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Bulls on row three at the Hungaroring

Highlights

  • Daniel recovers from FP3 issues to qualify fifth
  • Max edges ahead of Daniel in Q3 by just 0.021s
  • Vettel heads Ferrari one-two ahead of Mercedes
  • Bulls line astern on third row of the grid for fourth time in 2017

The Red Bulls will start the Hungarian Grand Prix from row three of the grid after Max Verstappen took fifth place and Daniel Ricciardo sixth at the end of a closely-contested qualifying session at the tight and twisting Hungaroring.

There was plenty of action in the garage even before the green lights came on to signal the start of Q1. A hydraulic issue had brought an early end to Daniel's final practice session and the crew spent the following two hours getting to the root of the problem and implementing a solution.

As ever they pulled out all the stops and Daniel was comfortably in the car and ready to rock as the green lights came on. And while it took the Aussie a few minutes to adjust to the car he was soon in a relative comfort zone, slotting into P4 with a time of 1:17.924.

Max, meanwhile, was quick out of the blocks and with his first lap he snuck past Daniel with a time of 1:17.887. Daniel returned the favour with a time of 1:17.702 before Max then made his mark by vaulting to second place behind Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel with a lap of 1:17.266.

It will be an interesting race and I'm actually quite confident

Both times were solid enough to ensure smooth passage to the second session. Max stayed in second place behind Vettel and while Daniel was eventually edged out to fifth behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and fourth-placed Lewis Hamilton he was never in any danger of falling further down the order.

At the other of the order, an equally solid performance was being put in by Williams reserve driver Paul Di Resta, though in different circumstances.

On Friday Williams regular Felipe Massa had been unwell and though he was cleared to take part in FP3 the Brazilian had again felt ill. He was therefore ruled out of the rest of the weekend and Di Resta was drafted in as the Brazilian's replacement.

Despite having last raced in F1 at the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix and being largely unfamiliar with 2017-spec F1 cars, the Scot did a good job qualifying in 19th position ahead of Sauber's Marcus Ericsson. Eliminated ahead of the Scot were, in 16th place, Haas' Kevin Magnussen, Williams team-mate Lance Stroll and Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein.


2017 QUALIFYING STATS - HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX

  • This is Daniel's fifth top-10 grid slot in Hungary. His only starts from outside the top 10 were P22 in 2011 with HRT and P18 with Toro Rosso in 2012.
  • Max has never started the Hungarian GP from outside the top 10. He started ninth for Toro Rosso in 2015, he was in P4 last year and will start from P5 tomorrow.
  • It's a tough task but if either Max or Daniel makes the podium tomorrow it will make five Hungarian GP podiums in a row for the team.

Vettel again set the pace in the early stages of Q2. Third on track when the pit exit opened the German laid down an impressive marker, becoming the first man into the 1m16s bracket with a time of 1:16.802.

Max came closest to matching that, setting a time two tenths adrift of the German in the opening runs. Daniel, meanwhile, slotted into fifth place. In the drop zone ahead of the final runs were Renault's Jolyon Palmer, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat, Haas' Romain Grosjean and Force India's Sergio Perez.

Sainz was the one to make a late charge, with the Spaniard claiming P10 with his final flying lap. Palmer looked like he might threaten The Toro man's time of 1:18.311 but the Briton's pace faltered in the final sector and he lost out to Sainz by a tenth. Eliminated behind P11 man Palmer were Force India's Esteban Ocon, Kvyat, Perez and Grosjean.

The time we lost this morning in FP3 definitely cost us in Qualifying

At the top the bulk of the top six, including Max and Daniel, opted to stay in the garages for the second runs. The Mercedes drivers were the exception, however, and though Bottas could find no improvement beyond P5, Hamilton cranked up his pace and took P1 with a time of 1:16.693. Max was third ahead of Raikkonen, Bottas and Daniel.

Vettel repeated his early Q2 pacesetting at the start of Q3. The Ferrari driver powered to a time of 1:16.276 that would eventually take him to pole position. Hamilton, meanwhile, The Briton made a mistake on his first run to lie ninth ahead of the final runs and then complained of tyre vibration on his final run to fourth place.

Hamilton's final time left him vulnerable to attack from the Red Bulls in P5 and P6, but unfortunately neither Max nor Daniel could find enough time on track to improve position and the Bulls are set to line up on row three tomorrow.

Kimi Raikkonen was the only driver to make a significant move in the final runs, with the Finn climbing for P5 to P2 ahead of Bottas and Hamilton.

Behind the Red Bulls, Nico Hulkenberg qualified seventh, but the Renault driver is set to take a five-place gearbox-related grid drop tomorrow. Alonso was eighth ahead of McLaren team-mate Vandoorne while Sainz qualified in 10th place.