Ferrari was the only team to remain in the same postal (Zip) code as the Red Bull’s today and Fernando Alonso feels it all comes down to the start, “It will be down to the start and how the things go when the red lights are off.”
The Hungaroring has always been about qualifying position and the start as the track does not lend itself to much overtaking. A track likened to a faster Monaco is celebrating its 25 year in F1 but the drivers in the first three rows only remember the last 10 or so years and there is one lesson learned; get a good start.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button struggled in qualifying to match the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull. Hamilton was wringing the neck of the MP4-25 chassis for every second he could get and looked like a man possessed in his quest to pole. Button struggled for grip and admitted that he has placed himself in a difficult situation for the race as the start is crucial.
If there is hope for Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, it may be the tempers and emotions of the men in front of him.With Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel engaged in a deadly version of the Beguine and Massa’s own team and teammate in hot water over team orders, the Brazilian may have an opportunity to watch another Vettel chop go awry and make hay with the error. Massa isn’t feeling opportunistic about the race however:
“When you are lapped by over a second in qualifying, there is always something to think about,” he said.
“The way in which they make their tyres work on the first lap is especially incredible and their aerodynamics help them so much in some corners, especially in changes of direction.
“In the race, the situation can be different, but clearly we cannot claim that we will be quicker on track.
“However, overall, we have to be pleased with this result because, all the same, we are ahead of everyone else.”
It’s anyone’s guess as to how the race will unfold but Vettel has scuppered the last two pole positions he has had with poor starts and erratic moves to suppress an advancing nemesis be it his teammate or another driver. If the clean side of the track is at all important, Alonso could be in a good position but being over a second adrift of the Red Bull’s doesn’t bode well.