Hungarian GP: Mixed Fortunes in Mogyorod
For the fourth time this season, Fernando Alonso qualified fifth this afternoon to secure a place on the clean side of Row 3. It’s a good place to be to pick up points in the final race before the summer break. Possibly making life easier for the Ferrari man tomorrow is the misfortune of others, in the shape of Lewis Hamilton failing to set any time, after his Mercedes caught fire.
It means the championship leaders have only one Silver Arrow to their bow at the front of the grid, in the form of the inevitable Nico Rosberg, on pole for the sixth time this year. It’s an all-German front row, with Sebastian Vettel in second place for Red Bull after a somewhat frantic session, when a light rain shower hit the track just as Q3 was starting. Row 2 features the consistent Valtteri Bottas, third for Williams, with the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo alongside him. Fernando shares his row with the Finn’s team-mate Felipe Massa and the Spaniard will be hoping to use the advantage of the clean side of the track to beat the Williams in a drag race off the line.
Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow’s race from a long way back on the grid because he was bumped out of Q2 after Marussia’s Jules Bianchi put in a very good lap right in the closing moments of the first session. The Ferrari strategy at this point, like that of other front runners, was to secure a place in Q2 without resorting to using the softer compound Pirelli. In simple terms, it was a gamble that worked with Alonso but not with Raikkonen, as the track conditions evolved more than expected.
On the positive side, Raikkonen has clearly been much happier with the handling of his car this weekend, out-pacing his team-mate in one free practice session and being very close to him in the other two. Therefore expect some fireworks as the Finn tries to fight his way up the order, something he is certainly capable of. If it’s dry for the race then the tyres he was unable to use this afternoon will come in useful and if it’s wet, then the skills of world champion might come in useful! In fact, it looks as though Kimi has already moved up one place to sixteenth on the grid, as Kevin Magnussen, who crashed after qualifying tenth, starts from pit lane.
Source: Ferrari Media