Qualifying: Alonso claims stunning pole

Fernando Alonso claimed pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, blitzing the field with a stunning effort in final qualifying today (Saturday). Ralf Schumacher will start alongside him in second, but championship rivals Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher could only manage fourth and eighth respectively

Qualifying: Alonso claims stunning pole

The Renault star took advantage of favourable track conditions to set the fastest lap of the Hungaroring so far this weekend, a 1m21.688s. It was the second pole of his career.

"The fastest time for Jarno yesterday and pole for me today shows how good the team is here, and we hope tomorrow will be similar for us," said Alonso. "The first corner is very tight here, but hopefully our launch control will work as usual. I hope to be in first place at the first turn."

Williams-BMW ace Ralf Schumacher pushed hard, but couldn't match the Spaniard's blinding time in the final sector, and fell 0.256s short.

"On one hand it's a nice feeling to be second, we had a few difficulties this week for various reasons, but I'm not particularly happy with second," he said. "Especially because it means I start from the dirty side of the track. It's not the best place for me, but hopefully Alonso, er, Fernando will be kind and open the door for me!"

Mark Webber maintained the strong form he displayed in first qualifying yesterday, taking an excellent third position for Jaguar.

"I'm very satisfied," he said. "The lap felt on the edge, and it's not easy to do that when there's so much at stake. Big thanks to the team, and now we want to get some points tomorrow. This has gone a long way towards that."

Montoya could only manage fourth, but was the first of the major championship contenders.

"The car feels really good and I'm confident in it for the race," said Montoya. "But I feel I could have gone a bit quicker in qualifying."

Rubens Barrichello was the top Ferrari driver and Bridgestone runner in fifth, and actaully matched Montoya's time to the thousandth. He finished ahead of Friday's pacesetter Jarno Trulli (Renault), who had a messy lap that included three big moments. Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) qualified seventh, but world champion Michael Schumacher could only manage the eighth fastest time in his Ferrari.

Of the British contingent, David Coulthard (McLaren) was ninth, Justin Wilson (Jaguar) 12th and Jenson Button (BAR) 14th. Meanwhile, Wilson earned the wrath of Raikkonen in the pre-qualifying warm-up session after an on-track clash.

Olivier Panis was only 10th fastest for Toyota, his Friday morning pace remaining one of those great unsolved mysteries, with Nick Heidfeld (Sauber) next up. Giancarlo Fisichella was 13th fastest for Jordan, while Cristiano da Matta (Toyota), who spun off in the warm-up, was the slowest of the Michelin runners.

Jacques Villeneuve (BAR), Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Sauber) and Jos Verstappen (Minardi) filled the spots from 16th to 18th. Zsolt Baumgartner qualified 19th for his first grand prix, having replaced Ralph Firman at Jordan after the Briton's huge crash in practice this morning. Nicolas Kiesa (Minardi) will start last.

shares
comments
Alonso Takes Second Pole of the Season - Hungary
Previous article

Alonso Takes Second Pole of the Season - Hungary

Next article

Fisichella to Drive for Sauber in 2004

Fisichella to Drive for Sauber in 2004
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022