Qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix was far from smooth with Felipe Massa's accident dominating much of the session. Fernando Alonso
took the pole position but admits it is an aggressive strategy from the Renault squad which is good news for those directly behind such as Silverstone
and Nurburgring winners Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
While Alonso celebrates his return to the top of the timesheets with Renault, the Formula One circus as well as fans around the world will be thinking of Massa.
1 . F. Alonso - Renault R29
“The result this afternoon is fantastic. We knew after Germany that we were more competitive and that the car has really improved with our latest updates, so we decided to take an aggressive strategy this weekend. Tomorrow, our aim is to finish on the podium and starting from pole position gives us a good chance of doing that. Also, with three Renault engines filling the first three places on the grid, it’s another demonstration of the superb work done by the whole team.”
2 . S. Vettel - Red Bull Renault RB5
“That was good today. I had a pretty difficult start to the weekend and was struggling with the balance of the car in yesterday’s practice, but overnight we made a good step forward and it’s now looking good for the race. However, the challenge, no matter if you are first, second or third, is the threat from the cars behind us that are equipped with KERS, as there’s quite a run down to Turn one here. Today’s qualifying was a bit ‘on the edge’, first there were yellow flags and then I got caught in traffic on the second timed lap, so it wasn’t ideal. I was confident in the last qualifying though and we’ve got a good result. Let’s see tomorrow, it should be a good race for us.”
3 . M. Webber - Red Bull Renault RB5
“Not a great session for me in Q3, as I made a mistake in Turn 2. Sebastian did a clean lap and it should be a good race between all of us tomorrow. Well done to Fernando too, it’s good for Renault to have another engine up here and to be on pole. Rubens didn’t make it through into Q3, so Sebastian and I are in a good position to capitalise on that and hopefully get some points. The KERS cars will be arriving on the straight somewhere, we don’t know when, but that’s how it is.”
4 . L. Hamilton - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24
“It was so hard out there this afternoon. Maybe we could have been closer to the front because my final lap wasn’t a great one, but fourth is a good position from which to start tomorrow’s race. We’re still not quick enough and need to keep pushing but, nonetheless, it feels great to be back up there competing for the first few rows on the grid. I have a few cars to try and boost past so I hope there’s some good grip on my side of the grid – it would be fantastic to get the lead into the first corner. Finally, I want to send my best wishes to Felipe. It looked quite a big crash so I just hope he’s okay.”
5 . N. Rosberg - Williams Toyota FW31
"From my point of view, fifth place was okay today and gives us a really good chance for tomorrow. Overall, we have been looking good here and my target remains a podium. Obviously we need to see where everyone else is with fuel and we need a good start and race strategy, but I believe we have some real promise. Given all of this, I am looking forward to the race. Most importantly though, I hope that Felipe is alright."
6 . H. Kovalainen - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24
“It was harder to find grip on the track this afternoon, and the car was sliding around quite a bit. It was better on heavier tanks, but it was still difficult to get enough heat into the tyres. At one point, I overcooked them – it was tricky to get the right balance, so sixth was the best I could do today. The most encouraging thing about today is that we’re much closer to the front. With the same upgrades as Lewis, we’ve made great progress, and it shows the incredible efforts of everybody in the team. I don’t know if any other team in the paddock could have made such a big step. We should all be encouraged by that – but the work starts again to get us back to the very front. I really hope that Felipe is okay. I really hope he isn’t injured as it reminds me of my accident in Barcelona last year.”
7 . K. Raikkonen - Ferrari F60
8 . J. Button - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001
“The car felt reasonably good through the first two sessions today although none of my laps were perfect due to traffic and yellow flags. I thought we would be competitive in Q3 but unfortunately the work required on the car meant that I was only able to get one run and that was on a heavy fuel load with four more laps of fuel than we had planned. We were on the edge of the working range for the tyres today with the cooler temperatures so the car wasn’t handling quite as well as in practice. Starting from eighth on the grid isn’t ideal and I’m on the dirty side but we’re remaining positive and will see what we can do from there. Hopefully we will hear that Felipe is okay and we are thinking of him.”
9 . K. Nakajima - Williams Toyota FW31
"Initially qualifying went well, certainly up until Q2. I was pleased to make it through into the final ten again, but perhaps I didn’t make the most out of the final session. I struggled with tyre warm-up and couldn’t find the lap time. It may make it a bit difficult tomorrow starting from P9, but let’s see what we can achieve."
10 . F. Massa - Ferrari F60
11 . S. Buemi - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4
“Finishing 11th, one tenth off P10 shows we have made progress, a very big step forward since the last race.
It was a good qualifying for us, even if it is frustrating to finish eleventh because you want Q3. But it means we can run whatever fuel load we want for the race and I think we will be in good shape for tomorrow.”
12 . J. Trulli - Toyota TF109
"I have not been particularly happy with the car all weekend and unfortunately we couldn't make it into the topten0 today. The lap times have been very close all weekend and just a couple of tenths makes a big difference in the standings. Ultimately we didn't have the pace. It's difficult at the moment to judge exactly where we were lacking but obviously we were hoping for a better result. I am a racing driver and I never give up; the race is long and anything can happen so I will do my best to score points."
13 . R. Barrichello - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001
“We had a great plan for qualifying today and I was confident that we could have a really good session. Unfortunately I had the problem with the rear of the car on my second timed lap in Q2 and I had to come into the pits and abandon the lap. I was unlucky to have had traffic on my first lap otherwise that might have been enough to make it into the top ten. Starting from 13th at this circuit where it is almost impossible to overtake will make for a really tough race tomorrow but at least we can choose the fuel load and we’ll give everything to get some points. But my position today is unimportant. My thoughts right now are with Felipe and his family who are really close friends of mine and I hope he is going to be okay and will be fit as soon as possible.”
14 . T. Glock - Toyota TF109
"I am disappointed with that result, especially because this morning I felt we had quite a good package and the car felt competitive, even though I lost some track time. For some reason we just couldn't get the best lap time out of the car, which is a pity. On my last flying lap I caught another car in the final corner and lost a little time; I am sure I would have been able to go faster but that's how things go in qualifying on a twisty track like this. Starting from 14th makes it difficult for us tomorrow because overtaking is pretty much impossible here but we will see what we can do in terms of strategy and of course we will do our best."
15 . N. Piquet - Renault R29
“I knew that qualifying was going to be difficult. I managed to get a good lap in Q1, but in Q2 there was a lot of traffic and I couldn’t repeat the lap time, so unfortunately I missed out on Q3. Tomorrow it’s vital that we make a good start and I will do my best to have a strong race.”
16 . N. Heidfeld - BMW Sauber F1.09
"Today’s result is a true disappointment. I was hoping to make it into the top ten. Being second fastest in free practice this morning wasn’t the benchmark for what was possible in qualifying, but at least it proved overall it went quite well. Then my first outing in qualifying confirmed the performance. I was sixth fastest at that period of the session. But then it all went wrong during my second outing. I didn’t have a clear track on my out lap, which was why my first flying lap wasn’t good. On my second flying lap I had Kazuki Nakajima in front of me, but couldn’t back off because Rubens Barrichello
was behind me. Then I went wide in turn eleven and that was it. It was not even enough to get into Q2."
17 . G. Fisichella - Force India Mercedes VJM02
"I'm really thinking of Felipe right now as he's a good friend. I hope he's doing OK. Personally we knew it was going to be difficult today with the low grip but to just be one or two tenths from getting into Q2 is a little bit frustrating. The only problem was the lack of grip and it was difficult to do a good lap. It's going to be a tough race, but I would still like to get a good finish to take us over the mid-season break and into the next race where we have a lot more development to come."
18 . A. Sutil - Force India Mercedes VJM02
"First of all, I really hope Felipe is okay. I'm really thinking of him now. For us, unfortunately the qualifying wasn't as good as we hoped. In the morning I just made a mistake and went off line and lost some grip and went into the barriers. The guys did a great job to get the car ready but there was only enough time at the end of the session for two flying laps. All we needed was an extra couple of tenths that would have helped us go into Q2 so without the accident I think we could have been quite good. At least in 18th we have a couple of cars behind us but it's going to be a tough race.
19 . R. Kubica - BMW Sauber F1.09
"We were a little bit unlucky in qualifying. I had yellow flags on the first quick lap of my second attempt. On my second and final quick lap I had two cars in front of me. Although they moved off line they created dirty air. So I lost a lot of time as the car was sliding. This result is very disappointing. I will try my very best tomorrow but realistically this will be a very tough race."
20 . J. Alguersuari - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4
“Finishing qualifying with a failure is never good – I had a problem with the throttle control system - but we have to be content because I didn’t make any mistakes so far this weekend. On my first two sets of tyres I did a good job. As for the race, I am really looking forward to it and I will be happy if I finish.”