today. We had the Soft tyres we had to use and we thought they would have been safe enough for Q1.”

“It made life difficult but it was good enough, just. Then obviously the rain came at the start of Q2 and the first car on track was getting a big advantage and the better conditions.”

“In my first timed lap, the one that had to count in the end, I had Stroll spin in front of me so I had to abort and then it just got wetter and wetter and that was the only opportunity to make a good lap. The following laps it was too wet and in the last sector I was just trying to survive.”

“We had to put the Wets on, but they were never going to be as quick as the Inters as the conditions of the track got much worse compared to the beginning. It was more bad luck than bad strategy though.”

“Tomorrow obviously, I will try to move forward as fast as possible, I think we have the pace, but from 12th is a long way.”

“I’ll overtake, I’ll find a way!”



Christian Horner: “A frustrating Qualifying for us today. The rain, which began before Qualifying and fluctuated throughout the sessions, created challenging conditions.”

“After navigating safely through Q1, Daniel unfortunately had to abandon his lap on the Intermediate tyres following Stroll’s spin, thereafter conditions worsened, necessitating extreme tyres and he could not improve on his lap time, eliminating him from Q3.”

“Max initially looked strong in Q3 but as the rain again increased, track conditions and visibility worsened and the grip wasn’t there for him to challenge the leading times. P7 and P12 are not where we would hope to start tomorrow’s grand prix, however in dry conditions our race pace has looked competitive through the weekend, so we hope we can take advantage and progress through the field.”

“As we saw today the weather can change quickly here too so it could yet be a very interesting race.”

MCLAREN – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix



Fernando Alonso: ” The conditions were very difficult today and in these situations you need to have a bit of luck and be on track at the right time. We haven’t been very competitive this weekend and in Q1 we were already a bit concerned that we wouldn’t make it through to Q2.”

“Thanks to the rain we managed to get to P11 which is a good place, close to the points zone. Starting positions here are quite important and we are probably further up than we thought we would be.”

“At the end of Q2 the heavy rain was affecting the last part of the track  so we decided to attempt another run on extreme Wet tyres, knowing that we would probably be slower, but we tried anyway.”



Stoffel Vandoorne: “It was quite tricky out there today – especially at the start of qualifying – to know what tyre to be on and make the right call about slick tyres because the track was still quite hot from the sun during the day.”

“Every time we crossed the line on a timed lap we were competitive, in the top 10 on both the Intermediates and on the slicks as well.”

“It was all about being on track at the right time, and we were just a bit out of sequence as we had to box the car about one minute before the end of Q1 so we didn’t get that final lap, right when the track was at its driest. That just wasn’t enough to get through to Q2.”

“It’s always a bit of a gamble in these conditions, as it can play out to be good or bad. It’s unfortunate, but these things happen. We tried hard.”

SAUBER – QUALIFYING REPORT – 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix



Marcus Ericsson: “It was a very difficult qualifying with the weather conditions playing a very big part in it. Conditions were tricky and reminded me a lot of Hockenheim but I felt really comfortable.”

“It was nice to go into Q2 – it was very close though. In Q2 I had the yellow flag when the track was at its best.”

“I tried to improve but there was too much water on the track. It’s still a good result.P14 is a decent place to start from and we will see what we can do from there.”



Charles Leclerc: “It was not a good day for me. Qualifying was tricky as it started raining lightly just before the session started. We went out on intermediate tyres, however, the track was too dry to put in good lap times.”

“After we changed to ultrasoft tyres, we got back in the mix, but all of the teams were advancing quickly and positions were changing within seconds.”

“At the end, it was not enough today. I hope that the race tomorrow will be an interesting one, and that we will be able to make some progress.”

PHOTOS – 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix





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